Game 25: Michigan at Iowa Post Game

Dylan Burkhardt

Box score.
It wasn’t one of Michigan’s best performances of the year but it was definitely one of their gutsiest. After losing a seemingly endless number of close games this year, Michigan finally managed to pull one out.

Michigan came out with their guns blazing in the first half. They hit 7 of their first 9 three point shots and scored with ease for most of the first stanza. But like we have seen all too often this year, they took their foot off the gas in the final five minutes. Iowa finished the half on a 14-4 run and the game was tied at halftime.

The second half saw both teams take leads and battle back and forth. Michigan shot only 37% in the second half to Iowa’s 50% and the Hawkeyes appeared to have the game in hand in the final minute until DeShawn Sims took over.

Sims scored all nine of Michigan’s points in the final 1:09 of the second half. Most importantly, he hit the game tying three with 7 seconds left over the outstretched arms of Aaron Fuller. Peedi missed plenty of easy shots throughout the night but he made just enough of them when it counted to make us forget about the misses. It appeared that Sims might have been fouled on that final three point attempt. According to Sims, an official told him that “he would have called the foul if it missed.” Big Ten officiating ladies and gentlemen.

Considering both teams scored 33 points in each half. It’s not surprising that the four factors point to a dead heat. Both teams had the same effective field goal percentage, 55%. They both made 12 of 16 free throws. They both had 13 offensive rebounds for 12 second chance points. Iowa had 23 defensive rebounds to Michigan’s 22. The lone difference was that Michigan won the turnover battle ever so slightly (18% to 13.6%).

Offensively, Michigan was hitting the three point shot. After shooting exactly 50% from three point range versus Minnesota, it was the second consecutive game Michigan shot 50% or higher. However it was the first time Michigan shot over 50% from three point range in the Beilein era (despite having shot exactly 50% on four different occasions).

Despite their three point prowess, Michigan was dreadful inside the arc and made only 13 of 35 (37.1%) two point field goal attempts. Sims and Harris were the only ones taking two point shots. The duo shot 33 of Michigan’s 35 two point field goal attempts and accounted for 12 of Michigan’s 13 made two point field goals. Iowa does a surprisingly good job of defending the two point shot given their lack of size (opponents shoot 49% on 2fga, 122nd nationally). They do a good job of getting underneath driving opponents ever so slightly while they are going up, forcing them into an uncomfortable attempt.

Michigan didn’t bring their A-game on the defensive side of the ball. Aaron Fuller simply killed Michigan, scoring 30 points on an extremely efficient 11 of 13 shooting to go with 13 rebounds. Fuller scored every which way inside the arc and Zack Novak simply couldn’t stop him. You can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Conference road wins are always enjoyable even if this one is a little bittersweet given the way the season has gone. Michigan has two more winnable games coming up, hosting Penn State and Illinois. It’s obvious that despite numerous disappointing results, this team hasn’t folded.
Player Bullets:

  • DeShawn Sims: 27 points on 10 of 25 shooting (9 of 23 from 2-point range) with 10 rebounds. Sims probably should have had 40 points if he made a higher percentage of layups. That being said, his three point shot at the end of the half was money and it’s tough to knock a guy who scores 27 points.
  • Manny Harris: 20 points on 7 of 17 (4-7 3pt) shooting, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 6 turnovers. A lot of good and a lot of bad. This is the Manny Harris we know. I think that, tonight, Harris’ great plays outweighed his bad ones. He hit some huge threes of the “no, no, no, YES!” variety that were reminiscent of last year’s Purdue and Minnesota games. Iowa did a great job of forcing Harris (3-10 on 2pt shots) into tough shots when he drove the lane but he did a good job distributing the ball and finding open shooters.
  • Zack Novak: 9 points on 3 of 5 (all 3pt) shooting with 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, and 0 turnovers. This is the type of “Novak stat line” that we haven’t seen in some time on the offensive end. I thought Novak looked well rested after some extended time off. He seemed to get more lift on his shot and it paid dividends. Novak’s defensive effort left something to be desired though, Aaron Fuller schooled him.
  • Stu Douglass: Stu hit 3 out of 6 triples but he had 0 assists and 2 turnovers in 42 minutes. For a guy who was playing point guards for much of the game, that’s a scary statistic.
  • Laval Lucas-Perry: In a way that only Laval Lucas-Perry can do, he hit three consecutive Michigan three pointers in the first half. The scoring outburst came from nowhere, Laval hadn’t scored in double digits since the January game at Penn State. Laval also stepped up at the free throw line down the stretch, making 4 out of 4.
  • Darius Morris: Darius’ freshman season has been sort of like parents giving a teenager keys to the car. At first they give him the keys occasionally as he builds trust. Then they give him the keys permanently and he promptly gets in trouble again. Darius has games (like Minnesota) where he looks like the guy, then he has games like this one where his confidence is MIA and he is painful to watch.
  • Zack Gibson: Gibson had a strong post move and finish early in the first half and also had three blocks but he still doesn’t block out. Michigan actually played Gibson with Sims for stretches and I haven’t looked through the play-by-play but there are clearly offensive limitations with this lineup.
  • Anthony Wright: DNP-CD. It sounds like this was due to some sort of minor head injury but it doesn’t seem like a problem going forward.

