This one was a tale of two halves. Michigan played great in the first half and could have probably been up more than 6 at halftime. But Maryland came storming out of halftime on the back of Greivis Vasquez and didn’t really look back.
There are some definite positives to take out of this game but there are also plenty of problems that became clear. Michigan got a very good performance from their role players, especially Zack Novak for the second straight game. They also shot the ball better from long range than they have all season, and held together well in a hostile environment.
Breaking down the four factors: Michigan shot a higher eFG%Â and turned the ball over less but couldn’t get to the line and gave up far too many offensive rebounds. The game was also played closer to Michigan’s pace with only 63 possessions. The thing that killed Michigan in the end was that Maryland (the word rebounding team in the ACC) rebounded half of their missed shots — that is going to be a problem all year. Michigan also struggled to create turnovers with the 1-3-1 zone and only had a 6.3% steal percentage, the lowest of the year.
I think Michigan did a couple things very well. First they established themselves early in the game and kept the crowd out of it for most of the first half. In the second half they actually responded to Maryland’s early run and fought back into the game. They are showing the same poise that they showed against UCLA and this just hasn’t been a part of this program for a long time.
Greivis Vasquez is the real deal. Vasquez put up 23 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and only 1 turnover. Most of his numbers came in the second half when he just took over. Vasquez was the best player on the floor and I don’t think I gave him enough credit in my pregame post.
The two biggest shots of the game were Vasquez’ three to open the 2nd half and Neal’s three that put the game away.
Maryland probably is a bubble team but they are very tough at home (especially in non conference) and it was a good effort by Michigan. We are coming off of a 10-22 season and expecting even one win this week was probably asking a little much. The bittersweet part is that we played great in the first half and probably should have had a chance to win this one.
- Jevohn Shepherd: I can’t say enough about how impressed I am with Jevohn. Shep shot 4-5 for 9 points to go along with 2 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 turnovers. Jevohn only played 18 minutes and I would have liked to see him get more minutes down the stretch. He’s playing great and is definitely earning more playing time.
- DeShawn Sims: DeShawn had 10 points and 4 rebounds at halftime and finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds. When Peedi starts to disappear I’d like to see Beilein do a couple things to get him involved, run some plays to get him the ball in the post. DeShawn also got in foul trouble in the second half which took him a little out of his element.
- Zack Novak: Great game from Mr. Novak and he kept us in the game in the 2nd half. Novak was 4-8 (3-5) for 12 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Solid effort including a 4 point play. If Zack can keep up this effort he will be a big asset from here on out.
- Manny Harris: Frustrating night for Manny, he never really found his groove and forced it a bit.
- Anthony Wright: Anthony Wright isn’t a gunner, he’s a chucker. Very frusturating game for Anthony who salvaged a bit of pride with 2 late threes (one of them from the bench basically). Anthony’s numbers: 16 minutes 2-8 (all threes), 0 rebounds, 0 assists, 1 turnover.
- Kelvin Grady: A very solid game from Kelvin tonight, he was 3-4 on three pointers but he only had 1 assist. Kelvin also had a much better time breaking the press but man Kelvin needs to work on those layups.
- Stu Douglass: Stu has to keep getting the hang of when to shoot and when not to shoot. There were a couple times he should have shot when he didn’t and then he took some ill advised shots early in the 2nd half that led to some Maryland points.
- David Merritt: Merritt has struggled lately, he doesn’t turn it over but he doesn’t create or score.
- Zack Gibson: Struggling to find his confidence right now and not a strong rebounder. Michigan is going to need some production out of him at the four or five.
Twos final thoughts: I’m ready for Laval Lucas-Perry and sadly it looks like a Michigan win wouldhave won the Big Ten their first Big Ten/ACC Challenge.