Game 6: Boston College at Michigan Post Game

Dylan Burkhardt
on

ugh

Well that’s certainly not how to snap a losing streak. Michigan picked up right where they left off with another terrible performance.

Michigan knew the importance of this game but they played without any mental toughness. They blew routine layups, fell asleep on inbounds plays, couldn’t hit a shot, and lacked defensive intensity. The whole nine yards.

Right before players were introduced John Mahoney motioned to CJ Lee, who was sitting directly behind the Maize Rage, to come down on the court and put on a jersey. He was obviously kidding, but there is no doubt that it would have helped. It’s beginning to sound redundant but the void in leadership is painfully obvious. It’s time for someone to take ownership and get this team on the same page.

On offense, it just isn’t working. Boston College packed the lane and dared Michigan to beat them from the outside. It obviously worked. Michigan shot 38.7% on two point field goals and 26.5% from long range (39.2% eFG). They simply couldn’t buy a basket. The shooting has to get better but what I’m most worried about is the flow of the offense. At this point it seems like there is far too much thinking going on before the correct reads are made.

The defense was brutal as well. Yes, it got better as the game went on but Boston College had already established their dominance. Boston College ran the flex offense to perfection against Michigan, mostly thanks to Corey Raji who scored 24 points on 11 of 16 shooting. According to the numbers at SCACC Hoops, through the first 30 minutes of play Michigan was giving up an astounding 1.30 points per possession.

As someone that has tried to be a consistent voice of reason, it’s hard not to panic at this point. Michigan laid an egg, at home, in a game they had to have. The season is still young but this team is playing terrible basketball, there is no other way to put it. At this point, every game seems to raise more questions about this team.

How do you fix it? This team’s confidence is rattled and who knows what will get it back. This stretch is eerily similar to Michigan’s swoon in late January when the offense seemed to disappear and Michigan lost 5 of 6 games. In the middle of that stretch, I wrote a piece proclaiming that Michigan needed to “Just Play Ball” rather than be crushed under the weight of expectations. At this point, there’s not much more that Michigan can do.

Player Bullets:

  • Manny Harris: It’s hard to call 19 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 turnover, and 2 steals a bad game but it’s reality. There are enormous expectations on Manny’s shoulders but I don’t think he would want it any way else.
  • DeShawn Sims: Ugh. Michigan needs a lot more from Peedi. I don’t know whether it’s effort, focus, or hustle but Sims needs to produce. He has all the talent in the world but he needs this is his senior year, he needs to bring more to the table.
  • Zack Novak: Love Zack’s hustle but after the first few minutes his shot disappeared. He was banging against a 6’9 Joe Trapani all night which might have something to do with it. Zack Novak is going to play a lot but that means he needs to hit shots, especially if he is going to take 11 field goal attempts.
  • Zack Gibson: Gibson is playing very well: 9 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 blocks in 16 minutes. He needs minutes, I’m not sure where they come but he needs to get them. This game emphasized why Beilein is hesitant to play Sims with Gibson, as both big men got in foul trouble in the first half.
  • Darius Morris: Not ready for primetime. Darius isn’t ready and that was clear by his minutes which almost disappeared during the game.
  • Stu Douglass: Stu is typically a gunner but by the end of the game he had lost his confidence as well. Him passing up a three point shot (yes, it was deep) with around 1:30 left and Michigan trailing by 6 says about all you need to know about how he feels about his shot.
  • Laval Lucas-Perry: Not LLP’s best day to say the least. His missed layup looked like perfect material for the Not Top 10, he had some terrible free throw misses, and couldn’t buy a three pointer.
  • Matt Vogrich: Vogrich is going to be a good player but right now his head is still swimming. It was good to let him get some playing time but I think Beilein is limited with what he can do with Vogrich on the court. Needs to stay confident in his three point shot because the drive isn’t happening against bigger and more athletic teams.
  • Anthony Wright: I am rarely positive about Anthony Wright’s game but I really liked what he gave the team. He hit a three but I also thought he came in the game with more defensive intensity than anyone else on the floor during the first half.
  • AG2

    I think Clemson runs out of gas because they play full court press defense the entire game. Isn’t that what 40 minutes of hell is?

  • Deacon Blues

    Something else to fret about (as if there weren’t already enough): how poorly U-M plays on short-to-medium rest.

    Last season, U-M played 15 games with two days off beforehand or less. They went 3-12. The three wins were Duke, Florida Gulf Coast and Indiana. This season, U-M is 0-3 in the same spot.

    And as we look ahead to Big Ten play, there are of course a ton of two-days-off games that we now desperately need: OSU at home, Illinois at home, Northwestern home and away, among others. Pretty much have to have three of those four.

  • Deacon Blues

    Doh — forgot about Northeastern. 4-12 then.

  • Sam

    Danger, I’ve been to every home bball game for the past two years (other than like two break games) and I have never heard of the “cut your mullet” chant, so it appears that that has been eliminated.

    To Brogrich Fan #1: We have tried the Chinese Fire Drill only twice this season. I feel that if every person participated and half the people didn’t just stand still, it would look pretty cool. Is there nothing we can do to have fun just once every couple games? I also believe that I know exactly where you guys sit, so I’m wondering how you would know what it looks like from outside of the student section. Is there anyone that was at the BC game that saw the Chinese Fire Drill, and, if so, how did it look? (i.e. Giddings, I know who you are). If you are so against it, I would suggest coming to a Maize Rage meeting and voicing your concerns.

  • Danger

    thats good to hear because i graduated in 08 so hopefully it left with that class…i came off as a little harsh but i was very frustrated with the maize rage leadership for much of my time as a student…and yes i knew who the leaders were.

  • Giddings

    Honestly I missed the Chinese Fire Drill in the BC game, I was coming in from out of town and got to the game around the first media timeout… but when it was done in the Wayne State game (I think) it looked pretty funny to me.

    I’ve been to all but one home game the last 6 years and I agree that “Cut your mullet” seems to have disappeared recently from the Rage, I was never a huge fan of it.

  • Bando

    A couple of observations about the Maize Rage:

    I had student tickets for 5 years, and have tickets for most games this year as well, so this is where I’m coming from.

    1. The Chinese Fire Drill was, honestly, dumb.

    2. Whoever writes the Rage Pages, this whole “Facts about Chris Webber” thing is one of the most short-sighted and moronic things I’ve ever seen. You do realize why our program was in the tank for over a decade, right? Ever wonder why you don’t see Webber at games, and won’t for another 3 years? Quit building the legacy of a guy who had a blatant disregard for our University and our program’s reputation. There are other players in our storied history who didn’t break the rules.

    3. Speaking of the Rage Page, if you guys didn’t put a big blurb in today’s page about not booing the team, you’ve missed the boat. I’ve never been more embarrassed of our student section than the multiple points in Wednesday’s game where they booed the team. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I realize there are a LOT of bandwagoners in this group, but you’ve got to do a better job of letting them know what’s acceptable and what’s not cool.

    I’ll second the comments of the fellow ’08 grad that the Rage was run by tools when we were in school. It’s absolutely true, and by the end of my run in the student section, I was sick of those kids acting like they were god’s gift to basketball fans. That’s gotta change. With the student section as big as it is, and the fact that there are so few returning season ticket holders, that’s going to be hard.

    Also, this new student ticket policy is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen. Way to not reward returning season ticket holders who stuck by this program when it wasn’t very popular to do so.

    Sorry for the negative post, but I was pretty disappointed with what I saw on Wednesday night.