With the Upon Further Review series, I attempted to dissect the performance of individuals and lineups throughout Michigan’s basketball season. Though I didn’t start until halfway through the year (and didn’t UFR the last couple games), the aggregation of all the data may help us learn a bit more about the Michigan basketball team this season. Once football spring practice is over, I may go back to all the games I didn’t UFR, and get the plus/minus data for every game, which could certainly teach us something about the effectiveness of different combinations. For now, however, I’ll just add up the shooting data for each player over the course of the games UFRed.
Games included: Iowa III, Purdue II, Iowa II, Minnesota I, Northwestern II, Michigan State, UConn, Purdue I, Minnesota II, Wisconsin II, Ohio State II, Northwestern I, Ohio State I, Penn State I, Illinois II, Iowa I, Indiana, Illinois I, Oakland, Wisconsin I, NC Central
The overwhelming majority of Stu’s shots came from the outside (which is not surprising at all). What is somewhat surprising is how infrequently he jacked up bad looks. Expect his chart to look pretty different next year, as the departure of every point guard currently on the roster will force Stu to play a little more point.
The casual Michigan Basketball fan can’t hate Zack Gibson enough (and there are a few legitimate reasons to not like his game), but he is actually a pretty darned good player at times. He can be a defensive liability, which obviously isn’t indicated on this chart, and he’s never going to dominate anyone offensively, but he is the quintessential role player.
The striking thing about Manny’s chart, especially in relation to everyone else on the team, is his shot selection. He shots a whole hell of a lot of bad looks. The reasons for this are multiple, and some are Manny’s fault, whereas others aren’t. Things that are his fault? Obviously, he needs to improve his recognition of what he’s getting himself into as he drives the lane, and not go for it, or dish after driving. Even when he gets up in the air, he can get enough hangtime to hopefully pass out. He also shoots a lot of poor 3-pointers, though he seemed to develop a touch for making them towards the end of the year (sadly, not encapsulated in this chart). Things that aren’t his fault include having to carry the load on offense, getting stuck with the vast majority of the team’s last-second chucks to beat the shot clock, not being able to draw a foul call to save his life (those are in the chart as “1” attempts, even though many of them were definitely deserving of a call). With a hopefully improved roster next year, some of the external factors will go away completely or be reduced, and Manny could really improve his offensive efficiency.
He was never meant to be an offensive player, and his (in)ability to consistently shoot bears out why.
After a blazing start to the season, he hit something of a wall (as did the other two freshmen), shooting more and more poorly over the course of the season, with a few excellent games mixed in. Next year, he’ll probably have to play more of a slashing PG-type role, which he actually did very well at times this year, to the point where I was begging for it in certain games toward the end of the year.
I will repeat again that all three freshmen had their hot games and slumps. Novak is probably the most prone to this, because he was playing a position in which he was a physical underdog in every game, and was getting the hell beaten out of him on a regular basis. Next year, hopefully Cronin, Morgan, and McLimans will be able to give the team a little more size on a consistent basis, and Zack will be able to move to a more natural position.
I don’t think I went an entire UFR of a game Shepherd played in one time this year without making the following statement: “Quintessential Jevohn Shepherd. He shows off his great athleticism and stunning lack of basketball ability all at once.”
Among shots that fans can reasonably expect him to make (that is, those graded “2” or “3”), he shoots ridiculously well. He also did a much better job than the team’s other star, Manny, of choosing his shots wisely. He would take big post defenders out toward the perimeter, or post up smaller mismatches. Sims has one more year to get even better, and with more big men on next year’s team, hopefully be entirely dominant next year.
At one point late in the season, he was actually leading the team in 3-point percentage. Like Lee, this sort of analysis isn’t going to make him look like a great player, because he does so little on offense.
This graph surprises me, because Kelvin was one of the few players on this team that I was absolutely convinced would make the shot any time I saw him shoot an open 3. His loss will be lamented, because it hurts Michigan in terms of PG depth (currently: none).
Man, I’m so over talking shit about Anthony Wright. His awesome performance in the Oklahoma game is not charted here, but he actually wasn’t as much of a “see the ball, shoot the ball” player as I’ve criticized him for (at least not in the second half of the season, when his minutes dropped off, which is what I’ve charted here).
One hundred million dollars of awesome. Puls made his first like 5 three-pointers, which also happened to be his first 5 field goal attempts. If he can get Barwisized in the off-season (seriously: have him work out with the football team), he could contribute down the road, because dude can certainly shoot.