Five Key Plays: Purdue at Michigan

Dylan Burkhardt

1. 12-2 Purdue start

Everything about this game felt wrong from the start. The energy in the building was noticeably lacking without students (who were on spring break) and Michigan got off to a dreadful start on the court as well. Purdue’s offense was getting easy layups as Michigan’s defense broke down and the Wolverines missed a handful of open looks to begin the game. Novak missed a 10-foot jumper which he normally makes, a shot he estimated he’s made at an 80 percent clip this season. Then Hardaway missed a pair of in-and-out threes leading to an airball on his third three point attempt. Follow that with missed layups by Jordan Morgan and Stu Douglass and you couldn’t draw up a more frustrating start for Michigan, who would find itself playing from behind all night.

2. Terone Johnson scores a career high 22 points

Terone Johnson had a career night against Michigan and all of his production was a product of driving to the basket. Zack Novak was the unfortunate defensive culprit on most of Johnson’s drives. Novak was able to stay in front of Johnson for the most part but the more athletic Purdue guard consistently finished through contact and right over the top of Novak. Not only did Johnson get to the basket consistently, the Purdue sophomore made 4-of-4 free throws – an impressive achievement for a sub-40 percent free throw shooter this season.

3. Michigan 12-2 run gives U-M the lead

For most of this game, Purdue had answered with a big run of its own whenever Michigan cut the lead to one or two possessions. This was the best stretch for Michigan all game and it allowed the Wolverines to finally take their first lead midway through the second half. It was hard not to think that, just maybe, Michigan had regained enough momentum and would be able to recover from their early woes. Zack Novak and Trey Burke hit threes, then Stu Douglass got involved taking the ball to the basket. In a rare transition opportunity Burke got to the free throw line before finally finding Jordan Morgan on the screen-and-roll for a layup. The Wolverines looked good and Crisler Center had some energy once again but Michigan was unable to sustain its momentum.

4. Purdue answers with a 6-0 run

Matt Painter called a time out after Michigan took the two point lead and managed to help his team regroup. Once again, Purdue answered a Michigan surge with an emphatic run of its own. Two of the three baskets were from Travis Carroll, the Purdue five man that’s not generally an offensive threat. He had a great look off the screen-and-roll from Lewis Jackson as well as an 18-footer that most probably didn’t realize was in his offensive repertoire. The middle bucket by Ryne Smith was a case of Tim Hardaway Jr. not playing the scouting report. He drops himself way too far in the lane and allows Ryne Smith all sorts of open space, he closes out in an out of control fashion and which gave Smith the open jumpshot after a simple pump fake. If he’s covering Terone Johnson he can afford to help off but Michigan couldn’t afford to leave Smith that open on the wing.

5. Back-to-back Hummel threes ice the game

Purdue had regained the lead but Michigan was still down just four points with four and a half minutes to play. Then Robbie Hummel put the game to bed. Both possessions stem from a Jackson-Hummel pick-and-roll and are defended by Trey Burke and Evan Smotrycz. The video serves as a reminder of all the things you don’t want to do against the pick-and-pop. After the game John Beilein referred the plays as a “miscommunication” and stressed that the Wolverines had worked on the situation repeatedly in practice but obviously not enough, adding that both players involved were “very disappointed” after the game. The Hummel threes ended Michigan’s comeback effort and the Wolverines wouldn’t put up much more of a fight. Defensive breakdowns were the root of Michigan’s problems against Purdue and there couldn’t be a more symbolic way for the Boilermakers to put the game away.

  • Michigan State clinches a share of Big Ten with OSU loss. UM still has a shot at a share if they win out and MSU loses at IU and to OSU.

    • rlcBlue

      The tie would be two way or three way, depending on the outcome of tOSU’s visit to Evanston on Wednesday. We’d almost certainly get no better than the #2 seed in the BTT in either scenario, though.

      On the bright side, there are now lots of scenarios where we get the #2 seed in the BTT by finishing second outright or in a tie with the Bucknuts and/or Badgers.

  • Alex

    Makes for an interesting week in the Big Ten. Whatever happens I hope that we take care of business and beat two teams that we should even on the road.

  • ZRL

    Any idea why we didn’t try some 2-3 in the second half? It worked well for the 1 possession we played it in the first half. I know they were shooting well from 3 in this game, but it was their dribble penetration (a lot of which resulted from using our propensity to switch on everything to get the match-ups they wanted) that was really killing us, and Purdue has proved over the course of the season that they are just an ok 3 pt shooting team. Hindsight is 20-20 I guess.

