Drew Montag, Basketball Editor
Drew Montag, Basketball Editor
“Let’s Go X! Let’s Go X! Let’s Go X!” There were about 1000 loud and rowdy Xavier fans, and they were having a great time cheering for their team, since they were manhandling Michigan. Michigan was X-Posed.
The University of Michigan men’s basketball team played two games last week, and they won one and lost the other. On Monday (11/16/2015), UM beat Elon 88-68, then on Friday (11/20/2015), they lost to Xavier 86-70. Both games were in Crisler Arena. The win and the loss leave Michigan with a record of 2-1.
There isn’t much to say about the Elon game. They’re a “cupcake”, and Michigan didn’t have much trouble putting them away. We didn’t learn anything about Michigan in this game.
The more interesting, and troubling, game was against Xavier. Michigan was exposed as overrated. Even though Michigan matched up pretty well with Xavier height-wise, they got out-rebounded, out-muscled, and out-hustled. From the very first play of the game, Xavier drove through the UM defense, and did whatever they wanted under the basket. In the first 10 seconds, a Xavier player put his head down and drove right through the UM defense, laid the ball in, and drew a foul. It was a sign of things to come. Xavier owned the boards, shot well from outside, and beat Michigan in every phase of the game. They got off to a quick 7-0 lead, but UM fought back, and managed to tie the game up 10-10. The lead went back and forth, with Michigan leading by as much as 4 points (16-12), until there was 3:52 left in the 1st half. At that point, the game was tied at 32-32, when the roof fell in. Xavier went on a 13-4 run to end the half up 45-36, and Michigan never led or tied the score again. The Xavier lead was around 5-7 points for most of the 2nd half, although UM did get as close as 2 points a couple of times (56-54 with 12:14 left, and 61-59 with 9:59 left) before Xavier put the game out of reach.
For most of his time in Ann Arbor, Coach Beilein has worked with a short bench, a young team, and few big men. This season, he has a long bench, an experienced team, and 4 viable big men. Those big men were all exposed as weak defensively in this game. Even with 4 big men, they were all in foul trouble for most of the game. Michigan committed their 10th team foul of the 1st half with 2:32 left, and 8 of those 10 fouls were against the 4 big men, 2 on each. Xavier kept driving, and the only way the Michigan big men could stop them was by fouling. When Beilein started using double teams to stop the bleeding inside, Xavier took advantage with wide open 3-pointers, which they hit. The weakness inside led to the barrage of Xavier 3-pointers outside. It was a lose-lose situation.
So, is the season doomed? Now that every team on the schedule has seen a blueprint for how to beat Michigan, what can Beilein do? At least half of the Big Ten teams are better than Xavier. Maybe Michigan will get a refereeing crew that knows what a charge is. Maybe Beilein can shore up the interior defense. Maybe one of the big men will emerge as a reliable defender. If not, it looks like a long season.
The stats for the Elon game look a lot like the stats for the previous 2 games vs. cupcakes. UM shot pretty well overall (31-for-60 = 51.7%), they shot very well from 3-point range (13-for-24 = 54.2%), and they shot very well from the free-throw line (13-for-15 = 86.7%). They won the rebounding battle (32-27) and the turnover battle (11-17). They were dominant, which is why they won by 20 points.
On the other hand, the stats for the Xavier game are not very impressive. UM shot pretty poorly overall (21-for-52 = 40.4%), they shot pretty poorly from 3-point range (10-for-26 = 38.5%), and they shot pretty poorly from the free-throw line (18-for-26 = 69.2%). The big stats weren’t shooting stats, but rebounding and turnovers. UM got hammered on the boards (47-29), and lost the turnover battle as well (11-9). That’s 20 extra possessions for Xavier, which is why they shot 14 more shots than Michigan.
Individually, Beilein went with the same starting lineup as in the exhibition and Northern Michigan games for the Elon game: Kameron Chatman, Aubrey Dawkins, Mark Donnal, Caris LeVert, and Derrick Walton Jr.
