Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Player Bullets: N.C. State

So, as I mentioned at the end of last night's recap, I'm going to try to start spacing out the basketball coverage here. A general schedule (again, time permitting, what with school and all that being a thing that I have to do):
  • Immediately after the game: recap
  • Following morning: Individual player bullets (observations, stats, etc.)
  • Between then and the next preview: miscellaneous ramblings (posts going WOO, talking about how this is a Beilein team but really isn't, etc.) 
Bullets, Sponsored by Edmund Burke's "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" Wisdom Emporium:
  • Burke: Went scoreless again in the first half, albeit on only two attempts. Nonetheless, for the second game in a row the Wolverines went into the half despite the lack of scoring. This doesn't matter so much when you drop a whopping nine dimes in the first half alone. Burke hit his offensive stride early in the second half, putting up a quick 10 points in the first ten minutes of the second half. He finished with the following line: 5-9 (3-5 from 3), 18 points, 11 assists, 2 steals, 1 block and 0 turnovers. Also of note, with him matched up on 6'5'' PG Lorenzo Brown for much of the time, Brown only scored six points on 3-10 shooting. All the gold stars go to Mr. Burke. Evil did not triumph because our Burke, a good man, did many things.
  • THJ: A very 2011-12 game for THJ. He scored 18 points on 7-18 shooting and, you guessed it, 1-9 from beyond the arc. When he opted to SEARCH AND DESTROY, the Wolfpack had difficulty checking him. THJ also pitched in 3 boards, 1 steal and 1 block. It was a solid if somewhat inefficient night for THJ (eFG% of 39%).
  • Stauskas: His swag continues to be off the charts. Flying against all preconceived notions about the type of player that a guy like Stauskas is "supposed" to be, he can do it all: he can shoot the three and he can create, going to the basket or to set up a jumper. Stauskas led the Wolverines in scoring, and, most notably, the offense seemed to lose a bit of oomph when he left the game. He finished with 20 points on 6-10 shooting (4-7 from 3), good for a typically hilarious eFG% of 80%.
  • Vogrich: At this point, he is basically only nominally a starter, and I'm not even sure he will even be that after Stauskas' performance last night. The consensus has been that Vogrich is starting due to his superior defense, but that can only took you so far when the other guy is putting up the stats that he is. Vogrich logged a mere five minutes in this one, and didn't attempt a single shot. 
  • Morgan: A standard JMo line: 3-5 from the field for six points. Unfortunately, N.C. State did have some intermittent success on the offensive glass. Morgan has to be somewhat to blame for this, as he only grabbed three boards in 23 minutes of play. He showed some hesitation with the ball on a couple occasions from about 14-16 feet. I was kind of expecting to see him bust out that jump shot that I spent the end of last season talking about re: the one thing he needed to add to his game. Alas, he didn't pull the trigger, once settling to dish it back up top, the other time hesitating at the free throw line and firing a pass that was deflected out of bounds by an NCSU player.
  • McGary: CRUNK had another crunkly game, scoring 8 points on 3-4 from the field (all dunks and layups IIRC), also pitching in 5 boards, a block and lots and lots of generally crunkly play.  I've been going with the Jordan Morgan 2.0 analogy ("energy guy" plus an additional athleticism booster pack), but hey, if Dakich wants to roll with the Hansbrough comparison, who am I to disagree?
  • GRIII: Like Stauskas, Michigan seemed to struggle a bit at times when he was out of the time (whether this is correlation or causation, I'm not sure). GRIII scored a breezy 11 points on 3-5 shooting, also pitching in a team high 7 boards. As expected, he is Michigan's best leaper, which will continue to come in handy on the boards, put-back situations and alley oops (seriously, we can do that now). 
  • Akunne: Akunne has been getting some non-garbage time run these past few games, but that might need to be put on hold after he took a couple questionable shots against the NCSU zone, triggering a decent run from the Wolfpack. His leash was short, as he only logged three minutes. 
  • Albrecht: Didn't play much either (6 minutes), but his contributions will never be perceptible through the lens of a box score. Even on nights like this, Albrecht has done his job if he can come in and play 5-7 minutes, not turn it over and share some of the ball-handling duties with Burke.
  • Horford: Played six minutes, zeroes across the board on his stat line. It's hard to tell whether or not he's still recovering from his foot injury, but his role will continue to be fairly limited on most nights anyway. I still think he will be a very useful player against certain front courts this season, but his certain set of skills wasn't needed tonight. Michigan had some issues on the defensive glass here and there, but not enough to give Horford extensive minutes.

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