Game 8: Michigan vs. Detroit Post Game

Dylan Burkhardt

manny peedi

Michigan opened with another mediocre first half against subpar competition and found themselves down 3 points at the break. Luckily they tightened the screws on defense in the second half and pulled away thanks to stellar play from Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims.

This was a game of two halves and swung thanks to some stellar defense (feels like the first time I’ve said that this year). In the first half, Michigan played a significant amount of 1-3-1 and got torn apart by Detroit. The Titans made Michigan’s defense look foolish, shooting an eFG% of 60.3% and rebounding 46% of their misses.

The second half was a different story. Michigan played much more man-to-man and held the Titans to an eFG% of only 36.2% and allowed them to rebound only 26.3% of their misses. It was one of the best defensive halves of the season for Michigan and they not only defended but rebounded.

Michigan’s offense was effective to a point. Manny and Peedi carried most of the offensive burden, combining for 18 of Michigan’s 25 made field goals as well as 10 assists. The rest of Michigan’s offense combined to make 7 out of 21 shots (33% shooting) for 21 points. So obviously, Michigan is looking for a little bit more from their supporting cast.

Detroit was obviously not a great team, they have some talent but have also got blown out by California and lost to Tennessee State last week. Michigan let them hang around with another lackluster first half but the second half defensive performance was the type of performance that they could build on.

Of course they will have to because next up is a trip Kansas. The Jayhawks are very very good, the best in the country by most.

novak-xPlayer Bullets:

  • DeShawn Sims: This is the DeShawn Sims that Michigan needs every night. He shot the lights out, rebounded, and even made some nice passes: 23 points (10-12, 3-3 3pt), 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals. I thought Peedi was focused throughout and battled against the bigger Eli Holman. I have complained about Peedi taking too many threes before but right now he’s shooting 37.5%, good for second best on the team. As in his best performances he played inside-out rather than starting on the perimeter, I was most impressed with his season high 10 defensive boards.
  • Manny Harris: Is this a typical Manny Harris game? 27 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists looks very impressive but Manny’s averages aren’t much lower at 22 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 5 assists per game. Manny’s three point stroke is slowly coming back, he’s shot 9-16 (56%) over the last three games from behind the arc. My one complaint is still that there are probably 5 or 6 possessions per game where Manny tends to free lance a bit and get caught out of position on defense.
  • Stu Douglass: Like every guard, Stu is struggling to find his shot but Michigan needs him on the floor. He knows the offense and we just have to pray that he snaps out of his funk.
  • Laval Lucas-Perry: Laval really gave Michigan a spark with a three point make as well as a couple nice drives to the basket. Laval showed some emotion and made some big plays, with Morris and Vogrich struggling to adapt, Michigan needs Laval to step up.
  • Zack Novak: I don’t know that Zack was all the way recovered from his flu. He played 34 minutes but it certainly wasn’t his best performance. His two points didn’t come until very late in the game and he only notched four rebounds. I also think that his block late in the second half made up for him getting dunked on in the first.
  • Zack Gibson: Brutal performance from Gibson. His two turnovers at the top of the key were painful and ever since I wrote an article that praised him, he has stopped making shots. I apologize.
  • Darius Morris: After his first shift, Darius barely got off the bench. He looked tentative on both offense and defense. He turned the ball over twice in 11 minutes but the play that stands out was him giving up a transition layup far too easily.
  • Eso Akunne: At this point I think I would be in favor of slowly giving Eso more and more minutes. He is a freshman walk-on so it’s tough to expect that much but he works hard and could be a real nice piece down the road.
  • sketch76

    Those 4 keys to victory look the opposite to what Michigan has been doing lately. Are you sure these values aren’t switched? Detroit with an 11% TO rate…

  • sketch76

    Guess not, my mistake. Nice shooting Blue!

  • JimC

    Great game from Sims!

    Even though Stu is still struggling a little from 3, i thought he played well and at least he hit his 2pt shots. We need him to hit about six 3-pointers at Kansas like he did at UConn last year.

    Here is the mystery: Novak is probably recovering from the flu, and in the first half shoots 0%, gets dunked on, etc.
    But he still played more minutes than Sims who was basically unstoppable.

  • Benjamin


    But, Novak plays the 4 and Sims the 5 — so?

    Maybe I am not understanding. How can you compare the minutes for people that play different positions.

  • gpsimms

    Yikes, kenpom predictions are out. Last year, he predicted Michigan to go 8-10 in conference, and was largely quite accurate when it came to predicting games.

    He gives M a 1% chance in Lawrence this weekend. I think our biggest upsets last year were games in which he gave us around a 30% chance (don’tr ecall exactly).

