A few quick hitters on the season before the tourney


#1

Of course most of our thoughts turn to the NCAA tourney, but here are a few points on the year as a whole:
-Top 25 in RPI, Kenpom, etc.,
-hung a banner as the Big Ten Tournament champs.
-9-8 road/neutral record with two overtime losses and the last second loss to Northwestern.
-7-7 top RPI 50 record, 13-11 vs top 100 (and 16-11 vs top 107).
-all while finishing 308 in 3 pt FG defense – which is mostly luck – and 255 in kenpom luck metric – i.e,. our record was somewhat worse than expected based on efficiency margins (generally we won big and lost close games).

The low point was the defense, which finished at 69 in kenpom, mostly due to a really bad first few games in the B1G. That was partly the aforementioned 3 pt defense but also legitimately bad defense. Luckily, that improved late in the season, although it kept the regular season record from being better and getting a higher NCAA seed. A couple of the worst losses were the VTech late collapse and the egg laid against OSU.

On an individual level, Walton was a second team All-B1G and it felt like a robbery, Irvin struggled at times but made the all-tournament team, Wilson and Wagner emerged, Rahkman and Robinson looked really solid in their roles, and X showed he’s a viable backcourt player right now with a possibly bright future.

Overall, a little up and down, but a lot to like in the final analysis.


#2

Keep this post saved for the times when MattD and others call this season “mediocre” in the years to come. :grinning:


#3

This is all totally in jest, but the turnaround kind of started once MattD took his leave of absence. Not a shot at all at MattD whatsoever, just funny at the coincidence.


#4

It had a huge impact on our team. Let’s try to keep it this way :slight_smile:


#5

I can still hear it now though…“if you guys want to settle for 24 win seasons and conference championship banners that’s fine, but until we’re perennial final four contenders, Beilein isn’t getting it done. It’s about low expectations…blah, blah blah”


#6

I just have to say I think DJ Wilson became a man in the Big Ten tourney. He was huge for us and his versatility will help this team going forward. He showed a lot of toughness and willingness to scrap. If the team gets decent guard play next year it will be very dangerous. I can see DJ as one of the leaders of the team.


#7

I can’t help but think that the team has really transformed late, especially after the plane crash. It seems like they’re playing free and loose, and, in some respects, in spite of the restrictions of the system that held them back. Early in the season, it seemed like this team was wedded to their half-court schemes, and a team like South Carolina could shut them down simply by locking the rails and denying perimeter passes. We also saw a lot of matador D based on taking charges or getting out of the way. Now we are seeing:

  • More aggressive D and less fear of fouling
  • More aggressive rebounding
  • More transition
  • Harder cutting
  • Walton going into one-on-one Burke mode (a little selfishness can be a good thing)… and a few more ISOs for MAAR
  • (a few) more post ups
    -A longer leash for Wagner

I’m glad JB is just letting them play and have fun… and hope we see this into the future.

I’m really pleased to see MAAR’s improvement, as a shooter and a passer.


#8

I would not call the defense a low point of the season. Quite the opposite.


#9

I think the season has been a success overall. Obviously there were some unfortunate losses that hurt, and those especially came back to haunt us when we get slammed with a 7 seed (IMO we should be switched with Creighton). Let’s hope the guys can get the W against a dangerous OK State team and potentially upset Louisville.


#10

Why did he leave


#11

I believe it stemmed from the Elliott recruiting info. Just gave a little more inside info than he thought he should and deleted the posts. Has taken a break from posting here since then. It wasn’t a big deal at all, just think he wanted to take a breather after that.


#12

It wasn’t more than he should have said, it was inaccurate from what I came to understand.


#13

I don’t think Beilein or the system held them back as much as Walton took command. His floor recognition just exploded and he’s making great reads and play calls. I actually think this is what Beilein wants out of his PG. His confidence might be hard earned but I do think that’s his goal given his comments in the past about Burke and Walton recently.


#14

Honestly I think we saw it early at msg. I think those performances were on par or better then our run of late. Although Walton and Irvin are both playing their best ball now. Right on time.

I want to take is in brackets to go deep but I don’t want to jinx us. Also we have a really tough road. I fear Louisville. They are very good.


#15

Yea honestly I felt like we underachieved big time in the regular season. We should have won at least half those regular season losses. Because of that I knew we were a top 20 team all day and had a good feeling about the big ten. I just wish we had a good draw.

Oh well put up or shut up


#16

Agreed, OK State is as tough a 10 seed as any and Louisville is probably the last two seed I wanted to see (other than maybe Duke). Was really hoping for Arizona, but once I saw SMU get that 6 I knew we were destined for Indy at the 7.


#17

My view is that Oklahoma State is a tough matchup for a 10, but Michigan is weirdly enough a top 5 team in the country right now. So I’m not THAT worried