Game 24: Michigan at Penn State Recap

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Nothing is easy on the road and today Michigan make things any easier. For long stretches of the game Michigan looked awful, falling behind by double digits in both halves. The offense was bogged down in the half court while the defense surrendered numerous open threes to a shorthanded Penn State team. Talor Battle was terrific as always, tallying 31 points for the second time versus Michigan this season. But despite all of the struggles, Michigan held things together and finished both halves on a strong note, pulling away for the victory. Breaking this game down into 10 minute “quarters” really tells the whole story:

Pts by “Quarter” 1 2 3 4
Michigan 8 19 9 29
PSU 18 6 20 18

Michigan outscored Penn State 48-24 in the final 10 minutes of both halves combined. We’ve harped on Michigan’s inability to finish halves this year but this was a perfect example of finishing on a strong note.

Tim Hardaway Jr. showed a level of mental toughness and resilience that we simply haven’t seen this year. Hardaway was awful for the first 30 minutes of the game, missing open shots and layups and picking up so many silly fouls that he couldn’t even stay on the court. He reentered the game with 7:40 to play and Michigan down nine. He took over and managed to tie the game in the next six possessions:

  • 7:24 – Layup by Tim Hardaway Jr. (+ made free throw)
  • 6:51 – Fast break layup by Tim Hardaway Jr. (off Hardaway steal)
  • 6:29 – Three pointer by Stu Douglass (assisted by Hardaway)
  • 5:48 – Three pointer missed by Hardaway
  • 5:15 – Three pointer by Hardaway
  • 4:41 – Three pointer by Hardaway

Michigan ran its entire offense through the freshman wing and he tied the game in just three minutes of game clock. Shortly after that stretch, he extended Michigan’s lead to five with a perfect assist to Jordan Morgan off the pick and roll and a strong drive and finish at the basket.

Michigan’s offense was awful for stretches but the final product was impressive. Michigan scored 1.20 points per possession and shot the ball extremely well — 50% on twos and 47% on threes for an eFG% of 57.8%. Michigan didn’t turn it over (9.2%), get to the line (11.8% FTA/FGA), or grab offensive rebounds (23.1% OR) but just made enough shots to win the game. Michigan only assisted 10 of 25 made shots and there was a lot of heads down full bore dribbling toward the basket by Darius Morris. That wasn’t the end of the world as Morris converted 9 of 15 two point attempts. Michigan actually didn’t attempt many three pointers as just 19 of 51 field goal attempts were from long range.

Defensively, Michigan’s performance still left a lot to be desired. Talor Battle consistently scored when everyone knew that he was going to take to take a big shot, finishing with 31 points, and Michigan had no answer for Tim Frazier’s speed and penetration ability as the sophomore tallied eight assists. Penn State scored 1.15 points per possession with an effective field goal percentage of 51.1% — 47% on twos and 36% on threes. Michigan managed to hold on after completely turning things around on the defensive glass. Penn State grabbed five of its eight offensive rebounds in the first 10:30 of the game before Michigan tightened things up on the defense glass. When all was said and done, Michigan rebounded a very solid 70% of Penn State’s misses.

Winning ugly is a developed talent. Winning when everything goes right should be expected but winning a game like this requires a certain amount of mental toughness. I’m not sure that Michigan had that mental toughness one or two months ago, but it is clear that they are growing up. Now the question is whether Michigan can take the next step and defend home court. Home rematches against Northwestern and Indiana, two teams that handed Michigan arguably their worst two losses of the year, are up next.

