This is a fun one to write, but would love to hear your lists as well!
Nice list. A couple thoughts about the weak nonconference schedule: (1) the NC win should really hold up as a big-time win, and Nova because it was on the road should be quite solid; and (2) the B1G season is an extra two games this year, so in comparing the overall resume to previous years, the wins @NU and over PU are equivalent to non-conference wins.
In terms of what I want to know: Simpson’s shooting. He’s 7-11 from 3pt in two games against bad teams (one on a neutral floor, at least), and 1-16 in all other games. Is he a 30% shooter overall? Is he going to have a few hot games and the rest cold? Oh, and can he make 55-60% of his FTs?
Those are definitely good wins and the Big Ten playing more games helps, but Michigan’s NC SOS is going to be weaker than most other Big Ten teams. If U-M lost one or both of those games, it would be in a really weird spot with the schedule.
Yup. It’s lucky it worked out the way it did. We could have had Nova at home, so a less solid win, then played UNC on the road with a loss much more likely. You knew that tourney wasn’t going to be great, but it was such a dud. Hopefully we don’t get anything like that again anytime soon.
My top question is how will Zavier Simpson’s and Jon Teske’s ability to knock down wide open three point looks progress over the B1G season. Improvement there is key to this team meeting its potential.
I don’t think M’s non conference schedule is going to be much of a factor in seeding. Most important is winning regular season conference. Tied into that will be road wins in conference. Destroying NC and Villanova will be icing on the cake.
Thanks for finding time to write this up! Was a good read!
I know Villanova’s Furman and Penn losses are bad, but I still think there’s a damn good chance they win the Big East and we mostly forget about those games.
Villanova and UNC wins are, as I said, great wins. Everything else about Michigan’s non-conference schedule is very blah. The tournament, South Carolina game, etc.
Sounds like we would be very much hoping for Providence and/or South Carolina to turn it on if we hadn’t gotten through non-conference unscathed. Both of which could still happen of course, but Providence just suffered a pretty bad injury iirc?
Curious, if Michigan’s non-con was considered meh, wouldn’t that already be reflected in the NET rankings? Given they’re near the top there, I can’t imagine it ends up hurting them?
(I agree though from a high-level view it wasn’t overly great. Numbers-wise, seems to be fine given they got the wins against Nova and UNC.)
Well, there’s no SOS component published in the NET so tough to say right now.
Michigan has also already played two conference games which masks its NC SOS a bit against teams that haven’t started conference play.
Michigan has also won every game, which helps in the actual ranking and is why it is different than SOS.
Texas Tech has played one of the worst schedules out there and is ranked in the top 5 of NET as well. Maybe blowing out shitty teams is the way to NET greatness.
Bring on Savannah St! Wait…
The Big Ten is generally really good though, so Michigan’s overall SOS number will probably end up respectable. Just find the non-conference portion to be unique with the two notable games and then possibly no other games against NCAA teams.
Haha indeed might be the best route to go.
NET aside, I think even with the meh non-con, the fact they got those wins in blowout fashion (can even add Providence in there with NOVA and UNC) helps make their non-con seem better than it really was statistically.
The “weak” schedule will not be a problem. Don’t lose sleep over it.
If play really drops off when Teske goes to the bench, I guess that makes him our MVP. I am not worried about the back up center position. We have adequate options for back up center and they will improve over the season.
Also not worried about recent level of play (unless it continues). We were more ahead of the curve than most teams, which made early season games seem easy (or made M look better than they really were). Now other teams are catching up, have film on how to attack us at both ends and are giving us their best shot because we are a top team.
Don’t know what to expect from Charles. He will give us 10-25 points a game.
Regarding Mathews lower 2 point percentage, it seems like it has dipped this year because he is more consistently trying to go exclusively right. Granted, we starts on the left wing to start, so its more natural to go right to get to the center of the court, but during the tournament last year, one of the commentators (might have been Raftery) said that he started going left more, which teams were not prepared for.
This is based on watching the games and not getting into the numbers, but is there evidence behind him going right disproportionately to left?
I too am not worried about last 2 weeks play. Most all of the elite teams have not played up to par against lesser teams. As far as schedule strength non conf wise,its hard to predict how good some of these teams like Geo Wash and SC will be ahead of time.
Would be interesting to go back the last 10 years or so and see who won the conference tourney and who won the regular season and compare that to Ken Pom rankings. I understand winning the regular season is an accomplishment, but I can’t shake the imbalance in the schedules when a team wins it by a game or two and doesn’t have to go on the road against the top teams. This year the teams are more balanced, so it helps with the schedule imbalance.
Any background on why we chose that casino holiday tournament this year? Seems like a tournament for a team that had no other options. Were we expecting Providence and South Carolina to be better?