Game 27: Michigan @ Penn State: Post Game

Dylan Burkhardt

Another player posts his career high against Michigan. It’s been a problem all year, whether it is Rice, Leuer, Grant,Coble, Moore, McKenzie or Battle they all do it the same way: rain three pointers on the Michigan defense. You don’t win games in the BigTen when you allow your opponents to shoot 55% from deep in a game (box score).

Snyder says Michigan didn’t fold like teams of old because they cut it to 6 late, however I would argue that giving up a 15-0 run on 5 three pointers is pretty reminiscent of recent teams.

Manny played great, the comfort he is starting to get with his three point shot is encouraging. Sure he makes some bad decisions but as I have said all year long without him this team would be nothing. Manny had a career high 29 points and knocked down 5 out of 11 triples.

Grady is also starting to come together, he has started consistently making the three point jumper when left open and looked good yesterday. However it must be noted that his terrible entry pass led to the start of the 15-0 PSU run. Gibson also showed flashes in the first half with some very nice moves to the hoop and one big dunk. But then only ended up playing 13 minutes for the game, not sure what Beilein was thinking here.

DeShawn Sims and Ant Wright have packed it in. They combined for 1-15 (0-10 3pfg) shooting yesterday while only scraping together 9 rebounds in 60 combined minutes. Not to mention their backups Ron Coleman and Jevohn Shepherd don’t provide much more. The wing is such a huge problem (even moving Manny there next year) that it almost makes me want to take two more in 08. If Michigan goes as DeShawn goes, that explains why we keep losing.

Beilein got his first technical in the first half. Didn’t really see what he did but it was after a loose ball foul on Ekpe going after an offensive board. Michigan has shot a school record 657 threes, however making 207 is only good for third in school history.

Another tough loss, hopefully Michigan can play spoiler next weekend against the Boilermakers. It’s a shame to see the momentum they had build up get wasted away by tough losses at Minnesota, against Northwestern and at Penn State.

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  • matt

    He got the T because Epke was pulled down by a Penn Sate guy going for a rebound, and Epke came away with the board. They said Epke pushed down the guy (he clearly didnt) and Beilein went off, and roghtfully so. Yeasterday’s officiating was some of the worse Ive ever seen.

  • UMbballDC

    Just got back from State College after driving up there from DC to see the game.

    I think you’ve nailed it right on the head. Sims (and Wright to a certain extent although he has not been one of our key players) is done for the year. He couldn’t make a shot to save his life. It is just terrible to watch him set up to shoot when you know there isn’t a chance in hell that he is going to make it.

    At this point it seems that without Manny we don’t have a division 1 basketball team (and I’m not sure we could compete at the lower levels either). These guys are some of the worst shooters I can ever remember watching! It’s not just the fact that they can’t hit three point baskets (a line from which they have been shooting since they started High School), but even open shots from within the three point line they can’t knock down.

    Even after saying all that, I don’t regret traveling up to see them. No matter how bad they are, I’ll go and support them (I attended the Georgetown games this year and last year too).

    I’m prepared to go down with the ship.

  • His team was playing Compton Dominguez for some sort of California Championship. Andy Brown is very skinny, not a great defensive player out on the floor, several times the Compton players just blew past him like he wasn’t even there.

    Offensively, the kid has a good looking jumper and is productive around the basket, a good garbage man.

    This fellow is clearly a PF, not enough quickness to play the WF. Plus he needs to get much bigger
    and stronger. Looks as if he could easily add 25 pounds of muscle.

    That being said I like him he’s going to be a very good player.

  • Thanks for the report. He sounds like a good offensive PF prospect and with the way this team plays defense he’ll fit right in.

  • Cronin and Henninger finally beat Proctor. They had lost 6 straight and their only two losses this year were to proctor. Big win to win the section title, I’ll have an update later.

  • hat

    Nice thoughts. Sims has got to become a more complete player. If the outside shot isn’t falling, go inside. The guy’s totally ripped. He can take a little physical punishment. He seems to just put his head down when his shot isn’t falling and go through the motions.

    Yeah, that call on Udoh was absolutely horrible. The PSU guy blatantly held him, yet somehow Epke got the foul. We were really getting homered at that point in the game (which is weird given that the building was 75% empty). Beilein’s T may have been a strategic thing on his part. The officiating did get a little better after that.

  • matt
  • Chris

    I certainly don’t get the sense Kelvin Grady is phoning it in, so I have to disagree with your thoughts.

