Game 13: Michigan vs. Ohio State Post Game

Dylan Burkhardt


For forty minutes last night, Michigan looked like the team we expected to see this year. It was against an Ohio State team without their best player, but it was an impressive effort from top to bottom.

The great performance came on the backs of an inspired effort from Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims, who combined for 52 of Michigan’s 73 points on combined 65% shooting (22/34). In what was one of their most dominant performances since last year’s Purdue game, Harris and Sims simply couldn’t be stopped as they scored the ball from inside and outside.

vogrichWhile Harris and Sims were phenomenal, it was a freshman who gave Michigan their biggest spark of the second half. Backing up Manny Harris in a “get me over” type of shift, Matt Vogrich inspired Michigan with a number of hustle plays in only two minutes.

In his second half shift, Vogrich pulled down two offensive rebounds, one for a put back score and then managed to tie up David Lighty for a jump ball. Vogrich has struggled this year, and even his first half shift he was abused on the defensive end leading to two wide open Jon Diebler three point attempts which making it all the more shocking when he took over the game, even for a short moment.

Michigan’s defensive effort in the second half was tremendous from top to bottom. They held the Buckeyes to an eFG% of only 35% in the second half after letting them get loose in the first with an 59.5 eFG%. After allowing Jon Diebler to score 14 points in the first 12 minutes of play, Michigan managed to limit him to only 17 for the game. Despite struggling on the defensive glass (Ohio State rebounded 42% of their misses), this was Michigan’s most inspired defensive effort to date. Lighty (13 points on 12 shots), Buford (16 points on 17 shots), Diebler (17 points on 14 shots) put up solid point totals but they certainly earned them, taking a number of shots to get there.

Offensively the numbers look good as well. Michigan shot the ball very well (eFG% of 61.5%), won the turnover battle, and got to the line a bit more (mostly thanks to late game OSU fouling). Michigan shot only 30% of their field goal attempts from three point range as they relentlessly pounded the ball inside to DeShawn Sims and Manny Harris.

Michigan obviously needs to build off of this momentum. It would take a dramatic turn around to truly save this season. The obvious question is whether this is a sign of a turnaround or just a flash in the pan of what could have been. However, playing with the effort and energy that we saw on Sunday afternoon should be a given from here on out. Michigan heads to Penn State (8-6, 0-2) on Thursday to take on Talor Battle and the Nittany Lions.

celebrate-benchPlayer Bullets:

  • Manny Harris: It would have been fun to see him go head to head with Evan Turner but he was simply dominant: 24 points on 9-16 (3-6 3pt) shooting, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, and 4 turnovers. Ohio State was daring Harris to go left the entire game, and once he finally did a couple times it really opened his offensive game. It seemed like everything he threw up went in whether it was an off balance three point shot or a running layup in the lane after getting tackled by David Lighty.
  • DeShawn Sims: Sims was actually better than Harris today and he had his motor running for the entire game: 28 points (13-18), 9 rebounds, 1 steal. Michigan can beat anyone when Sims plays like he did today but he needs to find consistency. Michigan looked to Sims inside early and often and he rewarded them time and again.
  • Zack Novak: Novak’s shot wasn’t falling today (1-5, 1-3 3pt) but he still managed 2 assists and 2 steals and I thought he played great defense on David Lighty for most of the game. It was also a blessing for Novak that similar to Michigan, Ohio State plays a four guard lineup.
  • Stu Douglass: Stu Douglass is becoming the leader in the backcourt: 9 points (2-6), 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 0 turnovers. It is obvious that he has the best understanding of the offense and probably the defense as well. After playing 40 minutes in Bloomington, Douglass notched 39 minutes last night, let’s hope he is in shape because it seems like he will be playing a lot of minutes in conference play.
  • Darius Morris: Slowly but surely we see more and more of Darius’ potential. He received the majority of the guard minutes in the second half and scored 5 points in the second half. It’s clear that he is getting more comfortable on both sides of the ball.
  • Laval Lucas-Perry: For the second game in a row, Laval was held scoreless and saw Darius Morris take most his minutes as the game went on. He’s just not providing Michigan with much of a boost although he did notch 3 assists to 2 turnovers.
  • Zack Gibson: Gibson didn’t see much playing time because DeShawn Sims was too dominant to keep off the floor but I’m certainly alright with that.
  • Matt Vogrich: As mentioned above, Vogrich gave Michigan a huge lift in the second half. His first half shift he got abused by Jon Diebler and it was clear that he wanted to make up for it which he certainly did.
  • Anthony Wright: Anthony Wright is killing this team. He is a huge drop off on both sides of the ball, especially defensively, from Zack Novak. To his credit he managed to play his best in the last 5 minutes when Novak was sent to the bench with four fouls.

