Wednesday, March 16, 2022

NCAA Hoops: Colorado State

Please lose.  I mean, go Rams.

I'm so exited I'm thinking of driving up from Evergreen to Fort Collins for the game for the 10 AM MT game..  Wait, it is going to snow 10 inches tonight.  Plus I would have to drive all the way to Indiana.

Somebody has to say or write it:  Now they're attacking each other in practice!  My God.  DeVante Jones is sidelined--perhaps his last game(s)--at Michigan because a teammate smacked him in the schnoz.

It isn't funny.  It is not a scratch on the face:  he is in concussion protocol; easy on the lights and noise and not with the team. The word "violent" fits and the word "smart" does not.  All year he has been grimacing on the floor in games and he has continued.  This is stupid.

This blog goes back a long time--longer than a sane person should admit.  Last year's team entered the NCAA tournament as though it was a boxing WWE match.  It is documented here for the bored.  Chaundee Brown was a particular culprit.  It was obvious they were out to prove that lesser-knowns cannot compete with the Big Ten physically.  Remember, Howard is coaching again now.

So we get to watch Frankie Collins' hair.  Oh my.  The question is, does CSU have anyone who can guard Hunter Dickinson?  Me thinks that will be important.

This is unusual.  Top scorer at 19.4 is a 6'5" guard--David Roddy--who is 252 pounds.  The Rams have some height, but half of it (6'11") Jacob Jennisson has played 6 minutes this season.  James Moors at 6'10" is next up looks and looks to be a substitute.  Not knowing anything but looking at the roster and stats, they are guard-oriented with several good not great 3-point shooters.  Dischon Thomas plays at 6"9".

They shoot close to 50% (48.5) from the floor and 35.8% from 3.  CSU is 34 on Kenpom and Michigan is 32.

The Rams have taken more 3-point shots than Michigan and also shoot a higher percentage.  Like him or not, Michigan loses a ton of outside defense without Jones.

Michigan will feast inside with Dickinson and Diabate.  Can players like Johns, Williams, and Houstan handle what could be a smaller, quicker Colorado State?  Probably because Michigan plays tough defense and height helps.

Ever since John Beilein, Michigan plays a weird style where one person has the ball in his hands all the time.  This year, that person has been Jones.  Eli Brooks cannot do it all, and while he can be effective when isolated on a play, he struggles in the role of go-to guy.  Bufkin has not been asked to and has not shown the ability to be a primary ballhandler.  Maybe Collins will show more composure, because when coming off the bench and running around he is prone to turnovers and fouls.  Isaiah Barnes?  No.  There just is no one else.

What we'll see is, here I go again, Johns, Williams, and Houstan, being asked to do more.

Juwan Howard has returned the bench he stole.  Another.  Random, Google, and enough.

Roddy is a forward--one of the above says he could or should guard Dickinson--and he is a match-up problem and NBA prospect.  Niko Medved is someone whose team gets that "well coached" label; Colorado State is sound and consistent.  There have been teams that have stopped Dickinson, or he has been in foul trouble, and this is of course up to him, he could do "deleterious" personal things.  At the same time he could dominate.  Unlike Diabate, who doesn't score on his own at all, Dickinson can hit 3's.  The way to stop him is obviously put pressure on him--the cliche of make him pass and now Michigan is down one more person as an outlet.

For the foundation of this team--Dickinson, Brooks, Johns, and not-playing Jones--this could be the last game.  Wow.  What is left for next year?  Others could leave too.  Some major deadweight will finally be gone, but wow.  If Michigan loses it will be an inglorious end to a very, very mediocre season and part or much of that has been self-inflicted.  I don't see an encouraging future based on a solid core of returning players.

I've seen Michigan all season.  Ballhandling is going to be a major issue. Size and talent vs. talent, skill, and depth.  The Big Ten was not great this year (that has been documented here too) and I don't buy #32 (Kenpom) and the strength of schedule.

Colorado State 75 Michigan 72.

P.S.  This Michigan - Colorado State preview and prediction is prepared without consulting Mgoblog, in protest of the fact that he doesn't contribute at all these days--he doesn't care about his customers--except for game previews and he refuses to hire real or good reporters or writers.

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