Podcast: Storylines galore as mega-matchup looms

The Moving Screen is a podcast collaboration with The Athletic’s Brendan Quinn. We’ll be tackling Michigan, Michigan State and Big Ten basketball at large with a blend of rational analysis and hot takes.

Michigan State had a great week but lost another starter to an injury. We make sense of what Nick Ward’s injury means for the Spartans over the next few weeks.

Michigan bounced back from a bad loss at Penn State with a comfortable home win over Maryland. The conversation focuses on Jon Teske and Jordan Poole ahead of a Thursday night game at Minnesota.

Listen to “Ep 18: Storylines galore as mega-matchup looms” on Spreaker.

(01:35) What does Nick Ward’s injury mean for Michigan State?
(15:11) Michigan beats Maryland, what to make of Jon Teske and Jordan Poole?
(29:58) Big Ten Power Rankings


The podcast is available just about everywhere that you can listen to podcasts. If we are missing something important, let me know in the comments.

Notable Replies

  1. JJ3

    On Nick Ward; not having him makes Teske’s life less strenuous on defense. Also prevents MSU from pounding it inside to get M in foul trouble. Ward was really MSU’s only low post threat. Tillman is a nice player but a low post threat he is not. As a great coach once said; “Where’s the threat”

    Defending Cassius Winston; Make Winston a finisher in the lane. If Winston scores 30 and Goins, McQuaid, and Ahrens get minimal catch and shoot threes, is winning basketball. Winston is a fantastic shooter. Need to make him drive and finish when he has the ball. Better still if he doesn’t have the ball and someone else has to score or distribute.

    Winston reminds me a little of Bobby Hurley in his Duke days. Hurley would kill M with dribble drives, draw two defenders, and distribute, or shooting top of the key 3’s. Hurley was not so great at the rim. I have similar thoughts on WInston.

    On Pod you guys said M’s offense was a mess or something similar to that. I disagree. I think the offense is fine but shooting has been a mess. Uncommonly bad. Unsustainably bad. Beilein has said he has no answer other than taking open shots and making them. I agree. Have to ride this bad stretch out. Hope it ends at Minnesota. We’ve seen it before; Irvin’s senior year slump, Duncan Robinson last year, and there are others.

  2. UMHoopsFan

    It’s pretty much the same offense as last year. For comparison, each of our last 3 games AdjO would have been the second best performance of the NCAA tourney run last year.

  3. UMHoopsFan

    I hear ya. I guess I’m just saying that, taking a step back, the offense is still ranked 33 on kenpom – that measures results, right? And the team is still shooting pretty much what it did last year from 3 (<1% worse, and I bet it ends up higher) on the year. You can pick out good and bad stretches from this year and last year.

    It’s a pretty good place to be when we’re generating open shots for players who we have decent reason to believe could hit them, and still generating over a point per possession against good defenses even when they miss most of them.

    I mean, Poole went 1-11 from three over the last two games. I don’t think that’s going to happen too often going forward. Duncan Robinson went 2-13 over a three game stretch last year, and 2-10 two other times. He shot 38% from 3 last year, as Poole is shooting this year. Doesn’t mean I’d call a possession that resulted in an open Duncan Robinson 3 a mess of a possession.

    And this is coupled with the defense of course.

  4. umhoops

    For Poole to hit 27% from 3-point range over the last 13 games is at least a stat to take serious. Will he shoot 27% for the rest of the year? No, probably not. Will he shoot 50% like he was when Michigan’s offense was playing well in December? I don’t know.

    (I’ve written a lot about the offense over the last few weeks on the site. Side note, it makes me sad that someone with the handle UMHoopsFan isn’t a subscriber :wink: )

    I’m not sure what to expect on any given night for this offense and it is uniquely scoutable in some different ways. I just am surprised that saying Michigan’s offense is struggling on the podcast was so controversial.

  5. UMHoopsFan

    On a happy note, our shooting has reverted. In the five games since we debated whether UM’s offense was a mess because they weren’t making jumpers, the team shot 39% from 3. Poole, a specific subject of inquiry, shot 38% from 3 (his average for the year).

    -UM’s 35.1% 3pt shooting for the year, basically the same as last year, puts them at a mediocre but well into the top half 135th in college.
    -UM’s 33.8% 3pt shooting in conference play was 6th best in the Big Ten.

    UM finishes the regular season ranked 18th in Kenpom in AdjO, 18th on Torvik.

    Some reason to hope for good things in the postseason.

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