Zak Irvin had been recuperating from pre-season back surgery, so he didn’t play in the exhibition or NMU games, but he did come off the bench for 15 minutes of action vs. Elon. He looked recuperated enough to start vs. Xavier, in place of Chatman. Now that Irvin’s available to start, that is Beilein’s preferred starting lineup.
Of the starters, only LeVert hit double figures in both games, with 11 points vs. Elon, and 29 points vs. Xavier. Walton was the only other starter to hit double figures in one game, with a career-high 24 points vs. Elon, and 4 points vs. Xavier. The other starters didn’t do much scoring: Chatman had 6 points vs. Elon, and didn’t start in the Xavier game, Dawkins had 7 and 5 points, Donnal had 6 and 0 points, and Irvin had 7 points vs. Xavier, and didn’t start in the Elon game. That’s not very good scoring balance.
The bench chipped in a few points: Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman had 2 and 0 points, Spike Albrecht had 0 and 5, Ricky Doyle had 8 and 3, Duncan Robinson had 19 and 9, Moritz Wagner had 0 and 2, and DJ Wilson had 5 and 3. Robinson’s 19 points are a career high for him at Michigan, although he did score 30 points in one game for his previous team, (Division III) Williams College.
This week, Michigan plays three games in three days, all in Nassau (Bahamas), in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. On Wednesday (11/25/2015, 9:30 p.m., AXS TV), they play (#19) Connecticut. On Thursday (11/26/2015, 3:30 p.m./9:30 p.m., ESPN/AXS TV), they play either Charlotte or Syracuse. On Friday (11/27/2015, TBA, TBA), they play a team from the other side of the bracket ([#10] Gonzaga, Texas, Texas A&M, or Washington).
There are a couple tough teams in this tournament (UConn and Gonzaga), but now that UM has been exposed, every team they play will be a tough game. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if UM went 0-3 in this tournament. They might be able to beat Charlotte, but that’s about it.
Tune by to see how they do, if you can find any of their games on TV, and check back next week to see what happened, and why.
The (#25) University of Michigan men’s basketball team played one game last week, and they won it handily. Of course, it was at home against a Division II team, but still. Wins are wins. On Friday (11/13/2015), UM defeated Northern Michigan 70-44. Michigan’s record is now 1-0.
Michigan looked a little sloppy and lethargic in the 1st half, and only led by10 (36-26) at halftime. They opened the 2nd half with a 12-2 run to make it a 20-point lead, and that was the ballgame. The lead got as high as 29 (70-41), before NMU hit a 3-pointer in the last minute to make it a 26 point game.
The stats look like you would expect: Michigan played pretty well, but a little ragged at times. UM shot pretty well overall (27-for-52 = 51.9%), but not so well from 3-point range (6-for-16 = 37.5%). They didn’t shoot very many free throws, but most of them went in (10-for-15 = 66.7%). They tied in the rebounding battle (32-32) and won the turnover battle (12-19). Both of those last 2 stats are a little troubling: Michigan is a much taller team than NMU, and they should have won the rebounding battle, and 12 turnovers for UM is worrisome.
Individually, Coach Beilein went with the same starting lineup as in the exhibition game: Kameron Chatman, Aubrey Dawkins, Mark Donnal, Caris LeVert, and Derrick Walton Jr. Only LeVert (18 points) and Dawkins (15 points) hit double figures. The other 3 starters had 6 (Chatman), 6 (Donnal), and 4 (Walton) points. Eh. LeVert and Dawkins looked like they came to play, but the rest of the team didn’t play with much enthusiasm.
The bench chipped in a few points: Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman had 5 points, Spike Albrecht had 7, Ricky Doyle had 2, Duncan Robinson played but didn’t score, Moritz Wagner had 2 points, and DJ Wilson had 5, including a nice 3-pointer. Zak Irvin is still recuperating from pre-season back surgery, so he didn’t play.
There was some question about whether or not Wagner would be redshirted this season, but Beilein left it up to him, and he wanted to play, so he did. He looked OK out there, but he still obviously needs some work. I wouldn’t be surprised if he contributes some important minutes as the season goes on, and he could be a factor down the stretch.