  • Mbee1

    Despite not being on the bubble, lots of interesting, albeit less stressful, situations for U of M in the final week of regular season. Here’s a breakdown of teams we’re competing with for seeding in the NCAA tournament. The current seed is from Lunardi’s s-curve.
    Ohio might be knocked down to a 3 with it’s loss today. I think Michigan’s best case is a 3-seed. The conundrum is best case for U of M in the Big Ten tourney/championship. Need Indiana and Ohio to beat Sparty, but that helps both their resumes. Also need Wisconsin to win out so they stay in 4th place, giving UM the tie-breaker over Ohio. Doubt that would be enough to get Wisconsn to jump UM in the committee’s eyes.
    My best guess is a #2 seed in the Big Ten Tourney finishing a game back of Sparty and a #3 seed in the NCAA tournament.


    Seed (before Sunday’s games)




    Last #2 seed

    @Northwestern Wed.

    @Michigan St Sun.


    1st #3 seed

    @Cincinnati Wed.

    vs. Georgetown Sat.


    2nd #3 seed

    vs. Texas Tech Mon.

    @Iowa St Sat.


    3rd #3 seed

    vs. Notre Dame Mon.

    @Marquette Sat.


    Last #3 seed

    @Illinois Thurs.

    @ Penn St. Sun.


    1st #4 seed

    vs. South Florida Wed

    @ Syracuse Sat.

    Florida St

    2nd #4 seed

    @Virginia Thurs

    vs. Clemson Sun.


    3rd #4 seed

    vs. Minnesota Tues.

    vs. Illinois Sun.


    Last #4 seed

    vs. Michigan St Tues.

    vs. Purdue Sun.


    1st #5 seed

    @Vanderbilt Tues.

    vs. Kentucky Sun.

    • rlcBlue

      I think it’s impossible for us to get the #1 seed in the BTT – there’s no scenario where we win a tiebreak with MSU.

      But it’s not that hard for us to get the #2 seed, because it’s almost impossible for tOSU to win a tiebreak with us – we will have an equal or better record than them against Sparty, Wisconsin, and Indiana; they would need Purdue to finish ahead of (not tied with) Wisconsin, which will only happen if Wisconsin loses out (home games vs. Minnesota and Wisconsin) and Purdue wins out (home vs PSU, @ Indiana). Not happening.

      If we win our last two games, I have no doubt we will be the #2 seed in the BTT.

      • The only one seed scenario for U-M is if the tiebreaker comes down to NW. Not sure how feasible that is though.

        If Michigan can get a 2 and Wisconsin can somehow get a 3. You would like Michigan being on the opposite half of the bracket than OSU and MSU.

        • rlcBlue

          There’s no way for the NW tiebreak to come into play, I’m afraid. The only scenarios that tie us with MSU and haul NW up into a tie with Purdue result in Wisconsin in a tie with either OSU or IU, and then Sparty’s 3-1 against the tied teams would beat our 2-1.

          Wisconsin can’t win a tiebreak with OSU, so they’ll only get the 3 seed if they finish ahead of OSU, either tied with us for second or alone in third. Possible, but requires Wisconsin to win out (likely) and OSU to lose out (less likely).

  • Offtopic_Pedant

    Terone Johnson’s game reminds me a lot of Brundidge. He’s been kind of a forgotten man lately, but hopefully Carlton can give us similar production in the near future.

  • sane1

    The most important moments may have been Hardaway’s first two three point attempts.Both were good looks and both rattled out. His next miss was an air ball and his confidence was shot. If those two dropped, could have been a completely different game offensively. The defensive breakdowns were most disappointing. early uncontested lay-ups and the two Hummel threes were so costly. T. Johnson’s makes on drives against Novak were tough shots, and Jackson made a couple of circus shots going to the hoop.

  • Mattski

    Didn’t Johnson kill us in the first game, too? Perplexing that we didn’t figure out how to shut him down after the first half, at least. Everyone just looked sleepy out there, including Burke and the coach. 

    People are right that Michigan didn’t need to lose this one. On the other hand you can also say that this team’s year-long flaws were all on display in the game. I’ll be screaming for them, but deep tourney run seems unlikely to me right now. Great that OSU lost; I really like the idea that we come second to Sparty, let ’em know we’re breathing on their heels. 

    • sane1

      T. Johnson scored 4 points on 1-3 shooting last in W. Lafayette. What perplexed us was how many shots he made on Saturday, including 4-4 FTs for a 30% FT shooter. Several of his makes were tough shots – he just made them on that day.