BTT Game 1: Michigan vs. Iowa Post Game

Dylan Burkhardt

DeShawn Sims certainly didn’t look like a third team all-conference player today. He set the tone from the jump by scoring the first 14 Michigan points and didn’t look back. With his confidence already soaring, he kept on rolling for 18 first half points on perfect shooting. DeShawn was trailing the Hawkeyes by one point at the half.

It wasn’t a one man effort. Peedi opened things up for everyone else and Manny Harris played an efficient and under control game. Manny was a creator rather than a scorer and he consistently penetrated and kicked the ball to an open shooter. Douglass, Novak, Sims, Lucas-Perry, and Merritt all hit at least one three point shot during the game, most of them thanks to one of Manny’s eight assists.

Statistically Michigan dominated the Hawkeyes. Michigan scored 1.23 points per possession while Iowa managed a measly 0.73 points per possession. This was the most efficient game that Michigan’s offense has played since December and it was Iowa’s worst offensive performance of the year. Michigan lost the rebounding and free throw battles but it didn’t matter because they made just about everything, finishing with an effective field goal percentage of 69.4%.

Nothing is set in stone but I’m having a pretty hard time coming up with a scenario that leaves Michigan “out” on Selection Sunday. Andy Cox from Crashing the Dance sent me this e-mail after the game:

I think Michigan is safe now. Now it’s all about the seed.

Let it sink in and then try to remember what your expectations were back on November 10th, the night before this season tipped off. Personally, my expectations included three letter post season tournaments rather than the big dance. Now it is time to enjoy the rest of the weekend. The Illinois game is winnable and if Michigan plays like they did today they can beat just about any team in the country. This team certainly looks to be peaking at the right time and judging by Beilein’s track record that should excite each and every one of us.

I’ll have a preview of the Illinois game tomorrow but here are a couple of notes/articles as well as an abbreviated player bullets list from today’s game.

Notes & Links:

Player Bullets:

  • DeShawn Sims: Dominant: 27 points on 16 shots with two rebounds and three steals. DeShawn has become a man this year and he has carried this team on his back down the stretch.
  • Manny Harris: This was one of the best all-around games that Manny has played this year: 18 points on 7-11 (3-5 3pt) shooting with seven rebounds, and eight assists. Manny looked to setup his teammates throughout the first 30 minutes or so but added a couple three pointers down the stretch to boost his scoring total. I know he had four turnovers today but I thought Manny played under control and within himself — he passed the ball about as well as I remember since the Oakland game.
  • Laval Lucas-Perry: 6 points on 2 of 4 shooting with four rebounds and 2 assists. I thought Laval was solid, he hit a couple threes and seems much more confident. I was probably most impressed with his defense.
  • Stu Douglass: 8 points on 3 of 6 shooting with four rebounds and two assists. Solid production overall from Stu and Laval at the two-guard, if we can get a solid 14-16 points combined out of these two in every game that would be a huge boost down the stretch.
  • Zack Novak: Novak didn’t score a lot but he filled the stat sheet in other areas: 3 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal. Zack only took two shots so it isn’t like he had a lot of opportunities or was forcing things. I really think he did a good job letting the game come to him today.
  • CJ Lee & Dave Merritt: I thought CJ did a good job of guarding Jake Kelly and he also added 5 assists. Merritt was also solid on the defensive end containing Kelly and hit a triple. Kelly absolute tore us apart and has been lights out of late so it would be wrong to let this effort go unnoticed.

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  • Also, if I made any typos I apologize in advance. A lot of traveling today and I am gassed. Not to mention one of the most ridiculous college basketball games in recent memory on TV when I get home.

  • jgunnip

    The was quite possibly the best game in the history of college basketball.

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s game against Illinois. Gonna be a fun weekend leading up to the selection show. GO BLUE!

  • Erik

    Great game.

    Seemed like a lot of UM’s missed shots turned into Iowa fast break points. I was thinking more and more about how UofM’s missed 3s in particular have ended up the other way this season.

    Dylan, how hard would it be to add a category for fast break points? I’m wondering if UofM’s penchant for taking 3s results in more easy baskets for the opponents. To my untrained eye, it seems like trouble really compounds when the 3s aren’t falling.

  • Matt

    I’m not sure the 3s result in many fast break points. U of M usually only sends one to the glass (Sims).

  • Chris

    Erik, if you won the lottery you’d be worrying about the taxes, wouldn’t you?

  • JimC

    OK, we need some controversy…

    Novak played 31 minutes, took two shots, and scored just 3 pts. Seriously, there’s something wrong with this. He played more minutes than Sims. There are probably 4 or 5 other players who should be getting some of those minutes.

    And really, does JB want Grady to transfer? He only gets garbage time now. I don’t get it.

  • JRose5

    Great win! Love the confidence! The bench contributed some decent minutes. Other than Ants one pass, they played solid. I do agree that Grady could at least provide something to this team. I know we have all been saying this all year, but it just confuses me a bit. By no means am I questioning Coach B, just curious. I wish we could have 5-6 days to prep for every game. A quick turnaround today should be no problem with all the adrenaline and confidence still running from yesterday. Hate to see Frazier hurt, but love it for our chances.
    Go Blue!

  • Avery Queen

    People play for other reasons than scoring points. And those reasons are why Novak plays. Simple as that.

    Right now a loss to Illinois and a first round out in the tourney would still result in a great season. But it’s hard right now to not get excited because we are playing the best basketball we have all season and obviously this is the perfect time. Not only are we playing good smart ball, we are making shots (when’s the last time we had four shooters all be 50%+ from 3).

    As for today I think we have the advantage having a day to adjust to the gym under our belts. Fatigue will be a factor at some point this weekend but after a very ungrueling game yesterday I don’t think it sets us back today. I am looking for a win.

  • JRose5

    Agree, Avery Queen! Novak adds those intangibles that all teams need and the fact that he can step out and hit a 3 ball is a bonus. The experience he and Stu have gained this year will also be huge next year. Go Blue!

  • Benjamin

    Beilein doesn’t want Kelvin to transfer- com’mon now. He wants him to learn and improve, but apparently that isn’t happening.

    Also, why throw in a 5’10” PG for for Kelly to shoot over?

    Beilein is doing the right thing.

  • blueinflorida

    One thought I had—-

    The point Avery Queen had about fatigue not being a problem today due to an ungrueling game is well taken. However, Grady only play like 5 minutes yesterday and is fresh—maybe he’ll get more playing time today to offset any fatigue by our other guards.

  • Matt

    McCamey is what… a big 6’3? I doubt Grady sees much action.