Oklahoma State (NCAA Tournament First Round)



Nobody asked me, but if they did, I’d be inclined to recommend playing Evans straight up with little/no switching or help and focus on stopping their other guys. Evans is terrific, and he’s certainly going to score even more with that philosophy than the 19 ppg he puts up on average, but I don’t think that would be such a bad thing. Evans is not the most efficient scorer in the world–his 48.0 effective field goal percentage trails everyone in Michigan’s playing rotation except Xavier Simpson (yes boys and girls, that includes Zak Irvin who checks in at 50.4) and most everyone (i.e., everyone but Zak) by over 7%. From what I’ve seen, where Oklahoma State makes its money in the half court is when Evans penetrates, draws help, and kicks it out to Carroll or Forte who are lethal from 3, penetrates, gets a rotation, and passes to Carroll, a great finisher, cutting to the basket, or penetrates, draws a big, and leaves Solomon a clear alley where the big vacated and can’t box him out to pound the offensive glass. Take those away, make Evans the guy who has to shoulder the bulk of the scoring load, and diminish OSU’s effectiveness in transition, which Michigan’s philosophy of getting back rather than crashing the offensive glass should help with–that seems to me to be the best chance defensively.

Thoughts from our OSU posters? Has anyone tried this and if so, how did it work?


Not an OSU poster, but my counter would be that they run a ton of high PNR and the only way to guard that without help from anyone other than the hedging big is to hedge perfectly and deeply (as Mo did, frequently, in the B1G tournament to my surprise and delight), so that the on-ball guard can recover. Evans seems to be the best ball-screen guard we will have played, so I’m worried he will eat up our hedges. Still, though, you are probably right that forcing him into shooting/floaters is more efficient than losing track of Forte and Carroll.

I also hope MAAR guards Evans. MAAR hasn’t been perfect, but I still think he is a better on-ball defender than Dwalt, and Dwalt seems better suited for chasing Forte around, anyway.


Yeah I don’t recall anyone really trying that, at least for more than the random possessions because of what BleedBlue said, vis a vis the PNR.

But as a general philosophy, you definitely want Evans shooting as opposed to driving and dishing. He’s had games in his career when he scored a ton (several 30- and 40-point games) but that tended to not be very efficient as you say. It was like 30 points on 28 field goal attempts… that kind of thing.

He’s much better (and we’re much better) when he’s a driver/distributor.


Best part of march madness is showing off how awesome our hoops writers are :wink: Welcome to the site. The staff at UMhoops, led by Dylan, do an amazing job breaking down the game. Hope you enjoy the analytics!

I’m looking forward to a good matchup. I feel that UM has the edge, but with shooters/the offensive fire power of your squad, anything can happen. One thing I’m sure about, Louisville isn’t going to be happy to see either team in the round of 32.


I’d bet that unless they’ve seen how JB teams played Shaka Smarts Havoc that OSU dusts off that press as an attempt to bump us off our game. Should be a good one.


I wonder if OkSt will try to deny Walton the catch in the half court. Isn’t that what South Carolina did? Underwood surely will talk to his mentor Martin about what they did to such success against Michigan. I assume we’ll be more prepared for it this time.


Question for you osu fans. Is Kansas overrated? Can they win it? I have them in a few brackets but I’m getting cold feet. I’m not a huge Kansas/ self fan. I rarely take them but I kept coming back to Kansas, unc , or ucla to win.

Am I riding the wrong horse here?


I recall Michigan having trouble with teams that really worked to deny past the 3 point line, South Carolina being one of those harassing teams. I wonder if OSU has the defenders to do that, but I have no doubt that Evans could be asked to do it to DWalt. We’ll see what the counter punch is from Michigan.


Yeah, that’s what Dylan says too on the preview he just posted – that if OkSt could extend the defense like that they’d be a better defensive team. That’s a good point, but I’m not sure (a) how much OkSt has to lose doing that against us, at least at times, and (b) how much different it would be to, as you say, do that just to Walton with Evans. SC was by far our worst offensive performance this year and, while Martin is busy on his own game, I’m sure he could spend a few moments giving Underwood some thoughts. It will be interesting to see if it happens and, if so, how we respond.


SC has the No. 3 defense in the country for a reason. Oklahoma State doesn’t for a reason.


Well, sure, but they’re still going to try to play defense. What are they going to do? Maybe they’ll just sit back and clog the lane and try to prevent lay-ups and hope we’re cold from outside. But if that’s not working, or they want to mix it up, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them focus on preventing Walton getting touches as best they can and otherwise playing straight defense. Even if they do, however, I think we’ll be better prepared to make sure Walton gets the ball.


Agreed. Plus, the tape has been out there all season of what SC did to us. I’m sure this won’t be the first time an opponent considered it, and I’m sure our coaches took notice back then and worked to address it


Fouls are going to be huge in this game. Though opponent’s FT % is partly a function of luck, it is also a function of getting into the double bonus, which Michigan is good at preventing, as well as not conceding fouls to good foul shooters.


Yep, not fouling is key for a number of reasons. I also think we’re going to need a few good minutes from our bench guys. With the longer tv timeouts fatigue shouldn’t be too much of a factor, but we’re going to have to sprint back on defense, and play early good d. We maybe be able to go small at times, but duncan will still have to get back and get in position quick, as will X when he’s in.


Well that tape is from before DeWalt started his F-everyone tour. Not sure it would work today.


Walton’s dribble drive game is worlds better than it was at that time. Also, I hope Michigan forms a conga line of back door cutters to the basket tomorrow.


We don’t really need back door cuts. Our bigs are a bit bigger and can pass pretty well. Giving them the ball should take away the pressure as they can both take their man to the whole quite easily one on one. I don’t see us having and trouble at all scoring tomorrow.


What you described (sit back/clog lane/hope cold) is basically what we’ve been doing since late January when we went on our run.

It pretty much worked against everyone except Kansas and Iowa State, with the latter being the concern since you guys have almost identical KenPom profiles.

I personally think that Underwood will bring the press back in spots to try and push pace, but I’d be surprised if we came out and pressed every possession like we were doing early in the year.


Hope you’re right. I’d love to see DJ have another great passing game.


I’ve watched two ok state games. Our bigs have a rather big advantage IMO. I don’t see us havin too much trouble.