Game 18: Ohio State at Michigan Post Game

Dylan Burkhardt

Opportunity missed. Michigan had their chance to pull out a home win but they just couldn’t finish off the Buckeyes despite being up 44-40 with 7:35 to play. The Buckeyes were the ones that seized the game with a 16-3 run over the next 6 minutes and left Ann Arbor with a big win.

Things didn’t go Michigan’s way for most of the contest. The Buckeyes got out to a hot start and led for most of the game. Even then Michigan clawed their way back into the game on the backs of Manny Harris and Stu Douglass in the second half before letting the game slip away. Protecting home court is absolutely critical in the Big Ten and dropping two of your first three home games is definitely not ideal.

On offense Michigan didn’t really get anything from anybody besides Manny Harris and Stu Douglass. DeShawn Sims found the soft spot in Ohio State’s match-up zone time and time again but just couldn’t make a basket. Sims had tons of open looks in the paint but only shot 4-13 for the game. Manny played an all around game and did everything he could to try to lead Michigan to a win. The match-up zone is tough to play against but I really think Michigan did a good job getting the ball in the right spots, they just couldn’t finish enough of them. Ohio State did provide some full court pressure that caused Michigan some problems and took them out of their comfort zone as well.

The Ohio State offense had their way with Michigan’s defense. The Wolverines just didn’t have the size the handle the Buckeyes. Ohio State found ways to get tons of easy buckets and dunks for BJ Mullens and Dallas Lauderdale whether they were off of penetration, from alley oops, or exploiting mismatches. Michigan did a decent job forcing turnovers, Ohio State turned it over on 25.6% of their possessions, but in the end that wasn’t enough to slow the Buckeyes who scored 65 points on 59 possessions. Those easy dunks and baskets are demoralizing for the crowd and the team and you just don’t want to give points away that easily.

Looking at the four factors, Ohio State won this game in two areas: by getting easy shots and getting to the line. The Buckeyes were only 3-11 from long range but were 21-33 from inside the arc for an effective field goal percentage of 58%. Ohio State had a free throw rate of 45.5% compared to Michigan’s 19.6%. Ohio State did take a few extra free throws down the stretch but in the end Evan Turner could get to the line and Manny Harris could not. Evan Turner posted a free throw rate of 116% while Manny Harris posted a free throw rate of only 25%. I can’t say whether Manny isn’t getting calls or Turner was getting the benefit of the doubt but Turner’s 14 free throw attempts were a huge difference in this game.

The road doesn’t get any easier for Michigan, next up a road game against a Penn State team who beat Purdue at home and gave Michigan State all they could handle. Winning on the road isn’t easy in the Big Ten but after dropping a couple early games Michigan is going to have to steal some road wins if they are serious about dancing. Every game is a new battle and Michigan has to put this one behind them. CJ Lee is confident the team can rebound:

“I don’t worry about the attitude of the team. Guys have been solid; they have been solid all year. We have dealt with adversity in this program for a long time. I am not worried at all; guys are going to bounce back like they always do.”

Player Bullets:

  • Manny Harris: Complete game from Manny: 7-16 (3-6 3pt) for 21 points in 37 minutes with 7 boards, 6 assists, and 4 turnovers. The turnovers are a bit high but Manny had a huge game and carried the team. If Michigan had got much of anything from anyone else they win this game.
  • Stu Douglass: Stu found his stroke a bit tonight: 4-9 three point shooting for 12 points. Stu hit some huge shots and kept Michigan in the game in the second half. It’s good to see him feel it a little and hopefully he can build some confidence.
  • DeShawn Sims: Two troubling games in a row for Peedi: 4-13 shooting for 10 points with 6 rebounds. I don’t know if he is tired or what but DeShawn just has to make those shots inside. He’s going up against bigger guys but a lot of those shots just have to fall.
  • Laval Lucas-Perry: MIA. LLP was 1-5 for 2 points and didn’t give Michigan much of anything. We just have to remember that he has only played a few college games and is a freshman in his first taste of Big Ten play. LLP is averaging just over 5 points per game and shooting 29% in his last three games.
  • Zack Novak: Zack scrapped hard but isn’t finding his shot, he didn’t score his one field goal until he hit a three very late when the game was basically out of reach. It’s pretty clear he’s going to play though, Zack played 37 minutes, tied for the team lead with Manny.
  • Kelvin Grady: Kelvin didn’t have his best game, he hit a couple big threes but not much more. He also had one huge turnover late in the game on a pass attempt to Stu Douglass that had no chance.
  • CJ Lee: A charge, two assists, a steal, and a three pointer in 6 minutes. Not sure what else you can ask for.
  • Dave Merritt: Not giving Michigan much of anything, Grady needs to continue to play through his struggles.

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  • Bill

    Maybe now that the ranking is gone and winning the big ten is less likely maybe they will relax and stop pressing and just go out and have fun again and start playing like no one is watching.

  • JimC

    Yeah, they need to play looser.
    From Sims’ comment, it seems like having the ’89 team there watching even got in their heads.

