Game 8: Concordia at Michigan Recap

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Photo Credit: MGoBlue

I started this blog because I always have something to say after a Michigan basketball game. The games usually leave me in some unstable emotional state whether it’s shock, anger, frustration, jubilation, or confusion. Tonight’s game might have been one of the most uninspiring Michigan basketball games that I can remember.

Nothing about this game felt right. No offense to Concordia, but this game just shouldn’t have been scheduled. The Cardinals played well, Rocko Holmes played the game of his life and deserves all the credit in the world. The sheer difference in talent on the court was obvious from the get-go and everyone knew it – including Michigan’s team. Unfortunately, the Wolverines settled to play some sort of glorified pick up game rather than execute their offense to perfection. There’s nothing to build off of from this game, it just is. It happened, it’s over, and we move on. But hey, Concordia gets a nice check for allowing Michigan to use their gym.

The offensive performance was good but relatively nondescript, given the competition. Michigan scored 1.21 points per possession while shooting 53.5 eFG% from the field. The Wolverines didn’t turn the ball over and they controlled the glass. Defensively, Michigan left a little more to be desired. Michigan refused to double team Rocko Holmes in the post, despite being unable to stop him — 29 points on 13 of 19 shooting. For the second game in a row, Beilein mentioned that the Wolverines didn’t double because they feared the opposition’s three point shooting attack (the Cardinals shot 28% from long range). It doesn’t quite add up but it’s clear that Michigan’s interior defenders have their work cut out for them before Big Ten season.

Next up is a 5-2 Utah squad that has picked up some solid wins versus Weber State and Bradley early on. Michigan will undoubtedly need a better performance if they want to knock off the Utes, a team that beat them last year. Player bullets after the jump. (Extra: Ken Pomeroy’s player stats are up.)

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Photo Credit: MGoBlue

Player Bullets:

  • Stu Douglass: Douglass continues to have the hot hand from three point range. He netted 13 points on 5 of 9 (3-4 3pt) shooting in 30 minutes. He seems to have really settled into his role.
  • Darius Morris: The monster numbers continue: 19 points on 8 of 15 shooting, 12 assists, and two steals.  Morris is playing extremely well and Concordia didn’t really have anyone that could guard him. Even before tonight’s game, Darius had the #5 assist rate in the nation.
  • Jordan Morgan: 23 points on 10 of 15 shooting with 8 rebounds. Morgan probably should have had 30 points because most of his missed shots were layups. He couldn’t really guard Rocko Holmes, which is discouraging, but his offensive feel for the game continues to impress.
  • Zack Novak: Another double double for Novak, who scored 12 points and grabbed 14 boards. Zack’s been controlling the defensive glass and today was not different, 2 of 5 three point shooting will suffice.
  • Evan Smotrycz: Smotrycz, like Hardaway, is in a bit of a rut. He isn’t quick enough to guard smaller guards and he isn’t feeling his shot (1 of 5 today). His other problem on defense is that he stands no chance to guard opposing fives as he plays them straight up with little resistance.
  • Tim Hardaway Jr.: He showed signs of getting involved with a couple of putbacks and a pull up jumper, but he couldn’t find his three point stroke – 0 for 4.
  • Matt Vogrich: 7 points in 18 minutes on 3 of 4 (1-2 3pt) shooting with 4 rebounds. Not half bad from Vogrich, who has started to seem more comfortable.
  • Blake McLimans: Blake didn’t build off his last stronger performance versus Harvard, going just 1 for 4 from the field.
  • Colton Christian: Wasn’t close on his pull up jump shot attempt.
  • Jon Horford: Twisted his knee in practice last night, DNP. Will he redshirt? We shall see.
  • Giddings

    I really like what I’ve seen from Horford so far this season, but it seems crazy to have all three of your centers in the same class. We could really use him in “next year’s class”, especially if he can get some work in with Bacari and make the same level of improvement that Morgan has.