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  • Andy

    Nice game to see them get it all together. Regarding Anthony Wright, I agree, his late game shift was the best I’ve seen him play in a while and it’s probably not a coincidence that he didn’t shoot. What alternatives can anyone think of for a backup 4? If we aren’t going to burn Morgan or McLimans, I think it has to be Wright getting those minutes. Novak staying out of foul trouble is essential for this team to have a prayer.

  • The other alternative would be Eso at the four. He played it a bit in Utah when Novak was out with the flu.

  • GregGoBlue

    Is there anyway those of us in southern Manhattan without BTN can see a replay of this game? Is there somewhere I can DL it?

  • Andy

    Agree, I thought Eso was respectable against Utah. Doesn’t have the typical skinny build that this team is showing. I think it’s worth giving him a shot.

  • There is a torrent on but it’s not really moving quickly yet.

  • Tweeter

    Although generally an optimist and very happy with this win yesterday, there are a couple things that I am concerned/puzzled with. First, free throw shooting, particularly late game. I know shooting has been discussed on here before, but I believe the team went 6-11 over the last minute yesterday. One of those misses was the front end of a one-and-one.

    I can deal with struggles from the three point line, but I dont understand the continued problems at the line. This is going to cost the team a game at some point this year. One of the questions I have is why Beilein removes his players from the box out positions late in the game. I know you dont want to pick up a cheap foul, have a lane violation, or get beat up the floor too quick, but I think you can just tell players to stand there and dont go for the ball. I know that I always shot worse at the line when I was the only one there and my teammates were back.

    The second concern I have is with all the minutes being played by the starters. Douglass, Manny, Sims and Novak are all logging heavy minutes. Last year we saw a similar thing with the same guys except Douglass. I wonder if some of the inconsistencies we see with this team are due to the fact that they just play too many minutes. I know we dont have any depth, but guys like Gibson and Morris are capable of playing bigger minutes. Why not limit some of these guys to closer to 30-35 minutes a game (I dont think I would limit Manny, but the others I would), and then play Morris/LLP (whoever ends up the bench player) and Gibson around 20-25 a game. Then give any of the leftovers minutes to Vogrich, Wright.

    Maybe spreading out some the playing time through the entire top 7, would help keep guys like Sims, Douglass, Novak, fresher and perhaps prevent games where they disappear.

  • Sam

    I also was a little concerned about the end-of-game free throw shooting. Stu has absolutely no legs on his FT shot. If the game is a little bit closer, the free throw shooting could have doomed us.

    For everyone that thinks the season is a lost cause, I urge you to stick with the team. While the tournament is in great doubt at this point, there is still a long way to go. If we play to our capabilities, hold home court and win every game we are supposed to, we still have a shot. There have been plenty of darker days in the history of Michigan basketball. Last season we won at Indiana and lost at home to Ohio State, so we are once again even with what we were last year as far as the Big Ten goes. If we win every home game from here on out and win @ Iowa, @ Penn State, and perhaps steal one more, we still have a shot. Probable? No. Possible? Certainly.

  • Bball

    Anyone else notice how tall McLimans was on the bench yesterday? I know the kid is skinny, but it looked like he is at least 2 inches taller than Gibson or Morgan. Is that right? Can he play the 5 or is he just too skinny?