  • South Florida’s Finest

    This isn’t as big of collapse as TA’s team had against the Greg Oden team a couple years back but I almost felt the same way afterward. We have to keep in mind that this team really was never supposed to do this well in the first place. If we get to 20 we have to be guaranteed a spot thanks to the successes of Duke and UCLA.

  • BJ

    Merritt needs to find a nice comfy seat between Wright and Puls. We have too much backcourt depth for him to be getting anything more than garbage time.

    Tuesday’s game will be very difficult. It will definitely be tougher to beat PSU on the road than to beat OSU at home. If Sims doesn’t get out of his funk we will lose.

  • AG2

    I’m not sure about that. Michigan’s biggest problems come from an inability to matchup with big, athletic teams like OSU and Wisconsin, and probably MSU. As long as Penn State doesn’t have too much of a size advantage, I expect them to stay competitive, even at the Bryce-Jordan Center.

  • Dylan, what are your thoughts on the officiating? I’m not saying it was necessarily biased, I just felt that OSU got a lot of the same calls that Manny and DeShawn just weren’t getting.

  • Merlin

    The refereeing had nothing to do with the loss. We are weak on the inside. Ohio State was not a great team last night but they were better than us

    We need to be a much better perimeter team than out opponent-not just match them. For the last few games we have not been better. Now the things with Beilein’s teams is that they can catch fire-they can start shooting the three and everything will open up. We are entering unknown territory-will this team be that type of team-no one knows. Some in the fan base (me included) lacks confidence that we can do it. I could not help leaving that arena thinking here we go again (NIT). I really need to keep things in perspective and realize we only have some of the pieces in place.

  • Jerry

    How about a starting lineup of; Perry, Novak, Manny, Sims, & Gibson. Then bring Grady, Stu, Sheppard, and Wright off the bench. Lee and Meredith would be situational players.
    This lineup and bench would provide a little more size and talent when competing with the Big 10 upper echelon teams.
    Sheppard would back up Manny and Wright would back up Sims\Gibson.


  • Mason

    I do remember leaving the arena last night feeling like the game was really poorly officiated on both ends. It did seem like there were many missed and blown calls all night, with most whistles and non-whistles favoring tOSU. I can’t recall specific examples; i’ll have to check the tape when i get home.

    Last night, tho, was a blast. It was great to see the ’89 guys come back and enjoy themselves. I wasn’t born until about two weeks after the Seton Hall game, but my first memory is watching a tape of it a couple years later, so that team is obviously very special. Got a pic with Glen, and Glen, Terry, and Sean’s autographs. They all seemed like really nice guys who were very accomodating to everyone that wanted a piece of them, which was very cool.

  • Giddings

    Maybe we should go with different starting lineups based on the opponent?

    For example, the current starting lineup dominated Iowa because they had no real inside presence (and the tallest guy was 6’8″ or whatever), but struggled mightily against Illinois, Ohio State, and Wisconsin due to the fact that all have 7-footers that bang down low (or 6’10” in Wisco’s case).

    I think the current lineup will be fine against PSU (Cornley is tough but he’s undersized), Northwestern (they are just a finesse team all around), and probably Minnesota (Ralph Sampson is their only big guy). MSU might be a toss-up because Suton isn’t really a “banger” but his size can cause problems. Purdue has Calasan who can cause some issues. And for the rematches with OSU and Wisconsin I agree that maybe we should start Gibby and Sims together and get Shep some time.

  • Aaron

    Rats. Not much else you can say.

    I agree with the comment about Peedi. He must be worn down or something from having to play the 5. It seems like he’s lost his edge.

    Since he’s come back from transferring, we’ve come to rely on double-digit performances from LLP. He’s been a consistent 3rd scoring option. But maybe its naive of us to expect it every game considering he’s still a first year guy. Also its even more naive to think that Novak or Douglass will be a 4th scoring option consistently because they are truely freshman. Still, if we’re going to win games, we’ll need a combination of those guys contributing on offense even if we can’t expect it.

  • Avery Queen

    I don’t like to rip on our players but I’m sorry Merritt brings absolutely nothing to the table. And I don’t know why Beilein found it necessary to go to a line up where Novak was the only starter in when we had finally gotten that 4pt lead with 7:30 left.

    This game was extremely disappointing as I wasn’t impressed with OSU, their offense consists of Turner creating everything, I suppose their defense was solid however we seemed to get plenty of good looks.

    Unfortunately it seems we won’t be beating teams where we are largley undersized unless we shoot the lights out.

  • Colby

    Dylan, were there any recruits at the game? Still hoping we can make the tourney but afraid our lack of size may put us in the NIT

  • Look the bottom line is you have to make shots! This team is shooting like last years tesam all of a sudden. Yes, UM is undersized but that is not a new development and will not change, as much as those dunks suck they would not have been the diference if UM would have only shot decent. Sims is playing SOFT, fading away on open looks and just not getting it done at all. Beilein needs to call Sims out, piss him off, his play is unacceptable and he needs to be made aware of it. He needs ATTITUDE!!!!

