Game 3: Michigan vs. Creighton Post Game

Dylan Burkhardt


Beilein audio | Player audio

Creighton gave Michigan all they could handle and then some, but Michigan prevailed in overtime. There were times when Michigan looked like a top 15 team and there were times when they looked lost. But at the end of the day this was an extremely gutty victory over a very tough Creighton team.

Manny Harris was far from his best. He couldn’t find his range from three, missed numerous bunnies inside, turned the ball over four times, and missed five free throws. But the light finally came on. Harris made just enough plays to help Michigan limp into overtime before taking over in extra time. Harris scored 7 of Michigan’s 14 overtime points and assisted two baskets which led to five more points.

While the game wasn’t pretty, this was a perfect game for Michigan. They obviously got the victory but they certainly had to work for it. Creighton punched Michigan in the mouth time and time again and Michigan managed to find an answer. There were plenty of big plays that stood out: Manny Harris dunking in overtime over a helpless Justin Carter, Stu Douglass nailing a 30 foot three pointer, Manny Harris coming down with an offensive rebound between 3 Blue Jays, and Laval Lucas-Perry catching fire in the second half.

The four factors do a great job of telling the story in this one. Creighton outshot Michigan, 56.1% eFG% to 50.7%. But Michigan won the turnover battle and got to the line. Creighton turned the ball over on nearly a quarter of their possessions while Michigan turned it over on only 15% of theirs. Michigan’s free throw rate (FTA/FGA) was more than triple the Jays however they couldn’t quite make them pay shooting a dreadful 13 of 23 from the line.

It’s a quick turnaround for Michigan, who will play Marquette at noon tomorrow. I should have some sort of short preview up after the match-up is set. Michigan only played 6 players for more than 7 minutes and they certainly run the risk of running out of gas this weekend. It’s clear that Beilein is much more comfortable playing his top 6 and is hesitant to dip below that group.

Player Bullets

  • Manny Harris: In a game where he struggled for probably 35 minutes, Harris still nearly posted a triple double with 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 11 assists. Manny couldn’t buy a basket for a while and looked frustrated but he has the ability to take over games and he showed it today.
  • DeShawn Sims: Peedi played well with 16 points (8-17 shooting) and 11 rebounds in 38 minutes. His three point shot wasn’t falling (0-3) and he missed a few bunnies but he scored the ball well on the block. The problem for Peedi is that he doesn’t look like he is quite in game shape, looking gassed for long stretches and still shaking off a bit of mental rust.
  • Laval Lucas-Perry: Laval has been searching for his offensive game all year but he caught fire in the second half and unleashed a barrage of three point shots. 18 points on 5 of 11 (4-6 3pt) shooting is a very solid day from Laval, especially considering 14 of them came in the second half. I think he has the worst handle of the three “point guards” but when he’s hot he’s hot.
  • Stu Douglass: His three point shot to tie the game was one of those “no, no, no, no, YES” moments. It had to be about 28 to 30 feet deep but it was all net. Stu couldn’t find his shot for most of the game, but he bailed himself out with that shot.
  • Zack Novak: 14 points (5-7 shooting), 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists,  1 block in 38 minutes. Novak had a great first half before disappearing for much of the second half. In the first half he was active in the 1-3-1 zone and had a very nice backdoor reverse layup.
  • Darius Morris: I love Darius’ length on defense especially in the 1-3-1 but it was clear that Beilein wanted to go with the sophomore guards down the stretch.
  • Zack Gibson: I expect we will see healthy doses of Gibson this weekend just because of Peedi running out of steam but he managed 2 points and 3 rebounds in 7 minutes.
  • Anthony Wright: A productive couple shifts for Anthony today, he hit a three and punched in a nice layup to go along with two boards and an assist on a perfect backdoor bounce pass.
  • Matt Vogrich: Got one shift in the first half but looked rattled against Creighton’s pressure defense.
  • Kevin

    Looks like we’re facing Marquette. Up by 9 with a minute left.

  • Giddings

    Jordan Crawford, what a ball hog…

  • Tom, Also

    Dylan, it seems you’ve fallen prey to the same confusion the color commentator had.

    Michigan played 2-3 zone for most of the game. Not once did I see them fall back into a 1-3-1.

  • Dylan

    We definitely ran some 2-3 zone in the second half. Ran the 1-3-1 almost exclusively in the first. I think there was at least one possession we ran 1-3-1 down the end as a change up but we also ran a lot of 2-3 after Creighton somewhat cracked the 1-3-1.

  • Bluebufoon

    We need Jordan Morgan or Cronin to give us 15 to 20 minutes a game on the boards and defending the paint. I love Coach Beilein and the direction of the program but with just Peedi down low amd four folks out on the perimeter this team is too soft on the boards and on “D”.

  • maxwell’s demon

    We definitely played a fair amount of 1-3-1

  • ToBlav

    Biggest two things are – 1. We handled the pressure well and 2. We had a third and fourth scorer and timely help from others.

