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January 9, 2013Through 15 games, the Michigan basketball team has proved to be a high-flying, exciting group - but the team is much more than a than a highlight-making machine.
The Wolverines have certainly excelled at pushing the pace, but they're also taking care of the ball and showcasing a level of offensive efficiency that has rarely been seen in Ann Arbor - or the entire Big Ten, for that matter.
Michigan ranks first nationally in both points per possession (1.26) and offensive efficiency (125.5). (Stats compiled from statsheet.com database.)
Of course, the Wolverines still have the majority of a brutal Big Ten slate in front of them, but they are on pace for on of the most efficient offensive seasons in recent Big Ten history.
In the last 10 seasons, just one Big Ten team finished the season averaging 1.2 points per possession or better. That team was the 2004-05 Illinois unit that finished the season 37-2, including 29 wins in a row to start the year. That year, the Illini won the Big Ten Tournament and lost to North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament championship game.
If Michigan's offensive efficiency rating holds up, it would also set a high-water mark in the conference for the last decade.
In the previous 10 years, just the 2010-11 Ohio State team finished 120.0 or higher, hitting that number exactly.
That Buckeye team won the Big Ten regular season and tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16, finishing the year 34-3.
The Wolverines have not finished better than fourth in the conference in either statistic in the last 10 years.