2008-2009 Season

Game 12: North Carolina Central at Michigan Preview

: Michigan (9-2) vs North Carolina Central (0-14)
Where: Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor, MI
When: Monday, December 29th 7pm ET
Preview: Stat Sheet
Radio: MGoBlue, WWJ-AM (950), WTKA-AM (1050)

Ken Pomeroy has North Carolina Central ranked 344th in his latest rankings, dead last.  The Eagles are flat out not a very good team. Only one of their losses has come to an RPI top 50 team but they have 5 losses by more than 30 points.

The Eagles have an eFG% of 39.5, turn the ball over on 25.7% of their possessions, rebound 28.8% of their misses, and have a free throw rate of only 18.2. All of these rank below 290th in the country.

NC Central’s leading scorers are Jamar Briscoe (14.4 ppg, 32.8%) and Vincent Davis (12.2 ppg, 34.3%). They also appear to lean heavily on 6-9 center Stevy Worah-Ozimo who averages 35.3mpg, 8.4 ppg, and 8.3 rpg.

This is a game Michigan should clearly win easily and it will be the last tune up before the Wisconsin game on Wednesday. This is a chance for Michigan to knock off the holiday funk before jumping head first into the conference season.

I don’t have much else to say about this game but here are a couple things that stand out from Michigan’s KenPom profile as we near conference season:

  • 2nd in the country in free throw percentage.
  • 6th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency.
  • 14th in turnover percentage.
  • 22nd in steal percentage.
  • 63rd with an eFG% of 52.3% but three point shooting is at 35% (134th) while two point shooting is at a very solid 52.2% (48th).
  • As expected Michigan’s offensive rebound percentage ranks 202nd and free throw rate ranks 183rd.
  • 43.9% of Michigan’s shots are three pointers (19th in the country) and 65.9% of made baskets come off of assists (15th)
  • Defensively Michigan continues to be very mediocre with an adjusted defensive efficiency of 94.7 (130th). Surprisingly the thing they seem to defend best is the three point shot, Michigan’s opponents are shooting only 29.2% from long range (compared to 38% last year).
  • Taking a look at last year’s profile is a nice way to look at the improvements already this season. Michigan has improved dramatically in just about every way offensively. Certainly these numbers could go down a little bit in conference play but this team’s profile is starting to look a lot more like Beilein’s teams at West Virginia (05 & 06) than I would have expected.

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

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