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Michigan Game

  • Should be interesting. My very preliminary thoughts are that we need to stay at home on defense and play a step back on Burke. He may beat us but I want it to be shooting over EJ and Tharpe all night not getting a piece of the paint and pitching to open shooters. Keep Withey near the paint but otherwise we need to stay at home on everyone else. Make it a one man show for them.

  • I think we switch all ball screens not involving Withey, and switch Burke's primary defender among Johnson, Releford, and even Fro. If Fro covers him and he gets into the lane, have Withey go for the block, and Fro go for McGary. I also wouldn't be shocked to see us trap Burke and try to force the ball out of his hands some. They're an exceptionally poor rebounding team, especially offensively. Hardaway has seven, SEVEN, offensive rebounds on the season. You'd think he'd accidentally collect twice that many, especially for a team that chucks as many threes as they do.

  • Agree that Kansas needs to switch all pick and roll plays except when Withey is involved. The big advantage is that the Jayhawks are very versatile defensively with Young in the game and, while McGary has been good lately, he hasn't seen anyone like Withey defensively in the post. EJ must stay out of foul trouble but if we see Tharpe try to check Burke, Kansas is in big trouble. I wouldn't be surprised to see Tharpe on Stauskus, chasing him around screens with Releford using his length to defend Burke at times.

    Offensively, the big Kansas weakness is their inability to handle the basketball. However, Michigan isn't going to take advantage of this as they don't force many turnovers. Ellis could have a solid game as Michigan likes to play small ball and will be defending him with Robinson.

  • Michigan's defense lends itself to us having a good game offensively. Combine that with how poorly they rebound for a team that's been this successful, and one of the things I'll be keeping a close eye on is how well we can score off the glass. Against North Carolina, we scored really well off offensive rebounds in the second half, but we really had very similar opportunities in the first half as well. If Young and Releford in particular can clean the glass and be the "glue guys" we know they are capable of being, this game is a lot different than if we have to rely solely on making more shots at a higher percentage than them. Just like against North Carolina, Young should have an exceedingly poor rebounder trying to keep him away from the only part of the game he really excels at.