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Got to thinking about this today but how close of an analog is UNC, as they played down the stretch this year, for Michigan?
Burke is more talented than Paige, no doubt about that. But the rest of the rosters match up fairly well I think.
Bullock, Strickland and Hairston are fairly comparable in size and overall game to the Stauskas, Hardaway and Robinson combo. Stauskas has more size but less speed than Strickland. If I had to line those players up I actually think it is Hardaway, Bullock and Hairston are the three you get really worried about killing you.
McGary is bigger than McAdoo but it is really similar in overall composition of his game in that he is not really a back to the basket guy and we really don't have to let him drag Withey all the way out to the three point line. Overall though I think there is a lot of similarities in how the two teams are constructed and how we will defend them. I think we are somewhat fortunate in the way the games fall because I think we can import a lot of the defensive game plan from the previous game.
The main differences to me (other than Burke being elite) is really that UNC basically played with 2 point guards that could initiate the offense while everything for Michigan runs through Burke and that Hardaway is more of a threat to put the ball on the deck and get things done than Bullock and Hairston are.
So does anyone think we can take a lot of what we did against UNC and bring it to the game Friday?
I agree in broad strokes, but Burke is a better distributor and penetrator than Paige and better at shooting off a ball screen. Also, Michigan's shooters are FAR better than Carolina's on the season AND consistently.
That could be scary, UNC had open shots and just plain missed them, in both halfs (halves?)
Live to love, love to live
PRECISELY what scared me
Michigan has 38%, 39%, 43% and 34% long range shooters on the floor. Bullock and Hairston are 43% and 39%. Paige is a 34% shooter. UNC has one less shooter on the floor than Michigan does but I don't think they are overall worse shooters. Bullock is a very good player who would start for Michigan and I would say it is even money that Hairston would displace Stauskas as well.
Also I would debate that UNC had lots of open shots. Everyone misses open shots and there are much different degrees of open out there. Everyone has complained all year that KU leaves shooters open but we are the 27th best % defense against the three in the nation and we are what, 35 games into the season. I think as much as anything this is a case of two things.
1. People need something to bitch about in regards to defense.
2. Our interior defense is so good that if someone scores much on us it likely happens from the outside. In that respect it becomes the easy thing for media morons like TJ Carpenter to latch onto, even though they are ignoring the fact that in the vast majority of our games such defense was plenty good.
I mean if you are going to say that something we do on defense will cost us it has to be our perimeter defense. But that is pretty obvious stuff. Compared to pretty much everyone else in the nation we are really pretty good at it. It just looks poor compared to the quality of shots people get inside.
First, you never can be sure how the percentages on threes can be affected by game situations, though, either. If a team gets down early, they can start chucking threes early and in volume. It's one of the things I've said about our defense under Self - we give up a lot of threes in large part because we're usually ahead.
I agree that I don't think UNC has tons of open shots, and also that every misses open shots. I think we have the best wing defender in the country (give me Releford over Oladipo every day of the week, and twice on game days), and I think McLemore and Tharpe have improved immensely in their off-ball defense over the course of the season.
Part of my worry is that Michigan gets their shots in a different way from North Carolina. They're a good analog personnel wise, but they run a lot more ballscreens to get Burke straight into his shot or into the lane, which Carolina almost never does with Paige. When he attacks the lane, he kicks to shooters at a much higher rate than Paige, too. Carolina doesn't run much of an offense around getting those guys open, except with some screens, not forcing guys to move and help like Michigan does on a drive and kick. Carolina forces their guys to create shots for themselves by running off screens or dribbling, much like McSqueaky's offense did with MacGruder. We excel at defending that, but we perform poorer against offenses like what happens when Pierre Jackson gets in the lane with options.
I'm not saying it's a terrible comparison, there are certainly parallels, I'm just not sure it's a great comparison.
From what I recall from rewatching the UNC game they did not set many screens for Paige but they set a ton of ball screens for Bullock and Hairston with McAdoo.
I am perfectly find with defending Burke in such a way that we force him to shoot all night against us. I think we want Burke to take around 20 or more shots in this game.
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