  • I saw JoMo at the game but not sure who else was in the house.

  • It’s hard to believe that this is our first multi-game losing streak this year. It’s a testament on how well this team has done so far. I’m not overly worried yet. We have some ranked teams coming up to show off our talent not to mention a game against UConn.

    We do need to stop losing bad games to bad teams, but based on last year and Amaker teams, I am confident we’ll turn this around. We won’t have any of those 10 game losing streaks that make us beg for the NIT at the end of the year. Facing reality, we are a bubble team this year. However, I think the Duke and UCLA wins plus any upcoming good wins against MSU, UConn and Purdue will bubble us in instead of out.

    Even if we get in the big dance, we’re most likely a first or second game and out team. But I’ll take that. At least we’ll be dancing and have our shot.

    Still not worried!

  • Bluebufoon

    Yesterday Blake McLimans team upset one of the top prep school teams
    Mount Hermons 86-76 and tonight Worcester Academy takes on the nation’s No.3 high school club St Benedict’s from New Jersey game is being played in Sprinfield Massachusetts.

    Dylan you’ve been awful quiet about the news U-M was out scouting
    Angus Brandt. Any feel on whether he is a priority for U-M ? I think last night’s game shows why U-M should take Brandt if he wants to come,
    you never have enough good big men.

  • AG

    I too can’t help but wonder why Beilein took almost all our starters out when we were leading. I also wonder why he wouldn’t at least consider using Jevohn Shepard to guard BJ Mullens.

  • ryan

    Unless Angus would be a walk-on, we would have to release a players scholarship in order to offer him. I doubt that happens.
    Minnesota just lost at Northwestern.

  • Merlin

    Have we heard how Cronin’s surgery went and is there is some relation to his prognosis and our continued recruitment of Brandt? Are we sure Zack Gibson will be given a 5th year?

  • I would love to add Angus to this roster. Of course something would have to happen to open up a spot so who knows.

  • ryan

    Does anyone know where I could get one of those shirts that say ‘believe’ with ‘Beilein” written in the shadow?

  • ryan: The Maize Rage is selling them.

  • UMDC

    While I would like some more quality big men on the team, when I look at a final score of 65-58, it doesn’t seem to me that our big problem was giving up points to OSU’s big men. Our problem was failing to make our shots. That could be attributed to either good defense on OSU’s part or poor shooting on our part. It was probably a combo of both.

    Making simple statements like we can’t matchup with their size, which suggest we can’t win, I think is wrong. Both Duke and UCLA have plenty of size, how did we win those? Size is easy to point to, but just because you can point out the difference between our team and theirs doesn’t mean that it is the cause of our loss. (I know they had lots of dunks, blah, blah)

    Every team has a facet of its game that it relies on to win. If it is not working that team loses (even UNC loses games and they have NBA caliber big men, how can it happen!). OSU shut down our ability to make shots (or we did it to ourselves), but that does not mean that it was their insurmountable size that we just can’t match up against that did it. In my opinion, size is a red hearing.

    I can’t wait for our saviors, Shep and Wright, to arrive. They will surely help us correct our inability to shoot. Which was the cause of our lose. We should be scoring 70 points a game. Giving up 65 to the monsters from OSU that we just can’t match up against seems fine to me.

    Defense wasn’t our problem yesterday, offense was.

  • UMDC

    Oops, I guess the above post reads as a little emotional. Sorry about that. (red herring)

  • Giddings

    Good points, UMDC. Kind of unrelated, but I think it’s worth mentioning that A-Wright started both the Duke and UCLA games (yeah, I know he chucked and missed a bunch of threes in both but he had some key backdoor passes and rebounds), plus Shep played a decent amount of time in both as well.

    I wonder how long Beilein rides out the current rotation if we keep losing. I know it’s only been two games, but I wonder when we start to see some tweaks.

  • BJ


    The free blankets were sweet

  • Dirtgrain

    Both defense and offense were a problem at the end. The Ohio State zone was stifling at times–making shot surely helped overcome that at times, as well. But Ohio State’s defense seemed faster than U of M was capable of dealing with at times (I’m not sure if it was intimidation). U of M found ways to beat it, but in the end, I think they were controlled by Ohio State’s defense instead of Michigan’s offense controlling Ohio State. I could be full of it, though–just my impression of what was going on in the Michigan players’ minds.

    Defensively, I felt there were some lapses at the end that made Ohio State’s big men look good. And there were some plays where bigger, faster Ohio State big men blew by our defense. I do think Michigan could have defended better than they did at the end–there is the capability, I think. With all of the missed shots at the end, we didn’t see Michigan’s zone. I was wanting Michigan to get in the zone, anyway, to mix things up.

    It seemed like Ohio State really stepped it up at the end, on both ends, and Michigan didn’t answer, on both ends.

  • I love the stats from stat street. I might begin to include with my post of the basketball game recaps. I thought Ohio State was in control for the most part. I like that they were able to score in the paint consistently and did not rely on the 3 point shots.

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