Player Bullets:

  • Tim Hardaway Jr.: I already raved about Hardaway in the actual game post but it’s worth noting again. Consistency and staying out of foul trouble is the next step for the freshman, who only played 3 minutes in the first half. Michigan ran the pick and roll several times with Hardaway and he was surprisingly effective. I suspect we’ll see more of that in coming games.
  • Darius Morris: Sure he forces things a bit too much and he took several shots that left me yelling at my TV (before they went in) but he’s making plays. Morris didn’t have many assists (3) but he also didn’t turn the ball over (1). When things are going perfectly, it’s usually someone else making the big shots. When Michigan is in a tough spot it’s usually Morris manufacturing a difficult basket. Those difficult baskets that kept Michigan in striking distance are just as important as the ones that put Michigan ahead.
  • Stu Douglass: Stu recovered from a dismal performance at Ohio State with a big day: 14 points on 5 of 9 (4-5 3pt) shooting with four rebounds, three assists, and one turnover. Douglass took a lot of heat after the last game but he deserves credit in this one. He was pivotal in keeping Michigan close in both the first and second halves.
  • Jordan Morgan: When Michigan was playing well, Morgan was aggressive on the defensive glass. Morgan grabbed eight defensive rebounds which tied his career high (also vs. PSU) and Michigan needed every one of them. Penn State chose to make Morris beat them rather than leave Morgan open on the pick and roll but he did connect on 3 of 4 attempts around the hoop.
  • Zack Novak: Novak was pretty much a non factor offensively for the second straight game, finishing with just 3 points on 1 of 3 shooting in 39 minutes. Novak did grab six defensive rebounds, a steal, and an assist. The defensive rebounding is critical but Michigan needs to figure out a way to get Novak more open looks.
  • Evan Smotrycz: Smotrycz really struggled. He couldn’t guard David Jackson and consistently left him wide open for threes at the top of the key in the first half. Evan was 0 for 2 from the field and didn’t grab a rebound in 15 minutes.
  • Matt Vogrich: With Hardaway’s tendency to pick up cheap fouls, Vogrich has to be ready to go at any time. He was 2 of 5 on threes today and also had a great assist where he made the extra pass for an open three. Vogrich also had a huge stretch where he looked completely beat and recovered to block the shot before hitting a three on the other end.
  • Blake McLimans: McLimans logged five minutes in the first half but didn’t record a stat but didn’t make any colossal mistakes either.
  • Jon Horford: Had the flu, DNP.
  • Dylan Burkhardt

    Highlights are posted in the sidebar under the recent posts module. Also, Michigan’s RPI is at 59 after the win today.
    http://warrennolan.com/basketball/2011/schedule/Michigan

  • Drew

    Dylan, thoughts on NCAA tournament potential of this team? I’m thinking not stealing one of the Cuse/OSU(twice)/Kansas games along with that home loss against Minnesota will ultimately cost them a ticket to the dance, barring a REAL nice finish here.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Right now this team is 4-7 in B10 play without any distinguishing wins in the non conference. The strength is schedule is very good (around 11) but they would need to finish 9-9 to get in the conversation. That means winning five more gmaes with NW, IU, @IL, @IA, Wisc, @MINN, MSU left on the schedule.

      I think it’s much more likely that this team finishes around 6-8 wins and makes the NIT. Win the next two and the possibilities and dreams will start flying though. It will be very interesting to see how this team reacts at home this week.

      Making the post season would be exceeding expectations for this team so I think that should still be the goal.

      • JimC

        Right now, I would say 4 of those games are ‘should wins’ (NW, IU, @IA, MSU).
        If they can rise to win one of the others…..?
        Of course this talk is fun, but meaningless…..and NW is going to be a tough game.

        • Dylan Burkhardt

          Winning all of the “should wins” would be an accomplishment. You still have to play the games.

        • maxwell’s demon

          Say we have a 70% chance of winning each of those 4 games, our odds of winning all four are only about 25%.

          • skitchbeatz

            we’re not rolling dice though. if we can prepare correctly and execute, they’re all winnable.

    • Beast1530

      Michigan is likely to be a NIT team. The rest of the schedule are favorable for Michigan to finish strong. They don’t have quality wins but have a couple of bad losses. Not good enough resume to qualify for the NCAA tournament.

