Dylan Burkhardt

We took one on the chin in College Park but it’s time to put that one to bed and move on.

Looking back…

The funny part about last nights game is looking at the reaction to the game from both sides. Maryland fans think Michigan will “likely be an NCAA tournament team” and most Michigan fans are under the impression that Maryland will make the tournament as well. I think that neutral observers as well as Michigan and Maryland fans themselves might be a little less optimistic about tournament chances.

The turning point in last night’s game was Maryland’s 16-3 run at the start of the second half. Looking back at it, Beilein wishes he called a quick timeout but hindsight is 20/20 but Beilein is still learning about this team:

“I’m learning they can’t fix things on their own early in the second half, but I won’t beat them up with the tape, and we’ll say that this is what happened (in a 16-3 Maryland run early in the second half) and this is the momentum change.”

I still give Michigan a lot of credit for weathering that run and coming back in the game but in the end they allowed Maryland to get comfortable and unleashed a whole new team than the one we saw in the first half.

Maryland big man Braxton Dupree didn’t play yesterday after missing class on Monday. Dupree’s play had been underwhelming for the Terrapins thus far and Lawrence Milbourne and Dino Gregory stepped up with arguably their best games of the season.

Moving on…

I don’t think the loss at Maryland should do much to dampen excitement over Saturday’s game against Duke. Duke is playing great basketball and just dismantled Purdue in front of an packed house at Mackey Arena. Duke took the crowd out of that game in the first 4 minutes when they took at 7-0 lead. Hopefully the crowd can stay involved from start to finish on Saturday.

As a fan I am more excited about this game than any game since #1 Ohio State and Greg Oden ventured into Crisler in 2007. It should be a fun time and this team deserves to finally play in front of a big crowd.

Beyond the game, this is a huge week for recruiting. Top flight underclassmen Trey Zeigler (2010, pictured), Tim Hardaway Jr. (2010), Allen Payne (2010), Brandan Kearney (2011), and Percy Gibson (2011) are expected to be at Crisler Arena on Saturday. These are all big time prospects and it should be a great environment in Crisler on Saturday.

I think the starting line up will be juggled around from now until at least the conference season. Michgan doesn’t have depth in the post and it’s going to be a weakness all year. I think Beilein is just playing with how to best minimize the damage at this point. People have talked about a 4-guard lineup, starting Jevohn Shepherd, sending Anthony Wright to the moon, moving player X to position Y, and whatever else. I’m sure Beilein has gone through 100 more situations than the rest of us so I’m going to sit back and see what he does next.

Looking even further down the road, Michigan has to win the games it should: Eastern Michigan, Oakland, FGCU, and North Carolina Central. These teams are a combined 4-21 and Michigan needs to handle every one of them headed into the Big Ten season. Last year Michigan struggled against bad teams, 6-7 against RPI 101-200, and 3-2 against 200+, so winning these games without mental lapses (Savannah State) would be just as impressive as a close loss at Maryland in my book.

Notes & Links: Everyone should root for UCLA over Texas tonight (ESPN2). Brian does a very good job looking at yesterday’s game and whether it is a step in the right direction. John Borton checks in on who’s stock is rising and falling ($). Big Ten Geeks asks whether this was the best Big Ten/ACC Challenge ever. Michigan State is licking their wounds after a 98-63 loss to the Tar Heels, Izzo blames tired legs (Suton is also out 2-4 weeks).

  • UMDC

    I’ll take “Anthony Wright to the moon” for $100, Alex.

    While still feeling the pain of last night, I think we have a legitimate shot at beating Duke Saturday. In my mind our chances hinge on the quality of our 1-3-1 play. If we are too slow to cover ground after a the skip passes, we’re dead. If we are flying around the court, we’re in the game.

    I don’t think we played particularly well last game against Duke and we didn’t get embarrassed. When it comes to this upcoming game both my dreams and nightmares are of three pointers: Dream – ours are going in. Nightmare – theirs are going in.

  • Ken in Vegas

    It would be pretty sick to be 6-2 with two wins over top 5 programs. That would have to put us in the top 25 wouldn’t it? Let’s at least show we belong. I’ll continue to be happy even if we lose, as long as we continue to win all the games we should, half of the games that are too close to call and 1 or 2 in which we are underdogs. That will put us close to or on the dance floor.

  • BJ

    Duke’s due for an off game. Believe!

