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I was just thinking of each team's roster and how certain match-ups favor one team or the other. It should be an interesting game, to say the least... I expect UM to go zone more often against us than they have against other teams because of the match-up problems presented by Dawson and Payne. We need to make open shots over that zone to get them back to man defense, where our front court can absolutely maul them.
Appling vs. Burke
Keith Appling is fantastic, but Burke is probably the best point guard in the country. I have a feeling that they will both score on each other--Burke is just too good on the pick-and-roll (and we've struggled to defend it), but he's not a very good defender.
Advantage: Slightly to UM
Harris vs. Hardaway
Hardaway is the streakiest shooter in the country--unstoppable at times, but MIA at others. Harris is much more consistent but not quite as explosive. They're both good, active defenders who deflect balls, get steals, and don't leave their men with many open looks.
Dawson vs. Stauskas or Robinson
This is an interesting one. Stauskas just isn't the type of athlete you want guarding Dawson, but if Robinson is on Dawson, that means Stauskas has to guard Payne a lot or UM has to go big a lot longer than they like to. Therefore, I think Stauskas will mostly be on Dawson when UM is not in a zone. That's good for MSU.
Advantage: Significantly to MSU
Payne vs. Stauskas or Robinson
Any way you see it, UM has no one who can guard Payne if he's on his game. Stauskas could stretch Payne a bit longer than he likes to guard on defense, but his perimeter defense has gotten much better lately--plus, I think we'll mostly see him guarding Robinson when UM has its "usual" line-up in.
Advantage: Significantly to MSU
Nix vs. McGary
Morgan probably won't be healed enough to play starter (i.e. 20+) minutes, so that leaves Nix on McGary. Let's be clear--McGary can't guard Nix. No way. But McGary has a pretty good motor for a kid his size, and he's a flopping bitch... meaning I wouldn't be surprised if Nix gets tired and/or in foul trouble.
Advantage: Slightly to MSU
For the first time in probably the past 15 years, UM is the deeper team, and their bench contributes more. Will Trice play? That's a big question, especially because Appling tends to get himself into foul trouble and Burke is one of the best point guards in the country. Valentine has looked good lately, but MSU needs to get something positive out of Costello, Gauna, or Byrd. Michigan will get contributions from Morgan, Horford, Albrecht, Bielfelt, and LeVert... not exactly world-beaters, but all quality bench players that give UM the option of going 10-deep if needed.
Advantage: Slightly to UM
Come the fuck on.
Prediction: I expect this to be a close game throughout with MSU pulling away with free throws late. Maybe something like a 6 to 9 point win for MSU.
This post was edited by arfabe16 17 months ago
I just laughed at the thought of Stauskas trying to guard Payne in the post
Yeah, they like to primarily go with Burke/Hardaway/Stauskas/Robinson/One of their stiffs, so I'd be surprised if UM doesn't go zone for at least half the game. If they do what I expect, Harris, Appling, Trice, and Payne better be ready to make them pay.
If they don't go zone a lot... well, good luck to them trying to guard Dawson, Payne, and Nix.
They could also try to go big, but that takes one of their weapons (Stauskas or Robinson) out of the game, and you end up with Horford or Morgan playing a lot more than Beilein would like to play them.
I'd actually put Dawson on Hardaway. Harris may be too important to lose to foul trouble if UM goes zone.
I just laughed at the thought of anyone on their roster trying to guard Payne. If he comes in with the right attitude he should be able to put up some impressive numbers
He's easily the biggest mismatch on either side for this game. And the fact that UM has to be so concerned about him will probably create some opportunities for Dawson against a less athletic defender (when UM is playing man D).
I see MSU registering a Tier 1 Blowout victory.
Good analysis. You are right that Dawson/Payne vs. Stauskus/Robinson is the key to the game. On paper it should be a significant advantage to us, but we HAVE to use that advantage and if we don't UM can swing it quick. That means that we have to feed the post, not turn it over and get back on D. If we turn it over and allow UM to transition, Dawson and Payne have both struggled with transition defense and Stauskus and Robinson get a huge percentage of their points in the transition game. We have to be careful there.
I would leave Harris on Hardaway. I think Harris is the best all around defensive player on the team and we can't let Hardaway gaining confidence early in this one.
They haven't been playing a lot of zone this season at all, which is a big departure from the early Beilein years at UM. They'll throw out a 1-3-1 for a few possessions to confuse team, but they're mostly a straight up man-to-man team this season.
If UM has an advantage anywhere, it will be on the perimeter. As much as I hate to say it, Burke is the best PG in the country. Hardaway is also having a much better season than he did last year. Appling and Harris will have to stay vigilant outside because both those guys can knock down 3s. A huge plus if Appling and Harris can force Burke and Hardaway to drive into some help from Payne. If Dawson is on Stauskas, he is not allowed to fall asleep or leave him to help.
