Game 28: Michigan at Ohio State Post Game

Dylan Burkhardt

Box score.

College basketball is played in halves but this one breaks up almost perfectly into four quarters. Ohio State won two of the quarters, Michigan won one, and the final segment was played to a draw.

Michigan came out flat from the tip. They looked rattled and gave up easy basket after easy basket. Ohio State jumped out to a 9-0 lead and led 19-10 with 10:31 to play in the first half. Give the first quarter to Ohio State. Then the light came on for the Wolverines and they closed the half on 23-12 run and led by one at the half.

Ohio State took control of the game in the first 10 minutes of the second half. They turned a 1 point deficit into an 11 point lead with 10:27 to play. The final 10 minutes were dead even, Michigan made a number of “mini-runs” but couldn’t seem to get the game closer than 7 points.

So what happened? Mostly Ohio State is just a much more talented team. When you recruit as well as the Buckeyes have over the last few years, you are bound to reap the benefits eventually. Here’s a breakdown of the top 100 players (RSCI) on the floor:

Rank Class Height Name
31 2006 6’5″ David Lighty
32 2006 6’8″ DeShawn Sims
42 2007 6’5″ Manny Harris
54 2007 6’7″ Evan Turner
61 2007 6’6″ Jon Diebler
70 2007 6’8″ Dallas Lauderdale
12 2008 6’5″ William Buford

Michigan has two players on the list. Ohio State has five. I’m pretty comfortable saying that Ohio State’s starting five is the best in the conference.

They have the best player in the country but they also have a nearly perfect collection of talented complementary players. Diebler is the sharpshooter. Buford is an athlete who can shoot and is projected as a lottery pick by next year. Lighty is the proverbial glue guy who can do a bit of everything. Finally, Lauderdale can clog the middle and finish inside.

Their lack of a bench could come back to bite them in March but I think they have a legitimate chance to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.

Back to today’s contest, Michigan lost because they regressed toward their season averages shooting the ball in the second half. Michigan’s shooting line in the first half (eFG/2pt/3pt) was 54.2/41.2/57.1 compared to only 28.2/38.5/10 in the second half. You can’t win games, especially on the road, shooting the ball that poorly.

Despite Ohio State’s lights out shooting (63/63.8/40), Michigan managed to stay around by winning the turnover battle. Evan Turner had 8 turnovers along while Michigan only had 6 as a team. Ohio State coughed the ball up on 20.7% of their possessions compared to Michigan turning it over on only 10.2% of theirs. But Michigan’s defense was lacking overall, the Buckeyes got way too many easy baskets both in their halfcourt offense as well as in transition. Ohio State scored 1.14 points per possession, while Michigan scored only .984 points per trip.

Ohio State did have a couple back-breaking offensive rebounds but Michigan didn’t do that bad on the defensive glass, rebounding 72% of Ohio State’s misses. Michigan also got to the free throw line more often (42.6 FTR) than the Buckeyes (32.6 FTR) which helped to mitigate the second chance points and let Michigan hang around.

It’s clear that Michigan hasn’t quit. They still appearing to be giving effort on both sides of the ball. Today they were simply outmatched by a better team (from top to bottom) that is in the midst of the Big Ten title race. Next up is a home game with a Minnesota team that Michigan knocked off in Minneapolis earlier this month.

Player Bullets:

  • Manny Harris: Harris scored 2 points through the first 30 minutes or so of play. He managed to get to the free throw line late but missed the front-end of a one-and-one when Michigan was down 7. Harris was 1 of 8 for the game  and that’s just not good enough. It was only the second time in Harris’ career he just made one field goal, the other was a 51-34 Big Ten Tournament loss to Wisconsin during Harris’ freshman year.
  • DeShawn Sims: Sometimes it’s clear from the jump that DeShawn Sims doesn’t have his A-game. Sims looked tentative from the start and finished with 11 points on only 4 of 12 shooting. Sims had a ridiculous start to Big Ten play that would have been hard to keep up but some of his performances lately have been disappointing. 2 of 9 at Northwestern, 4 of 10 vs. Penn State, 3 of 12 vs. Illinois, and now 4 of 12 at Ohio State.
  • Darius Morris: The kid is coming around. 11 points on 4 of 8 shooting, 3 assists to 1 turnover. Morris had his fair share of luck (banked three) but you can see his improvement over the course of the season.
  • Stu Douglass: The way Douglass has been shooting, it’s tough to complain about a 4 for 6 (2-4 3pt) night. Michigan had a low number of assists across the board but Douglass’ 0 assists in in 37 minutes tells you just about all you need to know about how Michigan’s offense was running. One other note, it was just brutal whenever Douglass ended up switched onto Turner, the All-American shot right over Douglass.
  • Zack Novak: Novak hit a few shots but he also got stuck throwing up some ugly desperation attempts. 11 points on 8 shots but that includes 1 of 4 two point shooting and a pair of missed free throws.
  • Zack Gibson: 4 rebounds in 11 minutes with a bucket to go along. Gibson looks to have secured the minutes backing up both Sims and Novak at this point, but I’m not sure it has made much of a tangible difference.
  • Laval Lucas-Perry: 14 minutes and 0 for 3 shooting with nothing else on the stat line. LLP must have been honoring Mark Titus with his Club Trillion-esque performance.