    Also Morris and Vogrich are being protected from the pressure spots that could do psychological damage and delay their development. Coach Beilein is a wise man.

    Nice to win over a team that is hotter than us. It is the result of taking care of the ball.

  • sven

    Just got tickets to the game in Lawrence off of EBAY!

  • JimC

    Have fun @KS.
    Loved how Ant played today.
    Sometimes Gibson drives me crazy ‘cos he seems so weak, but it’s nice to have his 6-10 body sub for Sims.

  • Tweeter

    Another reason I think we saw more Douglass down the stretch rather than Morris, is because we were down for most of it. We needed more scoring and as Douglass showed with his huge three, he is a better option right now in terms of points. I think if we were up by 4 or 5, Morris would have been out there.

    The rotations were definitely off in this game. It seemed like there were more long stretches without stoppages, and our normal substitutions didnt happen. There were several times in the game where I thought the guys were out there too long, but a stop didnt occur in order for subs to get in. I agree with the top 6, but I think Gibson gets more minutes as we move forward, and it becomes more of a top 7 with Wright and Vogrich getting a few minutes here and there.

    As for Marquette, probably the lesser of two evils in terms of teams we could play. They are not a big team, but they play bigger. Xavier was a big team, that played small. Marquette kind of reminds me of Clemson without the talented front line. Hayward looked like most of their offense, at least in terms of half court sets. This is a game we should win.

  • Ken in Vegas

    Just got back from The Milk House. Thank god we won that game. My vacation depended on it. I was literally shaking. You would have thought I was watching the Final Four the way I was yelling.

    I was very impressed with Creighton’s play and especially impressed with their fans. I would have to say that they were the louder bunch. However, a jovial Michigan fan told our section that he tipped the local high school band. Next thing you know, they were playing the Victors on almost every time out. It was awesome. I was wondering “Did they learn that at half time?” I thought Novak was awesome and Manny just took the game over when we needed it the most. Did that facial dunk look as awesome on TV as it did in person? Maybe his best dunk yet.

    I stayed to watch the Xavier/Marquette game, and I have to say that tomorrow looks like another huge challenge. Marquette was fast, athletic, and physical. They were hitting their shots too. Hopefully the 131 zone throws them off. I imagine that they have been preparing for Xavier and may not have had the time to prepare for it. Great day overall.

    Giddings, I’ll be tailgating in the parking lot before the game tomorrow if you want to share a beer. You can shoot me an email at if you want to exchange numbers. Go Blue!!

  • JimC

    Manny’s best dunk: I’d have to go with that drive & slam on Duke a year ago, where he came running back with his arms out like he was flying. But today’s was still sweet.

  • Matt

    a win’s a win, especially over a team like Creighton. Creighton’s a much better team than many are giving credit. Another tough one tomorrow

  • Brady

    Great Win today by the boys, I thought we played OK, but we can definitly play better. Harris had a pretty average game and almost had a triple double! It seems as if his shot is a little off right now (he missed a lot of jumpers and free throws) which is rare for Manny. Morris plays great D and is great for the top of the 1-3-1 zone. I think Vogrich saw limited minutes b/c of the full court pressure Creighton applied, he isnt a great ball handler yet, and coach B wanted ball handlers and experiance in the 2nd half..lets go beat Marquette!

  • WTHef?

    What I’m most thankful for –

    Keep up the great work, Dylan!

  • JayRich

    I love taking credit when being right. I posted earlier that Michigan would win 83-78 (damn, I was close but I didn’t have OT either) and I said that we needed LLP and Douglas to step and low and behold…they did. Too bad I also said Prather would go to UM and I have been wrong about everything else…lol. Good win. Go Blue!

  • Paul F.

    Great win against a good team. Need to do the same against Marquette.Go Blue!

  • JayRich

    Who is better, Creighton or Marquette?

  • Chad

    I see nothing wrong with todays game. I mean this was Michigan’s first true test and they absorbed punch after punch. This was a good win, they got down, but came back to win. Manny did not play his best game and almost had a triple double…thats just wow. I am just a little concerned with the wide open shooters Creighton had, but the defense will get better as Coach B has a chance to look at film and make adjustments. Good win for Blue!

  • Kevin

    Hey guys. Great win. Just wanted to know your thoughts on that last possession. Beilein clearly told everybody not to give up the three at all costs and trusted Douglass to step up 1v1. I would think manny would be a better guy there but clearly beilein trusted stu.

  • bentley

    Great win today! That will definitely be an RPI top 50 win come March. As far as the rotation. I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Beilein is probably going to go with the 7 man rotation, like everyone else I expect Gibson to get more minutes and Vogrich’s minutes will depend on whether he can get in a rhythm in any particular game. Go Blue!

  • Bluebufoon

    Beilein took out Sims and left five small guys out on the court and the lane unprotected. I cringed when he made that substitution. You have to stop the dribble penetration. Surprised we didn’t zone.

