2013-14 Season

Form Tracker: February 26th, 2014

Michigan vs Purdue_26
Our weekly feature tracking the performance of Michigan players performance over two game segments of the season. 
Form Tracker is now interactive. Readers can vote on each player’s rating by hitting ‘Too low,’ ‘Too high’ or ‘Agree.’ (Photo: Scott Mapes)

Caris LeVert9 (Last week: 7) [poll id=”70″]If someone only watched Michigan’s past two games completely outside of the context of the season, they would likely think it was Caris LeVert, not Nik Stauskas, who was Michigan’s number one scoring threat. LeVert was unstoppable in Michigan’s games against Wisconsin and Michigan State, scoring a career-high 25 points against the Badgers in a losing effort and pouring in 23 points against the Spartans while carrying the Wolverines in the first half. We have analyzed, thoroughly, LeVert’s relentless production this season, but maybe the most important aspect to his high scoring numbers over the past two games is his long-range shooting. Against Michigan State and Wisconsin, LeVert combined to hit eight of 11 3-point attempts.

Nik Stauskas: 7.5 (Last week: 6) [poll id=”71″]Nik Stauskas had a rough game against Wisconsin. The sophomore was guarded well by the Badgers on ball screens and Wisconsin’s defenders did an excellent job recovering quickly and not allowing Stauskas the sort of open looks he was getting in Michigan’s previous game against them. The result was 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting and three turnovers, as well as a loss for Michigan. However, Stauskas turned it around in a big way against Michigan State, catching fire in the second half and hitting shots from wherever he felt like it. The young Canadian abused Keith Appling in the latter frame, going 7-for-10 from the field including three triples for a total of 24 points, five assists and three rebounds in a vintage Stauskas performance.

Glenn Robinson III6 (Last week: 5) [poll id=”72″]While it would be nice if Glenn Robinson III achieved a higher score, but you get the sense that a variation of this top three is how Michigan’s players ought to be ranked if things are going well for the team. Robinson wasn’t horrible in Michigan’s matchup Wisconsin, just not terribly productive: 10 points and three rebounds just isn’t going to cut it against a team as good as the Badgers. Robinson played much better against Michigan State, scoring 15 points on nine two-point attempts. While he missed all three of his long-range attempts, Robinson was active cutting hard and flying around the basket (he had five rebounds). This week drove home the truth about Robinson: when the offense is gelling, he has a big hand in it; when it’s not, he’s not the one to get it going.

Jordan Morgan6 (Last week: 6) [poll id=”73″]Michigan’s redshirt senior center had a solid outing against Wisconsin, scoring 5 points on 2-for-3 shooting and corralling five rebounds while logging 29 tough minutes. Many pointed out the ease with which Frank Kaminsky seemed to score in the post, and it’s true that Morgan just didn’t have the foot speed to keep up with the big man a few times. But let’s also keep in mind that Kaminsky is proving to be a very, very good post player. This is a guy who scored 43 points in a game earlier this season and followed up his 25-point, 11-rebound performance against Michigan with a 21-point, seven-rebound game against Iowa. The 7-footer can just play. Against Michigan State, Morgan did an admirable job containing Adreian Payne, helping to hold the big man to 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting.

Spike Albrecht5 (Last week: 4) [poll id=”75″]Spike Albrecht didn’t play much against Wisconsin, logging only eight minutes and recording two points on two free throws. The backup point guard played a significant role in Michigan’s win over Michigan State, however. Albrecht had a major hand in a first-half run that turned the tide against the Spartans: first, he knocked down a three off a nice look from Caris LeVert; one possession later, the sophomore returned the favor by dishing a pass to LeVert for another 3-pointer. Albrecht only ended up with three points and two assists on the night, but they were big.

Jon Horford5 (Last week: 6.5) [poll id=”76″]Jon Horford grabbed six rebounds and scored three points in only nine minutes against Wisconsin and, like Jordan Morgan, struggled against Frank Kaminsky in the post. He played more against Michigan State but managed only three rebounds and two points in 16 minutes.

Derrick Walton4.5 (Last week: 7.5) [poll id=”74″]Michigan’s freshman point guard appears to be hitting a little bit of a freshman “wall” after a couple weeks of great games. Derrick Walton had a very rough game against Wisconsin, scoring zero points and throwing the ball away twice in 33 minutes. Walton played better against Michigan State but was spelled effectively by Spike Albrecht and shot only 1-for-5 from the field, missing a few open 3-point looks. He did manage to dish out three assists in Michigan’s win.

Zak Irvin: 3.5 (Last week: 7) [poll id=”77″]Zak Irvin has had an uneventful couple of games. Better days are ahead for this freshman but he simply didn’t have it against Wisconsin, hitting only one of his five 3-point attempts in the loss. Against Michigan State, Irvin played only seven minutes and missed both his 3-point attempts.

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