Game 28: Michigan at Iowa Post Game

Dylan Burkhardt
Let’s get the typical Michigan overreaction out of our system right now and just say it: the sky is falling. Trust me, I was just as upset as you were during the game but I have attempted to take a step back before analyzing it. At the end of the day, Michigan still needs 2 more wins. They let a golden opportunity slip away but there are three more games left on the schedule.

This one was there for the taking, Michigan had a 4 point lead with only 68 seconds to play but they just couldn’t close it out. Michigan had the big Douglass three pointer but Iowa managed to tie the game with four Matt Gatens free throws in the last minute. Jake Kelly took over the game in overtime on the offensive end and helped Iowa outscore Michigan 14-4 in the extra time.

Michigan shot 44% from the field (and from long range) in the first half and held a one point lead at the break. The second half and overtime were a different story. In the second half, Michigan shot 29% from the field, 36% from long range, and only 23% from inside the arc. Overtime was even worse — Michigan made only one out of ten field goals in the extra time. Shooting as poorly as they did in the second half I think it is a bit surprising that Michigan even had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation.

Looking at the four factors, the big advantages for Iowa were effective field goal percentage and free throw rate. I was very disappointed with Michigan’s defensive effort throughout. The Hawkeyes scored 1.09 points per possession and shot the ball well with an eFG% of 55.9%. This was by far the worst defensive performance from Michigan since the Ohio State road game (1.08, 65 eFG%) and roughly since CJ Lee’s insertion into the lineup. Iowa ran the pick and roll to perfection in the second half and Michigan just couldn’t stop it. Time and time again Jake Kelly got a really good look or Peedi got caught out of position and found Cole for the easy bucket. Jake Kelly was a mismatch problem because he’s 6-foot-6 and running the point, his size allowed him to get off his shot anytime over CJ Lee. Kelly’s career night (23 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals) coupled with Bawinkle hitting his open looks from the corner (4-8 3pt fg) were just too much for Michigan.

On offense Michigan hit twelve three pointers but it wasn’t enough. The most frustrating part for me was how many shots Michigan missed inside the arc. Sims had an awful time finishing inside and he wasn’t alone. Michigan finished 8 of 28 on two point field goals, a mere 28%. That is downright awful. In a lot of ways it reminded me of the Ohio State home game when Sims got plenty of good looks in the paint but just couldn’t finish. Neither team had many offensive rebounds but that doesn’t change the fact that it was one of Michigan’s worst offensive rebounding performances of the year.

As I am sure you have read about in the comments by now, Manny didn’t play in the overtime. I wasn’t on the bench in Carver-Hawkeye Arena so I have no clue what happened down the stretch  but I find it hard to believe that nothing out of the ordinary happened. The last possession was clearly botched but I think there is something at play beyond that, here are the quotes from the Free Press:

“I didn’t think he was playing well, didn’t think he looked fresh, wasn’t himself so we decided to go another direction,” Beilein said.

“We lost the game, I don’t know why I didn’t play,” Harris said, adding that Beilein did not talk to him about it.

“I don’t know nothing,” Harris said. “It was a play he drew up and it didn’t work. It wasn’t for me to take the last shot.”

A lot of the typical company line going here, I don’t think Manny or Beilein want to air this out in the media, this is something that will be handled internally. Beilein also infers that the play was supposed to go to Stu or Zack and it just didn’t go the way it was planned. In regards to Manny, this isn’t the first time Beilein has thrown Manny on the bench and left people screaming; Central Michigan last year and Penn State this year come to mind. It’s looks questionable but we honestly just don’t know what happened. I find it hard to judge without the details. If it was some sort of insubordination, Beilein has to do it his way. If it was just poor play, the decision is clearly questionable. I am also curious if Manny really did try to check himself into the game because that is sure what it looked like about halfway through overtime.

This loss really hurts and there is no denying it. Taking a step back kind of goes to show just how lucky Michigan has been this year. Michigan was 3-0 in overtime games before this one and they also had two comebacks of 20 points or so. If you keep playing with fire eventually you are going to get burned. If the ball bounces a little differently against Savannah State or in Bloomington this season looks a hell of a lot different. A year after a 10-22 season it is pretty remarkable that this is going to be Michigan’s worst loss of the season — an overtime conference loss on the road. Iowa is 3-3 at home this year with wins over Indiana, Wisconsin, and Northwestern, their three losses came to Minnesota (3pts), Michigan State (15 pts), and Purdue (4 pts). That is respectable to say the least.

