Game 11: Florida Gulf Coast at Michigan Post Game

Dylan Burkhardt

There was no energy from the tip and Michigan didn’t do anything to give the crowd life all night. The fact that Florida Gulf Coast is a horrible team is no excuse to come out with the physical and mental effort that we saw tonight. Luckily FGCU was bad enough that Michigan’s poor play didn’t come back to haunt them.

Michigan played down to a Florida Gulf Coast team that had no business staying close. Worst of all they settled for a record number of three point attempts when they should have pounded the ball inside against a team that couldn’t match them in talent or athleticism. 65.6% of Michigan’s field goal attempts were from long range and they made only 12 of those 42 long range attempts.

Florida Gulf Coast’s 49% eFG% topped Michigan’s 45.3% but FGCU just couldn’t hold on to the ball. FGCU turned the ball over on 36.1% of their possessions compared to Michigan’s 20.8%. Michigan won the other two of the four factors as well: they rebounded 40% of their missed shots compared to FGCU’s 31.4% and posted a 35.9 free throw rate compared to FGCU’s 31.4.

Michigan picked a good time to play one of their worst games of the year but they can’t afford to play with this level of effort over the next couple weeks. North Carolina Central is another team who Michigan should blow out (they might be worse than FGCU) but they can’t afford to pick up bad habits headed into the Big Ten season. There are plenty of excuses (Christmas, break, poor opposition and whatever else) but Michigan didn’t do a whole lot to prove they belong in the top 25 tonight and better get their act together before December 31st.

Player Bullets:

  • DeShawn Sims: One of the only bright spots for Michigan today, Peedi had 20 points and 20 boards against a FGCU team that had no one that could handle him.  Peedi also hit 2 of 3 triples and added 3 assists, 1 block, and a steal.
  • Laval Lucas-Perry: LLP showed that his three point stroke against Oakland was no fluke as he hit 2 out of 3 of his long range attempts. LLP also showed good quickness getting down the floor on a fast break and breaking up a FGCU break. He played 20 minutes today and I’d expect his minutes keep inching up game by game.
  • Stu Douglass: Stu played pretty well, he hit a couple triples and also showed off his athleticism with an open court dunk. 12 points (3-6 shooting), 2 boards, 1 assist.
  • Kelvin Grady: Grady had a season high 14 points but he took 12 shots including 10 threes. Some of them were good looks but I would have liked to see Grady drive and dish a little more. 1 assist to 3 turnovers doesn’t help his stat line either.
  • Manny Harris: Manny had his first single digit game of the 2008-2009 campaign but he managed 5 assists and 6 rebounds. He also had 4 turnovers and got a little too careless with his shot selection in the first half.  Manny shouldn’t be taking 8 threes in a game and really started forcing his game.
  • Zack Novak: Novak struggled at the four tonight. There were several rebounds that maybe he should have had and I think he let that affect his shooting. Novak was 1-8 (0-5 3pt) and 2-4 on free throws for 6 points with only 3 rebounds and 2 assists.
  • Anthony Wright: Another DNP. The writing was on the wall as his minutes declined gradually and now that LLP is in the rotation it appears that Beilein is leaving him behind. It’s really hard to find room for a shooter who can’t shoot.
  • Drew

    I understand the complaints about chemistry and his potential attitude. This team clearly has it clicking on nearly all cylinders, and having that disrupted would be difficult to overcome. But you can’t deny that he would have filled a much needed void in this line up. His rebounding is greatly missed, and more importantly, his shot blocking. I really don’t think we have any true threats to altering shots down low. Surely Sims will from time to time because of his athleticism and size, and Gibson will on the 5’11 guards, but thats it. Are either of them true shot blockers? No. Ekpe was even developing was a solid mid range game. Whatever chemisty issues that MAY have arrived aside, he would have been a great help to this team.

  • Ken in Vegas

    He would have been cancerous I tells ya, cancerous!!!

  • MattNYC

    An 8 seed? That’s just ridiculous, especially when you’ve got Memphis at 6, MSU at a 5, and Xavier (who just got ran over by Duke) at 4?

    UCLA a 4????

