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.