Tony Ding/Associated Press
Nik Stauskas and Caris LeVert have Michigan's offense operating at its highest level to date.
This statement may be hard to believe at first, but the numbers certainly back it up: Michigan's offense is better this season than it was a year ago.
Yes, the Wolverines did lose the best player in college basketball, Trey Burke, and a first-team All-Big Ten shooting guard, Tim Hardaway Jr., to the NBA draft. Yes, they have been without preseason All-American big man Mitch McGary for nearly the entire 2013-14 campaign. And yes, this group starts a true freshman point guard, whose primary reserve is a former 1-star prospect.
What a difference an offseason makes, though.
Over the summer, Nik Stauskas worked tirelessly to get stronger and more consistent. He got tougher mentally as well, thanks to some help from Greg Harden, which helped transform him into the Big Ten Player of the Year. The sophomore has averaged 17.4 points in 29 games and eclipsed 20 points 13 times this year. Additionally, he led Michigan with 3.4 assists per game and shot 48.9 percent from the field.
The rise of Caris LeVert has been a major reason why the Wolverines have been ridiculously efficient at the offensive end. The Pickerington, Ohio native is shooting 41 percent from beyond the arc and 44 percent overall. Going from 2.3 points a night to 13.4 points has also been an unexpected leap forward.
Add Glenn Robinson III's big-play potential, which is increasing with each passing game in his old role, and Derrick Walton Jr. and Spike Albrecht's efficiency at the point, and the result is one of the nation's top offenses.
According to Ken Pomeroy, Michigan ranks No. 3 nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency with a rating of 122.9. Only Creighton and Duke are better in this category.
By comparison, last year's team finished No. 1 in the country, but only had a rating of 120.3.
Nothing other than an A will suffice for a report card grade of the Wolverines' offense.