Beating Purdue tonight

What do you guys think are the keys to this matchup?

Dylan mentioned turnovers, defensive boards, and offence in his preview.

Some additional points of emphasis:

  1. Attacking the basket. I know Purdue avoids fouling, and their two bigs give them a lot of fouls to spare, but if Michigan doesn’t attack the basket, the Purdue front line will be a bit too comfortable. (Meanwhile, I can see Michigan’s bigs having serious foul trouble.) Also, if they don’t attack much, it will be too easy for Purdue to lock down Robinson on the perimeter. I think PnR, driving/kicking and getting to the line will be important to opening things up for shooters and getting some fouls on the seven-footers.

  2. Transition. As Dylan noted, Purdue can be sloppy with the ball so transition points are a huge bonus. I would also push the pace on those few boards that Michigan can grab. The more uncontested layups the better.

  3. Defense. Michigan has been pretty good at doubling seven-footers in the past but Purdue has guys that can knock down the three. Do we see more double-teams, 2-3 zone to limits passes into the post, or 1-3-1 to disrupt and force turnovers? Presumably straight-up man D without doubling is not ideal.

  4. Avoiding foul trouble. While the zone hasn’t been good, it may be a strategy to avoid foul trouble. I can see the auto bench rearing its ugly head tonight. Would not want to see Irvin or Walton benched early.

What do you guys think?

I agree with what you’re saying I will add and I haven’t read the preview yet but Derrick Walton has to play well. Michigan got away with it on Saturday because quite frankly Penn St is awful. If Walton plays like he did against Penn St they will lose by 20. Without Levert it will be very tough, Michigan has won a couple in WL lately but all the games have been a struggle.

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I just skimmed the preview and what stood out to me was similar to what you say with defensive rebounding. My take though is they should try and find ways to have purdue take bad three-pointers or long distance twos. If you can keep them from getting looks near the basket, the chances of our guards rebounding and going to transition I think goes way up. If they get it down low, I’m not optimistic about 6-9 vs. 7-0 and foresee them getting tons of second and third chances giving them the points they would need to stay with us even if our shooting is hot.

Attempt a Record number of 3’s and make a record number of 3’s.

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That would work also.

I’ve pointed this out a few places, but the big difference (we hope) is that Purdue doesn’t have the guards to beat Michigan so easily off the bounce. That was what skewed the SMU and Xavier games… Nic Moore and Edmond Sumner got so much dribble penetration that U-M was always helping and then out of rebounding position.

Bit of a branch to the discussion… This team’s parallels to 2013-4 are pretty nuts

It was roughly 2y ago when a 12-4 / 4-0 Michigan team started a three game stretch of death at #3 Wisconsin in Jan-2014. This was to be followed by a matchup at home against #10 Iowa, and back on the road against #3 MSU. They won all three by 7, 8, and 5pts respectively and moved from unranked to #10 in the country.

A lot of similarities including the out of conference losses to quality teams (Duke, Zona, Iowa St), the lack of defined roles at several positions, the general lack of visibility nationally (side note, I was walking out of Duke/UCLA in MSG that December and told Jeff Goodman to watch out for Michigan as Nik had just seemed to accept his alpha role, and he laughed at me and said “Trey’s gone”). Even the roster looks strangely similar with a lot of similar traits even if some of Nik’s skills are spread between a few people (and Walton 14 ~ Walton 16).

I don’t think 3-0 is the most likely thing to happen, especially w/o Caris, but I think peoples’ expectations have been diminished based on performance 20-30d ago. There are always teams which will create matchup problems for our style of play and we may lose to (esp on road), and Purdue may be one of them, but I think how we react if we are down is going to be a big thing to watch, as is not abandoning our penetration and passing simply b/c of their interior size. There is a reason experience and guard-play tend to translate to tourney success.


Definite similarities to this point… But as you said that team went out and won those three games which basically changed the season.

Playing without Caris would certainly be a disadvantage (second game against a ranked foe where Michigan would be down 1 in the backcourt), but I’m curious to see how they play.

Is there a site that gives TV ratings for each game? I’m struggling with understanding how SMU vs Cincy gets ESPN while Purdue vs Michigan gets ESPNU.

Dylan, do you have any way of finding out how many points a player gave up defensively?

Best way is going back and looking at film… A couple years ago I logged it during games, but that was time consuming compared to the net benefit.


Gotcha. Feel free to count how many times MAAR scored on Davis (if at all) if you include his scoring in 5 key plays hehe.

Beating Purdue tonight was awesome!