  • Erik

    Watching this team play defense reminds me of the year the Pistons beat the Lakers in the championship when they had Shaq and Kobe. They put all the focus on stopping Kobe and the outside stuff, and just let Shaq have his. We seem very willing to concede the easy buckets to prevent three pointers. I guess it works as long as we make our 3s, and have a good TO and rebounding margin. It will drive me nuts in Big Ten play though.

    Can’t wait to see the Top 5 plays from tonight. I loved the Morgan put back dunk. I was starting to think no one on this team could dunk a basketball anymore.

    • CJD

      I was wondering the same thing; none of our bigs go to the rack hard enough for my liking. Go hard and if nothing else they have to foul you.

  • gpsimms

    I don’t think anyone will blame Dylan if he doesn’t bother to pick 5 plays from this game, though. Most of it was: M looks terrible on defense, Concordia pulls closer and Darius gets tired of them being too close and does something sweet.

    • JimC

      Ha ha, thanks for the summary gp

  • gpsimms

    I said at the beginning of the season Stu needs 36 minutes and people disagreed. With all this “He’s really comfortable in his role, now” talk, I think people are still thinking he’s best off the bench.

    The young guys are going to continue to struggle. I think it’s silly to start Novak at the 2 when he’s taking minutes from one of our top 3 players. I think Novak, Stu, and Darius all need 36+ minutes. Since Novak is the most versatile, he should pick up the minutes at the 3/4, so Stu can be out there more, and to take some pressure of THJr and Metrics. Just my epinion.

    • Sam

      I couldn’t agree more. Seems like me and you were the only ones who predicted Stu would have a great season, and he’s proving us right so far. Sure, he’s playing well off the bench right now, but don’t be surprised if Novak switches to the 3, THJr comes off the bench, and Stu slides into the starting 2 spot. If he continues to play this well (which I think he will), I guess I just don’t see any way you can bench him, unless you are still managing to get him his 35 a game. I predicted that he would lead the team in scoring (he will be close) and that he would shoot 40% or higher from downtown. Looking good so far.

      • Erik

        I wasn’t around for those discussions about Stu. Right now he’s sorely needed because he’s the only one who can consistently hit a 3 besides Novak. This team is still in need of better 3pt shooting. Also, FT shooting. I can’t believe how many FTs they miss considering the emphasis Beilein’s offense puts on shooting.

        • JimC

          I like him off the bench, like Vinny “The Microwave”, who comes in when M is down, and just lights up from 3.

      • CJD

        If coach is not going to do anything to take advantage of THJ’s size and athleticism he may as well move Novak to the 3 and bring the kid off the bench. A 6-5 or 6-6 guy like THJ who just sits in the corner waiting to take a 3 may as well be a foot shorter.

        I will say it again I do not think this kid averaged 30 pts a game his senior just taking the 3 ball from then corner.

    • Champswest

      Stu got 30 minutes in a game with a 21 point margin, so I think that is plenty. The problem with starting him at the 2 is that it makes it harder to use him for relief at the point. It is just harder, IMO, to manage the rotation. I like having Novak on the floor at the 3 along with 2 other guys 6’9″ or taller. Look at the job Zack is doing on the boards.
      It will be nice next year when we have 2 more guys capable of playing the point, then we can play Stu at the 2 or 3. Wow, can you imagine the fight for PT at the guards and wing with those 2 added to the current group?

  • ZRL

    I didn’t get a chance to watch the game, but I’m pretty sure I played against the guy in the right side of the picture at the CCRB a couple of weeks ago…

  • AG2

    I’m telling you guys Utah scares me. I don’t know if they’re as ungodly big as they were last year but having Novak back in the lineup this time around will help. Utah and Oakland are the two key games headed into Big Ten play.

    • JimC

      Great, now i’m scared.

      This will be my first game @ Crisler, so I’m psyched already.

      I know nothing about Utah…..why so scary?

    • sven

      Their top 6 in minutes played are 6’7, 6’0, 6’8, 7’0, 6’7, and 6’7 in that order. So yeah they are still pretty effin tall.

