Game 11: Michigan vs. Coppin St Post Game

Dylan Burkhardt

Michigan's Stu Douglass pops in two of his game-high 20 points over Coppin State's George Jackson during second half action of the Wolverine's 76-46 thumping of Coppin State, Tuesday night, December 22nd at UM's Crisler Arena. Lon Horwedel | sims

It was smooth sailing for Michigan as they cruised past Coppin State in a game that was never very close. Coppin State appeared to be the worst team that Michigan has played since Northern Michigan but it was good to see Michigan handle them with ease.

Coppin State’s inability to hold onto the ball was the biggest difference in this game. They turned the ball over on 28% of their possessions and there wasn’t a single player on the Eagles’ roster that didn’t record a turnover. The defensive effort was strong from Michigan but it was also clear that Coppin State was flat out not very good.

It was good to see Michigan’s offense finally hit some shots (58% eFG, 33% 3pt). Stu Douglass led the pack with 20 points, hitting 6 out of 10 three point attempts and adding 5 rebounds, 5 assists, with just one turnover. Laval Lucas-Perry (2-3) and Matt Vogrich (2-4) also shot the ball well but Sims, Harris, and Novak combined to shoot just 1 of 13 from three point range. DeShawn Sims was dominant inside, hitting 8 of 9 two point field goals en route to 18 points. Manny Harris played the role of the creator because his shot wasn’t falling, Manny notched 7 assists to go with his 5 points.

It’s tough to know what to take from this game. Michigan did what they were supposed to and handled inferior competition. Now they take a couple days off for the holidays before regrouping for the treacherous conference slate. Michigan opens conference play on New Years Eve in Bloomington. The Hoosiers have more talent this year but they are beatable, just ask Loyola (MD) who knocked off the Hoosiers today.

Michigan’s first five games of conference play are: @Indiana, OSU (sans Evan Turner), @ Penn State, Northwestern, and Indiana. These are five winnable games that could do wonders to turn Michigan’s season around. A 5-0 start might be hopeful but that would rejuvenate not only this team, but its fans, before a marquee home game versus Connecticut. A couple losses along this stretch could seal this team’s postseason fate in January.

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  • Nick

    It’s nice to see Stu find his shot…I hope he can keep it going.

  • Paul F.

    Manny clearly was a set up man last night. Stu showed alot more faith in his three’s. LLP played a good game as well. Looking forward to the big ten season. It would be nice to see a string of wins to start off. Would help the cause. I liked the crowd. Nice to see family’s there. Hope they come back.

  • eddie

    FWIW…the loyola team that beat IU in Bloomington last night was one of the two D1 teams that Coppin State beat this year.

  • Mith

    I hate to put so much pressure on the team(because of course they listen to every word I say), but those first 5 are pretty much MUST WIN. If the team had a good non-conference record, then sure they could afford to lose one. But those 4 bad losses have to be made up for and one way to do that is to make sure to win games like these.

    If they can do it and get to 11-5 heading into the UConn game, then I think we can renew our tourney hopes. Starting 5-0 in conference would suddenly make 12-6 look very doable.

  • Jeff

    Mith, you took the words right out of my mouth. I think they pretty much need to win the next six to get back on track (at least five for sure). They need to sweep Iowa, Indiana and PSU, beat Ill at home (who they only play once) and out of MSU, OSU, Wisc, Minn and Northwestern, they can only be swept by one of them. That plus beating UConn would get them in. Tall order, but it is possible.

  • JimC

    Stu was the man last night. He’s a different shooter when he gets his feet set.

  • Giddings

    Prediction: This team will not lose a single game in which they shoot more than 33% from three-point range and make at least 10 triples.

    Maybe that’s a little optimistic… last year we lost 4 times under this scenario (at Maryland, vs. OSU, at Iowa, Oklahoma). But something just tells me…

  • Sam

    I don’t know if my post didn’t register because of my terrible computer or if I just can’t find it, but I was right on with my prediction. I said that watching the Kansas game, I thought Stu was ready to get back on track and that LLP is still playing fine and that now we just need to get Novak going from downtown and I think this team can do wonders. I’d like to see Novak light up Indiana.

