Date: Friday November 29th
Coppin State Eagles (2-2)
Season so far: The Eagles have started the season with a pair of non-competitive losses and a nice win over a Kenpom top-100 team. The losses were in games one and three to Cal and Wagner. The Wagner loss is particularly galling as the Eagles were at home for that one and Wagner wasn't much more highly regarded as a team. The loss also followed a road win against Oregon State where Coppin State led most of the way. The other win was against Ohio Valley, a D-II school.
The Eagles feature a small backcourt composed of Taariq Cephas (5'10 Jr) and Daquan Brickhouse (5'8 Jr). The two have similar statistical profiles with ARates of 28, solid outside shooting thus far (37% and 40%),, and two of the highest usage rates on the team. Cephas has a bit of a turnover problem (29.2 TORate). It will be interesting to see how Michigan's length at guard matches up here, as even Spike Albrecht is physically bigger than these two.
Forward Andre Armstrong (6'3 Sr) is still working back into game form. He was a 35% shooter from outside last year, but has only hit 5 of 25 attempts, which has drug down his shooting numbers (he also has only ten attempts from inside the arc). Despite his added height, his DR% is lower than the two guards, but he has drawn 7.7 fouls/40 so far this year, and that coupled with his 85% shooting at the line has kept his offensive efficiency up above 100 (its currently at 103.1 compared to 104.5 last year).
Arnold Fripp (6'7 Jr) is the big body in the starting lineup. He is posting a 20.3 DR%, but his shooting has lagged. His eFG% is 39.7, thanks in part to 3/9 on 3PA. Coppin State will also rely on Brandon St. Louis (6'8 Jr), who puts up similar defensive rebounding numbers, but has an even worse shooting percentage.
Outlook: Michigan has had and up and down start to this season, something that was a worry coming in as Michigan was dealing with replacing its two go-to scorers and the unquestioned leaders of the team. The FSU and Charlotte games gave a good indication of just where this team is this year. Michigan managed a furious rally to beat FSU in overtime, then lost a close game against Charlotte in part due to an off shooting night.
Michigan seems to have found its number one offensive option now that Nik Stauskas has taken a leap. He has proven to be Michigan's best player. Mitch McGary is still showcasing tantalizing flashes, and Glenn Robinson III and Caris LeVert can take over in spurts.
Thankfully, Coppin State should be a nice bounceback game for Michigan. The Eagles don't feature the kind of size to seriously contend with Michigan on the perimeter or inside, and as long as Michigan is hitting its shots, the game shouldn't be close.
Kenpom has it as a 21 point win for Michigan. If I had to guess I would imagine it is closer to 15. The bigger issue is whether or not injuries to GRIII (back) and Stauskas (ankle) keep them out or slow them in any way. However, Michigan has enough firepower to win even if those two are limited or out.