2008-2009 Season

Game 11: Florida Gulf Coast at Michigan Preview

Reed Baker

: Michigan (8-2) vs Florida Gulf Coast (4-7)
Where: Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor, MI
When: Monday, December 22nd 7PM ET
TV: BigTenNetwork.com
Preview: Stat Sheet
Radio: MGoBlue, WWJ-AM (950), WTKA-AM (1050)

Reed Baker leads the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles back to his old stomping grounds in Ann Arbor. Baker transferred to play for former Michigan manager Dave Balza after John Beilein arrived. Reed leads FGCU in scoring with 11.6 ppg but is shooting only 33% from the field. I would love to see Reed have a good game back at Crisler Arena as long as Michigan can pull off the W. Here are Reed’s comments on Michigan:

“He didn’t think I was tall enough to play wing in his 1-3-1 zone,” Baker said. “And based on my stats, how many assists I had averaging 8 to 10 minutes a game, he didn’t think I was the type of player for his system and he didn’t see me playing a lot.”

Baker could’ve kept his scholarship at Michigan but didn’t want to stay where he wasn’t wanted.

“After spending a year putting in the effort and learning what it takes to be a college basketball player and not reaping the the benefits and getting the rewards of playing time, it wasn’t worth it to me, it made my decision easy,” he said. “You’re there four hours a day. Who wants. … I think of myself as a positive person and who wants to be around a person who’s so negative with you every day. I’m not going to put myself around that. So I said, ‘I’m gonna go somewhere else and be happier,’ which I am.”

Reed was basically forced out and I don’t blame him for feeling a little bitter, he was by all accounts a good kid and I’m glad that it appears he has landed on his feet. In the same article Balza notes that the game was scheduled to set up a presentation in memorial of Dr. Joel Fortnoy, a former Michigan manager who died unexpectedly.

FGCU has played a couple tough opponents including Kansas (85-45), Florida (94-60), and Butler (73-53)  but they haven’t beat anyone with an RPI better than 200.

FGCU plays an uptempo game (70.9 possessions per game) but doesn’t shoot it particularly well, their 43.5 eFG% ranks 311th in the nation. They also struggle holding onto the ball and turn it over on 26.7% of their possessions (338th) and also rebounding where their offensive rebounding percentage ranks 231st. The one thing they do relatively well is get to the line, their 29.0 free throw rate ranks 70th in the country. Overall their adjusted offensive efficiency rating ranks 316th.

It’s also worth noting that Michigan’s adjusted efficiency rating is up to 6th in the country, this is very impressive considering they were ranked 148 at the end of last season.

With FGCU’s poor statistical profile and apparent injury problems, this game has cupcake written all over it. It should be a chance for Beilein to continue to tinker with the lineup and continue to ease Laval Lucas-Perry into the lineup.

Let’s hear your thoughts and predictions in the comments.

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