  • Jay

    Didnt get to see the game, but took a quick look at the fall guy aka Zack Novak’s stat line and seen 1-7 from 3, and 3-5 from inside the arc. When will the message be sent to him that he doesnt have to keep chuckin 3’s Ant Wright style?

  • Loving the Blue

    I really thing with JB’s offense we can’t approach a year expecting a freshman to contribute. I was hoping that DM would run the offense and Vogrich would offer some 9 points a night off the bench. I’m thinking that we won’t be a consistant tournament team until we get to the point that any freshman contribution is simply a bonus not needed. This year it has been needed.

  • Kevin

    Sam, I remember your prediction and thought of it while at the game last night. Somebody else mentioned something about the crowd going crazy when Zach finally hit one…they did. It wasn’t like he was even taking bad shots, they just weren’t falling. Oh well, I think his shot is less important than Stu’s or LLP’s because he has other things to offer (rebounding, hustle, running the court). That said, it’d be nice if he hit a few more.

  • Jeff

    Good point Blue, however, I think it will depend on the individual kid. Douglass and Novak seemed to grasp the system very quickly last year, but the freshman this year have been painfully slow to pick things up. I hope that’s all it is–that they’re having trouble picking up the system and not that they just aren’t that good. Maybe I was spoiled with last year’s freshman, but I really thought we would have gotten A LOT more out of this year’s class.

  • Slightly off topic. I attended the G’Town/Harvard game today to see Coach Amaker again. After the struggles of the last few weeks, I wanted to remember, I guess, what true frustration feels like.

    After hanging tough with the Hoyas for 17 minutes, Tommy decided his (intelligent but athletically limited) Crimson need to get out and run with G’Town. This did not go well. Harvard went down by 10 at halftime. In the second half, the same stupidity continued. They tried to run through Greg Monroe, and I am pretty confident the guy was close to a triple double. Their best player, Jeremy Lin (whom Jim Calhoun called a starting Big East PG) for some reason played the first 16 minutes, then, as they narrowed the Georgetown lead to 12, Amaker put him on the bench for the rest of the game. Just bizarre.

    Harvard lost by 19, and I remember why Tommy got driven out of town. Suffice to say, whatever happens this season, I appreciate Beilein MUCH more now.

  • Greenspan3000

    I think of one of the toughest things the fans, or at least I am, understanding is the difference between the contributions from last years class and this years so far. Last season’s freshman class was unheralded, especially with Stu and Novak – two guys from Indiana, who nobody knew anything about, so their immediate contributions was unexpected and suprising. LLP had somewhat higher expectations, based on his enrolling early so he could play for the Big Ten season, where he was streaky.
    I also think fans expected Michigan to have more size than just Sims and Gibson, but so far that has not changed at all. I am confused what exactly is going on with Cronin as his injury was a year ago, so I don’t know if he’s still having health problems or his adjustment to the college game has been slower than Beilein would like. On top of that, it seems like Morgan and Mclimans are not playing this year.
    And with Darious Morris and Matt Vogrich being top recruits, especially compared to last years class, I expected them to contribute just as much as Stu and Zack did, if not more because of their hype. I know the learning curve for Beilein’s offense can be slower for some players than others, so I don’t know if that is the issue with this Darius and Matt. How did we get worse, not gain any depth inside, and have even less depth on the entire bench?
    Sorry for the length

  • Jeff

    Those are the questions we’ve probably all been asking. As for answers, in addition to missing Lee and Merritt more than we thought we would, the freshman having a bigger learning curve than expected, and Cronin and Morgan being slowed by injuries, I’ll throw out one more. I think it was a big mistake scheduling the Old Spice tournament right before the BigTen/ACC Challenge, playing 4 games in 7 days. It didn’t give Beilein time to make any adjustments and the next thing you knew, we had lost four games. Now that he’s made adjustments to the rotation and they’ve worked out some of the kinks with defense and rebounding, they’ve played better the last three games. I still think they’ll end up playing at a slightly higher level than last year, but it may be too late to save the season and get back to the dance.

