Some of the comments we've received recently have been amusing, to say the least. They have included personal name-calling and derogatory allegations, which are different than the way we often use amusing verbal labels that are intended to collectively describe a large segment of the UM fan base. Those comments have been answered, and the exchanges can be viewed by looking at the reply-threads at the bottom of each article.
In this article, we'll address one key statement made by a Wolverine fan very early this morning. The anonymous comment under review was purportedly made to refute my analysis that the Michigan Men's Basketball team is due for a backslide, effective immediately. There is one central thesis suggested by the reader, and we repeat it here verbatim:
- "McGary and Robinson are better than any and all players on MSU. Please don't continue to mention Appling, as that apple went rotten long ago."
This comment suggests that McGary (MM) and Robinson (GR3) are better players than any players on the MSU roster. So let's examine that claim by comparing the two UM players with several MSU players. This review will not include Derrick Nix, as he is graduating next month and will not play for the Spartans next year. It will also set aside any comparison to Adreian Payne, as his future remains technically uncertain.
CATEGORICAL STATISTICAL COMPARISON: McGary & Robinson vs MSU
- Points: GR3's average of 11.0ppg would place him third on the MSU roster, behind Keith Appling and Gary Harris. MM's average of 7.5ppg would land him on fourth-place, behind the aforementioned as well as Branden Dawson.
- Assists: GR3's assist average of 1.1apg would rank in sixth-place, after five current Spartan players, as well as Brandan Kearney. MM would be in seventh-place, just above Russell Byrd and Bella Sibedwo.
- Steals: The two UM players would rank fourth and fifth on the composite list.
- Blocks: MM would be second to Dawson, while GR3 would be tied for fifth with Denzel Valentine.
- Free-Throw %: GR3 would be fifth on the list, while MM is one of the worst free-throw shooters in the league, and would rank 11th on the MSU team, above only walk-ons.
- Three-Point %: GR3 would be the third-best long-distance shooter for MSU, behind Harris and Trice. But MM would be last on the team, well behind Byrd and Kearney.
Using these eight statistical measurements, and not including Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne, we can see that Glenn Robinson has a composite comparative ranking of between 3rd and 4th best on the MSU roster, and that Mitch McGary would rank between 5th and 6th best. Statistically speaking, both players would compete for a starting position, with Robinson a probable starter and McGary probably one of the first players to come off the bench. (Not counting Nix and Payne.)
Let's expand our review beyond a team-vs-team player comparison and take a look at these two players against the rest of the league.
The Big Ten Network tracks 12 player performance categories on its website, ranking the top ten players in each category. McGary appears on one list (rebounding) and Robinson is absent from all 12. Three MSU players appear on these lists, Appling, Harris, and Dawson. (Nix and Payne are also on these lists.) The Michigan players who are on many of these lists are Burke and Hardaway, not McGary and Robinson.
Finally, let's take a look at how the league coaches and the reporters who cover the league rank these two players. Both groups rank the best players with First Team / Second Team / Third Team selections, as well as Honorable Mention, All-Freshman Team, and individual awards. McGary and Robinson were not named by the coaches in the top 24 players in the league, but the coaches picked Appling and Harris as Second Team awardees. Robinson made the all-fresman team along with Harris, but Harris was named Freshman of the Year. The media picks were similar, though Robinson was Honorable Mention (since they don't pick an all-freshman team). Gary Harris was also picked by the media as Freshman of the Year. (Payne and Nix were also picked by both the coaches and the media in their lists.)
To summarize our analysis of the claim that Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson are "better than any and all players on MSU":
- A statistical performance review shows that McGary and Robinson would compete for playing time and a starting position on the MSU team without Nix and Payne in the picture.
- McGary and Robinson are largely absent from the B1G conference stat-leaders, while Appling, Harris and Dawson are ranked in multiple top ten lists.
- The coaches in the league and the reporters who cover the league view McGary and Robinson as distinctly inferior players to three returning Spartans (along with Nix and Payne).
So it goes with the loose lips of Wolverine followers and fans who shoot their mouths off in any way they feel like doing, generally disparaging MSU players for no legitimate reasons. Spartan fans should not listen to such bunk without refuting the nonsense, and it is for that reason that we have presented this information here for you today.
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