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  • Would say it was Novak’s defensive effort that was lacking or his ability? Personally, I prefer to see him go up against bigger guys who trying to go through him rather than quicker guys who can break him down with the dribble.

  • I don’t know… I would have to watch the tape. But there is no doubt that he is a more capable defender. Fuller was 11 of 13 and dominated the game. He’s not a dominant type of player even, as he crushed his career high.

  • Old Style

    Break him down? I would say blow past him. That’s the problem with everyone talking about Novak at the 3 next year, I don’t believe he can guard the 3.

  • I just added this to the post… The officials told Sims they would have called a foul if he missed. Gotta love those Big Ten refs.

  • Jeff

    That’s pretty crazy if the ref really told him that. It’s like when you hear the announcers say “You’re not going to get that call on the road”. Is it a foul or isn’t it?

  • AG2

    What a ridiculous thing for the refs to say. He openly admitted that he couldn’t call a 4pt play in that situation?

    Anyway, this was a great *scoring* game all around, but the d left a lot to be desired. In the end the only way we could keep Iowa from scoring was when they never got a shot off (turnovers).

  • pukhog19

    Can someone please comment on the no-call on Peedi’s 3-point to tie at the end of regulation? I don’t really understand how that was not a foul and 1 after he made it. He clearly came right into Deshawn (and got his hand) as he released the ball, and Peedi even fell down because he couldn’t come down straight. Just curious if other people saw it that way.

    Either way, it was great to see a close game go our way, and I am proud of the kids for fighting in a pretty disappointing season.

    Go Blue!!!

  • pukhog19

    wow, looks like I got an answer to my post while I was writing it.

    Thanks, Dylan, but this is exactly why I can’t take basketball too seriously as a sport. I love watching Michigan play any sport because it’s Michigan, but the inconsistency in officiating during basketball really turns me off from the sport.

  • So many games are clouded by dubious calls–pro and college. The home team gets so many more calls, documented fact. Hoop is my favorite sport, but it is profoundly f’d up. How do you fix it?

    The hacknied cry that officials should “stay out of (players’) way and let them play” is bogus, esp. where the B10 is concerned. It doesn’t begin to address the real question of when a legitimate foul should be called.

    The core problem, we are repeatedly told, is that there’s so much contact; “you could call a foul on every play. . .” I don’t see easy solutions, but I DO think refs could be docked pay or disciplined when they stack up the fouls for the home team, or call ticky-tack sh*t to even things out. Grow a darned set or take up tiddlywinks, dude! That’s just a lack of oversight of refereeing by the league, it seems to me.

    It also bugs me the way coaches just swallow these indignities when they lose. I’m no fan of Bobby Knight’s on-court behavior, but it was refreshing to hear him call it like it was the other night.

  • South Florida Maize Rage

    I, along with a ton of other Blue fans I assume, am just so optimistic after wins and just the complete opposite after a loss. So obviously I am very optimistic. Blue can get to .500 in the conference if they beat PSU at home. If Michigan can somehow get the No.6 seed for the tourney (tied w Northwestern at 6-7 now) they’d play PSU again likely and get the No.3 seed after that if they won. Really isn’t that bad considering how we all (myself foremost) threw this season away months ago.