      Given the expectations before the season started, I’m happy with the way that Michigan is progressing as a team. Next year, no excuses for Michigan not to make the NCAA tourney since they return everybody plus two good freshmen in CB and Burke.

  • ATLblue

    You can see how much Morgan has really improved both offensively and defensively since the beginning of the season. He is starting to learn how to score by himself.

    • CJD

      I never thought I would say this; his offense seems to be developing faster than his defense at this point.

  • JB

    Wow, great road win for this young team.

  • Tom

    Great win! Wonderful to see the comeback and toughness on the road! Great to see Hardaway take control as well! I’m excited for the next two games and see if they can continue this momentum!

  • LSA Superstar

    I’m not Dylan, Drew, but to put this in perspective – I think our only realistic conceivable hope for going to the tournament is winning the Big Ten tournament. This is to say there’s almost no chance.

    I think we need to start measuring success in different terms than tourney appearances until we’re not terribly young anymore.

  • CB2009

    Stu’s defense on Battle was horrendous. Granted he is really quick, but I’d have liked to see almost anyone else on him.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Stu at least did a better job of staying with him off the ball than anyone else (and improved as the game went on in that regard).

      • http://www.offtackleempire.com GregGoBlue

        Haha, you ALWAYS defend Stu.

        • Dylan Burkhardt

          Ehh. I was pretty negative on Stu last week. I still think he’s our best off-ball defender when sticking with shooters off of screens, etc.

        • UM Hoops Fan

          It’s funny, I think Dylan often is too harsh on Stu/doesn’t give him enough credit. I think they call this confirmation bias.

        • BK

          I seem to remember Dylan bashing him pretty hard for not going over screens and generally lazy defensive play his freshmen year. It’s funny how perceptions, and players, can change over time.

    • Jensencoach

      Atleast he did a good job of not fouling Battle. We have had a lot of on the ball (non-shooting) fouls in the last few games.

    • Giddings

      I actually thought Stu defended Battle pretty well, as he normally does against good shooters. Stu is the best on the team at fighting through screens and sticking with his man to prevent open catch-and-shoot looks. Most of Battle’s looks came when he was being guarded by Darius, Zack, or Eso.

      • Dylan Burkhardt

        Yeah I agree. He just couldn’t stay in front of Talor when he decided he was taking the ball to the rack. Will be glad when that kid is gone.

      • Michael4

        Stu might have been better on Battle then some but overall we still don’t do a good job on key hot players. Our defense still sinks away from them to help which leaves them open for threes…. That can be very frustrating to watch. Whoever is on Battle (read as key hot player) should not leave them to help. Makie someone else beat you.

        • j-turn14

          Making “someone else beat you,” with regard to a player as good as Battle, is a whole lot harder than you make it sound.

    • Andy

      Eh, I think you’re off on this one CB2009. Stu was clearly the best defender on Battle within the flow of their offense. I didn’t see him sag off Battle at all and was right in his space even when the ball was on the other side of the floor. When Battle got the ball and decided he was going to go to the hoop, Stu had some trouble, but it’s not like there’s another option who would have done any better. It didn’t help that Battle was drawing fouls when he was literally untouched.

    • MikeM

      Morris got absolutely worked by Frazier. Hard to imagine he would’ve been any better on Battle.

  • JimC

    What a bizzaro universe – Sparty sinks deeper into oblivion with each game lately, and M seems to get better and better. Great success!

    • Polisci

      You mean we are finally getting ready to leave the bizzaro universe we have been living in for the last decade and a half.

    • Paul

      Now if only this trending would translate into recruiting as well!!

      • jmblue

        Beilein’s recruiting has been getting better the longer he’s been here. The new practice facility should help a bunch, too.

  • Tweeter

    was Christian sick as well?

    As for NCAA tournament talk, I agree with Dylan, lets see what happens with the next two games. If they win both, then we can start talking about scenarios for this team to make the dance. If they lose either of them, then its pretty much BTT or NIT.