    Come on, so UM beats a #2 at home and a #4 on a neutral court, while loses on the road to a #9 and at a neutral court to the same #2 they beat at home. Meanwhile they take care of business against their pancakes, with the only “blemish” an overtime win vs Savannah State.

    Horrible, horrible rankings.

  • JimC

    My 2 cents:

    We can’t really worry–fantasizing is fine–about an NCAA seed when there’s not a single road win yet, and B10 play hasn’t started.
    I still have nightmares from the 2005-6 season, when the tourney looked like a LOCK.

    Drew, I basically agree with you. This team’s only real hole is an athletic center. Ekpe could do that.

  • Drew

    It’s so easy for anyone to say a guy would be “cancerous” after he’s already left. Had he stayed, things would have been worked out and they would have been fine. But he’s gone, so I suppose this is no longer worth debating.

  • Kenny

    mort, good info on Ant. Beilein will need Ant and Shepherd down the road this season. For Ant, he needs to transform his game from 3 to 4 like Shepherd. The advantage Shepherd has over Ant is his athleticism. Ant needs to re-establish his three-point game and hit the board much harder, if he is going to see more minutes. Competition is a good thing, I hope that Ant is not a quitter. As long as he is part of Michigan family and wants to be in the Michigan family, I don’t want to see him transfer.

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  • Ken in Vegas

    “It’s so easy for anyone to say a guy would be “cancerous” after he’s already left.”

    That’s precisely why I said it. The easier the better. I give a good spin to everything bad that happens because it makes me sleep better at night. All the recent football transfers and decommitments? Perfect I say. Weed out the softies and vagrantes. The world is ending tomorrow? Excellent. I needed a change of scenery.

  • jg
  • mort


    I wholeheartedly agree Ant should be able to remain as long as he wants to and I certainly was not trying to question his commitment to the team. My only point/question was whether he would want to remain as his prospects for playing time diminish (perhaps even more so next year). I don’t think there is any shame in transferring if you just want to play on a regular basis (e.g., Reed Baker). Perhaps my post was premature and Ant will see more action during the Big 10 season, but I am not optimistic about his ability to contribute in Beilen’s system given his consistently low shooting percentage and relative lack of athleticism. Regardless of Ant’s future, he certainly made a clutch backdoor pass for DeShawn’s last minute dunk in the UCLA game, and for that, I will be forever grateful.

  • Forty

    Everyone has let-down games. Hell I heard duke even lost to michigan!

  • Kevin

    Speaking of Reed Baker, what was the crowd’s reaction to him? He was a fan favorite in the year he was here. I was thinking about it, who all is still left on the team that was there when he was? Deshawn, Merritt, Lee?

  • Reed came in with the class of 06: Peedi and Ant are still here from that group as well as CJ, Dave, Shep, and I think Zack Gibson was here for his transfer year.

  • Drew you obviously were and stil remain a Udoh fan and I have no problem with that so long as we keep it in perspective. Last season Ekpe played 26 minutes a game and averaged 5 rebounds and 6 points a game. For a comparison Gibson(who is garbage) played 14 minutes a game and averaged 3 rebounds and 5.5 points a game, so if you pro rate the numbers basically Gibson is the same rebounder and double the scorer that Udoh was. As far as blocks Udoh was a good shot blocker but actually was not a good post defender because of his wafer thin build. I would guess 80% of his blocks were help side blocks on guards who penetrated into the lane.

  • sorry the links not working but if you care to, mgoblue has statistical archives.

  • Ken in Vegas

    Wow, that’s a good statistical argument, Go Blue. That makes me feel even better about his loss. Gibson is better at shooting the three and hitting free throws too.

  • Giddings

    Kevin – the crowd reaction to Reed was positive at first (and for most of the game). When he hit his threes, there were a few pockets of cheers here and there. However, the cheers turned to boos in the last 15 seconds, when he kept fouling and trying to tie up the ball even though he was down by 17 points.

  • jmblue

    Drew, I wouldn’t discount the notion that Udoh’s departure may have helped team chemistry. Udoh’s AAU coach was filling his head with NBA visions and was trashing Beilein’s system. That had the potential to be a real distraction to the team. Now, if we could have had a great shotblocker *without* a deranged AAU hanger-on, then sure, he’d be welcome.

