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Preview: Michigan vs. Delaware State

Delaware State is one of the five worst D-I teams according to KenPom.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Basics

Who: Delaware State Hornets (0-8)

When: Saturday, December 12th, at Noon ET (ESPNU)

Where: Crisler Center -- Ann Arbor, Mich.

SpreadVegas: -29KenPom: W, 78-53 (99% WP)

The Stage

Michigan is licking its wounds after SMU slaughtered U-M, 82-58, in Dallas earlier this week, but the Wolverines will have three weeks to heal on and off the court. Tomorrow is the first of a four-game stretch in which KenPom gives Michigan no lower than a 94-percent chance to win in any of them. Essentially, this is a break until Big Ten play starts.

The Opponent

Delaware State is 0-8, has lost each of its last four games by at least 20 points, and is considered by KenPom to be one of the worst five teams in D-I basketball. That says it all.

The Hornets have one of the worst offenses (345th in adjusted efficiency) because, unsurprisingly, they are one of the worst shooting teams. They are 346th in eFG% (40.0 pct.) due to making only 38.2 percent of their twos (343rd) and 28.7 percent of their threes (308th). One of the reasons Delaware State shoots so poorly on twos is that DSU doesn't attempt many layups or dunks. Only 24.3 percent of its field-goal tries are at the rim, which is the eighth-lowest rate in the country. This also explains why the Hornets draw so few shooting fouls (338th in FTR). Simply, Delaware State relies on putting up lots of jumpers, and, clearly, this team doesn't have the skill to make them. And it doesn't help DSU is below average in offensive rebounding (265th) and turnover (238th) rates.

It's better on the other end for Delaware State, but not much as DSU is 324th in adjusted defensive efficiency (109.1). The Hornets have a profile that suggests they play zone, but I haven't confirmed it. They have allowed their opponents to shoot the ball very well (273rd in eFG%) and a large share of threes (334th in three-point rate). It's safe to assume that these threes are open because, when opponents have gone inside, they have scored almost at will, converting 53.2 percent of their twos (297th), though Delaware State does swat 12.1 percent of shots (65th). Plus, when teams miss, which doesn't seem to be often, they have been able to rebound 39.9 percent of their misses against Delaware State (343rd in DR%). If there is one area where the Hornets perform well defensively, it is in the turnover department as opponents coughed it up 19.9 percent of the time (107th).

The Personnel

It's difficult to get a firm idea of the rotations that Delaware State will use. The Hornets have started seven different lineups in eight games, have 13 players (!!) that average at least 10 MPG, and have only three players that average at least 20 MPG. Everyone on Delaware State seems to play with everyone. Here's a quick rundown of those players:

DeAndre Haywood: a 6-foot-2 junior guard who leads Delaware State in scoring with 8.8 PPG. Haywood is a high-usage player (29.1 pct.) who is a solid distributor (26.2 ast%) and can draw fouls (55.0 FTR) but really struggles to score inside the arc (40.0 2P% and 45.5 FT%). He doesn't shoot many threes (10 3PA), but he has made half of them this season.

Devin Morgan: a 5-foot-10 freshman guard whose 97.6 offensive rating somehow is the best on the roster because he has the team's best assist-to-turnover ratio (2.8:1) and can sink mid-range jumpers at a decent rate. The problem, though, is he barely gets to the rim and has attempted more threes, of which he has made only 24.2 percent, than twos.

Todd Hughes: a 6-foot-3 sophomore guard who burns up lots of possessions (25.1 usg%) by doing very little right on the offensive end (63.7 ORtg). Hughes can't shoot from anywhere -- he's particularly bad on jumpers outside 10 feet (28.0 2P% and 23.1 3P%) -- and his turnover rate (22.3 pct.) more than doubles his assist rate (9.9 pct.). Yikes.

Joseph Lewis: a 6-foot-9 junior center who's from Detroit and transferred from New Mexico JC. Lewis is more likely to fire a short jumper than get to the rim, but he doesn't convert often from either spot (38.7 2P%). He's also willing to try the occasional three (4-for-14 3P). His best asset is his defensive rebounding, posting a rate of 21.6 percent.

Kavon Walker: a 6-foot-5 sophomore forward who may be one of DSU's better inside scorers, though he doesn't touch the ball often (15.3 usg%). Walker has converted 80 percent of his looks at the rim (4-for-5) and half of his mid-range jumpers (6-of-12) for a two-point shooting percentage of 58.8. However, he tarnishes his shooting percentage when he steps behind the arc, where he's only 5-of-18 on threes (27.8 pct.). Defensively, Walker doesn't do much on the glass (7.0 DR%), but he can protect the rim (5.0 blk%).

Dana Raysor: a 6-foot-5 sophomore wing who transferred from San Jacinto-Central JC. Raysor strictly is a three-point specialist (24 3PA to 6 2PA), but he's drained only 29.2 percent of them. All of his made threes were assisted, so it's all catch and shoot for him.

DeVaughn Mallory: a 6-foot-7 freshman forward who, like Kavon Walker, scores well inside the arc. Mallory has finished 71.4 percent of his looks at the rim (5-for-7) and 61.5 percent of his mid-range jumpers (8-for-13). Some of this is thanks to being a great offensive rebounder (11.4 pct.). However, he does have butter on his hands (29.4 TO%).

Mahir Johnson: a 6-foot-2 freshman guard who's played significant minutes in only two games. In the first one against Nebraska, he knocked down 3-of-4 threes for nine points. In the second one, which was Delaware State's most recent game against Old Dominion, he poured in 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting. Not much to say about Johnson otherwise.

Malik Carter: a 6-foot-2 sophomore guard who transferred from New Mexico JC like teammate Joseph Lewis. Carter appears to a very good passer, posting a team-best 34.2 assist rate thanks to a six-dime effort against Fresno State. However, when he's looking to score rather than dish, it ends poorly because he can't shoot (30.4 2P% and 18.2 3P%).

Aric Dickerson: a 6-foot-6 senior wing who originally enrolled at West Virginia before the junior college route brought him to Delaware State. Like Dana Raysor, Dickerson strictly is a catch-and-shoot three-point specialist (23 3PA to 1 2PA) that converts at a below-average rate (30.4 3P%). Dickerson also loses the ball way too much (27.2 TO%).

Jason Owens: a 6-foo-6 senior forward who's an average rebounder (6.3 OR% and 15.2 DR%) and shot-blocker (5.5 blk%) but cannot make a shot for the life of him (3-of-17 2P).

Mrdjan Gasevic: a 6-foot-8 junior center who's ... are you even still reading this?

Demola Onifade: seriously? Why are you still here?

The Keys

Walk into the Crisler Center: If Michigan doesn't oversleep past noon, U-M will win.

The Prediction

Michigan won't oversleep past noon.

Michigan 84, Delaware State 47