Thursday, December 6, 2012

Early thoughts on Michigan's basketball season

Michigan has gotten off to an 8-0 start this basketball season and the Wolverines have looked pretty good in the process.
The Wolverines haven’t faced the toughest competition, but they also haven’t played a cake schedule. In recent years, wins over Pittsburgh and Kansas State would carry more weight than they do this year. N.C. State was ranked 18th at the time, so that still is a good win, relatively speaking.
Everyone knew what Michigan had in Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. Those two have lived up to expectations thus far, with Burke average 17 points and 7.1 assists per game and Hardaway chipping in with 15.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.
Many also knew of Michigan’s talented freshmen that were coming in, led by Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary.
What has been somewhat surprising is the play of another freshman, Nik Stasukas.
Stauskas is currently third on the team in scoring at 13.9 points per game and he is shooting an amazing 63.6% from 3-point land (21 of 33).
With McGary being a little slow out of the gates, Stauskas has picked up the slack and made Michigan into more of a dangerous team that first projected.
We have to assume that Stauskas will cool off at some point, but we can also expect McGary to improve. The key, either way, is that Michigan has a lot of scoring options this year.
With Robinson III’s 13.9 points per game, Michigan has four players averaging double figures in scoring. Outside of those four players, the Wolverines still have contributors like Jordan Morgan and McGary.
Right now the Wolverines are third in the nation in shooting at 52.1 percent. It would be hard to see them continuing to shoot that well. But, unlike past seasons, it appears Michigan won’t have to rely on shooting well from the outside to win games, which is why it is fair to call Michigan one of the best teams in the country right now.

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