    The big thing right now is that after a really rough stretch of games (Indiana, NW and Minny) where this team looked like they had regressed or at the very least been exposed, they have responded with a stretch of very solid basketball. I am still bothered by the teams lack of a defensive identity, but I think you can see the progress this team has made and what they can be next season.

  • CJD

    As I have said many times before; it is hard to figure out if Morris dribbles the air out of the ball because we often lack motion/moving parts in our offense of we have a lack of motion/moving parts because he dribbles the air out of the ball.

    That said it is a must to get THJ the ball more often coming off those curls; he has shown he is our best athlete and now shows he can deliver the pick and roll pass as well. He has a huge upside and his play continues to improve.

    I think the next step is channeling Manny a little and taking the ball to the rim on the delayed break; if he forced it a little more now and then he would help dramatically in getting some points at the line which we obviously lack.

  • Paul

    Beilein gets the most out of what (little) talent we have

  • Mattski

    What I am liking with this team that I don’t recall seeing in a Michigan team in a long time is the ability to get hot and score in bunches. IIRC they have fought back from some deficits the last few years, but today they seemed to really rip off the buckets during several stretches.

  • grandchamp

    Timmyyyyyyyyyyyy

  • AG2

    I’m just glad we’re not one of those run/jump/dunk teams that collapse and put up huge 0-fers at the sight of a simple zone defense. FSU and Memphis come to mind.

  • SubAlum_06

    Was at that game, every time I close my eyes I see Hardaway coming all the way down court as fast as he could, stopping in what seemed like midair and getting that little roller and the drarwing foul. It was a thing of absolute beauty.

    Did anybody see what happened to Darius the first time he went down? He looked like he really took a shot.

    • JimC

      The first time it really didn’t look like a hard foul on the replay. The psu guy was just raising his arms and it caught DMo in the face. But DMo really sold it.

      The second hit, when he got ‘run over’, looked like a hard charge. The replays on BTN were really bad. But strangely Dmo was called for a block!

      • SubAlum_06

        Thanks. He looked like he had a couple of cobwebs when he got up, or he deserves an Oscar.

  • Paul

    other Paul…we have talent, it’s just young talent. To say we have little talent is just ludicrous.

  • Kainkitizen

    We go 19-12 (9-9) we will be 1 of the last 4 in or 1 of the last 4 out. We didn’t get that singature win like we had with Duke and UCLA 2 years ago. I think for the team we would have to win on day 1 and day 2 of the big ten tournament for us to get in the NCAA big dance.

    • grandchamp

      Well the selection committee puts a lot of stock on what you have done lately. If we get to 19-12 (9-9) that would mean that we finished really strong and I believe we would get in. Watching games from the ACC and SEC on tv are like watching a JV league compared to the big 10.

      • jmblue

        Yeah, when you consider that we began conference play 1-6, it would be quite a feat to finish 9-9. But we’re getting way ahead of ourselves.

        • Azad

          I mean we’re not going to FINISH 19-12…at that point we’d likely have a game vs a team we could beat in the Big 10 tournament, and a chance to get to 20 wins…

          19-12 is very optimistic but it’s not impossible, we will find out against Northwestern if we are ready to turn the corner on this season from “let’s just be happy we will make any postseason” to “wow could we really sneak our ways into the tournament?”

  • Gary Davey

    Need more assists from Morris to be consistent. He is looking more like Manny Harris taking over the games. With the players we have we need him to spread it around.

  • http://Umhoops.com KAB

    Agreed,i think if we go 9-9 in the conference then we are locks to dance…I do agree with Dylan though.I think we win 7 or 8 in the conference and go to the NIT.

  • billiam

    With all due respect to the tourney, I think the big accomplishment is thatt we can even TALK about getting in this late in the year.

  • JimC

    Out of sheer boredom with the superbowl, I went eavesdropping around TheOnlyColors (MSU Blog. And FWIW, I have never gone there before).
    Wow. The sky is falling.