      • CJD

        Their starting big man is from Michigan; it will be interesting to see what we missed.

        • Mark

          Their top player Clyburn played at Romulus and ended up at Utah via Juco. Not sure if the bigman (Washburn) is still starting because last game he came off the bench.

      • http://@ufl.edu Mattski

        at first I read that as “elfin tall.”

  • sven

    Well look at this way guys. This game will give Bielien a good reason to work the crap out the boys in practice the next couple of days leading up to the Utah game.

  • JimC

    “…..some unstable emotional state whether it’s shock, anger, frustration, jubilation, or confusion”

    Hey wait a second! That’s my WIFE you’re talking about man!

  • Mark

    I’m a big fan of JB but he really needs to get over his obsession with playing small line up or he won’t be coaching this team long term. There is no point of having size if you don’t use it. Smote has no chance to play the five because he doesn’t have the strength needed to guard the position. I’d rather have the growing pains now then when we get into the B10 games.

    He really could learn from Izzo. Izzo is willing to except the growing pains of playing freshmen earlier in the season because he knows it will benefit the team in the long run. Smote, Christian and McLimans all should have played 15 to 20 minutes last night. There was no chance we were going to lose to that team. If we want any chance to compete against the top teams we cannot play small ball.

    • Trevor

      I’d be interested to hear how you’ve inferred this “obsession” with small lineups. I tend to believe that Beilein plays small lineups not because of some psychological derangement, but because he’s yet to have a player on his Michigan roster who’s over 6’8″ and not terrible.

  • Kenny

    I hope that Stu’s performance in last two games will continue when facing bigger and more athletic big ten guards.

    THJr should be more involved in the offense than taking 3s from the corner, need play more on top of the keys. McLimans is OK defensively but should move to the basket more often on the offensive end. Morgan was able to get open constantly under the basketball when defense collapses on Morris.

    To mark’s comments above, the offense is much better when Novak is at 4 since Smot is having another off-night. Beilein and Izzo each has his own basketball philosophy, emphasizing on different aspects of the game. They adjust their lineup to best match up with their opponent’s. Many good college teams play small ball. And I see the reason of experimenting Smot on 5 because he is our most skillful big man. It might not work but might pay-off some day if not in this season.

  • Champswest

    Dylan, I thought your recap was right on. To me, it also looked like a pick-up game as everyone wanted to play offense and nobody wanted to play defense. It troubles me when I see our team take another team lightly and play down to their level. Despite the 21 point margin, we should have beaten this team by 30-40 points and given the back-ups more playing time. Not much good to take from this game except the W.

  • Other Matt

    I don’t mean to pick on any one poster, but I don’t understand the general tone of the comments. After The Horror, I’m perfectly happy with this outcome. In a game where we had absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose our guys didn’t tighten up and answered back every time, which they should have because they were playing freaking Concordia.

    I don’t get the complaining about minutes for Stu, playing small ball, and the lineups. These are the games we’re supposed to be messing around with the rotation in hopes of finding something that works and getting experience for our guys. If we played Stu for 36-38 minutes at the expense of THJr, everybody would be pissed that we didn’t find more minutes for a freshmen in a game against Concordia.

    We as fans shouldn’t fall into the football trap where we all of a sudden raise our expectations and start dreaming of The Dance because our guys look better than we thought they would. This is a season where a trip to the NIT would be HUGE for the program. There’s going to be ups and downs and frustrations, that’s a given. Raise your hand if you thought that this group would look much better than last year’s team? There should be zero hands up right now. Sit back, relax, and enjoy watching them grow up.

    /rant

  • Bigfoot

    Off topic here, but any chance the 12/28 Purdue game will be bumped to the evening since we’re not in the Insight Bowl?

  • Kenny

    100% agree with Matt, given how deep Big Ten is this year, I am more than happy to see 8 conference wins even my prediction is more optimistic.