If we can pound the ball down low consistently, we will win. Nix/Payne are clearly better than Michigan's bigs. It'll be tough, but I think a 5-7 point victory sounds about right.
tRCMB - Visit at your own risk of being disgusted.
I think Dawson has too many lapses on defense to put against a shooter like Hardaway. Hardaway knocks down every open look, and out of our perimeter defenders, Dawson is the worst one.
I guess we'll see what Izzo thinks, but I think Harris is the only one on our roster with a chance to really limit Hardaway's looks.
Good write up. +
BTW, i think Horford is starting since Morgan is out. They like McGary as a 6th man
But then would you really want Dawson on Stauskas? put Payne on him?
It may depend on how Harris' back is feeling. Hardaway is more of a slasher than Stauskas, and I've loved Dawson's D against those types. I think Payne guards GRIII regardless.
Hardaway is much more dynamic offensively than Stauskus. Harris has to guard him. Dawson on Stauskus should be fine as long as they drill it into BJ's head this week that he can't help off his man.
If we can get dawson to show the same drive as last night. Convince Payne we are playing osu. We will win by 10+. There is no way motivation shouldn't be a problem.
The teams' backcourts, on paper at least, look very similar, especially if Robinson is playing his more natural 3 position. Burke is having a special season, no one can deny that. The guy is a playmaker and one of the toughest guards to defend in the country, but Appling isn't far behind him.
You are right on Hardaway, streaky as hell, but man, when he is on he can be scary good. He literally carried their team on his back in the OSU game by draining something like 5 threes in a row. The matchup between him and Harris will be one of the best matchups we'll see all year, IMO. Cannot wait to see those two go head to head.
Robinson is a talented kid, but you can definitely tell he's still a freshman. There are times when he's one of the better players on the court, but then there are games where he completely disappers and you wouldn't even know he's out there. Dawson vs. him should be another fantastic matchup, but Dawson seems to have matured a great deal in a short amount of time, and I think this bodes well for him in this matchup. He seems like he's all business now, which is scary considering he's probably the most athletic player in the league (no disrespect to Mbakwe or Oladipo).
Our big guys SHOULD be at a significant advantage playing against much smaller and less seasoned players, but I feel I say that every year against UM and somehow players like Morgan and Horford manage to play pretty well. I don't know if it's just me, but I'm starting to see a lot of Andre Hudson in Derrick Nix. When he gets the ball down low, he's getting to the point that unless he's double teamed, the ball is going in. And team's now can't double him because he's become such a great passer, and Appling is really heating up beyond the arc. McGary is a solid player, and as you said, is a high motor, put back/clean the mess up down low player, but that's about all you're going to expect from him offensively, at this point.
I think we know what we're going to get from our guys at these 4 positions, but the key is going to be Payne. If he's on, and can manage to keep a hand in Stauskas' face and deny him open looks, I think we will win the game. If he has a hard time defending the perimeter, things could get much more interesting.
How much zone do you think they'll throw at us? How successful will we be running in transition not allowing them to set up their defense?
I hope they do zone us - we've been destroying the zone all year long. The teams that do well against us have athletic backcourts that can play tenacious man on man D, and disrupt our guys enough to keep the ball from entering the post. We are just simply too well coached to let a zone slow us down, and you're just asking to get killed on the boards if you decide to go that route.
Are we not going to talk about transition defense?? I think that needs to be part of your thesis...
I think that Valentine is going to be an important piece. I'd try to match him up with Stauskas. Valentine has the length to challenge the 3 ball, and there is no way Stauskas can check valentine. Overall, I think our frontcourt will he an advantage and their backcourt will probably get the better of ours. It's the 3 position that is really the question mark, and I think there are a lot of things we can do at that spot. It's going to be all about match-ups, but if we can play our game we should win.
I don't feel to good about my pre-season prediction that Costello would be a better player than McGrary. Nix needs to dominate this match-up
Dennis Fithian is currently doing that breakdown too. So far he has trey Burke> MSUs entire roster.
youngblood96/viggo martyr/jargon: tRCMB's answer to Vidkun Quisling and Fred Phelps.
ahhh, to helll with all of this...
Beat the snot out of the weasels!
Nίκη για MSU
Their highside pick and roll with Burke/McGary with Appling/Nix defending scares the bejesus out of me.
If they go zone they we need Payne to really step up. He can hit that free throw jumper they have to come out of it. Dawson can get the ball and get to the rim in hurry. Or we could use Valentine as a zone breaker. His vision would probably lead to some easy baskets for our bigs. Personally I don't think they will use much zone based on Payne being able to hit a jumper and Dawson' s athleticism. Man to man double our bigs live with the results. The key to the whole game is keeping Burke from collasping our defense and kicking it to open shooters.
"What is green and white and red all over? The Spartans pounding their chests after this bloodbath" -Mitch Albom 11/2/13
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