This week, Michigan plays two games, both in Crisler Arena. On Monday (11/16/2015, 7:00 p.m., ESPN3), they play Elon in the “mainland game” of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, then on Friday (11/20/2015, 9:00 p.m., BTN), they play Xavier in the inaugural Gavitt Games.
The Elon game should be interesting, since Elon has 5 players who are 6’8″ or taller. Michigan had a decided height advantage against LeMoyne (exhibition) and NMU, and they still had trouble on the boards. Elon could be a challenge. Even though this game is considered part of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, Michigan will play in the “championship” phase of the tournament in the Bahamas next week regardless of whether they beat Elon or not. That’s just the way it goes with these “destination” tournaments.
The Gavitt Games are the Big East/Big Ten challenge. Xavier is probably the best non-conference opponent that UM will face at home this season. This game will also be a challenge. We should know a lot more about this season’s UM team by this time next week.
Come on down to Crisler Arena to see how they do.
The (#25) University of Michigan men’s basketball team played one game last week, and they won it handily. Of course, it was an exhibition game against a Division II team, but still. Wins are wins. On Friday (11/06/2015), UM defeated Le Moyne 74-52 in Crisler Arena.
Since it was an exhibition, Coach Beilein got to play almost everyone, and he got to try lots of different lineup combinations. After a few close minutes at the beginning of the game, UM pulled ahead for good, and the outcome of the game was never in question. In general, the Michigan players looked rusty, and they didn’t shoot particularly well, so the game was closer than it should have been.
The stats look like you would expect: Michigan played pretty well, but a little ragged at times. UM shot pretty well overall (29-for-58 = 50.0%), but not so well from 3-point range (10-for-31 = 32.3%). They didn’t shoot very many free throws, but most of them went in (6-for-9 = 66.7%). They won the rebounding battle (39-28) and the turnover battle (8-9). Those are reasonable stats for an exhibition game against an overmatched opponent.
Individually, this season we’re going to expect to see most of the scoring done by “the core four”, as Beilein calls them: Spike Albrecht, Zak Irvin, Caris LeVert, and Derrick Walton Jr. Irvin is still recuperating from pre-season back surgery, so he didn’t play. Albrecht played sparingly, and only took (and made) one shot, a 3-pointer from the corner, so he only scored 3 points. The other 2 “core four” players did pretty well: LeVert led all scorers with 22 points (including 4-for-9 from 3-point range), and Walton had 13 points. The only other player in double figures was the new transfer player from Division III Williams College, Duncan Robinson, with 15 points, including 3-for-6 from 3-point range. He looked pretty good out there.
LeVert and Walton started, along with Kameron Chatman, Aubrey Dawkins, and Mark Donnal. They didn’t score much. Chatman had 1 point, Dawkins had 2 points, and Donnal had 6 points. Chatman took, and missed, two 3-pointers. Dawkins took, and missed, four 3-pointers. Donnal took, and missed, one 3-pointer. It was sad.
Among the bench players, we’ve already looked at Albrecht and Robinson, and no one else really contributed much. Ricky Doyle had 2 points, Moritz Wagner had 4 points, and DJ Wilson had 6 points (but was 0-for-4 shooting 3-pointers). Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Brent Hibbitts both played but failed to score.
As I mentioned, almost everyone played. The only healthy players who didn’t get in were Andrew Dakich and Sean Lonergan. They are both hoping to redshirt this season, and I just learned that only freshmen can play in exhibition games and still redshirt. Since Dakich and Lonergan are both juniors, they would have used up a year of eligibility if they had played in the exhibition game.
This week, Michigan only plays one game, in Crisler Arena vs. Northern Michigan, on Friday (11/13/2015) at 7:00 p.m. Of course, Michigan will be heavily favored, and it would be a huge upset if they lost. I expect them to win handily, and get another chance to experiment with different lineup combinations.
Come on down to Crisler Arena to see how they do.