This game clearly hurts Michigan’s tournament chances but it’s not the end of them. It was a road game so the RPI effect isn’t drastic, Michigan’s RPI only fell to 52. I still think that 9-9 and 1 win in the Big Ten Tournament will get this team in. There are three games left, Michigan needs to win two of them. If they don’t beat Purdue (BUY TICKETS) then I think you can pretty much write off the season barring any Big Ten Tournament run. If they can upset the Boilermakers then they just need one good game on the road to pull a shocker in the final two. Maybe I’m an eternal optimist but this season has seen its share of ups and downs and just maybe there is one more surge.

Player Bullets:

  • Zack Novak: Zack seems like he has found a groove again, hopefully he can keep it up down the stretch. 11 points on 3-8 three point field goals, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover. This is pretty much the solid Zack Novak game, I’ll take it.
  • Stu Douglass: Stu is also getting more and more confident with his shot: 4-9 shooting, 14 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists. This is the second straight game we have gotten some three point makes from both Novak and Stu so that is encouraging.
  • DeShawn Sims: Peedi just couldn’t finish: 5-14 shooting for 13 points, 8 rebounds, and a block. It was almost like there was a lid over the basket, I remember several shots that went in and out. Michigan needed Peedi to be a factor and he just wasn’t. I’m sorry but the last foul of regulation was a joke.
  • Manny Harris: Here are Manny’s numbers for the game: 9 points on 3-13 shooting, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 turnovers. I talked about his benching earlier, but the things that Manny has been doing well are rebounding and penetrating. I wish he would look for the drive and kick a bit more (even though he had 6 dimes) but he also couldn’t buy a call in the lane.
  • CJ Lee: Not CJ’s best effort because Jake Kelly went wild and the shots weren’t falling. The positive is that he posted 5 assists and only 1 turnover but that is about it.
  • Kelvin Grady: DNP-CD. I’m honestly not surprised. It appears pretty clear that Beilein likes CJ in there. Kelvin played the last game because of Manny’s foul trouble, not because Beilein had a change of heart.
  • Dave Merritt: 14 minutes, 6 points (2-3 shooting), 2 assists, 0 turnovers, and a steal. Not bad but the corner threes from Balwinkel were killers. Honestly though, that shot has been a killer all year and no matter if Grady, Lee, or Merritt is running the bottom of the zone the 6-foot-6 Balwinkel is going to shoot over them.
  • Zack Gibson: 3 fouls in 2 minutes. I’m not sure if I have seen this many illegal screens called in a Big Ten game.
  • Laval Lucas-Perry: Laval hit a big three that started getting Michigan back in the game in the first half but he missed his next 5 shots from the field. Finished with 7points on 2-7 (1-5 3pt) shooting with 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steals.

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  • raiderfan

    From what I hear, and I think I have a pretty good source on this, if Manny gets fedback that he would get guarunteed money, 1st round pick, he will most likely declare. Back to Tom Izzo, let me be the first to say I absolutely hate MSU but I must give credit where credit is due. In 13 seasons as MSU head coach, he has 1 nat’l champ, 4 regular season Big Ten champs, 2 Big Ten tourn champs, 4 final fours, 4 nat’l coach of the years, and 11 straight NCAA tourn. appearances. I think thats the resume of a GREAT coach.

  • Brick

    Grady is not the best PG or he would not be riding pine. If JB thinks the other PGs are better and give us a better chance to win, I trust his opinion more than any poster on this or any other board.

    Since when is Manny “leaning” towards going pro?

    Why would anyone assume Manny and Grady would leave? This is a ridiculous overreaction based on a flawed opinion that Michigan kids can’t handle any form of discipline.

  • Mark

    Agreed raiderfan Izzo is a great coach. Now Roy Williams is a great recruiter but cost his teams more games than anyone that is labeled a great coach. Xs and Os JB blows Roy out of the water. Unfortunately recruiting is 60% of winning in college.

  • raiderfan

    Brick you are entitled to your opinion and I respect that. I think Grady is our best PG which is why he is was given a scholarship to a Big Ten school out of high school. He just doesn’t see eye to eye with JB.

    Read the above post to answer you question on Manny. If the money is there, he will take it.

