Game 24: Michigan @ Minnesota: Post Game

Dylan Burkhardt

As expected it was a very tough game up at Minnesota. Michigan stayed focused through an early Minnesota barrage of threes and managed to have the lead at halftime and even be up 5 in the second half. But then the wheels fell off, Michigan went cold and Minnesota warmed up again and put the Wolverines away.

There are a lot of telling stats in the box score. First, Michigan shot 31% to Minnesota’s 51%, you aren’t going to beat teams especially on the road shooting 31%. The way Michigan stayed in the game was out rebounding Minnesota 42-36 including 23 offensive rebounds for 23 more field goal attempts. No one besides Kelvin Grady really had a good day shooting the ball and numbers like Ekpe’s 1-9, Zack’s 2-7 and DeShawn’s 6-19 really stand out.

Down the stretch Michigan started forcing the issue and reverted a bit. When Minnesota packed the lane Michigan stopped running their offense (which had worked so well in the first half) and started jacking up bad three point shots. Manny took it one on five a few times and got pulled for it down the stretch. The same thing happened with Manny against Central and he will learn so I am not really worried about that.

Minnesota is a tough match up at home and I didn’t think getting the win was likely. The optimism had spiraled out of control after three wins. After being brought back down to earth a bit hopefully Michigan can beat a struggling Illinois team at home Saturday.

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  • UMbballDC

    I would have to agree. But with my rose colored glasses firmly in place, even when they looked bad at the end, I don’t think that they looked as bad as they did earlier in the season.

    Bad shot selection all around. I love Ekpe, but he should not be shooting the ball from more than 5 feet away from the basket. Sims missed a wide open three and Wright was just plain bad all game.

    You have to believe that in the coming years, all the drives Manny misses will start going down. At which point he will be a man among boys.

  • AC

    They lost because their three best offensive players (Harris, Sims, Wright) were bad – at least late in the game. You can’t go 5-26 with threes and win a game….period.

    That being said, while I like Zach Gibson there is no reason he should shoot 5 threes in a game. And he DEFINITELY shouldn’t take one early in the shot clock. I realize his shooting could spread the D, but he got out of hand last night. In 11 minutes our center took 5 threes?

    I also realized last night just how worthless Ron Coleman is. I’m not sure if he doesn’t understand his role, but he’s just bad. He misses an open three, loses a rebound, gets schooled on D, doesn’t ever go into the paint.

  • NVE

    There are so many downers about this game, and you guys have covered them well. I just wanted to hearken back to that sweet stretch of 25 minutes when this team played so well.

    Manny driving with a controlled aggressiveness, both hitting little runners and getting to the rim. Kelvin running the offense with patience. Ekpe providing boundless energy. Everyone hitting the offensive glass relentlessly. Locking down on McKenzie defensively, thereby castrating Minnesota’s offense for a stretch.

    It’s hard to see this team move away from this type of smart hoop within a game. When they maintain this level of play for 40 minutes, they’ve won like they did vs. OSU. When they play this way for 30 minutes, they’ll lose close games like UCLA, @ Wisconsin, @ Minnesota, @ Purdue, etc.

    After that first half against Iowa, the team felt totally lost. As Dylan put it, you really started to wonder if we’d ever be decent again. But whatever clicked at halftime in Iowa City is still showing through.

    I expect back to back wins at home this week, and more of the good from the Minnesota game than the bad. Let’s get the Illini on Saturday.

  • Back to back wins at home are a must. And I think we will get them. I am excited to hear what Jalen has to say as well at halftime.