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Ohio State Preview: Round 2

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

The Wolverines have a chance to exact revenge on Ohio State tonight in Columbus. The Wolverines will try to turn the tables on the Buckeyes from the last game, a 7-point loss for the home side just 11 days ago. The game can be seen on Big Ten Network tonight at 6:30.

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

Michigan v. Ohio State: National Ranks
Category Michigan Ohio State Advantage
Mich eFG% v. OSU eFG% D 126 79 O
Mich eFG% D v. OSU eFG% 172 50 OO
Mich TO% v. OSU Def TO% 4 130 MM
Mich Def TO% v. OSU TO% 165 118 O
Mich OReb% v. OSU DReb% 238 192 O
Mich DReb% v. OSU OReb% 158 267 MM
Mich FTR v. OSU Opp FTR 321 5 OOOO
Mich Opp FTR v. OSU FTR 7 84 M
Mich AdjO v. OSU AdjD 28 42 M
Mich AdjD v. OSU AdjO 141 79 O

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

When Last We Met…

BJ Mullens had a ridiculous game, going 7-9 from the field, with nearly every one a dunk. Evan Turner got to the line 14 times (albeit many of them at the end of the game, when Michigan was just trying to extend the contest). William Buford had 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals. Despite all of this, Michigan was in the game until near the very end, and even led for pretty big portions of the second half.

DeShawn Sims struggled (a surefire bad sign for Michigan chances of victory), but Manny Harris was easily Michigan’s player of the game. The only other player to hit more than one 3-ball for Michigan was Stu Douglass, who appears to be getting hot for Michigan at the right time.

Since Last We Met…

The Wolverines split games with Penn State and Northwestern, defeating the latter. Their shooting has continued to decline, mostly on account of a horrid performance against the Nittany Lions (but also a poor effort from 3 against the Wildcats). Opponents’ shooting, meanwhile, has gotten better, as Michigan either has terrible defense or terrible luck (a combination of both, if you ask me, and I’ve discussed it in more depth elsewhere) of late. Michigan’s rebounding has improved (offensive slightly; defensive significantly), but their ability to get to the line has waned, thanks to Manny Harris’s inability to get a foul called on an opponent. Overall, the Wolverines’ offensive and defensive effeciency have both fallen. Sims hit bottom against Penn State, but returned to form against Northwestern.

In big losses to Illinois and Michigan State, the Buckeyes’ shooting has gotten worse, but they have also locked down on opponents’ field goal attempts. They’ve started forcing more turnovers, and have turned the ball over much less themselves. So what explains drops in their offensive and defensive efficiency numbers? The rebounding on both ends of the floor has gotten worse, for one. Other than that, most stats appear to be about the same (or better) for the Buckeyes.

And it Means…

Michigan is coming off their second-consecutive 4-day break, after previously having only 3 days’ rest before their last three games. Michigan is a much better team off long breaks, with wins against UCLA, and every Big Ten victory except that against Indiana off at least four days without a game (this is notable, because the 3-day rest before the Indiana game could be considered a factor in the terrible performance there, if we’re drawing a correlation). With the long break, Michigan’s seeming recovery on offense against Northwestern, and John Beilein’s uncanny ability to make adjustments the second time he faces an opponent that he lost the first game to, Michigan should be a little closer in this game. Jevohn Shepherd has gotten playing time in the past two contests, and he might get some tonight, if for no other reason than to absorb fouls in the post. I think this game should end up closer than the first.

Ken Pomeroy predicts a 67-62 Buckeyes victory in a 62-possession game, and gives Michigan just a 29% chance of winning. If the Wolverines are to harbor any realistic dreams of making the NCAA tournament, stealing one in Columbus tonight would be an important start.

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1 Comment so far

  1. Ann Arbor 1879 says...

    Paging Manny Harris…

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