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Wisconsin basketball: previewing the Michigan Wolverines

A statistical breakdown of the Badgers next opponent.

Michigan v Wisconsin Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Alright, this type of preview worked out pretty well for the Rutgers game, so we’ll keep doing them for the rest of the season. We also heard the people who said the like the Q&A so we’ll have one of those with our friends at Maize N Brew posted later. It’ll be a bit different (i.e. shorter) than you’re used to but hopefully it’ll still be informative and fun.

Four Factors

KenPom’s Four Factors are eFG%, turnover%, offensive rebound% and FTA/FGA. These are good indicators of whether or not a team is, well, good. The numbers in parentheses are the national rank. (All stats as of Tuesday evening, Feb. 25)

Michigan Four Factors

4 Factors Offense Defense D1 Average
4 Factors Offense Defense D1 Average
eFG% 52.9 (43) 45.7 (33) 49.5
Turnover% 15.5 (13) 15.9 (331) 19
Off. Rebound% 26.1 (237) 26.2 (95) 28
FTA/FGA 27.1 (308) 25.8 (34) 32.6

Wisconsin Four Factors

4 Factors Offense Defense D1 Average
4 Factors Offense Defense D1 Average
eFG% 50.2 (147) 46.7 (64) 49.5
Turnover% 15.9 (22) 17.6 (260) 19
Off. Rebound% 24.7 (282) 26.1 (92) 28
FTA/FGA 26.8 (314) 24.7 (23) 32.6

Michigan and Wisconsin are very similar teams when you look at KenPom’s Four Factors. Neither team turns the ball over, neither team fouls much and neither team crashes the offensive boards with regularity. Where the biggest difference lies is that Michigan is a better shooting team than Wisconsin, I’d imagine you can say that twice when the Badgers are on the road.

Adjusted efficiency numbers


Offense: 112.4 (No. 20 in nation)
Defense: 90.6 (No. 17 in nation)
D1 average: 101.7


Offense: 112.8 (No. 18 in nation)
Defense: 91.0 (No. 16 in nation)
D1 average: 101.6

Michigan is one of the most balanced teams in the conference, probably only bested by Michigan State, and will pose a big challenge to the Badgers especially with Wisconsin being on the road. The Wolverines are better than the Badgers in both AdjD and AdjO and it’ll be imperative that Wisconsin has a good shooting night and gets good looks at the basket or this one could get away from them quickly.

Overall rankings

18-9 overall
9-7 B1G
5-0 in their last five games
10-4 in home games

KenPom: 10
T-Rank: 11
NET: 22

Top players

Player ORtg Usage eFG% 3P% FT% PPG RPG APG Turnovers
Player ORtg Usage eFG% 3P% FT% PPG RPG APG Turnovers
Zavier Simpson, 6-foot, senior 105.8 25.3 51 34.6 61 12.3 4.4 8 3.2
Jon Teske, 7-foot-1, senior 107.3 22.6 51.1 26.7 70 12 7.3 1.2 1.4
Eli Brooks, 6-foot-1, junior 103 18.1 50.2 36.8 71.7 11 3.7 2 1.4
Isaiah Livers, 6-foot-7, junior 124.5 17.5 59.9 44.3 95.1 13.6 3.8 1 0.9

While nobody has an exceptionally high eFG% on Michigan, everyone who plays more than 19% of the team’s minutes per game has an eFG% of 50% or higher. Isaiah Livers and big men Brandon Johns (57.9%) and Austin Davis (70.5%) are the three highest on the team, but it should be noted that Davis is primarily a backup and Johns is not a high usage player.

Davis, despite his limited minutes, can get in foul trouble in a hurry, as can starting center Jon Teske. Zavier Simpson and Teske are the most likely to get the opponents in foul trouble. Johns and Teske hit the offensive glass well, as does Davis, while the same three dudes keep opponents off the offensive boards. Livers, Teske and David DeJulius take care of the ball better than anyone on the team, while Simpson, primarily due to being the lead ball handler, turns the ball over with the highest regularity.

Freshman Franz Wagner has the most active hands on the defensive end while Teske and Simpson are also good taking the ball away from opponents.

Michigan Twitter accounts to follow

@MaizeNBrew: SB Nation’s Michigan site
@anthonybroome: Maize N Brew writer and SB Nation team site producer
@AceAnbender: MGoBlog writer
@Bry_Mac: Michigan guy on Twitter with jokes