  • Jay

    Jordan Tommy was ok but also remember he had to come in when this ship had 5,000 holes in it. To convince kids to come and play here when we couldnt piggyback the fab5 years anymore would be difficult for any coach trying to do things the legit way.

    Moving on @ Kevin, Zack’s points are needed because of the amount of minutes he plays and the quality of shots he gets when in the game. Not asking for 20, but if Zack can stay around that 10-12 mark will be the difference whether this team can truly be successful. I think he is one of the more complex parts since he doesnt have to settle for 3’s, because you cant always hang your head on Stu or LLP bombing away from deep.

  • jmblue

    Jay, I’m sorry, but Amaker just wasn’t a very good coach. Recruiting was not his problem; he had the players. He just couldn’t coach them up.

  • Jay

    blue very true. I believe he was a good recruiter but it did seem like he threw them out there with no game plan at times. Cant really fight the argument, but I dont think he is horrible. His Seton Hall teams were solid, here he didnt have one star player cause they wouldnt come here. Alot of players never improved as much as you would of thought, I agree

  • Jay what are you talking about? Horton (5 star), Dion Harris and Courtney Sims (both 4 stars), even Petway had 3 stars. They just did not develop AT ALL. Was all coaching. His recruiting was pretty great. His coaching, not so much.

  • AG2

    I agree, he actually started out recruiting strongly, he just feel off after more and more recruits realized he couldn’t coach.

    If I recall correctly, those players from Seton Hall who he took to the 2nd round of the tournament that year weren’t his.

    As far as throwing them out there with no game plan, isn’t that pretty much the definition of a motion offense?

  • BigPlayBray

    Not to pile on TA, but he was not a good coach. Go look at his track record at Seton Hall. He had one team that did anything in the NCAAs. And with the nation’s #1 recruiting class (Eddie Griffin, Andre Barrett, etc.) They didn’t even make the tournament.

  • Giddings

    A very solid recruiter and great guy but way below average in player development and X’s and O’s. He will succeed at Harvard though (already showing signs of it) simply because he’ll be able to out-talent the rest of the Ivy League by enough of a margin to offset his coaching deficiencies.

  • Jay

    @Jordan..I thought Horton was the end of Ellerbe for some reason, probably got him mixed up with Lou Bullocks I could be wrong. But besides Horton nobody else played up to their potential. Harris was a complete disappointment, on a Willie Mitchell/ Bobby Crawford level. In all those years, you can only name 3 players..thats also shows he couldnt land the big fish.

  • JimC

    another subject…
    In a theoretical world, if this year’s M team played last year’s, what would happen?

    Even though this team has about 95% of the production and even more talent, i think last year’s team would win big. Confidence, shooting, leadership, something is off.

  • Jay. Agree with you 100% about Dion. I disagree about you landing a big fish. On the 2005-06 team, he had a five star recruit, 4 4 star recruits (Abram, Sims, Harris, Chris Hunter), a 3 star recruit (Petway) and a body guy who was pretty decent (Graham Brown). A team with that kind of talent should not miss the tournament. No question.

  • pgrom

    Amaker missed the tournament in 2006 because of injuries. Abram missed most of the Big Ten season and Dion and Hunter missed a number of key Big Ten games.

    Tommy is a good coach and a good teacher of the game. He will be successful. It’s too bad it just didn’t come together here.

  • Jeff

    Amaker did have some bad luck with injuries, but the 2006 team did not miss the tournament because of injuries, they missed it because they choked at the end of the season. They lost at home to an Indiana team that was in complete disarray, then they lost in the first round of the B10 tournament to an awful Minnesota team. If they had won either of those games they would have been in.

    I don’t think Amaker was awful, but there are a lot of better coaches out there. Beilein is a significant upgrade over him.

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