Preview: Penn State II

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

The Wolverines have a chance to exact revenge on Penn State tonight at home. The Wolverines will try to get a home victory on BTN at 7PM.

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

Michigan v. Penn State State: National Ranks
Category Michigan Penn State State Advantage
Mich eFG% v. PSU eFG% D 158 116 P
Mich eFG% D v. PSU eFG% 204 45 PP
Mich TO% v. PSU Def TO% 20 261 MMM
Mich Def TO% v. PSU TO% 163 11 PP
Mich OReb% v. PSU DReb% 233 15 PPP
Mich DReb% v. PSU OReb% 154 137 P
Mich FTR v. PSU Opp FTR 321 6 PPPP
Mich Opp FTR v. PSU FTR 21 175 MM
Mich AdjO v. PSU AdjD 63 106 M
Mich AdjD v. PSU AdjO 120 33 P

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…

Various Nittany Lions were absolutely on fire from he floor, and DeShawn Sims was the only Michigan player who could do anything from the field (LLP was 0/6 from 3, for example, and Manny was 2/11 from the field). Michigan got sent home from State College with a 58-73 beatdown.

Since Last We Met…

Michigan briefly halted their slide against Northwestern, but got beaten up at the hands of Ohio State and Purdue. Zack Novak and Manny Harris were ejected (fairly and unfairly, respectively) in those two games, and Michigan’s offense and defense are both headed into the tank. The one area in which Michigan has improved is rebounding, but that hasn’t been enough to net them any wins. The Wovlerines, preiously great at not turning the ball over, have startedmaking up for lost time in giving the ball away, and the shooting has gone from very good to aboslutely pitiful.

The Nittany Lions, on the other hand, have caught fire. They struggled throughout most of their game with Iowa, but pulled together at the end for a huge come-from-behind win, then they beat Michigan State in East Lansing.

And it Means…

Sine the long break before OSU wasn’t enough to spur the team to a win, the even longer break this time can hopefully help them. With Zack Novak taking a breather for the Purdue game, and Manny getting one for nearly the entire second half, the team should be well-rested. The key will be for the shooting to return to respectable levels, if not where it was early in the season. Limiting easy baskets by Penn State, and not sending them to the foul line will also be key. PSU has advantages in most tempo-free cateogires, so the current Michigan team will have to revert to the non-conference Michigan team is they want to win.

Ken Pomeroy predicts a 68-66 Wolverines victory in a 62-possession game, and gives Michigan a 56% chance of winning. Since NCAA tournaments dreams have basically become unrealistic, the Wolverines absolutely require a win here to stay alive, or they’re at least playing for NIT seeding.

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