Brendon Mulvihill is an RTC contributor. You can find him @themulv on Twitter. See bottom of the post for the Official RTC Star System.
ESPN kicks off Feast Week with a trip to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational. The field is loaded and things get started today with several recent national championship teams. Let’s dig into the action.
Memphis vs. Michigan – 3:00 PM EST on ESPN2 HD (***) (simulcast on RTC Live)
- Memphis dominated an experienced Belmont team in their first and only game of the season thus far. The Tigers shot a blistering 64.7% eFG, and they will be facing a Wolverine team that is allowing over 50% shooting from inside the arc. Look for Josh Pastner’s team to take the ball to the hole frequently with sophomore guards Will Barton and Joe Jackson leading the way.
- While Michigan’s field goal defense is allowing teams to shoot over 50% from inside, they are forcing teams to turn the ball over on a superb 36.8% of their possessions (first in the nation). However, Memphis only turned the ball over nine times against a tough Belmont team that is known for creating turnovers. Like Memphis, the Wolverines have gotten off to a hot shooting start inside the arc (60.8%). Unfortunately nearly half of their shots are coming from three-point land and they are only hitting 28.9% of them. Wolverine guards Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway, Jr., Zack Novak, and Stu Douglas are going to have to hit some threes to prevent Memphis from just packing the lane on defense.
- This game hinges on Michigan’s ability to extend the defense and grab offensive rebounds. Memphis allowed Belmont to grab too many of its offensive rebounding opportunities. If the Wolverines can pull the Tiger defense out with a few made three-point shots and open up the lane, look for Michigan to cash in on the offensive glass. If John Beilein’s team continues to miss from outside, though, it will be difficult to pull the Memphis defense away from the lane, which will allow the more athletic Tigers to own the inside.