Wow! Is it college basketball season already? I guess so, since the first game is this Friday (11/06/2015) in Crisler Arena at 7:00. It’s an exhibition vs. LeMoyne. Even before that, the team has an open practice tonight (Monday, 11/02/2015) in Crisler. It’s on!
Here’s my standard description of this weekly column:
Yeah, it’s time for University of Michigan men’s basketball, and this is the place to read all about it: “Nothing But ‘Net” on UMGoBlue.com. Check back every Monday morning between now and the end of the season (hopefully the National Championship game again) for a quick, concise wrap-up of the previous week, and a look ahead at the upcoming week, all in one easy-to-read article.
As always here at UMGoBlue.com, the perspective is “by fans, for fans”. I’m a fan (since 1974), and I go to all the home games, and watch/listen to all the away games. I don’t have any special access (other than being an usher in Sections 209-210), I don’t go to the press conferences, and I don’t interview high school recruits. I see the same things you do, and write about them as a fan.
Once again, let’s get right to the big question:
How good is the 2015-2016 team going to be? The quick answer: pretty good.
Sure, I said “pretty good” last season, and that wasn’t the way it worked out, but I feel pretty good about this season’s team. As we’ll see below (“Last Season”), the problem last season was injuries. Assuming Michigan doesn’t have the same rash of catastrophic injuries to key players again this season, they should be much better. For a change, Michigan has a lot of depth and experience, after several seasons of very young and inexperienced teams. They’re not ranked in the Coaches Poll, and they’re picked to finish 5th or 6th in the Big Ten.
Read on for more details.
Michigan ended last season with a record of 16-16 (8-10 in the Big Ten). They went 7-5 in non-conference play, with some good wins (Oregon, in Brooklyn, and Syracuse, at home), some understandable losses (vs. [#12] Villanova in Brooklyn, at [#3] Arizona, and home vs. SMU), and two very disappointing losses (NJIT at home, and Eastern Michigan at home). In particular, the loss to NJIT was one of the most embarrassing and devastating losses in Michigan athletics history, right up there with the football team’s loss to Appalachian State. It also directly led to Michigan’s loss 3 days later to a mediocre EMU team.
We didn’t realize it at the time, but the loss to Villanova was very costly to the rest of the season. Michigan’s starting point guard, Derrick Walton, Jr., injured his toe in the Villanova game, and although he played in 14 more games, he was never quite the same after the injury. He finally gave up, and sat out the last 12 games of the season. He was missed.
Michigan had a tough time in Big Ten play, never winning more than 2 games in a row, and losing several heartbreakers, including 4 overtime losses (home vs. [#6] Wisconsin, at Michigan State, at Illinois, and at Northwestern). Their only impressive Big Ten win was at home vs. [#24] Ohio State.
Once again, a single game was very costly to the rest of the season. Michigan beat Northwestern at home, and on the very last play of the game, with 1 second left, the best player on the team (Caris LeVert) fell and broke a bone in his foot. He was lost for the rest of the season, 15 more games. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Michigan just lost too much talent, and never really recovered.
They were the #9 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, and they beat the #8 seed (Illinois) before losing to the #1 seed (Wisconsin). Their 16-16 record wasn’t good enough to get into the NCAA or NIT tournaments, so that was that.
Michigan only lost two players from last season’s roster:
Max Bielfeldt – Max was a redshirt junior last season, so he could have come back for his 5th year, but he didn’t. Apparently, he was willing and interested in returning, but he wasn’t invited back. He graduated, so he’s eligible to use the “graduate transfer rule” that allows graduating seniors with a year of eligibility left to enroll in grad school at another school (as long as the new school has a program that the previous school doesn’t offer) and have instant eligibility, without having to sit out a “transfer year”. So, that’s what Bielfeldt is doing. He’ll play this season at Indiana.