  • jeff

    Tweeter, the reason for the free throw % is because Darius Morris went 1 for 4 at the line, the rest of the team went 8 for 11, which is pretty good. They are shooting 71% for the year, which is also pretty good.

    Beilein pretty much had to tighten up the rotation. This team was just plain awful before he did that. The problem is that what they have coming off the bench (Wright, Gibson, and Vogrich so far) is awful. I’m hoping that Morris will continue to improve and give us more of a spark off the bench, but those other three just kill the team most of the time when they’re in.

  • JimC

    Great win by the whole team! I couldn’t knock anybody yesterday…

    Now as someone commented last night, it makes me think about what could have been. If M had played like this against Bama or IN or Utah or BC and turned 2 of those losses into 2 wins, we’d be at 9-4 and still vying for an NCAA berth, instead of 7-6 and on the NIT bubble which is still where we are at the moment IMO.

    But still i won’t give up: Go beat PSU!!!!!!

  • Tweeter

    @ Jeff: Morris did pull the average down a lot, but Manny also missed the front end of a one-and-one during that last minute and Douglass missed the second on first trip but Sims made a great play to get the ball back for the team. In this game, those misses did not matter, but its concerning when two guys you expect to be your best free throw shooters cant make them in the clutch.

    I agree with the rotation being awful earlier in the year. What I am saying is not to extend to a full rotation, but rather just play 7 pretty much for the whole game and space those minutes a little more evenly. Right now we have 6 guys (Stu, Manny, Novak, Sims, LLP, Morris) who have played a lot over the last two games and then three guys who saw a couple minutes here and there. I think adding Gibson to those 6 and spreading out the minutes more evenly would help guys to stay fresh and consistent throughout the year.

  • Has anyone else been puzzled by the lack of 1-3-1 defense this season? I understand a little bit against Indiana because I think we matched up well with them height wise, but that defense is one of the reasons we made the tournament last year and beat a couple teams that were better than us. Against Kansas, it fooled them and allowed us to go on a mini run before the half. Dylan, any reason they have played more man and 2-3 zone this season? PS: Sims can play on the block with anyone in the country. Rebounding is still frustrating especially when there are 3 yellow shirts around the ball and 1 red shirt that comes down with it. Find a man and box him out!

  • dave

    if michigan played like they did in the 2nd half in every game they would be undefeated and in the top 5 id imagine not just 9-4

  • I really don’t think the 1-3-1 was a key aspect of last year’s season. It helped early on for some of our big wins but it wasn’t a key aspect of our late season and tournament win. Last year from UConn onward, Michigan actually ran a decent amount of 2-3 zone as well.

    Beilein essentially goes with the 1-3-1 until he feels that it’s been compromised. In this case I think the alley-oop pass to Lauderdale over the zone was pretty telling and our man-to-man defense was very good.

  • Yeah, good point. Although our defense up until OSU had been horrendous using mostly man to man and 2-3 (from what I noticed). I just feel like we get into the passing lanes better and force more turnovers using the 1-3-1.

  • michmgoblue

    Anyone think Akunne should take Wrights role? At least he doesn’t make dumb mistakes at all and seems to play good D. I know it would hurt us in size, but he is really the only other guy with game experience.

  • mike

    “anthony wright is killing this team.” seems a bit excessive. i hardly think anthony wright is this team’s problem. i dont have time, but could list 10 other more relevant reasons that don’t include anthony wright as to why this team is underachieving more than the football team did.

  • Dylan

    I was more referring to when he is on the floor. I believe he was a part of a huge OSU run Sunday at least and maybe two.

  • Adam

    Anthony Wright is awful and I’d be happy if he never sees the floor. It’d be one thing if he was invisible when he is out there, but he is extremely visible while he is making poor decisions and bad plays. He has no quickness, no athleticism, and he never sees a shot that he doesn’t like. He is a liability out there.

    If not Gibson, I’d like to see Vogrich get some more time and possibly move Manny to the 4 while Novak gets a few minutes rest each game.