Date: November 21st
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Long Beach State 49ers (1-3)
Season: The Niners certainly haven't shied away from competition this year. Four games into the season and already LBSU has played Kansas State and Arizona. Both were bad losses — as is to be expected — with the third coming at the hands of Kenpom's 155th rated Loyola Marymount in a one-point game.
Michael Caffrey (6' Jr. PG) is currently leading the team in minutes and is by far the highest usage player with a 31.3 usage rate (next closest is 22.9). Caffrey is 29th nationally in ARate (38.0) and while early returns on his 3pt shooting are bad this year, he was a 32% 3pt shooter last year on 140 attempts, so that number should rise to average.
Dan Jennings (6'9 Sr C) has been LBSU's most efficient player thus far this year. His ORtg is 111.0 (the only 49er above 100 individually) and his eFG% is 63.2. More impressive is a top-100 OR% (15.4, 96th) and top-50 DR% (28.7, 41st).
The Game: With Michigan coming off a disappointing but close loss in Ames, the Wolverines need a nice bounceback performance in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off to regain confidence as the schedule gets tougher over the next month. If Michigan pulls off a win it will see either VCU or Florida State in the next round. Kansas State or Georgetown could be waiting in the final on Sunday. That is a nice, manageable group of quality opponents if Michigan can keep winning this weekend.
The Wolverines need to find a way to start establishing an offensive identity in crunch time. This is no longer Trey Burke's team. Someone needs to take charge.
/looks in GRIIIs direction expectantly