    BTW, NW game is very important: keep the mo going, or slide way back.
    I got my “Triple Double” tix on MGoBlue today. Great deal. Free popcorn…..mmmm

  • mgocanada

    Dunno why we would need 9-9 to get to the dance. I agree that this is the case, but it’s not fair when you think about it. Consider this: the bracket pundits are projecting 10-11 bids from the 16-team Big East this year, citing down years for the ACC, SEC, and Pac 10, as well as the notable absence of mid-majors from the at-large field. What that means is that teams with losing records in the Big East are considered tourney locks, but in the Big Ten, arguably the only conf that truly improved over last season (in the Big East, gains by UConn, ND and Pitt have been off-set by personnel losses at Syracuse, WVU and GTown), you still need a winning record to be in the conversation. MSU is imploding and I think, pending home victories against IU and NW, we should be considered a solid 6th team in a conference that in all fairness deserves 7 bids.

    Also, Clemson on the road is a very solid non-conference win. Maybe not “signature” but then again, Duke has not beaten a single team in the current top 25, so let’s not be too hard on ourselves.

    • mgocanada

      PS we are the only team to win at Clemson all season.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      We still haven’t beat a team better than the 45-55 RPI range. That’s a huge problem.

      • Alex

        We’re going to have some opportunities for signature wins. Indiana and Northwestern are not going to be easy games, especially Northwestern. I’m not liking the short rest for Michigan.

    • Mith

      8-10 in conference with a big win like Kansas or OSU maybe would do it. An 8-10 team that’s 18-13 overall with no big wins isn’t going to make it from this or any other conference.

      • Dylan Burkhardt

        Yeah… The only real distinguishing factor on our resume is our SOS, which will be top 10 when all is said and one most likely. Then again, MSU’s will be top 5. A couple nice road wins (PSU, Clemson, MSU) might help a bit.

        Still the goal is to take things game by game. NIT would be an accomplishment.

    • Jeff

      Bids aren’t handed out by conference, they’re handed out on a team by team basis. There is no minimum or cap on the amount of teams that can get in from a particular conference. The most important criteria for getting into the dance is “who have you beaten”. UofM doesn’t have anything close to a signature win. They have several decent wins, but that’s it. If they win two of three from MInn, Illinois, and Wisconsin they might enter the picture. With the sweep of PSU, it would also be a great help if they started winning again.

      This discussion is strictly academic at this point (and will most likely remain so).

  • http://Umhoops.com KAB

    I dont see why we cant go to orange crush country and win that one.I think we are playing better basketball right now.I know it’s a tough place to play but I’m just saying…

  • MaizeNBlueJ

    Torrent is up at BigTenTracker.com:

    http://bigtentracker.com/torrents.php?id=261

    • sven

      I wonder if I got banned from there or something because that site hasn’t work in like 3 weeks for me.

      • sven

        Seems my IP address has been banned or something considering I can get there on my phone and with a proxy but it won’t show normally and none of the torrents I have will connect anymore.

  • AG2

    Congrats Charles Woodson got his Super Bowl Ring.

  • steve sharik

    Dylan,

    Does Smotrycz’s play this year remind you at all of how Morris was last year, in that Evan seems to be a player with skills but he hasn’t been able to make a smooth transition to this level? I personally look for a big improvement from him next year. This year is growing pains.

    • gpsimms

      IMO, there’s some similarities, but some differences.

      Darius is a crazy athlete with great size for the point guard. He was last year, and we could see it. Smot has great size for the position and is a “smooth” athlete, but I think he really is lacking in speed. Sometimes his upfakes work, but the guy covering him always catches up, or the rest of the team collapses on him…he’s too slow to punish people after an upfake or a move works.

      That said, I look for him and Jordan Morgan both to gain some serious lower body strength to add some explosion to their games this offseason. Right now, Smot is a 6’7″ guy with a quick release and a ~38% 3pt stroke. That’s worth a lot, regardless of how much he improves.