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  • Dylan you are right, OSU just had more talented players. Beilein hardly ever gets out coached during a game. We need better recruits.

    I don’t want to give up on kids already, but so far it looks like LLP and Vogrich will use valuable scholarship space for many years that could be used to get better players. I beleive if we had more openings we could get better recruits.

    Hopefully recruits will notice, if you want an offense that will get you open shots, come to Michigan.

  • Rick

    I hope some recruits would be big guys who can battle under the boards. I really think Beilein must change his philosophy somewhat and realize the importance of rebounding.

  • Brian W

    On Britt’s point about Vogrich, I’m hoping he’ll get stronger over the summer and work on his conditioning. I had high hopes for him, especially after the Chicago Tribune (pretty sure it was them) picked him as one of the impact freshmen in the Big Ten before this season. Hopefully this year has given him a good idea of how much effort it takes to be a Big Ten player. If he can work on his lateral quickness, that’ll help his defense next season.

    I think this may be why Beilein is taking his time evaluating Horford and is looking at other big men at the same time. UM needs another big man next year, but the scholarship needs to be given to someone who is going to be able to produce in the Big Ten. With Morgan having knee issues over the last couple years and McLimans still learning the game, the scholarship offer is going to need to go to someone who can contribute. Horford may end up being that player, but I’m guessing that they’re seriously deliberating on his and other players’ skills since they’re making a four-year commitment… Hopefully Morgan and McLimans are productive next year regardless.

  • Paul

    They definitely don’t have enough good players now. Here’s hoping Beilein can pull a ‘rabbit from the hat’ overseas. I hear Beilein was looking closely @ the likes of Jonas Jerebko for U of M (before the Pistons drafted him). Such a signing would be GREAT!

  • Brian W

    On a ‘Pistons Tonight’ show a month or so ago, they talked to Jonas, and he talked about his uncle, who played for Beilein. They said that his uncle was the best shooter that Beilein ever had. There’s an interview with Beilein about it at:

    It’s been a while since UM had someone from overseas… maybe Maktar Ndiaye was the last one. If Beilein can find someone like Jonas or Robin Benzing, that’s cool with me. Just keep the fingers crossed that the admissions department lets the kid in this time.

  • Brick

    Morgan wasn’t on the bench today. Anyone know why? I thought everyone usually traveled with the team.

  • Paul

    I’m definitely open to Beilein bringing in good international players if they are the best to help the team win

  • AG2

    Wow, I thought we struggled to shoot. Kansas State is shooting 9% from the field right now.

    Its funny because Jon Diebler is basically what Douglas and Novak wishes they were. Hopefully next year we get some of that size on board. We really really need it.

  • Paul

    Too true – Zack Novak is a little undersized to be playing power forward (although he has HUGE heart, smarts and hustle)

  • Merlin

    I think Beilein is a great coach but if he does not upgrade the talent it will go for naught. As much as I love his coaching his first two recruiting classes have cost us this year.

  • ToBlav

    Realistically Coach Beilein’s first recruiting class was patchwork on a picked over class. Then Cronin gets a career ending injury. As for this years freshman class, Morris has been slower developing than hoped, Vogrich needs time but has yet to show he can play here, but then you the redshirts and so who knows if this is a good class or not?

  • BJ

    LLP is a member of Club 14 Trillion! yikes.

    Proud of the effort from the boys today. Got punched in the mouth, but made a game of it. Turner is just an absolute stud. Unfortunately Manny’s game seems to have stagnated. His trademark move, slash right HARD, he can pull off at an NBA level. However, in Big Ten play especially, teams are prepared for it now. Whenever he does go left, he’s almost guaranteed to get to the rim. He’s just still not comfortable doing it. Hopefully he chooses to continue to develop his game in Ann Arbor next year, not in the D league.

    The biggest gaffe of the Beilein era from my perspective is letting Reed Baker get away. A shooter who could actually shoot! Imagine that!

  • Really? Reed Baker? Is that what this has come to? Yikes. Reed Baker would not have ever played in Ann Arbor and that’s why he moved on.

  • michigan hoops 4eva

    Reed Baker is no better than Douglass and Novak, and even Vogrich for that matter.

    If Michigan could have one guy back, it would have to be Ekpe Udoh; he would’ve alleviated a lot of our post woes.

  • BJ

    Reed was an assasin with no fear!

