NCAA Second Round: Michigan vs. Oklahoma Post Game

Dylan Burkhardt

Michigan fought until the end but Blake Griffin and Oklahoma were just too much. Michigan hung tough in the first half despite Manny Harris picking up his second foul early and sitting for the last fifteen minutes. Michigan was able to stay close mostly thanks to an unlikely hero, Anthony Wright. Wright had 12 points in the first half and Michigan was only down one at the break. Oklahoma managed to pull ahead in the second half and hold Michigan off despite numerous comeback attempts.

Looking at the four factors the biggest difference won’t be surprising to anyone that watched the game: free throws. Oklahoma got to the line and Michigan did not. There were only four team fouls called on Oklahoma in the first 19 minutes and 56 seconds of the second half compared to 17 called on Michigan. It seemed like every 50-50 call went Oklahoma’s way but you just have to play the game. Michigan did an admirable job on the offensive glass despite Oklahoma’s size advantage. But in the end Michigan turned the ball over a little too much and just didn’t make quite enough shots from three point range. There was a stretch at the start of the second half when Michigan just couldn’t buy a three point basket. Oklahoma didn’t shoot a very high percentage from long range but they made just enough big three pointers to keep Michigan at arms length.

There is no denying that Michigan went down fighting despite being physically overmatched. They battled in the first half and even when Oklahoma started to pull away in the second half they never quit. The late run spear headed by CJ Lee was symbolic of the team’s never die attitude this whole season. There were many times that fans and media wrote this team off, claiming they had no shot at the NCAA tournament, but they always proved them wrong.

I’m not going to go through a whole “player bullets” but I wanted to mention a couple people.

  • Anthony Wright played the best game of his life and it was great to see. Hopefully he can build off this in the off season.
  • Zack Gibson also strung together a couple very solid games down the stretch, bringing more hustle than we have seen before.
  • The freshmen just couldn’t find their range today, if just one of the three were hitting their shots it would have been huge. Stu and Zack had great years but they just couldn’t find their stroke, 3 of 15 with 4 turnovers combined.
  • CJ, Dave, and Jevohn went out fighting and it will be sad to see them go. Those kids certainly are lacking in talent but their heart is what carried this team down the stretch.
  • Also, Mark Snyder is reporting that Manny and DeShawn plan to stay.

The countdown until November begins. I’ll have plenty more of the next couple days including some more reaction on the season.

  • JDS

    I think next year’s rotation goes something like this:
    1. KG/DMo/LLP
    2. Stu/LLP/Vogrich
    3. Manny/Novak/Wright
    4. Peedi/Gibson
    5. Mclimans/Cronin
    **Morgan redshirts

    We will be stacked at the gaurd position next year. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly DMo learns and I still think he’ll see some minutes, but I see KG stepping up big next year and playing w/ a chip on his shoulder. Stu will start for sure since he is a decent ball handler. We can only hope for LLP and Vogrich to drain the 3s off the bench.

    I think Novak should back up Manny primarily at the wing b/c of his size, but I would not be suprised to see those two on the court at the same time a lot.

    Peedi should play at the 4 to alleviate match up problems. I think if Mclimans gets bigger this summer, he can be a good asset in the JB system. It seems like he gets up and down the floor quickly and has some range. Plus, I agree w/ Dave and think JB loves having a big man shooter who can spread defenses on the floor at all times. I also like Gibson coming off the bench. He provided quality mintues off the bench this year, but I don’t think he is comfortable in a starting role. Cronin’s injury and overall speed (lack their of) may keep him on the bench. But I expect him to be a great rebounder and shot blocker off the bench for the few minutes he plays.

    I think JB redshirts Morgan to eventually develop him more as a shooter and offensive threat to replace Peedi after next year. Morgan is young for his age, and I think Mclimans will play over him next year b/c he fits the Belein big guy mold right away.

    Based on Dylan’s Recruiting Roundup posts, I think Eso Akkune should have some sort of impact b/c he is a natural scorer.

    Can’t wait for next year!

  • m fan in new mexico

    I think the game with OU was turning our way until the ref’s blew it. They fouled Manny out with the charge, but we were still within a bucket. The following play, the OU guard drives from the right wing into the middle, runs over our defender, almost identical to half the charges called on UM and he dishes out for the dagger 3 on the wing. That said, i wonder what the game would have been like had Manny got to play his usual minutes. Seemed no one had a stop for his quick first step, and maybe he puts Griffin in foul trouble and Griffin doesn’t try so hard on the offensive glass? That being said, should be fun next year, And if everyone stays, I would not be surprised to see these guys cutting down some nets next march after winning a regional bracket heading to the final four.

    Also, good luck to the UM hockey team this weekend! They have been exciting all year and would love to see Red get another title, hopefully over the Irish!

  • Tom also
    I feel ya on the Beilein knows more than me, thats not in question. Whats in question was the substitution of EXTREMELY hot players. A. Wright was actually pulled before the end of the first half, contrary to what you stated. He was replaced by Lee??? Dougals and Novak combined for 2-15 shooting, Wright was something like 7-8 and yet the freshmen played extended minutes while Wright was on the bench? Explain it away as you wish but these are legitimate questions. Beilein did a great job this year overall, but as an objective observer , he was not perfect.

  • Ant Wright had played about as much at one time as he had since November. Peedi also had played the first 10 minutes or so of that Iowa game and Michigan had been pounding the ball to him the whole game.

    I definitely think it looks like he pulls guys a lot because he tries to get them rest right around the TV timeouts.