    Further, kenpom has going 5-13 in conference, and finishing 11-19, only slightly ahead of where we finished in Beilein’s first year.

    Of course his predictions are based on the games already played, and it is pretty tough to argue with him that based on the available data, Michigan is pretty terrible.

    So here’s hoping Michigan is much better than their first nine games and we have a chance at the NIT. (I won’t even whisper the other tournament’s name, since the hope of that is so fragile that it will be burst by the slightest disturbance).

  • Blazerine

    The missing piece of the puzzle:

    I think I know exactly what this teams needs…a PF.

    I love Novak don’t get me wrong, and I think he brings the right tools to the table, just not the right makeup. This is considering we keep D. Sims at C. We need a PF with length. I’m talking 6’8 above (Smotrycz!) who can defend, rebound, hustle. but most importantly score.

    The more I think about it, the more I think it’s absolutely correct. Sims produces at C. Harris at SF. LLP/Stu at SG (usually score a fair amount combined) and the PG spot also some production (considering that LLP/Stu/Darius all get minutes there. The problem is, we have no 4! If Novak was 3-4″ taller we’d be set, but he’s not. I think that’s the main missing component to this team.

    If the PF could shoot, rebound, hustle, defend like Zach, only 3-4″ taller…I think we’d be set.

    Or you could flip the whole post around and say we need a true Beielien Center…and I’d agree with that if we’re then moving Peedi to PF.


  • Jeff

    Although I didn’t think their performance was anything to get too excited about, I can say that it was the first game in weeks where I wasn’t actually discouraged by the way they performed. The offense looked as good as it has all season and there were actually four people who had strong games, which I think is the key for this team. Sims was great as he has been against every subpar opponent this year–let’s see if he shows up against Kansas. Douglass and LLP actually contributed this game despite a few boneheaded plays from both. The rebounding was much, much better also.

    On the negative side of the ledger, the defense in the first half was just a complete joke–how many players can you leave wide open under the basket? It was better in the second half, but was helped by UofD missing several layups. Also, Zack Gibson has gone back to being Zack Gibson and the freshman are still contributing nothing.

    Overall, the game didn’t get me excited, but at least it didn’t deepen the hole this team has dug for itself. I guess that will have to do for now.

  • The Squid

    This was the first game that I’ve gone to this season, and the thing that really stood out was that, although UDM is just a marginally good mid-major, their front line was bigger and more physical than UM’s. Sims managed to compensate by having a great game, particularly in the 2nd half, but yikes. There were points in the first half that looked like a layup drill for Eli Holman, who kept getting excellent position on the blocks for little baby hooks. The shooting and guard play is going to have to improve dramatically if they’re going to crack .500 this season in the Big Ten.

  • Erik

    Blazerine, I don’t think we “need” any other pieces at this point. This is basically the same personnel as last year. Talent wise, we should even be upgraded with Morris over two walk ons, and the addition of Vogrich. It’s the shots that aren’t falling and the defense not doing their job that is the problem. I don’t think a couple of extra inches to Novak is the problem. I think it’s all mental.

  • JimC

    @Benjamin, yeah that’s a valid point.

    Though I’m not so sure that JB follows the strict plan that all the 1-5 positions are on the court at the same time. Seems like sometimes he tries different combinations.
    But basically I think you just want to maximize your productive players’ time, and i’m not sure JB always does that, as we have debated ad nauseum here.

    Sometimes i think JB sees Novak dive for a loose ball and it makes his eyes light up.

    Stepping off my soapbox now.

  • Kevin in GR

    I agree with Erik…..I think they came into the year with a different mindset from years past. In the past, there wasn’t much expected from them…..This year, expectations were high and Beilein even reminded them in the summer via letter that they needed to remember that they were still “hunting”. They had to go to OT to beat Creighton, then lost the two games of the Old Spice. I think after the first loss, they didn’t react very well in the game against Alabama (a winnable game for sure). I was at the Marquette game and it just seemed that Marquette was more into it and a tougher team. Once the losses started coming, I think it started to snowball and become more mental than anything. As they mentioned on the broadcast yesterday, no team in America spends more time in practice shooting than UM does. Hopefully they will be loose for the Kansas game and go in thinking they have nothing to lose, in turn coming up with a good effort. We’ll see!

  • JB

    random question but i’ve been having a really hard time following michigan prep bball. i mainly just want to follow brundidge, zeigler and a few others’ stats and results.
    Freep prep coverage is awful these days. Mlive hasn’t been very good. does anyone recommend any sites? Thanks.

  • Dylan

    Recruiting round ups will start up again here this week.