Austin Hatch – Austin is an interesting story. He committed to Michigan on 06/15/2011, then was in a plane crash 10 days later that killed his father and stepmother, and critically injured him. He was in intensive care for a couple months, and missed a lot of high school, so he was given an extra year of high school eligibility, and moved his college commitment to 2014. He had recovered enough to play limited minutes on his high school team, but it remained to be seen if he would ever be able to play Division 1 basketball. He got his chance last season at Michigan. He played in 5 games, for a total of 5 minutes, and he scored one point. After the season, he realized that he would never be able to contribute at this level, and he voluntarily took a career-ending medical redshirt. He’s still on the team, as an undergraduate student assistant, but he isn’t eligible to play in real games.
Michigan has a very talented group of players returning this season. Here they are, by class year (eligibility):
DJ Wilson #5 (6’10”, 240 pounds, F) – DJ injured his knee early last season, and took a medical redshirt year. He’s back and healthy, and 2 inches taller and 40 pounds heavier (in a good way). He can be a big contributor on the team, with a very unique skill set. He’s also got a wingspan much greater than his height: 7’3″
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman #12 (6’4″, 185 pounds, G) – Rahk was pretty lightly used until the two big injuries wiped out the starting backcourt last season, then he became a key player. He did quite well, with his best game at Michigan State (18 points). He’s fast and slippery, and he’s excellent at driving the lane. He’ll be one of the mainstream players this season.
Kameron Chatman #3 (6’8″, 215 pounds, G/F) – Kameron was the highest-ranked recruit in last season’s class, but he had an underwhelming freshman season. He wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t very effective either. He tended to just drift around out there. Let’s hope he can turn things around this season.
Aubrey Dawkins #24 (6’6″, 205 pounds, G/F) – Aubrey was a nice surprise last season. Once again, he was pretty lightly used until the big injury situation, then he became a very important player. Once he got his chance, he stepped up big time. His 20 points single-handedly kept UM in the home game vs. Illinois, which they won in overtime, and he and Caris LeVert were the only UM players to score more than 30 points in a game last season. He had 3 other big games, and he became a weapon towards the end of last season. He’ll definitely be one of the mainstream players this season.
Mark Donnal #34 (6’9″, 240 pounds, F) – Mark voluntarily redshirted his first season, so he still has sophomore eligibility. He’s another player who underwhelmed last season. The hype out of practice was that he was going to be great last season, but he never really got on track. He only hit double figures once (vs. SMU), and he only averaged 3.4 points/game and 2.1 rebounds/game. He needs to be more aggressive out there, and use his height and bulk to have his way under the basket. He wants to stand out by the 3-point line and shot 3-pointers. We need another “banger”.
Ricky Doyle #32 (6’9″, 250 pounds, F) – Ricky started last season slowly, but once he started getting more playing time, he made the most of it. He was the only true “banger” on the team last season, and he may be the only one this season as well. He’s a pretty good shooter, and good finisher, and a good rebounder. He runs the court well, and he’s a good defender. He’ll be the starter at center.
Duncan Robinson #22 (6’8″, 210 pounds, G/F) – Duncan is a transfer from (Division III) Williams College. He sat out last season, and he has sophomore eligibility this season. He was a great scorer at Williams. We’ll see how that translates to Division I basketball. The word out of practice is that he’s a terrific 3-point shooter, but we’ll have to see how the rest of his game is (passing, rebounding, and defending).
Andrew Dakich #11 (6’2″, 190 pounds, G) – Andrew voluntarily “burned his redshirt” late in the season last year, when the team needed him. He only played in the last 13 games, and he only took 8 shots, but he did score 5 points. He’s a leader of the practice squad, and I don’t know how much playing time he’ll get this season, with all the depth Michigan has.
Zak Irvin #21 (6’6″, 215 pounds, G/F) – Zak went from “just a shooter” as a freshman to a well-rounded player last season. It took him a while to adjust to being the “go to guy” when LeVert and Walton both suffered season-ending injuries, but once he made the adjustment, he did a great job. He should be one of the stars this season, and one of the leading scorers in most games. He made at least one 3-pointer in every game last season, which is impressive.
