Game 1: Michigan Tech at Michigan Post Game

Dylan Burkhardt

It’s late so just some quick thoughts on tonight’s 77-55 win over Michigan Tech. Highlights!

Manny came to play. I don’t know if he’s been reading his press clippings, but it was one of the most efficient games I’ve ever seen him play. I know it was exhibition but it really gave a glimpse of how good he can be as he gets more comfortable on the wing in this offense. He scored on cuts, from long range, slashing, on the break, in just about every way possible. He forced one three early on and botched a lay up or two but other than that he was flawless. The stats speak for them self: 30 points, 30 minutes, 10-15 shooting (3-5 long range), and 7 boards.

Why is Anthony Wright starting? I’m sure there is a method to Beilein’s madness but I don’t get it. DeShawn is our best rebounder and best post player yet he is sitting behind a streaky one dimensional shooter who is undersized as his position. I think it probably has something to do with the post rotation and how Peedi is getting some time at the five but I just don’t like it. There is the argument that DeShawn is some instant offense off the bench but I don’t buy that either. I would much rather start the (more) consistent player and bring the streaky shooter off the bench. I did think that playing Peedi in the center of the 1-3-1 with Gibson on the wing was an interesting idea and it seemed to work ok.

Ant Wright: 27 minutes, 2-5 shooting for 6 points, 7 rebounds. (Ant scored the first six points and all of his shots were threes)
DeShawn Sims: 23 minutes, 5-9 shooting for 10 points, 12 rebounds.

The Freshman. It seems like Beilein is just going to play the hot hand of Zack Novak and Stu Douglass. I was worried about Zack after the exhibition game but he looked much better today while Stu blended in. Their combined stat line: 40 minutes, 1-6 shooting, 3 rebounds, 7 assists to 3 turn overs. Both Zack and Stu are some of the best passers on this team and even when their shots aren’t falling they are still a weapon.

Rebounding & Defense. I was impressed with the 1-3-1 overall tonight and think that we will see a lot of it this year. They trapped, scrapped, and fought hard on D in the 1-3-1. Beilein’s philosophy seems to be to trade a couple easy buckets for the turnovers that the zone can create. Rebounding is still a huge issue, a tiny Michigan Tech team out rebounded Michigan in the first half. Michigan narrowly edged the Huskies in rebounding 37-32 for the game. This is going to be a problem and honestly I’m not sure what can be done about it. Offensively Zack Gibson played very well but he only had 2 rebounds in 24 minutes.

Overall this was a fine performance and if Manny can bring this game night in and night out there might be a couple exciting games in Crisler tihs year. Tomorrow’s game is scheduled for 8pm against Northeastern and will also be televised on ESPNU. Northeastern edged by IUPUI in a game where star Matt Janning shot 4-13 (3-8 3pt). This Northeastern game is one that I’ve had circled on my calendar as Michigan’s first real test this season so it should be a little more interesting than these GLIAC battles.

  • josh

    Im sorry, but i am just gonna come out and say this. Manny is really something Special. i sure hope we dont waste his time here at this university. He can take this team somewhere, maybe anywhere with help from 3 or 4 more players.

  • Well 4 more players sign tomorrow…

    Darius, LLP, Manny, DeShawn, and Zack will certainly be an intriguing line up next year….

  • Kevin In GR

    Matt Shephard commented on Sims coming off the bench and said the Sims likes coming off the bench. He said he also knows that he’s going to get his minutes in the end.

  • Jimmy

    It’s not about who starts, its about who finishes. If Sims likes coming off the bench it’s probably good for Wrights confidence if he can get off to a quick start with a couple threes at the beginning of the game.

  • I thought that Novak looked very comfortable out there against Tech. He made some fantastic passes- I look forward to seeing him mature of the course of the season.

    so, are we 1-0 on the season, or still 0-0 because they are DII?

  • browntown

    any chance deshawn sims isnt starting because hes in beilein’s doghouse? i dont think this has ever been addressed, but i could see that being the reason.

  • Well, I feel like DeShawn saying he likes to come off the bench and will do whatever is clearly the right thing. But Anthony played more minutes and started.

    @Jimmy: Wright hit his first two threes but this confidence didn’t really pay off — Ant didn’t hit any more shots all game.

    @Ben: We are 1-0, but for RPI/tourney purposes we are 0-0 I believe.

  • Voice of Reason

    Many unaccomplished players at times have difficulty walking and chewing gum at the same time, i.e., getting their shot and being a good defensive player and rebounder. So some of them will focus on one aspect at the expense of the others, because they are not mature enough to do both. I’m sure coach Beilein is helping them to work it all out.

    Some coaches will tell you that you really need about eight starters and not five in order to win anything significant much of the time. You need to be able to rotate key players so they can determine or maintain the tempo that they like, without having the big drop off. Once your players understand and buy into that philosophy and they see that they are key contributors within that eight (while they’re still winning) they will usually be okay with it.

  • Mason

    Couple of thoughts…

    -Manny = awesome. Great all-around performance. Did everything you could want him to do.

    -I actually like Wright starting. i don’t think he’s as one-dimensional as people let on; he’s pretty damn tough underneath with a good shot. He’s a scrapper and a good rebounder. I wouldn’t mind starting Sims, Wright, Manny, Stu, and Merritt anyway (Gibson = bad defense and rebounding, but decent offensive moves and good shot), with Gibson being the first off the bench to replace either big man.

    -Right now, Merritt and Kelvin look like they are on about the same level. Kelvin is quicker for sure, but that seems like the only real difference between the two, and i can’t tell if that’s more of an indictment of Kelvin or a testament to how much better Merritt has gotten since Beilein took over. Lee is a great energy guy to play a few minutes in each half, as is Shepherd.

    -If we were to redshirt Cronin, could we remove the redshirt later in the season like they do in football? Because he just doesn’t look ready to play right now. Saw him hobbling during the postgame handshakes, and Puls, from what i saw, didn’t do so badly and i wouldn’t mind the boy from Alpena see a few minutes per game.

  • I would like to see Sims starting, we desperately need his rebounding. Maybe starting Sims and Wright and sitting Gibson would be a good idea, I like Gibson offensively but he leaves much to be desired in terms of rebounding. Overall im optimistic, the key to UM being much better than expected and making a tournament run will be contingent on Stu and Novak being able to knock down shots.

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