  • AG2

    For me, the seeding isn’t a question of who we play in the first round, its a question of who we play in the 2nd round. I’d prefer it if we didn’t have to play Wisconsin. Although at this rate I wouldn’t be surprised to see Illinois/Wisconsin in the 4/5 game anyway.

  • Illinois won’t do better than a 5 seed. Wisconsin is a game out right now so they are a likely 4 seed.

    I agree, Wisconsin is the last team I want to play.

    MSU would be very tough on a neutral court. Michigan played well against Purdue last year, so I believe they are capable. Ohio State would be a fun game. Who knows. Lot of games left. The B10 title race will be interesting, starting with OSU/Purdue tonight.

  • Andy

    When I saw the replay of the three at the end of regulation, the first thing that came to my mind was, “wow, looked like Sims just pulled a Reggie Miller there.” Didn’t look like a foul to me. Glad the shot went in obviously.

    As for the BTT, any of the top 5 are problems, so it will just take getting lucky to pull out a win. Thankfully there’s pretty much no chance of playing NW who seemes to have our number. I actually like how we play against Purdue, so I wouldn’t mind that. Regardless, it will take a miracle to win the BTT and we’ll most likely have to beat three of those five anyway, so no need to worry about it too much.

  • gpsimms

    novak’s “typical” stat line was actually pretty unureally frustrating to me.

    it was nice to see him make a few shots, but his defense (as mentioned) was awful and his defensive rebounding (not mentioned) was pretty “non-typical” as well. obviously, novak’s limited by size and everything, but i felt he wasn’t giving his usual fight/getting in his usual good position keeping fuller off the boards.

    i don’t expect him to keep up with most guys he covers on defense, so that only mildly frustrated me…the rebounding, on the other hand, is not usually such a big problem and that really bothered me.

  • gpsimms

    “actually pretty unureally frustrating” yup, i have no idea what that means either. ha.

  • MaizeFan
  • Benjamin

    MaizeFan, are you just speculating that Ant Wright had something to do with that domestic dispute? If so, wtf.

  • Erik

    Benjamin, it has been speculated that Wright was in that dispute and got a head injury (hence the headband last night).

  • Alex

    I hope the team continues to get better. I agree that the defense wasn’t where it needed to be last night but on the flip side we were raining threes. We need to take it one game at a time.

    That Ref’s comment was ridiculous and he would have been smart to keep his mouth shut.

  • JayRich

    is this what they call a winning streak????

  • gpsimms

    not until saturday

  • maxwell’s demon

    I know this got plenty of discussion last season but with Wright being out I once again realized I don’t get why we don’t play Sims with Gibson more and I know Bob Knight agrees because he said so. It’s not even that I think it worked really well last night I just think it’s better than having Wright on the floor. Whenever Novak sits I would much prefer Gibson on the court. I’m sure Beilein could work it out so Sims and Gibson are still getting their fair share of rest and in the situation where we do get in foul trouble, then fall back on Wright.

  • Deacon Blues

    Nice to see some decent shooting from the non-Sims/Harris contingent. Now if we can just get that out of them at home.

    In U-M’s six B10 home games, no one besides Sims or Harris has reached double figures.

  • MaizeFan

    At Benjamin, it was posted on’s community wall that someone saw Anthony Wright at Weber’s inn being escorted out by EMS and police. That post has since been taken down. I’m just guessing since the victim has a head injury in the same place Wright had the gauze on his forehead last night.

  • JimC

    Embedded video, very nice Dylan.

    Hey DMorris had 0 turnovers in 26 mins of mostly ball handling so i give him a little cred for that.

  • AG2

    I really have to wonder: is Zack Gibson not getting enough credit for his perimeter shooting? He came up pretty big @ Minnesota if I recall.

  • Giddings

    Hate to say it but I think Peedi should have kept his mouth shut, even if the ref did say that to him. He may not have done it on purpose, but indirectly he’s criticizing the officiating, which is heavily frowned upon by the NCAA. It’s hard to imagine anyone actually doing anything about it, but if I’m officiating the PSU game and I heard Peedi’s comments I wouldn’t be so “friendly” to him with my whistle.

  • EchoWhiskey

    I wish Fuller had chosen U of M.