  • kevin

    after the first 8 minutes i thought they were going to score a thousand points. then there was one possession where it was 3 on 3 i believe and they missed about 3 shots, concordia finally got a rebound and went to outlet and morris stole it and they missed 2 more….that of course changed my mind.

  • AC1997

    Some general thoughts:
    – Ugly game, but a 20-point win is a 20-point win.
    – It is clear that none of our bigs are good 1-on-1 defenders. I love how great Morgan is playing so far and I like the potential of the other guys, but they can’t defend individually in the post.
    – JB has magnified that problem the last two games by playing a small lineup due to the opponent. I think you’ll see Smotrycz start against almost all B10 teams because they need size in the lineup. And I think having two taller guys in there will help on D more. I think Horford would help on D, but he’s looking like a RS.
    – I agree with the comment about playing more guys more minutes in this game is accurate. Izzo played some scrubs against Duke to give them experience and give them “coaching moments” when they looked awful.
    – They need to find a way to get Hardaway more involved. He looks lost.
    – Why can’t Vogrich dribble? Man he looks awkward when he puts the ball on the floor.
    – I still love Stu off the bench. You can’t have your entire bench consist of freshmen. You need someone to come in and settle things down or change the flow of the game.

    • georgeesq.

      Izzo doesn’t have any scrubs, unless you want to call Payne and Appling scrubs. Thornton has been part of the rotation since last season.

      • Mark

        Nix and Payne have looked really bad at times but Izzo know that those are just growing pains.

        I really don’t see how it helps Blake when he plays 2 minutes does something wrong and gets pulled. I truly believe his lenght would have help on defense like the Hardvard game. UofM still would have won the game if he played more minutes and the team would be better off down the road. There will be games in the big 10 that Morgan will get in fould trouble and might only play 20 minutes.

  • gpsimms

    Other Matt:

    I wasn’t actually complaining about Stu’s playing time in this game, or didn’t mean to. I just meant that I think as the season wears on, the Freshman are really going to continue to struggle. And I think this “Stu is getting comfortable as a bench player” business is silly.

    By the time the Big Ten Season starts, he’ll be playing 36 minutes. Also, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by his offense. When I was saying before he’d play 36 minutes, I didn’t think it would be because he was shooting .500 from three, I figured it would be because he is one of our best defenders. Now that he’s scoring too, it seems like a no-brainer to me, unless everyone thinks his efficiency will drop through the floor with more minutes.

    I don’t think it will though, last year it was because Darius was so ineffective on offense that I think Novak and Stu shot so bad. This year, Darius is more than a handful for even a good guard, and Stu (and Novak a little bit) are reaping the benefits.

    • Other Matt

      I didn’t mean to dig at you specifically. I’m just baffled by the tone of the comments in general. We’re Michigan fans, since when can we complain about a 20 point win? I may never recover emotionally from the Amaker years and the 2007-2010 football seasons. ANY win is a good win for us.

      More specifically to your point that Stu/Darius/Novak need 36+ minutes. The problem I see with that is that Novak’s rebounding is a MAJOR benefit to us in the back court. With such a young front court, I’m not sure I like sitting down size in favor of him moving to the 4 and if he goes to the 3 that means more minutes for Christian, which I think terrifies everybody. I think Novak moving to the 4 will hurt us on the boards (not that Smot has been a big factor there so far). I also like Stu being on the floor with what looks like our second unit (Vogrich, McLimans, with Christian getting spot minutes). I agree with you that he needs major minutes but given the composition of this team and what looks like will be its best personnel groupings, I don’t know how he he starts or gets to 36-38 minutes. So far, I really like him coming off the bench.

  • UMQuasi

    Couple of thoughts:

    1) I am in the camp that likes Stu coming off the bench. My reasoning, however, is a little more superstitious than it is rational. He’s playing great coming off the bench so I would be reluctant to change anything. I am a coach (water polo, not basketball), and I had a player this past season that was one of the best on the team when he came off the bench. When he started, he looked like he had never played the sport before–it was weird. I’m not saying Stu would fall apart if he started, I’m just saying why risk messing with his rhythm.