  • Grady is the only other one on the team that can make open shots honestly. Yes he struggles at times, the whole team does. Manny doesn’t take care of the ball, Grady makes struggles on defense (the whole team does too) and has limitations. But there’s just not much on the team and him and Gibson showed flashes last night. Grady knocked down two threes in a row and Gibson dominated for a stretch. Then again they also had terrible plays over the course of the game. That’s the way it goes.

  • Peter Mooney

    This may be a dumb question, but I don’t really understand what we should be doing in 3-point defense. I know that sometimes we double and leave someone open, but a lot of the shots that Battle was making (Craig Moore made) were with guys in their face. Does anyone who understands BB defense have any thoughts on what we should be doing to defend the 3?

  • Some of the threes that Battle and Walker were just ridiculous and really theres nothing you can do. I think Walker hit one from a few feet behind the three point line.

    I’m working on a blog with a couple things about 3 point defense that I should have up tomorrow but a couple things:
    -Fighting through screens (switching…)
    -Letting other team get too comfortable
    -Earlier in the year the zone was hurting us

  • Chris

    Dylan, I should have noted that my disagreeing comment was to your commenter, Matt. Yeah, Manny and Kelvin struggle. They’re freshman, though, on a team having a tough year. He suggests that everyone other than Manny, Ekpe, and C.J. have given up, and that’s just not the way it looks to me. Some guys, maybe, but certainly not Grady.

  • DeathReau

    Anthony Wright packed it in? Why, because he didn’t have his shot? He was playing hard…how about you cut a little slack for a guy that is now playing about twice as many minutes as he averaged for most of the season. Is it any surprise he’s hit a skid? But again, he was hustling on defense.

  • Rob

    I agree with Death. Totally unfair on Wright. He is playing hard and just came off a good game against northwestern and he rebounds hell of a lot more then DeShawn.

    Don’t forget he is only a freshman and still could use some more conditioning and body work, which will happen this summer. he’s lost 40 pounds since last year!

    Also, just watch how he and Sims play. Wright is decisive, confident and clearly knows the offense. Sims is NONE of these things! Yeah, Wright fires it up a bit quick at times, but he is learning and will be fine. I LOVE his confidence. Not sure if Sims will ever get there.

    My point is that don’t judge someone just from shooting stats. Wright is doing his job and trying to do what he can. He is still clearly streaky with his shot. Hopefully, that will smooth out in the future and he can be a great 6th man off the bench. He has never played this many minutes before.

  • OK. I’ll give you that Wright is playing hard on defense. He is still 16% on his last 30 threes. That’s scary bad. He had a good NW game and plays hard but he’s just too limited to start. The thing about DeShawn is he has the talent, while Ant Wright is just lacking it. I shouldn’t have lumped them together, but I am just frustrated at how little we get out of the 3/4 wing spots combined. There’s no one capable of putting the ball in the hole consistently.

  • Rob

    Wright is ideal coming off the bench. And now suddenly he’s starting and trying to pick up the slack cuz DeShawn is crapping the bed shooting-wise and offers nothing else.

    Sims is the main problem on this team right now. When he does his job decently, then everyone else just has to fulfill their role. When he doesn’t people like Wright are forced to do things that they aren’t capable (or ready) for. The progress of Wright this season has been a bright spot. Many said he didn’t even deserve a schollie and it’s clear that he is going to be a key player for Beilein in the coming years. Hopefully, that will be off the bench like a Vinnie Johnson. Beilein has also praised Wright’s passing ability, in addition to his improvement on defense and rebounding. Has Beilein said such things about DeShawn? Nope.

  • Problem is that Wright is a 10-15mpg guy. Not a 30mpg guy.

  • Chris

    Well, they’re running out of guys now, so the pickings are slim, no matter how many minutes we’re talking about.

  • DeathReau

    I really don’t think Wright is that lacking in talent. He has the mentality and stroke to thrive in Beilein’s offense and while yes, his shooting has been way off lately, I do think that’s mostly a product of his extended minutes. Time will tell, but I think he’ll end up being the legitimate #2 scoring option for this team.

    Amaker’s recruiting obviously fell apart in some areas, but with guys like Udoh and Wright I think he really found a couple gems. Udoh was only a 3 star, right? I could see him winning DPOY honors in the big ten by the time he’s done. And Wright was buried under a great starting five at Oak Hill…and also buried under 30 pounds of flab. Now lets hope that Beilein can do what Tommy probably wouldn’t have been able to do…allow them to reach their potential.

  • DeathReau

    Hey DC, where were you sitting? I was in the opposite corner from the UM bench and there were a few UM fans sprinkled in there. Had a good time bantering with the PSU fans, although their main comeback of “Jim Tressell” was really pathetic…I mean, come on…taking credit for another school doing something you can’t??