  • There are a two main points about that last play…

    1. I think Beilein was clearly scared of losing to the three point shot. That’s why he had everyone on a man, all littles. Not sure if this is the right strategy but I definitely think that played into his logic.

    2. He trusted Stu to be the guy guarding Antoine Smith who was probably their quickest guard. Is Stu the guy he trusts most in the 1 on 1 situation?

  • Tweeter

    I dont have a problem with the lineup on the last play. The issue I see is with where they picked up the pressure. I just feel like if you wait until midcourt to pick up, its too late. Smith had a running start and Douglass is coming towards him, it is very difficult to turn and guard him in that situation without fouling and without help.

    I would have rather seen them pick up full court. Make Smith work to get going and/or force him to pass up the floor. If we could have made them take a couple seconds off the clock before getting to mid court, perhaps they dont get into the lane.

    On that same note, I aslo dont like that we didnt guard the inbounder. I remember Beilein did that last year in a game (forget which game). Its great to have an extra defender out there, but when there are only a couple seconds I would rather force a team to catch the ball in a tough spot, then give them an easy entry.

  • ChE

    What a horrible performance at the FT line.

    I think our guys need to practice more FTs.

  • ChE: The free throws are very strange. We were a great free throw shooting team last year and hopefully this is just an aberration. Manny mentioned that the video screen behind the hoop was a bit distracting.

  • Tweeter

    yea a lot of times when you play at a new venue the background can throw off your shooting. It will be interesting to see how they shoot them the rest of the tourney.

    Minny has gone up double-digs on Butler. Could be another big win for Big Ten rpi.

  • The presumed upper tier of the Big Ten has established themselves very well.

    Purdue won their tournament headlined by their win over Tenn.
    Minnesota looks good so far against Butler.
    MSU has an early win over the Zags and faces Florida tomorrow.
    OSU lost to UNC but beat Cal.
    Wisconsin got a pair of nice wins over Maryland and Arizona.
    Illinois has yet to be challenged, should be a nice match-up with Utah tomorrow.

    The other four… not so pretty.

  • Tweeter

    dont know if it is good or bad. We will get help in the rpi from these quality out of conference games plus several big games in conference, yet we still get 8 conference games against pretty bad teams. Like I said before, I feel like we should get at least 11 wins in conference because we should be able to grab 6 or 7 out of those 8.

  • ChE

    Well, they have to get used to shooting FTs in different venues if we are thinking of winning any away games and progressing the post-season.

    We sure as hell are not going to be shooting FTs only in Crisler.

    I’m just nitpicking by the way.

  • Tweeter

    I know, I know. I was just pointing out one of possible reason. Sometimes you just go in an arena or gym and the background just does not gel with you. Obviously they have to shoot better regardless of what the actual problem is. A lot of this is just on Manny. He has really struggled compared to last years shooting numbers. I dont remember his pre-freethrow routine from last year, but it seems like he is taking a long time to shoot them this year. That routine is usually key to consistency from the line, and maybe he changed something?

  • Dylan

    The issue with the screen is that it was a live video feed. So he was looking at himself while taking free throws essentially. When I went to sweet 16/elite 8 games at Ford field they would turn the end zone video screens off during free throws.

  • ChE

    Hopefully the FT shooting improves along the course of the season.

    This game wouldn’t have gone to OT if not for the abysmal FT shooting.

    Looks like Minnesota just got a signature win early on in the season.

  • Chad

    definitely that screen was distracting, I kept seeing Peedi look up at it when Manny was shooting. Pretty terrible idea to have a live feed up there like that.

  • Trevor

    I was really happy with the win today – Michigan came out without any previous tests, withstood an inspired performance by a good team with a lot to play for, on the whole didn’t shoot all that well, and still got the win.

    One thing I found curious was the assist stats: Manny pretty much got all of them. Darius Morris, for example, played 25 minutes without getting any. Granted, Stu had a couple of real nice looks that just weren’t completed, and Manny played every minute and is rightly the first, second, and third play-making option when he’s on the floor. But I’d really like to see Laval and Darius and Stu step up their play-making.

  • Sid

    I second all those who noticed that Creighton’s a good team. Nice ball movement and shooting, and they play hard. So definitely a good, if not terribly pretty, win.

    Manny gets all the accolades and deserves them, but I think Sims is the key to this season, just as he was last season. We desperately need his game in the paint – without it we’re a pretty one dimensional team that can’t afford a cold shooting night. When I heard him saying he had the green light to shoot more threes this year, I kind of cringed. He’s not a bad shooter from out there, but it’s not what we need.

  • ToBlav

    One more thing on the last play, Stu didn’t foul which was very smart and it was not an easy shot, even if it was near the basket. You don’t let them beat you with a three point shot or play in that situation, so I think it was done right.

  • Mark

    I hate being overly critical of college kids but A Wright should not play except for emergencies. While on the offensive side of the ball he is adequate when he has to play D he is horrible. He is constantly out of position and he doesn’t have the quickness or athleticism to make it up when he is out of position. I think the Creighton scored every time he was on the court.