  • I don’t know where this team is heading, but this is going to be an exciting season. Only one other team kept Duke within 15 points. Only one team has beaten UCLA. We have a decent team this year. Will we make the NCAAs? I don’t know. But look at last years team. They started off badly. But no one can say that they weren’t a much better team at the end of the season than at the start. Last year, we nailed OSU at the end of the season. No way an Amaker team would have done that. This year I think that a 10-8 big ten season is reachable as is the NCAA. Coach B is a great coach and the future is bright.

  • Voice of Reason

    Last year Duke’s coach K, wanted to punish Michigan for firing Amaker and they did. They owned Michigan last year. I believe if Duke could have won by 100 at MSG this year he would have.

    Michigan winning Saturday would be nice, but at the very least they have to push Duke [at home] and make them sweat. This team is better than last years, and not as good as they’re going to be as the season goes on. They are still making mistakes and learning from them. They will be fine!

  • BJ

    Free Duke tickets for students who go to the women’s NC State game tomorrow.

  • Giddings

    Really? Where do you see that?

  • They sent out an e-mail. First 100 students at the womens game who stay for the whole thing will get free Duke tickets.

  • Giddings

    UCLA getting jobbed by the refs just like us last night…

  • UCLA had about 8 chances to tie the game, looks like they are gonna fall short.

  • gpsimms

    turned on the tv and was glad to see ucla in a good game with UT…then i saw the last 1:45 or so. some of the most disgusting basketball i’ve ever seen. When down by three, UCLA seriously had the ball for almost 90 consecutive seconds without getting a single good shot off, and then missed the front end of a 1-1.

  • Game over UCLA goes down.

  • Jacques Auef

    As much as a win over Dookie, the school that loves to falsely accuse their students of RAPE, I don’t believe UM will be able to handle the skill and depth that Duke brings to the court. The fact is that UM has a very difficult time getting to the basket. Virgins have an easier time penetrating than UM does. And UM has no big man. Gibson just doesn’t cut the mustard and is prone to many mental mistakes. I’ll be happy if UM can keep up with Duke.

  • Bluebufoon

    Another Dookie doing the broadcast Saturday. Jay Bilas will be calling the game for ESPN. I’d almost trade a win in this Duke game for every other win we will get the end of the year— these Duke guys think they invented the fricking game and they aren’t shy about letting you know about it.

    FYI– Blake McLimans team won its first game 106-95 the other night but I couldn’t find out how many Blake scored ? He had five teammates in double figures but he wasn’t listed in the small write-up in the Worcester paper. His teammate Austin Carroll scored 15 points .

  • Yup, thanks Blue, I’m going to start doing recruit updates on Mondays in terms of their high school games and see how that goes.

    D-Mo’s team was knocked off by 20 last night though.

  • Bluebufoon

    I don’t have the specifics but things leaking out regarding Dashonte Riley and U-M are really positive. I’ve been told this is a delicate situation but if you want to read body language at Saturday’s game keep an eye on Mr Riley and how he’s enjoying, not just the game but the atmosphere along with all the players and folks around him ?

    Plus there will be at least several big-time recruits at the game this weeked. Recruits scheduled to appear include Riley, Trey Ziegler, Isaiah Sykes, Will Regan, Brandon Kearney, Percy Gibson, and 6-8 A. Payne from Ohio. Plus I would assume Jordan Morgan will be there ? This is a big weekend not just on the court but in recruiting.

    Go Blue !!!

    (Who said John Beilein couldn’t recruit ?)

  • Haven’t seen anything that says Regan, Riley will be in attendance this weekend. Got a link?

    Also make sure you are clear that it’s Allen Payne (as listed in the post) not Adreian Payne.

  • Bluebufoon

    The Will Regan info I read on a couple of different message boards which ones I’m not sure but it was two different places. The Riley info I was told by another U-M recruiting junkie like yourself.

    So I don’t have actual links.

  • umhoopsfan

    Does anyone know a good place to park near Crisler for tomorrow’s game? Thanks

  • umhoopsfan: There are plenty of lots around that’ll set you back 10 bucks probably. Or if you’re trying to park for free try Pauline street off Main.

    Blue: I don’t expect either but we’ll see.

  • umhoopsfan

    Thank you, it is very much appreciated.

  • Bluebufoon

    Here was the link on Will Regan it was off of the recruiting round-up someone posted from WTKA over on