NC State Vs. Michigan Preview: Pack Prepares For Major Road Test

Kevin C. Cox

Michigan @ StatSheet
2012 Stats
2013 Roster
2013 Schedule

Michigan Offense 11-12
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 53.4 22
Turnover Rate 17.6 37
Off Reb Rate 28.5 276
FTA/FGA 28.6 331

Dating back to his West Virginia days, John Beilein's offenses have been slow and heavy on three-point attempts, which probably sounds a bit familiar to you. Say what you will about the style--Beilein knows how to build efficient offenses. His last three West Virginia teams finished in the top 20 nationally in offensive efficiency, through the combination of strengths seen in the table above: good shooting and great ball security.

There were some initial growing pains at Michigan--his teams took a ton of threes but didn't make many of them--which is understandable since it would take time for Beilein to bring in the right players for his system. By his fourth year, the offense cracked the top 35 in offensive efficiency. In his fifth season--last year--it ranked 22nd.

Beilein's teams have never much cared for offensive boards, and they have never been adept at getting to the line. But when you shoot the basketball well and avoid turnovers, those other two factors are more gravy than necessity.

This year's Michigan team isn't shooting threes nearly as often as Beilein teams usually do, which could be an indication of a stylistic change based on the Wolverines' outstanding freshman class. Or it could just be an early-season anomaly.

Starters

Trey Burke (6-0, 190) -- Burke is a good scorer inside the arc considering his size, though he doesn't get to the line as often as one might expect given how often he's shooting from two. His three-point shooting is spotty but decent enough that it must be a concern for State's defense. He keys the offense and has a high assist rate, and he'll take good care of the ball as well.

Matt Vogrich (6-4, 200) -- A secondary scoring option and three-point specialist who can hurt the Pack from deep; I wouldn't look for him to try to do much of anything off the dribble.

Tim Hardaway Jr. (6-6, 205) -- Off to a fantastic start to the season, hitting 70.6% of his twos and 47.6% of his threes. He has been an erratic outside shooter in the past--he shot 36.7% from beyond the arc as a freshman and 28.3% last year, so it's tough to ballpark his true talent level in this area. He isn't shy from shooting from out there, though, that much is for certain.

Glenn Robinson III (6-6, 210) -- I can't remember which Michigan game it was that I was watching earlier this year, but this kid was everywhere, scoring inside and out, grabbing rebounds, showing off impressive athleticism. He has been deferential to the veteran guards who lead this offense, which certainly hasn't hurt his efficiency--his effective field goal percentage is nearly 60, and his offensive rating is north of 130. Those two numbers are really, really good. He's a major offensive rebounding threat as well.

Jordan Morgan (6-8, 250) -- A light usage guy, but effective with the opportunities he does get. Turnovers are a bit of a problem, but he rebounds pretty well at both ends.

Bench:

Mitch McGary (6-10, 250), Nik Stauskas (6-6, 190), Jon Horford (6-10, 250), Spike Albrecht (5-11, 170). Stauskas is fourth on the team in minutes and while he is a secondary option, he is 10-17 from three-point range this year, which is rather good. McGary, like Stauskas and Robinson, was a four-star recruit out of high school. He isn't getting the playing time the other two are, but he's been solid with the limited opportunities he's received, and good lord you should see his rebounding percentages. Horford and Albrecht probably won't see much time; they're both offensive rebounding threats, but scoring threats...not so much.

Michigan Defense 11-12
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 49.0 175
Turnover Rate 20.1 177
Off Reb Rate 30.5 99
FTA/FGA 30.2 43

While Beilein's offensive system seems to work well given time, his defenses tend to be more of a liability. That could be changing this year, but in the past, his teams have had trouble defending the paint and grabbing defensive boards. His teams' defensive rebounding percentages have improved significantly over the last three years, which suggests he might be getting away from all that zone defense he ran at West Virginia.

The Pomeroy Predictor like Michigan by 11.

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