Hoops Preview: Purdue Round I

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

Michigan has a chance to best the conference’s preseason favorite as they take on the Purdue Boilermakers today at 1PM. The game takes place in west Lafayette, and can be seen on CBS.

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

Michigan v. Purdue: National Ranks
Category Michigan Purdue Advantage
Mich eFG% v. Purdue eFG% D 144 1 PP
Mich eFG% D v. Purdue eFG% 199 95 PP
Mich TO% v. Purdue Def TO% 11 34 M
Mich Def TO% v. Purdue TO% 162 41 PP
Mich OReb% v. Purdue DReb% 231 147 P
Mich DReb% v. Purdue OReb% 143 245 MM
Mich FTR v. Purdue Opp FTR 317 86 PPP
Mich Opp FTR v. Purdue FTR 17 208 M
Mich AdjO v. Purdue AdjD 43 5 P
Mich AdjD v. Purdue AdjO 142 68 P

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

Purdue is a very good defensive team, and one of the more well-rounded squads Michigan has faced on the year. They’re a horrible matchup for a Michigan team that is struggling to produce on offense, and especially one that is struggling to hit its shots. The Boilers are #1 in the nation in forcing their opponents into missing their field goal attempts. Another sign of a tenacious defensive unit is opponents’ turnovers. The Boilers have been pretty good at forcing the opponent to give up the ball. Michigan, on the other hand, has been good at holding onto it, save for a few bad perfformances (most notably Wednesday night in Columbus). Michigan will face a tough challenge in getting the offense going. Ken Pomeroy predicts a 73-60 Boilermaker victory in a 66-possession game, and gives Michigan just a 9% chance of winning.

The key players for Purdue are E’twaun Moore, Chris Kramer (#29 in the nation in steals and last year’s conference defensive POY), and Robbie Hummel, who is now coming off the bench after coming back from an injury. Hummel is an efficient offensive player, as is big man JaJuan Johnson.

Before the end of the Ohio State game, I thought it might be time to reduce Laval Lucas-Perry’s minutes, as he’s clearly struggling on the floor right now. With Zack Novak suspended for a game though, LLP will probably have to play at least as many minutes as he’s been getting. There should also be a lot of Zack Gibson in the game (not necessarily a good thing), and Manny will probably have to play the 4 a lot as well.

Things look grim, but if the Wolverines somehow manage to pull off a huge conference road victory, they may be able to scratch their way back into the tournament discussion.

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