Sean Lonergan #20 (6’5″, 210 pounds, F) – Sean was supposed to be “just a practice player” last season, but with all the injuries, he ended up playing significant minutes in important games, just to “hold the fort”. He played in 17 games, but only took 2 shots. He made them both! This season, I expect to see a lot less of him.
Derrick Walton Jr. #10 (6’1″, 190 pounds, G) – Derrick was having a pretty good sophomore season, then he injured his toe. He kept playing for 14 more games, he just lost some of his “pop” out there. He’s all healed now, and I’m looking for big things from him. He’s a very good point guard, with great speed, a nice shooting stroke, and great rebounding instincts.
Michael (“Spike”) Albrecht #2 (5’11”, 175 pounds, G) – Spike is one of the oldest and most experienced players on this team, and one of the leaders. Last season, he did a great job holding the team together when two of the main players went down to injury. He became the main point guard, and he did a respectable job at it. This season, he’ll back up Walton at point guard, and chip in the occasional big 3-pointer.
Caris LeVert #23 (6’7″, 205 pounds, G) – Caris was leading the team in every statistical category when he broke the bone in his foot last season. He was sorely missed. He’s back, and he’s ready to be a star. He’s certainly the most versatile player on the team, and he should be one of the leading scorers in the Big Ten this season. He’ll play in the NBA next season.
Coach Beilein brought in a very small recruiting class this season, with only one scholarship player and one preferred walk-on:
Brent Hibbitts #0 (6’8″, 205 pounds, F) – Brent is a preferred walk-on, and will be part of the practice squad. He had an impressive high school career, and he might just be able to carve out a few minutes of playing time in the non-conference games.
Moritz Wagner #13 (6’10”, 225 pounds, F) – Moritz is another interesting story. He is a German citizen, from Berlin. He played on a high-level club team in Berlin, and has a classic European skill set. He’s more of a finesse player than a “banger”, with a good 3-point shot. He’ll need to continue to bulk up and learn to play against physical defenders.
Let’s take a look at Michigan’s schedule for this season:
|11/06/2015 (Fri)||Le Moyne (exh)||Ann Arbor, MI||7:00 p.m.|
|11/13/2015 (Fri)||Northern Michigan||Ann Arbor, MI||7:00 p.m.|
|Battle 4 Atlantis – Mainland Game|
|11/16/2015 (Mon)||Elon||Ann Arbor, MI||7:00 p.m.|
|Gavitt Games (Big East/Big Ten Challenge)|
|11/20/2015 (Fri)||Xavier||Ann Arbor, MI||9:00 p.m.|
|Battle 4 Atlantis – Championship Games|
|11/25/2015 (Wed)||Connecticut||Paradise Island, Bahamas||9:30 p.m.|
|11/26/2015 (Thu)||Charlotte/Syracuse||Paradise Island, Bahamas||3:30/9:30 p.m.|
|11/27/2015 (Fri)||TBA||Paradise Island, Bahamas||TBA|
|ACC/Big Ten Challenge|
|12/01/2015 (Tue)||North Carolina State||Raleigh, NC||7:00 p.m.|
|12/05/2015 (Sat)||Houston Baptist||Ann Arbor, MI||2:00 p.m.|
|12/08/2015 (Tue)||SMU||Dallas, TX||9:00 p.m.|
|12/12/2015 (Sat)||Delaware State||Ann Arbor, MI||12:00 p.m.|
|12/15/2015 (Tue)||Northern Kentucky||Ann Arbor, MI||7:00 p.m.|
|12/19/2015 (Sat)||Youngstown State||Ann Arbor, MI||6:00 p.m.|
|12/23/2015 (Wed)||Bryant||Ann Arbor, MI||7:00 p.m.|
|12/30/2015 (Wed)||Illinois||Champaign, IL||3:00 p.m.|
|01/02/2016 (Sat)||Penn State||Ann Arbor, MI||12:00 p.m.|
