Game 25: Illinois @ Michigan: Post Game

Dylan Burkhardt
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Now that was a struggle. Painful all the way through and definetely a game you have to be glad was on Big Ten Network. But as they say, style points don’t count. Michigan shot a horrific 30% from the field for the game, luckily Illinois only managed 32%.

Players of the game have to be Grady and Ekpe. Grady played well offensively I thought for the most part and hit some big shots. One thing that pains me about Grady is how poorly he runs the fast break, this is something that the whole team really needs work on. Ekpe was a monster on defense and dominated Pruitt. Ekpe had 7 points, 7 boards, 5 blocks, and 2 steals and held Pruitt to 6 points and 5 turn overs. After the game while getting interviewed Ekpe said that he thought “he was the best defensive player in the country and loved challenges like this”. At least he has some confidence.

Ant Wright started on the wing which I think has to be done. He did a surprisingly decent job on defense especially with Illinois going small all game. Ron Coleman brings absolutely nothing and seems to regress every game. I think Wright should play about 30 minutes a game and Shepherd about 15. Ronnie needs to be the odd man out at this point.

It was great to see Jalen in the house looking sharp. A quick recap over what he said:

  • Always a Michigan man and it was great to be back. First time he had been back to a basketball game since he played on the court (not because he didn’t love it but he was playing professionally).
  • Mentioned Perry Watson, Bo Schembechler, and Fisher.
  • RIP Bo.
  • Gave a shout out to the rest of the Fab Five individually (Jimmy sat on the sidelines with him) and said he would be back the day the banners went back up.
  • Said he would be around the program and it was great to be back.
  • Said Go Blue! once in his speech and the band started playing and he had to cut them off and continue.
  • “Every time you see the black shoes, the black socks, the baggy shorts, the Fab Five lives. I’ll be back one day when those banners get hung back up.”
  • Crowd reaction was great the whole time, he got a big welcome when he walked out to half court before tip off. The starters all gave him hugs before the game.

A win is a win and Michigan has to learn how to win the tough ones like this because they aren’t all going to be easy. But man I hope we can start hitting some shots. There were ALOT of wide open shots today and very few of them went down. Good physical gutty effort. Another note, saw Jordan Morgan was there, not sure if any other recruits were in the house.

One more addition: huge props to Anthony and DeShawn. They have really started attacking the glass. DeShawn had 9 rebounds and Wright pulled down 8. Not to mention Manny pulling down 6 and Ekpe 7. All together we outrebounded Illinois 43 to 36. I think the man-to-man has really helped our defensive rebounding but DeShawn especially seems to have started to find an extra gear in terms of hustle.

  • hat

    Nice recap. After the 10 years are over, can we petition the NCAA to have the banners restored?

  • BenAA

    What did you guys think about the Illini fans that showed up? I am not sure where you everyone sat, but we were up in sec 37 row 38 and I found it pretty annoying.

    My parents were in town (they are both alum), so I thought it would be fun to take them to a game. And, then we were subjected to annoying Illini chants the entire game. Arrgh.

    I am just glad we won.

  • Aram

    The banners will never be back, and they should never be back. Period. Every game after Mayce Webber took the hotel room from Ed Martin at the 1992 Final Four until the North Carolina game the next season never happened. Jalen should be pleased he got to come back, because it never should have happened in the first place, no matter how many scholarships he endowed. If he really thinks Michigan is going to put those banners back up and trot Chris Webber out there after he is allowed by the NCAA to associate with Michigan again (2013), he’s delusional. It will never happen.

  • Matt

    It’s sickening that the Fab Five era is like a censured memory for Michigan and NCAA BB fans. Who can forget he black socks, black shoes and baggy shorts?

    These guys were my heroes; I don’t give a fuck if they took some money from some guy handing it out. I think there are more than a few people that few that way that are just afraid of the PC Police.

    Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Allen are a basketball institution, regardless of what Ed Martin did or didn’t do with their (naive) help.

    It’s time to restore some pride around these parts. I love what Jalen is doing and hope he continues to show the love, show that he’s a “Michigan Man” through and through.

  • BenAA

    Aram, I almost entirely disagree with you. The one thing that I think you got right was that the Final Four Banners and NIT banner will never be back. That is our punishment because Ed Martin enabled our students to make bad choices.

    The Fab Five are Michigan Men not outcasts.

    I will be there the day they all stand united at center court in Crisler.

  • BenAA

    Matt-

    It is Ray Jackson.

    He was the only Fab Fiver to not play in the NBA. However, when he was at Michigan I loved him because him and Jimmy were both very consistent.

    Ray Allen was the 5th overall pick out of Connecticut in ’96.

  • UMbballDC

    I don’t know about the banners, but the one thing I do know is that time heals all wounds. Webber will be cheered on the Michigan court again! And I’ll be there to do it.

    And let’s be clear, it was not the Fab Five that got these benefits it was just Webber. Don’t impugn Howard, Rose, King, and Jackson because Webber made a mistake.

  • hat

    Very few programs have fallen on their sword like we did with regard to that era. It’s universally acknowledged, for instance, that the John Wooden teams were dirty as hell and recruits were bought, but damned if UCLA will renounce those championships. After the 10 years are over, why not put the banners back?

  • old fan

    Aram, you are wrong on many accounts and your bias is evident. Jalen as never proven to take money

    Give me one reason why Jalen should not have been asked back.

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  • RB

    We’ve had good losses. But Illinois was a bad win. I see too many players playing for headlines instead of wins. The byproduct of having a little bit of success I guess. We play much better when everybody stays within the offense. I think the short term solution would be to start Shepherd and bring Wright off the bench.

    On a good note, D and Rebounding definately continue to impress. I like the limitation of the 1-3-1. We really don’t have the personel to run it consistently yet.

  • I really don’t think we have players playing for “headlines instead of wins”. I am not sure where you are getting that from but it’s troubling and I don’t notice it.

    I like Wright off the bench too but I also like Shepherd off the bench :-). We really don’t have a viable option at the wing.