Final Four 2018: Michigan vs. Loyola


They were also 5:49 local and 9:30 local, FWIW. I think the generally dead atmosphere in Wichita was a bigger factor. The Final Four won’t be dead.


Yeah, but if you aren’t acclimated to the time zone difference, it will still feel very late.

I can see how the dead arena would be a factor too, though.


Yes, that, but I do think it’s very fair to wonder if defending as hard as we do now - and these guys are moving on that end - take it from one who’s seen them up close 6 times in the last few weeks - is costing us a little in legs at the offensive end.

The thing we really do on another level this year than any other year before is move our feet on D - and that can make your jump shooting legs less lively than if you’re coasting on D.


There’s an interesting nugget over at mgoblog about Loyola going small:

“Loyola’s offense hasn’t been effective without Krutwig, plummeting from 1.21 points per possession when he’s on the court to 0.96 PPP when he’s off during the NCAA Tournament, according to Hoop Lens. Their defense has also suffered, allowing 1.08 PPP when he’s off versus 0.93 PPP when he’s on because they can no longer stop anyone inside the arc—their 2-point percentage allowed balloons from 45.6% to 56.5%.”

Just a reminder, I guess, that going extra small can have consequences for Loyola too.


Wrote about Loyola’s defense a bit over at The Athletic. A lot of similarities to Michigan.


(Potentially) cross-cutting variables here: cutting down on the rotation may mean more weariness, the extra number of timeouts less. Still think if you’re drilling D you’re not drilling O, and a very complex O indeed. But can’t seeom to convince anyone that this might be impinging on the effectiveness of the O this year.


Are they drilling down D more or just drilling it down differently? Many comments have made it seem like Yaklich just changed the way Beilein approached Defense, not the amount.

Plus Michigan’s main weaknesses on offense are just “not that great at shooting.” That’s not something that would be helped by moving practice time, that’s on the players’ individual ability based on the amount they work on shooting.


Few things on practice…

  1. They monitor workload using Catapult in every practice and work guys less who are playing heavy minutes or practicing heavier than others.

  2. The chances that a Beilein-coached team isn’t drilling offense religiously are so slim that I would bet a lot of money against that. That’s just who he is.

  3. Michigan’s offensive problems haven’t really been with flow or movement or anything like that. The bigger issues have been just not making shots IMO.

  4. Occam’s razor applies a bit here… The defense is better for two primary reasons: Zavier Simpson and Charles Matthews are far better defenders than Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin. The offense is worse for two primary reasons: Simpson and Matthews are worse offensive players than Walton and Irvin.


I thought Irvin’s D down the stretch last year was similar to Matthews, but I may be remembering incorrectly. Interesting that you’d say Matthews is far better.


Irvin was solid for stretches, wasn’t even trying to say he was bad. Matthews just has far more physical tools, especially to defend athletic wings.


Fair enough, Irvin was usually guarding combo-ish guys like Dillon Brooks so it’s a tough comparison.


Yes, but it’s not far at all from the Razor to suggest that, say, Duncan defending his rear end off on every possession could take a toll on his jumper.


2 Days!


Yes, and although I am mostly persuaded by Dylan’s arguments–especially since I think you can make the case that the ball has been “sticking” less than in some years, and that the defense is generating offense–I would still love to be able to ask. One cannot argue with the results, either. But practice time definitely is a zero sum game, and some things–emphasis, whatever–in it have obviously shifted.


But he was shooting bad early in the year and also defending poorly. Both his shot and his defense improved as the year went on.




Their digs are pretty sweet. That’s a crazy level of customization for a two game visit.


Pretty cool. They should bring that carpet back to AA and install it somewhere.

Does Villanova get the “home team” (i.e. the old Spurs’) locker room?


The Spurs haven’t played in the Alamodome in a long time (1993-2002), so there’s probably little difference between locker rooms these days.