Michigan vs. Alabama A&M and Jacksonville Discussion

Figured we could morph these two games into one thread. Couple thoughts…

Two straight games in the mid 70s for possessions. Probably more due to turnovers that wouldn’t happen against better teams leading to fast breaks, but hey, it’s something.

This brings me to the fact that this was one of the worst teams I’ve ever seen in person. My brother and I legitimately thought some of them were joking around with absurd free throw form in response to the score. They were dribbling off their feet, tripping over themselves, it was a mess. I’m glad we could use it to get some solid playing time out of the end of the bench.

Yes they were awful, but the 0.64 ppp was the 5th best defensive efficiency Beilein has had at Michigan. It was the fourth highest turnover rate one of his teams has forced here. Not bad (stats were from kenpom).

Some individual player thoughts… Good to see Duncan shoot it well, hopefully that opens up some stuff inside in the future. Matthews did exactly what the go to player should do against a team like that and it was beautiful to watch. Teske’s disruption purely from his size cannot be overstated. Livers was getting the same shots as before, they just went in this time. It was bound to start happening, hopefully it continues. He continues to be a good rebounder and passer. Simmons missed all his shots but I thought he looked better than before in his limited minutes. He had a couple great passes.

I know Austin Davis is very inexperienced at this level, but he hasn’t really shown much of anything against very poor competition.

Teske looks much better.

Didn’t see the UM game tonight (I was working another game), but considering the opponent I’m not sure there is too much to be gleaned from it other than:

  1. Michigan didn’t struggle to put away an overmatched team
  2. no serious injuries
  3. the coaches were able to give extended minutes to deep bench guys (and it sounds like Poole got some run at the 2 & Livers got some time at 5, which could open different rotation options if necessary down the line)

My biggest takeaway is that it looks like Michigan is settling into a real rotation going into conference season. No Ibi or Simmons in the first half. It could absolutely change but I thought the rotations tonight were interesting.


Duncan’s catch and shoot is a thing of beauty right now, but he really looks to be struggling shooting on the move coming off a screen, and forget about a 3 if he has to put it on the deck at all. That’s accurate, no? I’d at least like to really see his form sort itself out on the attempts off a screen. I know he can do it. And the stroke is so nice on the stationary catch and shoot.

This is the first year for Austin. It would be better to compare him to Teske at this point last season. Jon wasn’t all that great as a first year player and was playing behind Donnal.


My thoughts - an easy one, but it was their worst offensive performance of the year, so that’s another good (if not particularly noteworthy) sign for the defense. I thought we looked good chasing them through lots of screens, something we haven’t always done well.

Matthews - obviously looked very good. One thing I liked to see - after he scored his 30th point and went to the line for the and-one, he was pretty much all business there, even though he knew he was coming out and the game was out of hand. Knocked in the FT (nothing but net) and was pumped about it. That’s the kind of attitude that’s going to get him to the next level.

DR and MAAR - Nice to see them making those 3s - up to 38% and 37% respectively. Competition level caveats apply but that’s a part of these games/this time of year. Get some rest, get some confidence heading into (most of) Big Ten play. MAAR’s never going to be a great passes but his improvement is for real.

Teske - liked seeing those little jump hooks. Jumper and FTs didn’t go down but still look good to me. Really like that he looks to outlet quickly off rebounds/blocks, just has to get in sync with the guards a bit more. Continues to impress and show great potential.

Poole - I got to disagree with Dylan on this one. Maybe he made one bad pass to Matthews in the center of the zone when he first got in but otherwise I thought he looked more under control. After that there were no TOs, and only 3 shots in 13 minutes. Snapped the ball around, could’ve easily had a couple more assists. Had the one lob to Matthews that he probably could’ve made a less spectacular play but he still got two FTs out of it.

PGs - Yeah they didn’t score, but I thought Brooks and Simpson both looked fine – good defensively, getting the ball to guys quickly and in good spots, etc. It’s not the strength of this team right now but I didn’t see anything that worried me.

Jordan had multiple disasters on D, lol. He’s a work in progress. Love the potential, but he’s not there yet.

Regarding Poole’s D – I didn’t pay much attention to off ball stuff last night but it was a bit disheartening to see him get beat 1 v 1 on straight line drives a couple times.

Yeah, Poole did seem to get beat a couple times off the dribble. He didn’t quite seem ready and in the proper stance.

Re: Jordan Poole, I think his biggest weakness right now is he’s not bought in to doing the little things right. The polar opposite of Eli Brooks. Poole plays as if there are style points to be had. Coach Beilein was exasperated with the sloppy lob to Matthews and to me that play exemplifies Jordan Poole.

I me be way wrong on this one, but I think Livers has NBA potential. He’s a 2 guard offensively in my mind. That young man has serious abilities and talent

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Big win for Texas tonight against Alabama. Should turn out to be a great road win for Michigan.


Missing the front end of a 1 and 1 is identical to missing any other shot.

No, that can’t be right. Most FT opportunities result from a defender being at a disadvantage and therefore committing a foul. That, by definition, makes them not identical to any other shot.

Also, a foul cuts off a possession, as does a turnover. A turnover removes any chance for a team to score on a possession. It’s very similar to when a team fouls to stop your possession and the ball changes over to the opposition when you miss your first free throw attempt.

It’s a possession ender, it was totally under your control (you can’t block a free throw) and it’s a stop - and stops are precious in basketball.

Missing the front end of a 1 and 1, is, in most cases, the effective equivalent to a turnover.

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Thanks, that’s definitely how I see it. It’s a free defensive stop. Like a turnover.

I also think it might be interesting - if they don’t already do this - to run a FT %age that is points scored out of potential points available. I think as soon as the NFL adopted the 2 pt. conversion rule in the mid 90’s and I started thinking about potential points scored I started begging people I knew in the media to push a red zone efficiency stat that was points scored out of total available points (each red zone trip would score as a 7, so a team could conceivably score more than 100%). For years they’ve run the limited stat of percentage of trips that end in TDs. It’s only been in the last few years that they’ve finally started talking about percentage of possible points scored (although I’m guessing the teams were running this long before that).

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Most shot attempts result from a defender being at a disadvantage, thus why the shot was taken.

As does any shot attempt.

And so does missing the front end of a one and one. And so does missing any other shot.

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Not sure why we are talking about 1-and-1s… but think about it like this – what is the expected value of the possession.

A turnover zeros out a possession, so it takes it from basically 1 (give or take) to 0. A live ball turnover also probably increases the EV of the opponents’ next offensive possession.

A missed shot doesn’t necessarily end a possession because there’s a ~30% chance you rebound the ball. So a missed shot isn’t as bad as a turnover.

A missed front end of a free throw is tricky because you don’t just lose the .7 EV from the first FT attempt, you miss the chance at another .7 EV on the second one. The offensive rebounding rate on FTs is also much lower.

So I’d put a missed front end as not as bad as a turnover but probably worse than a missed shot. In the end, empty possessions are empty possessions though.


Yep, regardless of a turnover or missed shot, it’s a lost opportunity at points.

Just out of curiosity, what is the difference in rebound rate for free throws and normal shots?