  • Dave

    the difference between beilein and these other great coaches that were mentioned is that they all have more than one go to player and have multiple guys you are play makers and you can rely on them……without manny we have nothing really, deshawn on the occasion, but there is a lot of what ifs to this game……..and izzo wins big tens and national champs because he gets the best players in the country to come play for him, not kids who just shoot 3s, he gets nba caliber talent, no disrespect to some of the kids on michigan, but the athletic ability to compete at a nationally elite level every game will never be there with the types of people beilein recruits….i have been saying this for at least 2 months now, there is going to be a lot of these games every year in the beilein era can guarentee it…….nonetheless this game is just real interesting and many things could have been done differently

  • JimC

    Wow were you all as furious as I was after blowing that game?! I wanted to break something!

    Maybe the UCLA & Duke wins tricked us into exceedingly high expectations.

    I don’t think this team is going to become a good road team in 6 days.

  • Benjamin

    Raiderfan, Grady doesn’t see eye-to-eye with many people ;)

    But, seriously, stats don’t prove he is the “best”, in fact, they prove that he is not.

    If your statement was “Grady is the most athletic PG we have”, we would all agree1 100%. But, he does not have the court vision or defensive skill set to be our best PG (at this point in time).

    In my opinion, Merritt should not see the floor and Kelvin should get his minutes and work hard to get more.

  • Avery Queen

    man are you kidding. izzo is a phenomenal coach. i also don’t get the mindset where any critical thought towards the coaching is outlawed. i have faith in our system, in our future, and in beilein but that doesn’t mean he’s always right. he’s certainly capable of making mistakes, mistakes that piss of players and fans and mistakes that cost games. that doesn’t make me a bad fan. if we never evaluated our coaches critically we’d still have ellerbe.

  • JRose5

    Avery Queen–Well said.
    Lets get those Boilers!
    Go Blue!

  • raiderfan

    Great post Avery Queen

  • jack

    I’m usually an optimist but let’s face it. If Michigan wants a chance to dance they will need 2 out of 3 in the regular season and 1 in the tournament. That’s 3 outta 4 games people! They will need wins from at least two of the three: Purdue,Minnesota, and Wisconsin, all teams with better records in the Big Ten. It’s just probably not happening.

  • noahtahl

    couple things need to be pointed out. first half lee 14 minutes michigan scores 11 points, while on the bench for 6 minutes michigan scored 18. game, lee scored 0 points while his assigned man ,kelly, accounted for 45 points on 23 points and 9 assists.

    manny harris’s benching has to go down as the worst coaching decision made by a michigan coach in any sport in the last 50 years.

    anthony wright, the hero from last years win at Iowa, does not play 1 second.grady, the hero from Thursday’s Minnesota win, does not play 1 second.

    how does this team recover from(JB) giving this game away and Manny’s benching and how can they overcome JB’s obsession with CJ Lee?

  • AG2

    The latest round of tournament projections and bubble watches essentially allege that Michigan isn’t even on the bubble anymore. It almost reminds me of Amaker’s last season, where we tricked ourselves into believing that we could have made the tournament by either beating OSU at home in the last game of the season or beating them in the 2nd round of the Big Ten Tournament when in reality the committee stopped talking about Michigan immediately after the home loss to Iowa.

    That being said, I can’t say I disagree. Michigan has decent wins, but we are essentially the only bubble team of them all who has had THIS much trouble winning on the road, even to awful teams like Iowa and Indiana. We are the only team in the top 8 of the Big Ten with no road wins vs. the other teams in the top 8, and the only team in the top 8 with 3 home losses.

    There is, however, a chance. All three of our last 3 games are against RPI top 50 teams, including 2 on the road to teams also fighting for bids. 2 wins would improve Michigan’s road record and record vs. the RPI top 50. The team has plenty of time to rest before Thursday when they play Purdue at home on senior night. There’s no chance vs. Wisconsin. Wisconsin has a knack for playing the way the refs call (or don’t call) the game. Its one of the main reasons I believe they’re such a good home team. Not to mention that like Iowa, they’ll have 8 games off before that game.

    So assuming we get past Purdue at home, the game at Minnesota should decide it. Michigan will have 8 days off (who the hell wrote this schedule that Michigan’s only bye comes at the very end of the season?). On the other hand, the Barn is such a strange place to play, combined with Michigan’s awful road play, that its uncertain.