      Their needed improvements are kind of opposite, actually. DMo had explosive athletic ability, with unrefined skills and finishing. He worked on skills, took a lot of jumpers, and has really made a jump.

      Smot is skilled (notice he has a pretty good handle, good dribbling skills, nice stroke) but is lacking in strength/explosion. You can’t make a guy a better athlete, but, I’m with you…big improvement for him (and JMo) with more S+C for lower body. Kids need to do some plyos.

      Long winded. Also, how’s it goin mr. sharik?

      • Tweeter

        gp, i think you are right on here. Smot will probably never be the athlete that morris is, but with some added strength and further developed athleticism, he has the skills to be very good. I think you see him make some real good decisions on when to attack but he just doesnt have the body to get it done right now. A lot times he just gets knocked off balance or has the ball slapped away, once he fully developes his body those things will not happen as often.

        The guy he reminds me of to some extent (comparisons are never very accurate), is Mike Dunleavy. Early in dunleavy’s career at Duke he struggled with physical play. I remember hearing a story about how in the off-season after either his freshman or sophomore year (dont remember which), he basically just ate and lifted and nothing else. No cardio period. He put on twenty plus pounds then worked his body back into shape once the season started. That is the type of thing that Evan needs to do.

      • UM Hoops Fan

        Darius is not a crazy athlete. He’s a good athlete, but he’s not particularly quick and doesn’t have crazy ups. He does have very, very good size for his skill set, though, and is a good athlete, and he uses this very well.

        He is a better athlete than Evan, but Evan also has five inches on Darius.

    • Bill

      Good comments above – what I can’t help notice is how, even though he’s lacking in bulk and muscle, he doesn’t back off mixing it up with the bigs when he’s out there. There’s alot of upside potential in that young man. Quick first step and a sweet stroke.

      • CJD

        Quick first step?????????

  • tyler

    nice to hear how coachable Hardaway is, and it’s showing up on the court. How was this kid a three-star, I honestly think he would be a solid contributor on every single big ten team at this point (save OSU maybe)

    • CJD

      Signed early and average 30 plus his senior year.

  • Nick

    Torrent of the game is up in case you missed it:

    http://bigtentracker.com/torrents.php?id=261

    • Nick

      sorry didnt realize the uploader already notified us.

  • Kevine

    FWIW, there will be three more NCAA births this year bc they’re switching to the 68 team format.

  • Giddings

    BTW… lost in all the Tim Doyle talk of the “Butterfly” and “Stu-yooch”, has anybody else noticed that we seem to play better when Doyle’s in the building? By my unofficial count, we are 5-0 in Doyle games (Utah, NC Central, PSU, Iowa, @PSU) and all of those games were impressive offensive performances (more than 1.1 points per possession in all 5).

    I say, let’s embrace the man.

    • JimC

      And embrace “Baby blues” ?
      :^

    • tin mad dog

      I do like his “Nails” Novak nickname. That one fits.

    • MikeM

      He’s not A-team on BTN, so that means we’re playing lesser competition. I’d much rather we get to embrace Gus.

  • Kainkitizen

    As long the Big Ten Network does not put Doyle with Gus Johnson during one of last few games. That would really be disturbing for Gus to do his awesome play by play work. Doyle should go back to Northwestern and help the program as an assistant butterfly or stay in the BT studio.

  • http://MuchcredittoalltheCoachesandkid's hoopster

    Just wanted to say great job to coach B and the rest of the coaching staff. They will never get enough credit and way to much of the blame when they lose. These young kid’s just keep getting better and better. For what it’s worth coming from me I was proud of this entire team…….Great job!

    • Mith

      Amen. We knew going in that this was going to be a tough year, yet Coach has got them in position to probably finish with a winning record and maybe even 18-19 wins overall.

  • Sam

    I really wish all the Beilein haters who were calling for his head no more than one month ago need to come out and show who they are and admit that they know nothing about college basketball.