  • JB

    I didn’t even know you do that too Dylan. Thanks. no hurry.

  • ToBlav

    JB, Dylan is do it all amazing. That’s why we’re all here. Excuse me I have to go figure out how to donate.

  • Benjamin

    ToBlav- click the “Donate” button in the right column :)

    He makes it easy for ya.

  • jmblue

    Eso may be a walk-on, but he’s got a lot of ability. He just happens to be a ‘tweener – he has the game of a frontcourt player but the height of a guard. If he were a couple of inches taller, he’d have been a top 100 player, easily.

  • maxwell’s demon

    Why is the most recent comment on the site on the PSU post from February?

  • It was a spammer maxwell’s demon.

  • Drew

    Dylan, I’m curious on your thoughts about the Pomeroy projection of 11-19. I know your big into efficiency and all other things Kenpom.

    I’ll be the first to admit this team has been downright pathetic/embarrassingly bad at times for the majority of the year, but I have a hard time seeing this team as anything worse than at least a .500 ballclub. Perhaps I’m still swimming in the sights of last year’s NCAA trip, but I have to believe this team is going to win some meaningful games.

  • JB

    I could see @KU ending up a lot of different ways. I’m not putting too much on it, although a win would likely change our season.

    If we are going to turn this ship around…I think right now/after ku is when we have to do it. after kansas, we have five very winnable games, 4 big ten.
    coppin state
    at indiana
    at psu

    we could get out of our slump and need to if we’re gonna compete with the big dogs.

  • AG2

    I for one don’t put much stock in to Pommeroy’s projections. Primarily because Michigan outperformed them last year. We had a negative efficiency rating and still managed to win big games at the end of the season and not just make the tournament, but win.

  • Mitchigan

    Some very good insight and post game thoughts from Coach JB.

  • ZRL

    Agree JB. Don’t get embarrassed on Saturday and then go 5-1 in the stretch you mentioned and we can start talking bubble again. Anything less and you can start booking your cbi tickets.

  • I know Ben Cronin is working hard to heal and this may be premature (I hope it is), but if his hip injury is career ending can UM still pay for his schooling but he move off the basketball scholarship roster which would open another slot? He just seems like he can barely run or move.

  • I Miss Alan Branch

    I’m hoping for a great effort in Kansas. It’s nice to have them on the schedule because this is basically a free game. If we shoot in the 70s for threes and pull out a miracle, then we are back in the tournament talk. If we lose, nobody will count it against us. That should take the pressure off of us.

  • maxwell’s demon

    Wayman – Someone brought this up before. I think similar to football the university can still give him an academic scholarship or whatever but he would free up a bball one if he left the team.

    Also, I really think anything short of a win in Lawrence means no NCAA barring B10 tourney win. With a loss, at best we are looking at 7-5 non-conference with one big home win (UCONN) and 0 good non-conference road/neutral wins and 4 mediocre to bad losses. I suppose if we picked up 12 conference wins we’d have a pretty good case, but even at the start of the season I would have said 12 would be a stretch.

    As for our chances, better than 1%…

  • JalenIsEmbarrassed

    JmBlue… Re: Eso

    Explain what Eso’s abilities are? He brings some defensive toughness which justifies playing time on this team but there are no noticable tools there.

    Anyone have a Jordan Morgan update?

  • AG2

    One of the things that walk-ons give you is that what they lack in physical talent, they make up in effort and knowledge of the offense and defense.

    As for Jordan Morgan, he’s redshirting after ACL surgery I think.

  • Snoop

    Might have to start covering Womens Basketball too! Those girls are tearin it up! Lets see what they do in Big Ten Play and maybe Borseth really turns this thing around..

  • Paul F.

    Did Trey Zeilger break his wrist? I was reading his resent twitters. Sounds like he has a chipped bone in his wrist.

  • Paul F.

    Yep Trey Zeigler has a chipped bone in his wrist. Per him on his Twitter account.

  • Looks like he can still play though.

  • Paul F.

    Good news that he can still play Dylan.

  • ZRL

    Sure, Kansas might be ranked #1, but hey have yet to play anyone even remotely good. Their best opponent so far was a mediocre Memphis team who they beat by 1 on a neutral floor. Let’s not pretend like Kansas is unbeatable. Their ranking is entirely based off of preseason predictions, and if there’s one thing this year has shown us it’s that preseason predictions mean absolutely nothing.

  • I like your spunk, ZRL. :-)

  • Sam

    For some reason, I still think this team and last year’s team have had tendencies to play to our opponents’ level. I’m not going to predict a win in Lawrence, but I think we will have a good showing.