    2) With regards to the Horford redshirt issue, one poster brought up lack of frontcourt depth as a reason not to redshirt him (potential injuries). This is just a pet peeve of mine cause I saw it mentioned a lot with regards to Devin Gardner and the possibility of injury to Denard or Tate. Redshirts are not requested prospectively, it happens after the season. We could not play Horford for the next two months, then if someone gets injured, he can play. He just obviously wouldn’t be able to redshirt anymore. It’s not like we have to commit to redshirts now and then are bound by them the rest of the year.

    • georgeesq.

      Horford cannot redshirt. If you play in even one game, you can no longer redshirt. The ONLY exception would be if he had a season ending injury and has played in no more than 20% of the games. We would have to apply to the NCAA for that.

      • Dylan Burkhardt

        Well he has now conveniently twisted his knee. We’ll see. I would probably rather not redshirt him.

        • Kenny

          wonder if NCAA requires its own medical examination like auto insurance companies do.

          • Dylan Burkhardt

            No. Just written documentation I believe.

          • mgocanada

            Redshirting might be good pedagogy, but exaggerating an injury is bad ethics, and since JB is Captain Ethics, he won’t redshirt Horford for this. Plus, we need Horford — those who pretend we have already have a surfeit of length in the incoming class with Morgan, Smotrycz, and Mr. Coldshot probably haven’t seen an Illinois, Wisconsin, or OSU roster recently. If Morgan’s old injury acts up who do we have to grab boards? McLimans? Right.

        • georgeesq.

          Beilein didn’t make it sound like anything more than a minor issue. I don’t think that they have any intention of redshirting him.

  • SJWolv

    Can Horford even redshirt unless he has an injury?

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    Also, you guys can notice we added a new ad on the sidebar, under the tabs, which features highlights. Highlights from every game should be posted in there, figured this was a bit cooler than a traditional advertisement. Let me know if you have any issues.

    • Bigfoot

      Wow, just watched the Concordia highlights. Can’t believe we let that little bowling ball drop 29

  • UM Hoops Fan

    People make too big a deal out of who starts. Stu is going to get a lot of minutes this year — 20+ every game, sometimes 30+ — whether he starts or not. I don’t mind Hardaway starting. It hopefully gives him a confidence boost and a chance to get rolling at the beginning of the game. JB then has a lot of options bringing in Stu and where to put Zack. Starting is mostly an honorific (look at who finishes the game), and Stu has been playing great and not caring about starting, so it works out just fine.

  • bird

    I DVRed the game and then watched it in about five minutes at ludicrous speed. That even felt like a waste of time. I’m chalking this one up as “Be Nice to Concordia Day.”

    Horford hurts his knee at precisely the 20 percent mark? Did Beilein go Gilooly on him? I hope that twit Rosenrosen at the Freep doesn’t come sniffin’ around…

    • Jeff

      Could be another front page expose. Meanwhile, he thinks it’s great that Cam Newton is taking money (allegedly) to play College football.

    • JimC

      I think he prefers to be called “Dr. Rosenrosen”

  • Giddings

    Was anybody complaining about post defense in the first 6 games? Granted there was some weak competition in there, but I thought Morgan and co looked fine against Syracuse, UTEP, and Clemson.

    So why the difference these last two games? Well, earlier in the year one of the players mentioned that the defenseive mindset the coaches were instilling was “be like bouncers – keep the ball out of the club” (the club being the paint). Not sure why, but it seems like that has gone away the last two games – Harvard and Concordia got easy looks into the post with their big men in great position. At that point it’s hard to stop a skilled post player. Sure, Jordan’s D could use some work (he’s a RS Freshman, not sure what you expect), but it’s more of a team thing.

    Regarding THJ, we saw him score a variety of ways in the first few games, then he really struggled shooting the ball in Atlantic City and that has carried over (he did have a decent game at Clemson). Hopefully he can get out on the break and keep looking for offensive boards to get his confidence back. It’s been a rough stretch of 2 games for THJ and Smot, but hopefully they’re just getting it out of their systems, because we’ll need them for Utah and Oakland.