    • Justin

      I agree with you, buddy!

      JMS

      • MikeSal

        Amen

    • SubAlum_06

      They will be back because it will never be good enough for them and the fault finders. They will always find something to gripe about: “He should have done better sooner, he should have multiple NCAA berths by now”. If they win the Big Ten it will be why not multiple big Tens and if they win it all it will be why not multiple NCAAs. It is just what they do. Look at all Izzo has accomplished at MSU in terms of wins and losses and all of the people turning on him after one bad season. Ignore them: 99% of them don’t have the slightest clue and the other 1% have some kind of bone to pick.

      • Beilein’s Bricks

        No offense, but isn’t the team’s record 4-7 in the Big Ten, and not 7-4? Is that something to be bragging about? Also Beilein’s record is ~40% in the Big Ten and ~10% in red-letter games (against the top four teams in the Big Ten). This was a good, gritty win and I see hope for the future, but I completely understand the perspective of people who are more negative on the program.

      • Junderground

        If they win the Big 10 under Beilein that would be great, but the bigger issue in a season like that would be NCAA results. If they ever win a national championship that will more than satisfy me–I wouldn’t be disappointed by whatever happened the next season except under extraordinary circumstances, and even then that disappointment would be tempered.
        But why are we getting so far ahead of ourselves? Basically, this talk about Beilein’s overall tenure here and people admitting how wrong they are (I’ve never called for his head, but I’m skeptical) is premature. They haven’t put up a winning record this year or even made the NIT. They beat Penn St. and suddenly he’s coach of the decade.
        They may very well make the NIT and have a winning record–that would be a great result for this season–let’s discuss it when it happens. As for winning the Big Ten and winning it all, I don’t see how those are really on the table at this point, and I’d consider the top 5 in the Big 10 next year and a tournament appearance to be big accomplishments.

        • SubAlum_06

          I enjoy well-reasoned criticism or praise, I was mainly responding to the neg-bombers.

        • Sam

          “They haven’t put up a winning record this year…” Really??? Last time I checked 14-10 qualifies as a winning record. And no, Beilein isn’t “Coach of the Year” yet, but with the sixth youngest team in the country way outperforming preseason expectations, I would say he has done a pretty damn good job so far and will lead us into the promised land. If we don’t make the Big Dance this year, I will guarantee we will next year and won’t stop making it until after he retires (which hopefully we don’t then either).

          • Junderground

            I just meant they haven’t finished the season with a winning record. I’d hope we wouldn’t do what it takes to turn 14-10 into a losing record.

    • CJD

      Not sure if many on here would say I am a hater; yes I do question the recruiting and talent level in some case. Yes also the sets on both offense and defense. But I have not asked for his head only asked a legut question in regards to how long he should have if we continue to go less than .500 iin conference and miss the big dance.

      If that is a hater than go ahead and slam me because I feel that Michigan and its fans deserve a perenial NCAA quality team that year in and year out competes in the upper half of the Big Ten.

  • http://Umhoops.com KAB

    Wow UM’S RPI went all the way up to 53…

  • Section13Row15

    I like you, SubAlum_06. You should come on here more.

    • SubAlum_06

      Thanks. I am here a lot, I love this site Dylan and Joe do a great job and there is almost always very high level of discussion. I try to comment only when I feel like I have something worth contributing and I try to always engage the comment filter http://xkcd.com/481/ before I click the submit button.

  • ToBlav

    Seems to me we are 1 1/2 games out of fourth place with a chance to finish in the top half of the conference. That’s about as far beyond the next game as we should be thinking. Coach Beilein has the team and the program in position to become a solid program and that means he is successful to this point. True fans support the team and the coach, short of long term failure (Amaker six years) or medium term lack of progress (RichRod special teams and defense). Coach Beilein deserves credit and support for the up tick we have seen of late.

    • um basketball fan

      100% agreed.

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