    Regardless of what happens, I don’t see Michigan moving out of 8th place in the Big Ten. If that’s the case, they’ll probably beat Northwestern in the 8/9 game, only to go up against the #1 seed in the Big Ten for the third straight year. If you have an idea on how to beat MSU, I’d like to hear it.


    Some good stuff going on right now. I think JB is a great coach in terms of developing skills in players. Its tuff to define greatness, there are so many different ingredients that go into building an elite program. JB is going to have to realize this is d1 ball and its not middle school, he is not in a classroom teaching little kids nor is this Hoosiers. There will come a point when JB is going to have to replace Manny and Peedi, let’s all pray its later than sooner, and its with guys with as much or more skill than Manny and Peedi. These next couple years will tell us a lot about JB complete coaching ability, and a large portion of that is recruiting, and recruiting a handfull, not a team full of them, but a handful of top level recruits. By that I mean 4 and 5 star recruits with skill and athletic ability coming in, key words are coming in, not when they are a senior, or junior but when they are a fresh and soph. I also think you have to be somewhat of a players coach. You have to know what buttons to push with each of your players. Even as hardnose as izzo is his players respect him and he respects them. I don’t know what Manny said or did and let’s hope it was something justifiable, but there is alternatives to teaching and counseling a player, other than benching them. I do not argue JB’s ability to develop, or his x’s and o’s, what I do have to somewhat question is his ability to attract multiple top level recruits and how he handles them. The game against Iowa has me questioning that, along with his dealings with KG. I just hope JB isn’t burning any bridges that would reach far beyond just Manny. However, the season is far from over

  • Ken in Vegas

    I’ve been too heartbroken to even type over the last 24 hours, but as usual, this site has been my theraputic vehicle to recovery. Luckily, I was too hungover on Sunday morning to get to the sportsbook and place a bet, otherwise I would have bet the farm. Like somebody said earlier, I thought that 3 by Stu was the shot of the year, but we gave the game away without even making them score a fg.

    Are we overreating to Beilein’s coaching decisions? Yes. Are we overreacting at the importance of this game? No. 60 seconds probably cost us the tourney. I must say though that it isn’t over until it’s over. Let me ask this question: Let’s say we beat Purdue at home and then lose our two away games. Then we go into the B10 tourney and win two games-one over MSU. Do we make the tourney?

  • Kevin

    We knew coming into the season we’d win some games we weren’t supposed to win and lose some games we weren’t supposed to lose. Even though this didn’t come the way most thought it would (poor shooting), I’d still take a win over Duke and a loss on the road against Iowa than a loss at home against Duke and a win on the road against Iowa.

  • Tom Too

    Stu hits that huge three with 1 minute left and I couldn’t have felt better about the team. Six minutes later and it seems that things are in shambles….. How is that possible????????

  • jmblue

    John Beilein is a great coach. Get off his back. If Amaker were still here, coaching this massively undersized, young team, we’d be lucky to be .500 overall. He has a team with two players taller than 6’5″ (one of whom is a role player at best) still in the hunt for a tourney bid in late February. If someone had told you a year ago, when we were 10-22, that we’d lose Udoh and that Cronin would redshirt, what would you have guessed our record this year to be?

  • pdx

    I don’t care that we were 10-22 last season and now we’re “ahead of schedule” or some shite like that. We weren’t 10-22 last night. We were 17-10 and in position to play ourselves into the tournament. I’m sure we’re going places, but until we’re there I’ll have to scratch my head about CJ Lee and Novack playing catch on the perimeter while Peedi has a mismatch down on the block or why Beilein draws up a last-second shot by telling the team to run the Amaker offense. Also, I get that CJ Lee is better suited to Beilein’s philosophies, but those philosophies play out during the full 40 minutes. Why is CJ Lee still in there when Iowa goes up by seven in OT? He has absolutely nothing to offer in that context.

  • Avery Queen

    Ken – That’s a pretty interesting scenario. I kinda feel like it wouldn’t be enough though. I think people would point out our road performances and our 8th place finish and that would be too much.

