Preview: North Carolina Central

Or: Tim’s foray into tempo-free statistics.

Michigan takes on winless North Carolina Central tonight at 7PM in Crisler Arena. The game can be seen on Big Ten Network.

Tempo-Free and efficiency comparison (if you need an explanation of what any of these things mean, head to KenPom’s website):

Michigan v. North Carolina Central: National Ranks
Category Michigan FGCU Advantage
Mich eFG% v. NCC eFG% D 63 333 MMM
Mich eFG% D v. NCC eFG% 86 337 MM
Mich TO% v. NCC Def TO% 14 107 M
Mich Def TO% v. NCC TO% 137 333 MM
Mich OReb% v. NCC DReb% 202 340 MM
Mich DReb% v. NCC OReb% 263 292 M
Mich FTR v. NCC Opp FTR 183 237 M
Mich Opp FTR v. NCC FTR 27 315 MMM
Mich AdjO v. NCC AdjD 6(!) 342 MMMM(!)
Mich AdjD v. NCC AdjO 130 341 MMM

Differences of more than 100 places in the rankings garner two-letter advantages, differences of more than 200 get a third.

NC Central is dead-last in the KenPom ratings, so its entirely understandable that Michigan has pretty significant advantages in every area. The Wolverines have their first 4-letter advantage of the year, and it’s in an important category: their offensive efficiency against NCC’s defensive efficiency. The only areas in which Michigan has just one-letter advantages are turnover rate on offense, defensive rebounding (astoundingly, they have more than 100 places in separation between the teams in Michigan’s offensive rebounding), and free throw rate on offense. Ken Pomeroy predicts a 96-41 Wolverines victory, with 0% chance of an upset in a 66-possession game.

Taking a look at the game plans, Michigan’s effective field goal percentage against NC Central’s defense should be a good indicator of how the team’s overall offensive performance will go. Considering Michigan has a huge advantage in that area, it should be a good day for the Michigan offense. On paper, this looks to be a great offensive day for Michigan. The one area NCC is fairly good in is blocking opponents’ shots, but that will likely not play a huge role against a perimeter-shooting team like the Wolverines.

NCC has three key players, all of whom have played more than 80% of the possible minutes so far this year. Stevy Worah-Ozimo is the tallest player on the team at 6-9. He is the team’s center, and hasn’t attempted a three-point shot yet this year. Freshman Jamar Briscoe is a Grady-sized (5-10) point guard, and leads the team in assists. The other key player is Vincent Davis, who, at 6-2, would normally be considered a guard, but he may be more of a wing player on such a size-challenged team (3rd shortest in Division I, ahead of only Nebraska and SIU-Edwardsville, the second of which I believe is a data-entry error). The rest of the minutes are filled fairly evenly by the other 5 players on the team.

With the gaps in talent and depth between these teams, it would be surprising if NC Central gave MIchigan much of a game. Of course, stranger things have happened, so be sure to check out the game at 7 tonight on BTN. If nothing else, it should provide an opportunity to see Michigan look like world-beaters.

Posted under Analysis, Basketball
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1 Comment so far

  1. Steve says...

    And the Wolverines are ranked!!!!

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