  • Tom_McC

    The main thing I wanted to see was UM play decently on offense and for the most part they did.

    I’d be lying to you if I thought the game would be as close as it was, but I’d also be lying to you if I said what happened last night was a surprise. There was no defensive intensity and that is what happens in games like these. The big kid made some shots out of his ass and that got his team going. Credit to Concordia…

    I maintain that if Evan and Tim play anywhere near their potential last night UM, wins by at least 35 and they score at least 100. To me, the disappointment lies more in the fact that Tim and Evan weren’t able to get it going offensively than anything else.

  • Roverback

    Warning: very long

    I felt we excelled with a number of things, post defense not being one of them but don’t count out the learned lesson potential that Rocco’s performance should garner. Clemson’s post offense, which is a heck of a lot more experienced, could not execute/finish. Denying the ball into the paint isn’t all the post defender’s responsibility as I’m sure you’re all aware. The guards have to anticipate that and especially when a guy is on fire. The guy was in the zone. Not much you can do other then a flagrant foul or collapsing two guys on him. They actually got around to doing that late but then they fouled him.

    TV gives some different perspectives than live. Michigan’s height differencial with the guards has keyed the wins at Clemson and against Concordia. Those are my only game data samplings. But I’m not into the level of talent comparison. All of these guys wear basketball shoes, shorts, and have been playing for years. Fundamentals, execution, team play, coaching, feeling it, not feeling it, speed, height and every other factor all play into two teams playing. #1 teams can’t beat another team 100-0. So beating a team by 50 is acceptable but not by 20?

    Something most might not have known was that the announcers suggested that Belein deserved a lot of credit for playing Concordia and they surmised that it had to do with his past coaching stints at D II and D III schools. I thought it nice to see a team comprised of all Michigan players getting a chance on national tv.

    I have seen a lot of Michigan teams where momentum swings eat ‘em alive. This team seems undeterred/unaffected/unphased/un-whatever when an opponent makes a run. Concordia’s couple of come backs did not stress the Wolverines into pressing for a shot. Missing shots is gonna happen.

    Among the positives from the game was the two-man game of Morris and Morgan. Establishing a post threat and running that into the ground is credo #1 in basketball. Add in Morris playing off this threat and he had multiple shots within six feet of the basket. There were a couple of open players that Morris didn’t catch while he had the ball which I felt was tunnel vision with his attempt to get it to Jordan. Hard to argue against their results vs two missed open players under the basket.

    Player accessments:

    I’m not worried about Smotz game. He came alive when we needed him against Clemson. I wondered whether he was an odd man out with Belien’s matchups. You want him to maintain some consitency in the offense though.

    Christian seems to be a 5th option and hardly that. I’m curious how Belein develops his role.

    Douglass tied and passed Jimmy King at #9 all time with three point baskets. Unlike 100% of you guys, I am not in love with Stu. He’s the one guy on this team who makes me cringe when he has the ball when he’s not shooting it. He forces issues,
    doesn’t protect the ball, poses zero threat to penetrate, all of which makes him pretty much one dimensional on offense. However, that one dimension has been successful. I like the comparison that someone make to Vinnie Johnson. His strength at being able to get the ball off with little space is impressive and even more impressive that he’s becoming consistent. I give Stu credit for being able to handle his role as well as Beilein utilizing him so efficiently.

    Vogrich shot reminds of a dog that gets let out for a walk at the crack of a door opening. When he gets the ball with a sliver of d on him, he’s hoisting away. He connected yesterday but I don’t like his line drive no arch shot. Then again, if it goes in more than not then I will come to like it.

    McClimas looks comfortable as a guard out on the wing, his passing is crisp, he gets rid of the ball fast, he’s quick on his feet, and I feel he moves well without the ball. Someone needs to tell him he’s 6’10″ though.