  • Dave

    theres no question that beilein has done a great job with this team…….but to compete at a nationally elite level every single game and to compete against the best teams in the country you need more than 1 or 2 players that are nba caliber players and deshawn and manny are flukes for beilein that they happened to stay here…..beilein cant recruit at all really, look at his west virginia teams practically all no name recruits….darius morris is probably the biggest recruit of his entire career by far…….and like i have said many many times…..when 3s arent falliing you need kids with versatility and what beilein looks for just isnt that, except for maybe morris but who knows withh him……….hopefully all this speculation will be answered within a year or two and all of us can say wow we are jackasses for questioning beilein, but as of right now it has the feel of another amaker scenario….getting us close but unable to get us there…..but beilein is obviously a much better coach than amaker so time will tell

  • andamu

    And that, folks, was the only game I will get to see in person this season.

    Now, I don’t claim to be anything but a basketball novice, but I was under the impression that Manny Harris needed to be a lot more polished and consistent before he would be considered a first-rounder. Was my perception off?

  • Ken in Vegas

    I don’t think that Manny is projected to be a first rounder right now. The more scouts watch film, the more that they will see his inconsistencies and mental breakdowns. If Manny is smart, he will stay another year to develop and build his reputation by making a tourney run. He should know that he will be much richer if he has the patience to stay a year, so hopefully that is exactly what he will do. If he’s the type of guy that would make up his mind to leave based on 5 minutes of sitting on the bench, then he’s just another dumb kid. I think he’s better than that. We shall see.

  • Ken in Vegas

    By the way, I still think we can do this. Protect home court on Thursday, and we will have set up quite an opportunity for ourselves. I look at the Manny benching like this. If Manny had played the entire overtime at Iowa, we still lose. They were on fire, and we were just demoralized. Knowing that we would have lost anyway, maybe benching Manny was a blessing in disguise. To pull off some upsets, we need to him to play like a man possessed. Maybe this will fuel enough anger or inspire enough focus that he will be lights out. I guarantee he doesn’t want to see the bench again, so look for him to answer the bell against Purdue. I still have hope, gang.

  • AG2

    Ken in Vegas, I think you should keep in mind that for the past few seasons, the Selection Committee has finished making the decisions on which teams were in and out earlier and earlier. If I recall correctly, last season the committee closed the bubble by like, Thursday of Championship Week. As a result, I don’t think its likely that winning a couple of games in the Big Ten Tournament will make up for an 8-10 record.

  • Giddings

    Put it this way – I’d feel better about our chances if we won 2 of the next 3 and only got 1 win in the BTT than I would if we won 1 of the next 3 and got 2 wins in the BTT.

    There’s certainly a legitimate shot with both scenarios but I think the committee would frown on a sub-500 Big Ten record and no road wins against anybody better than RPI #75 (although neutral wins over UCLA and MSU would have to count for something, right?).

    Anybody else wish that we didn’t have to wait until Thursday for the Purdue game? Win or lose, I just want to get the taste of the Iowa game out of my mouth.

  • bentley

    I love the discussion … A couple things to keep in mind though. Belein has one recruiting class. That class didn’t go as everyone would have hoped, but Belein still managed to get a couple of system players – 4 year guys that will be staples of this program as upper classmen. Also keep in mind, that recruiting detroit is a double edged sword. It can be very hit or miss for years at a time. Detroit is not the end all be all of recruiting, and if you expected Belein to come in and start taking only kids from Detroit then I have a diamond ring I would like to sell you for just $100.

    Belein’s two best recruits will come next year, and in 2010 he will probably trump both of those guys with hopefully regan and ziegler/morgan. This team is heading in the right direction.

    Finally, the Harris going pro thing could go either way. I remember Marvin Williams being drafted super high after being a role player for UNC on that 2005 squad. So anything is possible, but by the same token Manny would be crazy to go pro. He is a sure fire second rounder at this point, no guaranteed money. Waiting one year guarantees him millions or go pro early end up on the bench somewhere and never get your paycheck. One thing I like about Manny is that he is smarter than the average player, and I think that he has to know that. Just my thoughts …

    Also for those of you not on the belein will win bandwagon… who would you rather have?

  • bentley

    I didnt really get my point across with the recruiting thing.

    2008 class – 2 middle 3 star guys

    2009 class – 2 low 4 star / high 3 star guys

    2010 class – in on some high 4 star guys and a 5 star

    That is what they call progress … Progress leads to success!

    Belein has this team heading in the right direction. Have faith.

    Go Blue!

