December 5, 2012
Borton's Blog; Hoops heat check
Let's see, Michigan basketball at 8-0, the No. 3-ranked team in the nation, and loaded with more talent than any crew of Wolverines since baggy shorts came into vogue. It's time for a quick statistical heat check to see what stands out.
Here are the top-five categories of the week for John Beilein's crew
1. Field Goal Percentage -- When the ball goes in more than half the time, you're going to win a lot of ball games. Beilein has tried to work wonders with teams hovering near the Big Ten basement in shooting, but those days appear long gone.
Michigan leads the league, shooting 52.1 percent as a team. Among the Wolverines' top six performers, the worst shooter of the bunch thus far is sophomore guard Trey Burke - and he's hitting at a 49.5 percent clip.
2. Three-Point Percentage -- Beilein loves to get it done from downtown, and he's got more than enough weapons in the long-range arsenal. The Wolverines lead the Big Ten in three-point shooting, connecting on 42.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Of course, it doesn't hurt to feature someone firing in 63.6 percent from three-point range, like freshman Nik Stauskas.
3. Scoring Margin -- This can be misleading early in the season, but the Wolverines have taken on Pittsburgh, Kansas State and North Carolina State, so they've mixed some haves into the schedule. The Wolverines are beating foes by a comfortable 19.9 points per game, second in the conference only to the ridiculous 31.8 average margin of victory presently being achieved in Bloomington, Ind.
4. Rebounding Margin -- Again, a Beilein team that can rebound is like a supermodel who bakes cookies. This crew is out-rebounding opponents by 10.3 rebounds per game, second only to Indiana's 12.7 average edge.
5. Assist-To-Turnover Ratio -- All those boards, and the typical Beilein care of the basketball remains in evidence. The Wolverines are presently third in the conference in this category, but at plus-1.5, they're within passing distance to Northwestern, who leads the league at plus-1.6.
So all's well, to this point. The Wolverines are filling it up, better on the glass than they've ever been under Beilein, and handling with care. There are much bigger tests to come, but so far, the needle is pegged in the red.
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