    Hardaway seems to disappear in the offense. He had a couple of big put backs though so that says he’s into the flow of the game and has the ability to be at the right place. You can’t teach that stuff. To make an analogy with football, maybe
    they are going slow at teaching him the playbook, keeping it simple but how do you not get this guy more involved in the offense.

    Novak played his typical grit game. He strikes me as the glue to this team.

    Morris’ speed driving the lane is either catching oppenents off guard and/or temporarily freezing them until he puts it to the glass with a burst and finger roll. Pretty special and more so when he doesn’t get caught up in his play.

    Morgan’s inside game getting open under basket is rock solid. His putbacks appear to be consistent. They need to work on getting him the ball to knock down 8/10 footers otherwise the under the basket layup thing is gonna dry up. Eventually the
    team is going to need him to connect if simply to open up the floor.

    It was nice to see Asunne play some minutes.

    Appreciate the wins guys, this team is in for a rough ride in the Big Ten.

  • James

    From what I’ve seen of Horford, he is not all that far behind Morgan, and could probably defend the 4 better than McLimans. I’m not sure why we would redshirt him.

    • kevin

      agreed

    • Polisci

      While I agree that Horford probably isn’t that far behind Morgan, the reason to redshirt him is that the gain of maybe an extra win or two this year with him playing is not worth the loss of a 5th year with him.

      It sucks that Vogrich is not a redshirt freshman this year for this very reason. I think he is going to be deadly as a senior and a 5th year with him would be fantastic. But instead of that 5th year we got a few minor minutes last year that amounted to nothing.

  • gordie bell

    Morris’ over dribbling isn’t going to cut it against good competition. I will be interested to see what happens when teams start over playing Darius to his right. If he is on the right side of the court he goes baseline, if he is on the left side of the court he drives to the middle, not my idea of efficient point guard play, he is controlling the ball way too long.

    • CJD

      Exactly…………………. he is not the right guy for this system.

      • gordie bell

        Whoa there CJD, you are going much farther than I am comfortable going. I think Morris is improved and is playing better, he just needs to tweak his game and be more decisive. I think his stats are inflated because he has the ball in his hands an inordinate amount of the time. The team might be more efficient on offense if his points and assists go down a bit.
        Overall I think Darius is a good player, but his constant dribbling causes other players to stand around too much. Also, I am referring to half court situations, on the fast break Darius is good at finding the open man.

        • James

          Michigan needs to run the offense through Morris. He’s the only guy on the team that can make things happen on his own — whether it be creating his own shot or collapsing the defense and dishing to an open man. He does need to tweak his game, and I worry that he might turn into a turnover machine once he starts facing better defenders, but Michigan needs to run their offense through Morris this season. They don’t really have much of a choice.

          Hopefully Brundridge or Burke can take some of the load off Morris next year.

          • CJD

            Or replace him……..

        • CJD

          I have said it over and over; Morris pounding the ball on the hardwood for the better part of each possession does little good in trying to run a motion style offense. The only way to produce a combination of open 3′s, back door layups and quality shots before the last 5 seconds of the shot clock is moving the ball. This would include dumping it into the paint now and then which given the games i have watched so far does not happen enough.

  • RT

    Michigan should have won this game by 50-60 points…no excuse for the kind of play we saw last night.

  • Kool Breeze

    Dylan, what is up with Morgan’s post D. He is awful defending the post! A slow, fat, 6’5″ center tore him up!

    • gordie bell

      Belien compared Rocko to Charles Barkley, so there’s that aspect your leaving out:)

  • tyler

    a once great hockey coach (maybe scotty bowman) said that if you can’t be a star, be a star in your role. I think that’s what Dougless is doing right, and will countinue to do this season. The kid just fits the system so well, and also contributes in other ways. To be quite honest, I think he should be considered the leader of the team not Novak.

    • JimC

      Sry i have to disagree: Novak is the heart/soul guy, imho.
      But Stu is becoming the spark plug guy.

  • MaizeNBlueJ

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