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Purdue Basketball: Michigan Preview

The Wolverines are in free fall with a trip to West Lafayette looming.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Rutgers Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

University of Michigan Wolverines

Overall Record: 7-11

Big 10 Record: 2-5

KenPom Ranking: 79

Basic Information

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Type of School: Public Research University

Mascot: None (seriously, how hard is it to put someone in a Wolverine costume?)

Head Coach - Juwan Howard

Seasons at Michigan: 5

Other Head Coaching Jobs: None

Career Record: 86-59

Conference Championships: 1

Conference Tournament Championships: 0

NCAA Appearances: 2 (5-2)

Final Four Appearances: 0

Kenpom Style of Play

() = National Ranking per Kenpom

Offense

Adj. Efficiency: 116.1 (45)

Avg. Poss. Length: 17.6 (198)

Defense

Adj. Efficiency: 54.6 (39)

Avg. Poss. Length: 17.6 (198)

Adjusted Tempo

67.6

Kenpom 4 Factors

() = National Ranking per Kenpom

Offense

Effective FG%: 54.6 (39)

Turnover %: 17.9 (207)

Off. Reb. %: 31.7 (96)

FTA/FGA: 31.5 (206)

Defense

Effective FG%: 50.1 (164)

Turnover %: 14.2 (331)

Off. Reb. %: 30.5 (235)

FTA/FGA: 30.2 (122)

Personnel

Michigan Starters

Position Number Player Class Height Weight Previous Team Minutes Points Rebounds Assists
Position Number Player Class Height Weight Previous Team Minutes Points Rebounds Assists
Point Guard 0 Dug McDaniel So. 5'11" 175 N/A 35.7 16.6 3.8 4.6
Shooting Guard 3 Jaelin Llewellyn So. 6'2" 190 Princeton 18.9 5.6 1.4 1.4
Small Forward 4 Nimari Burnett Sr. 6'4" 200 Texas Tech / Alabama 31.5 9.7 4.2 2.5
Power Forward 5 Terrance Williams Sr. 6'7" 225 N/A 33.4 12.4 4.4 1.3
Center 32 Tarris Reed Jr. So. 6'10" 265 N/A 26.3 9.3 7.1 0.6

Michigan Bench

Position Number Player Class Height Weight Previous Team Minutes Points Rebounds Assists
Position Number Player Class Height Weight Previous Team Minutes Points Rebounds Assists
Guard 40 George Washington Fr. 6'2" 170 N/A 7 0.9 0.3 0.4
Power Forward 2 Tray Jackson Sr. 6'10" 215 Seaton Hall 15.7 5.1 2.5 0.5
Power Forward 42 Will Tschetter So. 6'8" 245 N/A 16.3 6.8 2.2 0.6

Michigan on Offense

Like the Illinois game, this is tough because the Wolverines are playing without their road-suspended (no idea guys, just reporting the facts) leading scorer, Dug McDaniel. The Wolverines have enough trouble on offense with his 17 points a game in the lineup. Without them, it’s a struggle.

The best game to watch in preparation for this game is the Michigan vs. Maryland game from January 11th. The Wolverines managed 57 points against the Terps. That’s not great. When you consider that the score of the game was 57-58 Maryland with 2:36 remaining and the final score was 57-64 Maryland, it’s even worse. Not only could Michigan not score, they couldn’t score when it mattered most.

Maryland pressed Michigan all game and gave up some easy hoops, but that makes sense. Maryland is also not good on offense, and without McDaniel, they have two guards they’re comfortable playing.

Purdue’s not going to press.

That’s bad for Michigan because the only time their offense had flow against Maryland was in transition. Their half-court sets were a grind if Maryland managed to deny their first option. Nothing looked easy or coherent. Almost every possession bogged down into some sort of iso look for whoever ended up with the ball in his hands when they ran out of ideas.

With McDaniel at home, Tennessee transfer Oliver Nkamhoua takes over as Juwan Howard’s go-to scorer. He’s a talented, consistent stretch 4, but he’s not a guy that’s going to go off and put up a huge number. He averages 17 a game, and he’s usually going to produce something close to that. His season high against a competitive team was 24 in an overtime loss to Florida. In the Maryland game, he scored an efficient 18 points on 8-16 shooting, but that didn’t help fill the hole left by McDaniel.

Nkamhoua has a sneaky post game that includes a nice turnaround jumper off the block that catches defenders flat-footed. His range extends out to the 3-point line where he shoots 37%. He’s a solid finisher in traffic in transition, in fact solid is the best way to describe his game. I don’t see any one elite skill, but he does everything average to above average and could give Purdue issues with his ability to post a smaller Mason Gillis or pull TKR (who is apparently healthy after doing something super weird looking to his leg against Iowa) away from the basket and attack him off the dribble.

The only player outside of Knamhoua that concerns me is Terrance Williams because he’s the other guy that can score outside the offense. The 6’7” wing is consistently inconsistent. He put up 24 against Penn State and looked like one of the best wings in the conference. He put up 8 last time out against Illinois on 3-10 shooting and looked disinterested.

In Michigan’s upset win over Ohio State, Williams put up 18 points, including going 5-5 from deep. That’s the type of shooting that could keep the Wolverines in this game. In fact, Williams getting hot may be the only way Michigan keeps this thing close. Look for Williams when Purdue doubles Knamhoua in the paint. He’s 6’7”, he’s going to get a clean look over a closeout. He’ll need to hit every halfway decent chance he gets.

Michigan on Defense

If you’re going to slow Purdue down, you need a Zach Edey plan.

I don’t think Michigan has a workable Zach Edey plan.

They have to double-team the big man. Tarris Reed is a load at 6’10”, 265, but Zach will foul him out in the first half if he’s left to check the best player in college basketball on his own. Once Reed gets into foul trouble, Michigan is cooked beyond cooked. Their backup center is 6’9” Olivier Knamhoua, and he also happens to be Michigan’s first, second, and third option on offense. Zach will make him look like a child in the paint.

The Wolverines are going to have to double Zach, but they’re not well-connected on defense. Purdue’s going to find wide-open perimeter looks once they get Michigan in rotation, and they’re going to have them in rotation all game. Jones, Loyer, and Gillis better calibrate their shots to swish because they’re going to get more open looks than they know what to do with in this one.

Matchup to Watch

Zach Edey vs Tarris Reed Jr.

This one has the potential to get out of hand and stay out of hand. Michigan is only 7 deep with Dug in the lineup. Their only big off the bench receiving consistent minutes is 6’8” Will Tschetter. If this comes down to a Zach Edey vs. Will Tschetter battle in the post, scoring records could fall.

For Michigan to have a chance in this game, Reed Jr. has to stay on the court. I don’t see anyone else capable of stopping Zach from scoring 40+ other than Matt Painter if Reed Jr. gets in early foul trouble.

Prediction

KenPom

Purdue: 86

Michigan: 69

Confidence: 93%

Drew

Purdue: 90

Michigan: 70

The Wolverines could use a “get right” game after dropping 6 of their last 7. Purdue is a get murdered game. Michigan might get hot from outside and keep the game reasonable in the first half, but they don’t have enough to hang for an entire game.

Coach Howard may want to consider turning this game over to one of his assistants.