  • Drew

    To be honest, I wasn’t that big on Ekpe when he was here. It’s just that I saw a lot more potential in him, and I think those offensive numbers would have greatly improved this year with Sims being more of a threat down low, while I don’t see Gibson taking any advantage of having a great post player beside him. Clearly, Ekpe had all the wrong influences with the AAU coach and such, but talent-wise, it’d be nice to have him around I believe. I also agree a lot of his blocks came weak-side, but isn’t that the case with many shot blockers? I don’t see Gibson getting hardly any blocks, although I do recall seeing one specifically from the FGCU game against a rather small guard. Say they work out some off-court issues, maybe not everything… Ekpe’s contributions > Gibson’s? I almost have to believe so. I haven’t seen Gibson do anything that stuck with me this year besides a nice finish on a reverse-ish lay up in the Duke game.

  • JimC

    I’m interested to know what you all think about where we’ll end up in the B10.
    To me it looks LOADED…look at what IL is doing to MO tonight, in an away game!
    I’m still guessing there are maybe up to 6 teams–maybe–ahead of us. Yikes! But PU,WI,MSU & OSU look like the top 4, then IL, MN & MN battling for 5-7.
    Maybe I’m underestimating here. But we better win all the home games!!!

  • JimC

    sorry, meant “IL, MN & MI battling for 5-7”

  • Giddings

    I’m still not sure what to think about Wisconsin… looking forward to this game against Texas, should give us a good indication of where they are this year. So far they’ve been unimpressive, but with Bo Ryan’s coaching and their level of play at the Kohl Center, you can pretty much pencil them in for the Big Ten top 5 no matter what.

  • Ky Fox

    I like all of the Udoh talk. While I agree with Ken in Vegas that Udoh’s presence would have been mostly negative, and you could even tell last year that his body language on the court was of a negative tone, it doesnt take away the fact that we DESPERATELY need a versatile big to play along side Peedi. JoMo cant get hear soon enough and thats the bottom line! I also believe that team chemistry is greatly overlooked…not just on a Beilein team but in basketball in gerneral. JB stresses a family atmosphere concerning his teams…if a player isnt going to have fun, fly around the court, and have his teammates back then what good is he? He isnt. I know Gibson is weak and couldnt punch his way out of a wet paper bag, but Im not sure what else JB has in mind. Does he go with a guy like Riley?? maybe Riley thinks he is better than he really is…who knows. All I know is looking to the future JB did not anticipate Cronin gimpin around this year, so I think our best bet is to let this class of 09 come in and then evaluate everything. Barring any departures for the big league we will be loaded next year.


    All of theses guys I see playing in the rotation next year. But with all this being said I am a little concerned with replacing Manny, and Peedi…who are two guys that JB didnt fully recruit. My hopes is that kids like Zeigler, Regan, Hardaway, Moses Morgan, or even Alex Gauna take a close look into how much better JB can make them and grabs 2 or 3 of those guys. We are going to need some athletic ability injected here in the next few years. I am confident JB will realize the need for balance, and he will go out and get some guys that have some of the abilities Manny, and Peedi have. I think by next year we will have good enough play, and depth coming out of the frontcourt to be a very dangerous team. We have a ton of skilled guys, and next year we will morph that skill with size, rebounding and a physical presence we dont have this year…WOW, I think by then the sleeping giant will have not only awoken but will have made his way to the breakfast table and will be eating teams for breakfast.

  • Ky Fox

    Looking at the Big 11 I am not quite sure what to think. I know its going to be a knock down, drag out fight to the finish. The teams I believe we can beat twice are Iowa, Northwestern, and believe it or not I think we can double dip on Wisky. I watched Wisky play a couple of times and they look REALLY slow. I could be wrong but there could be 6 wins right there. Im not quite sure what to think about Minnetonka..They havent played anyone up to Louisville, but I think Louisville is a bit overrated, probably much more so even than UCLA. I believe we will be very tough at Crisler, and fans will continue to fill it up. Im still holding true to my prediction of our 3rd loss not coming until Jan 14th…at which point we will be riding a 9 game winning streak…and will have an overall record of 14-3. I just love the thought of us most likely being in every game we play, we wont win them all but we will be in it. If Shepherd, Gibby, and Wright can step it up we will do well.