Sunday, February 17, 2013
Concerns about UM's defense
By Matt Giles
Michigan has the rare 'mid-February break', going roughly five days without a game (the Wolverines match up against Penn State on Sunday), and we wonder what John Beilein and his staff spent that time-frame drilling the team on; we would hope it was UM's defensive rotations.
Dylan Burkhardt of UM Hoops detailed some of the Wolverines' problems, and a consistent theme was the lack of defense within the arc. Over the last four games, a stretch that included losses to Ohio State, Indiana, and Wisconsin, Michigan has allowed opponents to score 1.11 points per possession. In that same span, Michigan is letting teams convert 54 percent within the arc, a very worrisome statistic because it indicates missed assignments and carelessness on that side of the ball. Burkhardt makes a compelling case that perhaps playing several freshmen has hindered UM's defensive fortitude, but Nik Stauskas, in particular, has struggled.
Opponents are taking advantage of the freshman sharp-shooter, and it will be interesting to see whether Beilein offers a few strategies that will help Stauskas or will attempt to hide him while on the court.