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Detroit's strengths, weaknesses and players to watch

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All statistics courtesy of KenPom.com and are current as of March 11.

Team: Detroit
Record: 22-13
Seed: 15
KenPom (Ken Pomeroy) Ranking: 115

Detroit coach Ray McCallum, left, celebrates with his son and guard Ray McCallum Jr. following the team's 70-50 victory over Valparaiso in the Horizon League men's tournament title game on Tuesday, March 6, 2012, in Valparaiso, Ind.

Detroit coach Ray McCallum, left, celebrates with his son and guard Ray McCallum Jr. following the team's 70-50 victory over Valparaiso in the Horizon League men's tournament title game on Tuesday, March 6, 2012, in Valparaiso, Ind.

Strengths

Detroit's strengths mostly come on the offensive end.

The Titans get to the free throw line often, attempting 24 free throws per game. Detroit also makes a lot of the shots once it gets there (74 percent, 37th nationally).

Detroit has been solid on the offensive glass, pulling down 35 percent of its misses (68th nationally). UDM also is a good shooting team inside, making 50 percent of its two-pointers (92nd nationally).

Defensively, the Titans force turnovers on 22 percent of opponents' possessions (63rd nationally). UDM also blocks a lot of shots, swatting 13 percent of opponents' two-point attempts (26th nationally).

Weaknesses

Detroit is not a good team defensively, ranking 178th in KenPom's adjusted defensive efficiency measure.

The Titans haven't defended shooters well this season, as opponents are making 49 percent of their two-pointers (200th nationally) and 37 percent of their threes (294th nationally).

UDM also is foul-prone — allowing 19.9 free throws per game — and isn't a great defensive rebounding team, pulling down just 67 percent of the available defensive rebounds.

Offensively, Detroit has been abysmal from three-point range. The Titans have made just 30 percent of their shots beyond the arc (326th nationally) and average just 15 attempted three-pointers per game.

Players to Watch

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Detroit's best player is former McDonald's All-American Ray McCallum Jr.

Detroit guard Ray McCallum (3) goes to the basket against Mississippi State center Wendell Lewis, right, in the second half on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011, in Detroit.

Detroit guard Ray McCallum (3) goes to the basket against Mississippi State center Wendell Lewis, right, in the second half on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011, in Detroit.

The 6-foot-1 sophomore does almost all of his damage from two-point range and at the free throw line. He's made 56 percent of his twos this year (158 of 284) and also draws 4.9 fouls per 40 minutes (322nd nationally). Once he gets to the line, he makes 'em, as he's a 77-percent free throw shooter this year. McCallum also is a good defender, coming away with steals on 2.7 percent of his team's possessions.

McCallum's weakness has been his three-point shooting, as he's made just 25 percent of his treys this year (30 of 120).

Six-foot-6 senior guard Chase Simon is second on the team in points per game (13.5), but he's a much less scary option. Not only is he more turnover-prone than McCallum, he's also a worse shooter inside, making just 42 percent of his two-pointers despite attempting 254 of them.

Simon actually shoots more while he's on the floor (25 percent of his team's shots) than McCallum Jr. (24.8 percent), despite being the less-efficient option.

The one three-point shooter that KU needs to worry about is Jason Calliste, who has made 35 percent of his threes while attempting 4.5 long-range shots per game.

Detroit also has a pair of decent big men in 6-10 junior Eli Holman and 6-11 senior LaMarcus Lowe.

Holman's specialty is rebounding, as he comes away with 14.5 percent of the available offensive rebounds (29th nationally) and 21.4 percent of the available defensive rebounds (119th nationally). He's also efficient offensively, making 61 percent of his twos. One of the only things holding him back is playing time, as he's played in only 41 percent of Detroit's minutes this year.

Lowe, meanwhile, is more known for his shot-blocking. He's swatted 11.4 percent of opponents' two-pointers while he's been in, which ranks 14th nationally.

Bottom Line

Detroit has an elite talent in McCallum Jr. and also is the second-best 15th seed, according to KenPom (only Lehigh at No. 86 is better).

All-Access with Detroit Mercy from CollegeInsider.com on Vimeo.

Still, there are a few reasons to think that an upset will be unlikely against KU.

For one, Detroit plays at a fast pace, ranking 73rd in adjusted tempo. Usually, the best chance for a much-lower-seeded team to pull off an upset is to slow the pace down and limit possessions. The more possessions there are in a game, the more chances a team like Kansas will have to prove that it is the better team.

Detroit also is a team that does not make — and more importantly, does not take — a lot of three-pointers. Only 27.6 percent of Detroit's field goals are three-point attempts (293rd nationally), meaning KU shouldn't have to worry about its first-round opponent pulling off a stunner by having a lucky stretch of three-point shooting.

The numbers would suggest that the Jayhawks should have success against Detroit's defense — which is about NCAA average — if they can avoid turnovers.

Defensively, KU will need to pay most attention to McCallum Jr. while also avoiding unnecessary fouls that would give Detroit the chance at easy points.

Considering everything, expect KU to be about a 15-point Vegas favorite against Detroit, making it an unlikely upset in the round of 64.

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