  • Dave

    we cant say anything about the 2010 class ……look at nate lubick….he was recruiting other guys to come to um for beilein, nobody could have been more of a lock to michigan him and he then went to gtown……..i have no faith in his abililites as a recruiter until his 2010 class reads those 4 stars or 5 star that you are talking about committ

  • Dave: Does landing Morris and Vogrich count for nothing?

  • AG2

    For what its worth, Beilein did recruit DeSean Butler and Alex Ruoff for West Virginia. Huggins got Devin Ebanks only because IU couldn’t hold on to him.

    Man, can you imagine all the players Indiana let get away? Sean May, Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Devin Ebanks, not to mention Eric Gordon who they only got back because Sampson recruited him after he verbally committed to Illinois.

  • Tom, Also

    Wow, raiderfan needs to stick to being a Raiders fan.

    I want Kelvin to play as much as anyone, but until he stops with the stupid defensive lapses, he won’t play and rightfully so. Can you imagine how badly the best 3-pt shooting team in the Big Ten (yes Iowa) would have lit us up if Grady would have been out there?

    We need Kelvin to step it up and play good defensively. It’s not Beilein’s fault that KG continues to miss assignments and make bone-headed plays. Defense is far more important than offense, believe it or not. Then again, for some people this is debatable. In such a debatable instance, I’ll go with the coach that has 500 NCAA wins.

    As far as Manny; nobody knows. Simple as that. It’s very unlikely to be just the company line that is being said. So, we have to forget about it and move on.

    Manny going pro? Ha, if he does it’ll be a terrible decision.

    As for the act of benching Manny… what game, other than Northwestern, in the Big Ten has Manny simply dominated or taken over? Manny has scored in single figures in 6 of our last 9 B10 games. He consistently throws up awful shots and makes bad decisions. He’s still our best rebounder and a great option on offense, but lately I have no confidence in Harris on a consistent basis. If he did say something or refuse to run the last play properly, I have no problem benching him. Again, I’ll defer that decision to the guy with 500 NCAA wins.

    As for Beilein not being a “great” coach… nobody really knows. He finished in the top 3 of the conference every year he was at Richmond. He only spent 5 years at West Virginia, so he really only had two recruiting classes finish while he was there. And while he was there he had two good runs in the tourney and an NIT title.

    Michigan is his biggest program and thus far his recruits are at a pretty decent level considering where Michigan is and the facilities we have to compete with. For anyone to say he “can’t recruit” or “can’t win it all” is pretty laughable.

    Comparing Beilein to other top coaches is also not very fair. Most top level coaches were groomed into their first major job. Take Izzo for instance. Izzo was on-again, off-again assistant for MSU starting in 1983. It wasn’t until 1995 that he became head coach there. Beilein has never been an assistant. He’s never been groomed into a position. He’s had to prove on progressing levels that he’s a great coach (who cares what the difference between “good” and “great” is. It’s meaningless). There’s no reason to expect he won’t do the same here and continue to progress.

  • Tom, Also

    Again to the notion that Beilein can’t recruit big. At WVU he had zero 4 star recruits. He already has one here in CA PG Darius Morris (not exactly a 6’4″ white kid from the corn fields that sits at the 3-pt line and drains jumpers) and as has been mentioned several times, he has a great shot at some 4/5 star kids in the class of ’10.

  • raiderfan

    So Tom, you honestly think we are better or without Manny. Do you realize that without him, Novak and Douglass would never score. Neither one came make an open layup. Neither one can create ashot on their own. They rely on penetration and kick out. Do you understand that Manny, with the exception of KG, is our only player with the ability to drive? And if winning the Not Invited Tournament is a sign of success, then Tommy Amaker is our best coach ever. Right? C J Lee is supposively out there for his defense right? Did you happen to see the Iowa game? I hate to say it but your boy kind of cost us the game. He couldn’t stop Jake Kelly. Jake Kelly. Jake Kelly. I guess I didn’t know Jake Kelly was an all-american. Lee brings us NO offense, actually one might call him a liability. So let me get this straight, we play him for his D, which he has none. I am not trying to say JB won’t be great in the future, I am just saying he cost us a shot at the tourney this year. Just curious, who is the 5star JB is recruiting? It wouldn’t matter anyway because there will be a walk-on who trys out and takes this make believe 5stars minutes anyway.

  • Tom, Also

    Why are you assuming that KG would have done better defensively?

