Three controversial opinions

  1. We have a realistic shot at getting 11 or 12 wins. Zak seems to be hitting his stride, 4 for the last 9 3s, including a couple ones that were halfway down. Duncan Robinson is a weapon, with his confidence seemingly established. Caris will be the best player on the floor in a lot of games. If we can get anything from the 5 spot…

I haven’t forgotten about the losses, but a quick look at them: Xavier and SMU are really good teams (top 5 RPI, top 15 kenpom), the team was without Walton for SMU (and Caris had an off night) and Xavier was the 2nd or 3rd game of the season. UConn isn’t quite as good, but Zak and Duncan went a combined 1-12 from 3 and Caris had the two early 1st half fouls. Stuff happens. I could definitely see the team getting smacked around a time or two, but they could also get on fire and steal a game they shouldn’t.

Anyway, here’s how I see the games right now (obviously injuries or other developments can change the perception)

Should win: PSU, PSU (Barclays), Minny, Rutgers
Toss up (lean win): MD, IU, @Minny, Iowa, @Neb, NU
Toss up: MSU, PU
Toss up (lean loss):@Iowa, @OSU, @Wiscy
Should lose: @MD, @PU

If they can win 9 of those top 10 games, that’s 10 wins (including the Illinois win). Any two of those bottom 1 gets to 11, 2 gets to 12. (Or even win 8 of those top 10 and the teams is already to 9 wins…)

On the other hand, there seem to be a ton of toss up games right now. You could argue that the team needed 26 points from Donnal to beat Illinois and how often is that going to happen. A couple unlucky bounces or the team lays an egg or two and there could be real trouble. I certainly wouldn’t be shocking to lose at home to MD and/or IU. Anything between 8 and 12 wins wouldn’t really surprise me, though anything below 10 would be pretty disappointing.

  1. I like Dakich as a commentator. I wish he would do every Michigan game (especially with Tirico).

  2. Those shorts are growing on me a little. In the flow of the game they generally look okay, although they still look pretty weird at times. I mean, I’d rather they not be there, but they’re not so bad…


Still don’t like the shorts. On the Illinois game, we had way more turnovers than normal, including Dawkins double dribbling on a breakaway, that cost us points. A non-call on a goal tend. We shot about average for us on threes. I felt that we were more than 10 points better than Illinois. I like Dakich, too.

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A couple things:

  1. I would say MSU, Purdue, and Maryland should all be either should lose or Lean loss. They have too much inside prowess for us to stop.
  2. Why are we playing Penn State at Barclays? Is that a B1G thing? If so, that sucks for them that they get screwed out of a home game.
  3. I agree that the shorts during the game don’t look as bad, as the tire treads look like the waist band of the shorts, however the fact that our uniforms would be nearly perfect without them is mildly frustrating.
  4. I think that if we face UCONN again it’s a lot closer. I have no doubts that the stadium in the Bahamas was screwing up our shooting at least a bit. I also think the SMU game is vastly different if we have Walton. The important parts of the game weren’t as big of a blowout as the final score indicated and with our point guard playing and Levert not having a randomly awful game it’s hard to see it getting out of hand at the end of the first half like it did.
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It’s at MSG… Basketball/Hockey double-header.

The thing that I think we still need to see is whether this team can go out and beat a really good team. Using 2014 as an example… The whole season changed when they went and won at Wisconsin and Michigan State in back-to-back weekends.

I’m not sure this team has that type of ceiling, but the at Purdue, Maryland, at Iowa could be very telling. Need to be competitive in a couple of those games and try to grab a quality W.

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Any road win is a great win in college basketball.

Agree on Dan D! Love him as a commentator. Best line yesterday "3 great moments in a coaches life 1. Marriage 2. Birth of Children 3. Road wins. Love that line

As much as I complain about what Michigan does and does not do I am thankful I’m not an Illinois fan! They are rotten and yes I know some guys were out. Groce should of never been hired. I never understood the love for him

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We’ve been at Barclay’s so much I forgot about that other NYC arena.

As for the MSU, MD, and PU games: I just don’t see MD blowing us out – they haven’t blown out any real teams all year. They’re below Iowa in Kenpom, for reference. Because it’s at home, I view that as a lean win, but maybe true toss up is more accurate.

As for MSU, they just got thumped without Valentine, and while his injury is supposedly minor, being out three weeks in the middle of the season for knee surgery is not a good thing. And I’m not convinced that Costello and Davis are going to kill us inside. The crowd at Crisler should be rocking. I think a toss up at home is pretty fair.

