Sunday Night News & Notes

Some notes on Jon Horford, Tim Hardaway Jr., whether Michigan is taking too many three point shots, and Manny Harris’ NBA stock.

Too Many Threes?

The most frequent comments, online or in person, that I have heardabout Michigan basketball these days is that they take too many threes and need to pound the ball inside. Others scratch their heads and wonder what happened to all of the backdoor cuts that made John Beilein famous.

The first question that has to be answered is whether Michigan is actually taking more threes this year than previous Beilein teams.

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
3PA/FGA 40.1 45.9 51.4 49.0 40.7 47.9 42.4
3P% 36.1 36.0 34.8 37.4 31.2 33.4 27.8

Michigan isn’t shooting many more threes this year. The painful number here is just the 27.8% that Michigan is shooting from three point range, a number that ranks 308th in Division 1 basketball and 2nd worst among major conference programs (only UCLA is worse). There is simply no way that this team can continue to shoot that poorly from three point range. I would think you would be hard pressed to find many teams that win games consistently while shooting less than 30% from long range, regardless of how many three point shots they take.

Obviously, Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims need to get shots inside the arc. However, they are really the only two inside threats on the roster and they take their fair share of shots inside. Every three point shot they take is not a bad shot because when either of them are truly an inside-outside threat, they are nearly impossible to guard.

The three point shooting problem compounds because Beilein’s offense relies on spacing to work properly. By extending defenses to the three point line, Michigan’s offense not only creates space for backdoor cuts, it provides Manny Harris with driving lanes to create.

When the three point shots aren’t falling, there is no reason for a team to extend their defense. Boston College was able to sit back in their compressed defense for the entire game because Michigan simply couldn’t make them pay for it.

Recruiting Notes

Tim Hardaway Jr.

Palmetto has gotten off to a rough 0-2 start but Tim Hardaway Jr. is certainly producing. After scoring 48 points in the season opener, Hardaway scored 28 in Palmetto’s 45-53 loss to Killian. It’s still early in the year but Tim appears to be taking his game to the next level, shooting the ball well and carrying his team.

horfordJon Horford, picture from InsidePrepSports.net

Jon Horford

Jon Horford hasn’t been discussed much as a serious recruit for Michigan’s class of 2010, however it appears that it’s time for that to change. In a recent Spartan Mag article ($), Horford not only mentions a Michigan offer but names them his leader (he also mentions a Michigan offer in a recent Scout article $).

Michigan’s lack of size has been discussed ad nauseam around these parts so it probably comes as a relief to see Michigan recruiting the 6-foot-9 center. Horford would bring an active motor along with legit size and shot blocking ability. His offensive game is still in development but his older brother Al’s was at this point as well.

There is obviously some history behind the Horford’s relationship with Michigan but the entire Michigan staff has changed since Al’s recruitment. This is certainly one to watch.

Recruiting Roundups? It’s getting to be that time. With high school basketball season tipping off in Michigan, I’ll start to get back to weekly recruiting roundups.

Manny Harris & The NBA

Fran Fraschilla broke down Manny Harris’ game as it relates to the NBA (insider). There aren’t a lot of surprises here as Fraschilla calls Harris one of the most complete players in the country after Evan Turner. Fraschilla points out the obvious, that Manny needs to start hitting three point shots to become the complete package.

Harris has a reasonably consistent mid-range jump shot that should translate to the NBA level. His 3-point accuracy must improve if he wants to make himself a complete scorer, though. He left many of his missed 3s in Orlando short of the rim, which is often a result of fatigue.

Like most juniors with his numbers, Harris may be thinking about entering the draft again but there is no guarantee that he’ll be selected early. Because he is a young junior, having just turned 20 years old in September, there’s more room for improvement in his game and he’s in the right place and with the right coach for that to happen.

Nothing earth shattering here, but it’s interesting to see what a national guy says about Manny’s NBA chances. The one thing he needed to do to cement his draft position was improve on his three point shooting and that obviously hasn’t happened. To his credit, Manny is shooting an impressive 56.7% on two point field goals this year compared to the 46.5% he shot on two point field goals last year.

Evan Turner Injured

Crushing news for Ohio State, Evan Turner fractured a vertebra on a dunk attempt (video) and will miss the next 8 weeks. This is obviously a crushing. Ohio State will certainly have to regroup, they play at Michigan on January 3rd.

Evan Turner was playing simply terrific basketball, averaging 18.5 points, 5.9 assists, and 11.4 rebounds per game and carrying Ohio State. It’s terrible to see him go down like that. I believe Robbie Hummel had a similar injury last year and it was painful to watch the way that it damaged his sophomore season.

To Top