    Did I say I’d rather have Manny on the bench? He’s our best rebounder, and for that alone I want him on the floor. But he’s turning into a black hole on offense.

    Neither Novak or Douglass can make an open layup? What are you talking about?

    I completely understand that Manny is our only player that can drive. That’s why it’s especially frustrating when he holds onto the ball in the final seconds and chucks a 35 footer, possibly in protest to not having the final play drawn up for him. I think I’ll trust the guy with 500 NCAA wins over the immature sophomore. Instead of being mad at Beilein you should probably be mad at Manny.

    Why are you calling CJ Lee ‘my boy’? I clearly stated I want Kelvin to play, but he has to earn it by not having defensive lapses on every other possession. CJ doesn’t do that, therefore he plays. Did CJ have a good game? No. Neither did LLP or Manny or DeShawn. When your top three scorers shoot like ours did, you’re not going to win games.

    Getting to the NIT was expected this year. We have far surpassed that. I don’t know what your reasoning is for crying about it. TA got won us the NIT in 2004. Afterwards he finished 9th, 6th, 7th in the B10 respectively, never making the tournament. His last season he started 4(!) seniors and couldn’t get it done. Beilein takes over with a terrible amount of talent, gets the team to finish strong and win 5 of their last 7 games. And now, with just a little more talent we’re on the verge of making the tournament. Regardless of where the season ends, it has been a successful year.

    Ray McCallum and Cameron Ayers are 4* prospects ranked 55th and 56th by rivals (I didn’t say explictly a 5* player, I said 4/5* guys. Both of these guys fall into that category). Also Trey Zeigler is a 4* right around the 75 range.

    How can you be anything but impressed that Beilein is able to pull in these guys when Michigan has done nothing in 10 years and has some of the worst facilities in the B10?!

    You should probably take a step back and look at what this team is coming from.

  • raiderfan

    The highest ranked recruit we have a realistic shot at is Moses Morgan and he is an average 4 star ranked #68. What you have to understand is that JB best teams work well when they have a couple players that can penetrate and kick it out to the three point shooters. At this point in the season, with the exception of Manny, KG is our next best option. All I want is JB to give him a shot, you can’t honestly tell me that you think Dave Merritt has done well as of late defensively. I am not arguing that CJ shouldn’t play, but he should be playing Merritt’s minutes and Grady should be playing Lee’s. When you compare the Iowa roster to ours, we are by far the superior team. They don’t have one player that out of high school was ranked in the top 150 while we have 4 (LLP, Grady, Sims, Harris). Don’t say the talent isn’t there, JB just hasn’t done a good job putting that talent to use. I hate to say it, but his resume suggests that he never will. He has always put together middle of the pack teams, and this honestly is one of the more talented teams he has ever had. Am I pleased with the turn around from last year, yes. Am I happy with another NIT appearance this year, NO. You say we don’t have the talent, I say we do.

  • raiderfan

    And back to the last play of regulation vs. Iowa, watch the tape again. The ball was in 4 different players hands, then Manny passed it to Novak with 6 seconds left. Novak didn’t even look at the goal and passed it back to Manny with 2 seconds left. That is hardly Manny trying to blow the game. If you want to blame anyone, blame Novak. Nice try though.

  • Tom, Also

    I actually only had the last play on radio, so I didn’t see it. I’m going by what I’ve heard on message boards and post-game wraps, etc. Plus, I always qualified that *if* Manny blew up that last play, blah blah blah.

    I agree with you on David Merritt.

    There’s no evidence to suggest that Beilein can’t bring in top talent. His “record” is that he’s always coached mid-major teams at best. He hasn’t had the opportunity to recruit at a premier institution like UM. So far, despite UM’s lack of success and facilities, he’s pulling in top100 recruits. Not bad if you ask me.

  • steve

    Don’t forget that Belein recruited Joe Alexander who was picked 8th overall this past year by the Bucks. I would consider that elite talent.

  • Tom also

    You should probably watch the games and get a clue before posting. Raiderfan it is so obvious to anyone with a passing knowledge of the game that Grady and Manny are the only players on the roster who can get other guys shots for them. Look at overtime, are you kidding me. They were all standing around like deer in headlights, which explains why we didnt score until the game was well over. Grady is way better than Lee. Contrary to the myth perpetuated on this site that Lee is some kind of defensive stud, Lee is not good at anything on the court. CJ Lee=Gary Payton…ROFL

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