January 21, 2013
Borton's Blog: No B1G falloff
It's all different when the Big Ten season rolls around. Except, when it isn't. Michigan is still shooting the lights out, and scoring better than anyone in the conference.
Five games into the Big Ten season (six for some), Michigan's numbers are holding up well under the glare of the conference lights. Yes, the Wolverines played one half in Columbus like fawns finding the freeway for the first time, costing them their only loss of the season.
But they recovered nicely, winning at Minnesota, and are poised a half-game behind first-place Michigan State, which has a red-ink date with reality this week: at Wisconsin, at Indiana.
Here are some of the statistical highlights emanating from Michigan's first handful of Big Ten games
-- U-M leads the league in scoring, averaging 77.4 points a game. Minnesota is the next closest (77.0), followed by Indiana (71.4). The Hoosiers experienced a serious plummet in scoring once the conference season rolled around, since they're averaging 84.4 points per game overall.
-- The Wolverines are giving up 62.2 a game, third behind Wisconsin (54.4) and Ohio State (58.8). Bear in mind, Wisconsin's slow-down game has it tied for seventh in the conference in scoring with the Buckeyes, at 62.2.
-- Combine those two, and the Wolverines are beating up on Big Ten opponents by an average 15.2 points per game. Wisconsin (7.8) and Indiana (7.4) form the next closest pair.
-- Despite increased defensive pressure, Michigan remains the Big Ten's hottest shooting team overall (50.6 percent), ahead of Minnesota (49.6) and Indiana (44.9). The Gophers hold the edge in three-point shooting (46.8), followed by the Wolverines (41.6) and Hoosiers (38.6).
-- The only area Michigan has fallen off a bit is at the free throw line. Overall, they're shooting 71.4 percent, but in the league, just 68.3 percent, sixth in the conference.
-- Here's a huge change from the past. Rugged, long, athletic Minnesota leads the league in rebounding margin, at 8.8. This time around, the Wolverines aren't languishing in 11th or 12th place, but second, at 8.0. That's better than Indiana (5.6), Michigan State (3.3), Purdue (3.0), Wisconsin (1.6) and everybody else farther down the line.
-- The rebounding hasn't cost Beilein's crew in its usual "make-up" category, either. U-M leads the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover margin at 1.5.
-- Despite facing the toughest offensive rebounding team in the league in Minnesota (at Williams Arena, no less), Michigan remains the best in the league at defensive rebounding. Foes have grabbed just 43 offensive rebounds in league games against U-M, tied with Wisconsin for lowest in the league, and Michigan's 75.4 percent mark on defensive rebounding remains at the top.
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