  • BJ

    Reed should come off the bench before LLP imo

  • Dirtgrain

    Would Udoh be a senior for U of M this year?

  • JimC

    Reed Baker shooting 33.6% from three for FGCU this year.

  • BL11

    Reed Baker is not and was not the answer. If you guys are serious then you are idiots. If you were just trying to be funny..well I did get a chuckle out of it so good job.

    I also love how LLP was a savior to all of you until he struggles, then LLP becomes PROOF that Beilein can’t recruit according to you. Get real guys.

  • jack simms

    no, please, i emphatically disagree—-reed baker has joined the pantheon of michigan men [such as gavin groninger] who could not get their shot off against big school college defenders

  • AG2

    My goodness, people. What’s next, Dani Wohl? Actually I remember taking my dad to a Michigan/MSU game once and he commented that Wohl was the only one of Amaker’s players who ever showed any heart or effort.

    But in all seriousness, rather than undersized streaky shooters, shouldn’t we be looking for guys who at least have some size so that they can shoot over people and play reliable defense when their shot isn’t going down?

  • Paul

    I’ve been so underwhelmed by LLP. Hopefully his brother (who we are apparently recruiting) isn’t just LLP2

  • The numbers don’t point to his brother, Patrick, getting an offer especially with Brundidge in he fold.

  • AG2

    Well, Thomas, its kindof a down year for all of college basketball. UNC is down, the whole Pac-10 is down, Kentucky has masked the fact that the SEC isn’t much better than it was last year. Texas collapsed, taking a lot of the Big XII’s luster with it. The ACC isn’t that good. And let’s not forget, its not like shooting woes and lack of size didn’t hurt us last year, either.

    If anything, the upgrade in size next year should help a bunch.

  • AG2

    In the meantime, Indiana @ Iowa tonight at 6 on BTN. Winner will probably face us in the BTT first round.

  • michigan hoops 4eva

    yes, ekpe udoh would’ve been a senior this year…

    the bottom line with yesterday’s game was: we were outmatched. i appreciated the effort, and it was probably the most balanced attack of the season (although that may have been a result of a struggling Sims/Harris).

    Observations of the game:
    1) Rough game for Harris. One made FG? He’s Michigan’s ‘star’ player, that’s just unacceptable.
    2) Another rough shooting game for Sims. He needs to be tougher.
    3) Stu Douglass- 0 assists. Possibly indicative of Ohio State’s good defense, but we’ve gotta pass the ball to win.
    4) The Good: Darius Morris continues to impress, he shoes good toughness, fundamentals for a freshman. Novak and Douglass actually made some 3’s! I also liked the teams effort.
    5) WHERE IS LAVAL LUCAS PERRY? Where is the guy who lit up Penn State this year, the guy who saved our season last year with his shooting display against Minnesota, the guy who was supposed to be our 3rd scorer? He’s become a non-factor, his shot is WAY off, and he seems frustrated on the court all the time.
    5) 3 point shooting/Shooting in general: story of the year. 36.2% from the field, 29.4% from 3. A lot of low-percentage looks (aka Zack Novak’s airball desperation 3 to begin the game).

    Looks like it’ll take a miracle to make the NIT…

  • maxwell’s demon

    I think Dylan hits the key point with OSU’s balance. They do have a lot of talent, but in terms of sheer number of elite recruits, I wouldn’t say it’s mind blowing or anything (at least for this current OSU team). But what they do have is talent in exactly the right places. Just goes to show that it’s not all about finding top 25 recruits but finding the right pieces to fit together. Right now this Michigan team is lacking in both aspects.

  • michigan4204

    I have kind of weird thing I do, whenever I get down about Michigan athletics as a whole, which has been consistent for the last 2 years now, that helps with the pain. 2004 football game vs. little brother, when Braylon became my hero. Just watched the higlight reel again and I still got goosebumps. Always cheers me up

  • Drae

    Although it took him a little longer than expected I’m glad to see D-Mo really make strides… He needs to work on his jumper for next year and not be afraid to drive to the hole but I think he’s going to be something special next year… Can’t wait to see what Mr. Hardaway and Smotz can do… Go Blue!!!

  • Topher

    FWIW Reed Baker is averaging 12 ppg this year.

  • Yes… He’s averaging 12 ppg, shooting 35% from the field (33% from 3) for an 8-21 team that plays in the Atlantic Sun conference.

    Reed Baker would not have ever played on this team.

  • Topher

    I don’t buy that he would’nt play on this team. He played as a Freshman for Amaker and was respectable. That’s alot more then most of the Freshman we have this year. I’m not saying he would be a difference maker on this team, but to say he wouldn’t see the floor is a little foolish. Have you watched our team this year?

  • Trueblueintexas

    It’s not all just talent. Check out the height (and I swear Buford has added 4 inches since then).