|01/07/2016 (Thu)||Purdue||West Lafayette, IN||7:00/9:00 p.m.|
|01/12/2016 (Tue)||Maryland||Ann Arbor, MI||9:00 p.m.|
|01/17/2016 (Sun)||Iowa||Iowa City, IA||2:00/4:30 p.m.|
|01/20/2016 (Wed)||Minnesota||Ann Arbor, MI||8:30 p.m.|
|01/23/2016 (Sat)||Nebraska||Lincoln, NE||2:00 p.m.|
|01/27/2016 (Wed)||Rutgers||Ann Arbor, MI||7:00 p.m.|
|01/30/2016 (Sat)||Penn State||New York, NY||12:00 p.m.|
|02/02/2016 (Tue)||Indiana||Ann Arbor, MI||9:00 p.m.|
|02/06/2016 (Sat)||Michigan State||Ann Arbor, MI||2:00 p.m.|
|02/10/2016 (Wed)||Minnesota||Minneapolis, MN||9:00 p.m.|
|02/13/2016 (Sat)||Purdue||Ann Arbor, MI||2:00 p.m.|
|02/16/2016 (Tue)||Ohio State||Columbus, OH||7:00 p.m.|
|02/21/2016 (Sat)||Maryland||College Park, MD||1:00/7:30 p.m.|
|02/24/2016 (Wed)||Northwestern||Ann Arbor, MI||7:00 p.m.|
|02/28/2016 (Sun)||Wisconsin||Madison, WI||4:00/6:00 p.m.|
|03/05/2016 (Sat)||Iowa||Ann Arbor, MI||8:00 p.m.|
|Big Ten Tournament|
|03/09/2016 (Wed)||Opening Round||Indianapolis, IN||TBA|
|03/10/2016 (Thu)||1st Round||Indianapolis, IN||TBA|
|03/11/2016 (Fri)||2nd Round||Indianapolis, IN||TBA|
|03/12/2016 (Sat)||Semifinals||Indianapolis, IN||1:00/3:30 p.m.|
|03/13/2016 (Sun)||Championship||Indianapolis, IN||3:30 p.m.|
Some comments on the schedule:
I like to divide the games up into 3 categories (“Should Win”, “Should Lose”, and “Toss Up”):
If UM can win all 14 of the “Should Win” games, and half of the 14 “Toss Up” games, that would give them a record of 21-10 (11-7 in the Big Ten). That won’t be good enough to win the Big Ten, but it will get UM a good seed in the NCAA Tournament.
As you can see in the schedule above, Michigan’s first (exhibition) game is Friday (11/06/2015, 7:00 p.m., BTN Plus) vs. Le Moyne. Le Moyne is coached by John Beilein’s son, Pat Beilein. Of course, UM will win handily, and get to try all kinds of combinations of players out there. Come on down to Crisler Arena to check out this season’s edition of Michigan Basketball, and stop by sections 209/210 to say hi.
2015 University of Michigan Football Season Predictions
16 August 2015
Time for my annual UM football predictions. Sure, I’m the “basketball guy” at UMGoBlue.com, but I’m also a big football fan, and I’ve been going to UM games since 1974.
Last season, I did another terrible job at predicting the games. I thought we’d go 9-3, and we were a miserable 5-7.
This season is really hard to predict, even harder than when we hired Rich Rod. On the one hand, Harbaugh! On the other hand, offensive line. Just to make it even tougher to predict: new coaches, new systems, lots of new personnel, and a weird non-conference schedule.
Enough excuses, time to predict. I’m thinking that the two State games (MSU and OSU) are probably not going to be pretty, even though they’re in Ann Arbor, and the opener on the road at Utah might be disorganized. That’s 3 losses. The other 3 non-conference games (Oregon State, UNLV, and BYU) look winnable, and we should win the other 2 home Big Ten games (Northwestern and Rutgers). If we can split the 4 Big Ten road games (Maryland [loss], Minnesota [win], Indiana [win], Penn State [loss]), that would work out to 7-5 (4-4 in the Big Ten).
That should be good enough for 4th place in the Big Ten East division, and a pre-New Year’s Day bowl game. Better than last year, but still not what we’re hoping for, eventually.