PU is the one team that really worries me with their multiple big guys down low and pressure. @PU is the least likely win all year in my opinion. At home, though, they’re often inept enough at offense and we’re likely enough to shoot pretty well from 3 that I think toss up is pretty fair, maybe lean loss.

As for Groce, I’d guess he’s out after this year. This will be the third year in a row out of the NCAAs, recruiting is down, and they’ll have a new athletic director. Unless the new AD is too busy finding a football coach, in which case Groce might get another year to save his job.

And yeah, I don’t think this team has the ceiling of the 2014 team, and getting that win against a really good team will be the next step. But the wins vs Texas, @NC St, and @Ill give me pretty good confidence about beating many of the lower tier B1G games even on the road. Do that, and without having to go to East Lansing or Bloomington, and the path to 11 wins looks fairly doable.

It is way to early in the B1G season for me to start picking wins and losses by team. I need to see more conference games, like half of a season. So, I will leave it to others. I think at this point we are a second tier team that could finish 5th or maybe better.

I am tired of hearing what people think about the shorts.

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Love this–interesting calls. I could see us becoming a pretty fine team here, but the jury is out on their confidence–all-important with kids, and a team that got their hat handed in a couple of early muggings. Got to snag a couple of marquee wins, as Dylan says. And I think that will also depend on whether Caris, undoubtedly capable, can rise to the occasion a few times.

Dakich can be really fun, and he can also be kind of a sillypants. But he’s so much more colorful than your general run of TV commentators that I’d take him every time.

The shorts are just fine.

I especially like Dakich with Andrew on the team, because he has a lot more inside info type stuff than a normal announcer. He is much better than the BTN robots who offer little entertainment during games.

Great post but you should have stopped after point 1! I’m not a Dakich fan nor do I like the shorts.

Good perspective though on the breakdown of the B10 season.
Dakich tries to be too cool IMO
The shorts were designed when a tire rolled across their pattern.

Winning 12 games in the Big Ten is really hard, frankly. Our 2013 team that went to the NC only won 12 BT games, even with a starting lineup of future NBAers, and the conference is not looking softer this year at all. As Dylan pointed out, this team has yet to show that it can even stay in a game with a strong team, let alone beat one. Of the five NC teams we played that aren’t a complete joke, the two we beat are by far the weakest, and neither of those wins was all that impressive. It’s good not to have “bad” losses, to be sure, but at some point you have to post some high quality wins, and we’ve shown no sign of being able to.

Based on Ken Pom ratings, there are seven teams in the Big Ten (other than us) who are rated higher than the best team we’ve beaten so far, so we’ve got a very tough row to hoe. I see MD, IU, Iowa, MSU and Purdue at home as all leaning loss. Frankly, I think we have a better chance to steal wins at OSU or Wisconsin. Unless we somehow start getting consistently good play from our bigs, I see us as a bubble team all season long. Cross your fingers and hope for 10-8, which will probably get us in. if we finish 9-9, worry.

The Big Ten was a lot better in 2013.

MD, IU, Iowa, MSU and Purdue at home all as projected losses also seems a bit glum and would imply a 4-5 home conference record. I think U-M steals a couple of those and it’s a lot easier to steal a game at home than on the road.

If this team cleans up dumb mistakes and we can get baskets out of our big men like we finally did with Donal then this offense will be very very tough. Lots of points left behind because of errors from our big me after getting handed bunnies. Dawkins is still an X factor. We just need to look for him more and keep his play getting back to last year. Imagine if we had spike! The talent so there to beat any big ten team.we just have to continue to play tough and want it and we can beat the Iowas and wisconsins. Early in games we gotta wake up faster. We just pass non stop with no purpose and no one looking at the rim till there’s no time left. I really like our chances if we reach our potential.

Also were showing we can drive to the rack and create dump offs to the bigs. I’m loving our team. Should have won by 20 had we not given away a few easy baskets. Irvin travel. Dawkins double, Doyle dropping ball twice wide open/Donal giving it to Walton when he had an open lay in And then the goal tend followed by his block calked foul. That’s twelve right there. Good teams don’t leave those behind and against your teams we have to finish those.

Wish we had gotten wagber and Wilson more work so that they could back up donall off the bench giving us a nice rotation. This is banking on mark keeping up his confidence and finishing at the rim. Doyle is out till he can catch the ball. Then this roster would be looking great . Just wish coach b ironed more of this out before big ten. Fact we don’t has hurt our growth and potential. End long rant. Let’s take care of business tomorrow. Hope Dawkins wSkes up. I drool over thought of him levdrt Irvin and Walton clicking and running