Game 24: Michigan at Wisconsin Recap

Michigan 62, Wisconsin 65 (OT)-26
Dustin Johnston

Team PTS PPP FG FG% 2P 2P% 3P 3PT% FT FT% OR DR AST TO STL BLK PF
MICH 62 .91 28-71 39% 23-53 43% 5-18 28% 1-2 50% 11 28 12 7 8 1 13
WISC 65 .96 25-57 44% 15-33 45% 10-14 42% 5-10 50% 7 32 14 14 4 5 8

Nobody goes into the Kohl Center and plays their own game. Bo Ryan’s team might struggle offensively but still knows how to turn a basketball game into a street fight. The Badgers dictate a slow tempo, play with grueling physicality and apply liberal body-on-body contact around the basket. Teams that win in Madison come into the game ready to play the exact same way, match Wisconsin’s toughness and and hope to make a few  critical plays down the stretch.

Michigan played Wisconsin basketball – utilizing two big men, playing a half court game and digging in on the defensive end of the floor. Both teams had their spells of good play in the first 39 minutes, Wisconsin took a nine point lead in the first half and Michigan had a six point lead with 6:34 to play in the second, but this was a back-and-forth game throughout with 12 lead changes and nine ties.

It was only fitting that the final 67 seconds were nothing short of chaotic. Trey Burke put Michigan ahead by three only to be posterized by Jared Berggren on the other end of the floor for an and-1 dunk. Tim Hardaway Jr. buried a seemingly decisive three pointer with 2.4 seconds only to see Ben Brust make a 36-footer at the buzzer. The Wolverines matched Wisconsin throughout but just couldn’t find the execution, or luck, to put the game away. In overtime, Wisconsin continued to execute and another Ben Brust three pointer would allow the Badgers to prevail with a three point victory.

Michigan managed just 62 points in 68 offensive possessions — .91 points per possession. The Wolverines struggled to shoot inside – 43% on twos – and outside – 28% on threes – for a 43 effective field goal percentage. Michigan tried to attack throughout the game, attempting 75 percent of its field goals inside the arc, but was rewarded with just two free throw attempts for 71 field goal attempts in 45 minutes. The Badgers committed just eight fouls in 45 minutes.
The Wolverines rebounded just 26 percent of their missed shots, managing seven second chance points, but did value the basketball, turning it over on just 10 percent of their offensive possessions.

Michigan’s offense was actually very good at stretches but failed to execute in critical spots down the stretch. The Wolverines scored just five points on their final eight possessions of regulation – going scoreless from 6:31 to 1:06 – and mustered just two points in overtime. It was this five minute scoreless stretch that cost the Wolverines the game:

05:40 MISSED JUMPER by Robinson III, Glenn
04:46 MISSED JUMPER by Burke, Trey
03:56 MISSED LAYUP by Burke, Trey
02:47 MISSED 3 PTR by Burke, Trey
02:31 MISSED LAYUP by Burke, Trey
01:42 MISSED 3 PTR by Stauskas, Nik

Six empty possessions in the final six minutes isn’t good enough to win on the road in the Big Ten, especially at the Kohl Center. Michigan missed other opportunities and still should have won the game in the final minute but this stretch will be the one that players and coaches will look back on with frustration.

Michigan held Wisconsin to .96 points per trip and despite the Badgers’ well documented offensive struggles that’s a performance to build on. The Wolverines forced turnovers on 21 percent of Wisconsin’s offensive possessions and cleaned up the defensive glass, grabbing 74% of Wisconsin’s misses. Michigan defended twos well, holding Wisconsin to 45% inside the arc, but the Badgers did connect on 42 percent of their triples. Overall, there really isn’t much to complain with on the defensive end from the Wolverines and had they converted at even an average rate they would have played good enough defense to win.

The end game strategy wasn’t great by either team to close regulation. Wisconsin failed to use any its fouls to give and gave up a deep, but openok maybe not so open, three to Tim Hardaway Jr. to give Michigan the lead with 2.4 seconds to play. John Beilein said Michigan’s strategy was to foul on the catch on the final play and that didn’t happen. Still, the big decision seems to be not guarding the inbounder. The logic behind putting McGary deep is that he can help prevent a long overhead pass but the counter argument is that you allow Brust to catch the ball on the run and sometimes people get lucky and hit 36-footers. Hindsight is 20-20 after all.

It’s basketball and games like this happen. Four of the top five teams in the country lost this week and it took a fairly heroic effort for Wisconsin to win on its home floor. Michigan is now 1-2 in the four game stretch which was always going to be the most difficult two weeks of the season – and that’s without Jordan Morgan. Win in East Lansing on Tuesday and all is forgotten but that game is vitally important. Michigan stands a game out of first place today and can’t afford to fall another game behind – even with four of its final six games at home.

Michigan 62, Wisconsin 65 (OT)-27

Player Bullets:

  • Trey Burke: It took him a while but Burke eventually figured out a way to score against Wisconsin. He did a great job of using high pick and rolls and weaving his way into the lane, converting with the mid-range jumper. However, he was 0-4 on layups and missed a couple of very short jumpers and that was the difference between a good game and a great game. Burke missed four shots in Michigan’s costly drought but I would have to go back and watch the film to speak definitively on their quality.
  • Tim Hardaway Jr.: Hardaway is locked in offensively. He had a huge second half (4-6 fg, 1 3pt) and finished with 18 points on the game. He’s playing with so much confidence whether he’s shooting threes, mid range jumpers or taking the ball to the rack. Hardaway missed a couple of looks at the rim, but he’s far from the only one with that struggle.
  • Mitch McGary: It’s starting to feel like Michigan’s post-season ceiling rests in McGary’s hands. McGary does more and more every game and Michigan is a different team with a versatile big man in mix. He was three of four on jumpers outside of 9 feet and finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, three steals and a block in 32 minutes. The overtime missed layup will haunt him but he’s far from the only Michigan player that will want a few possessions back. McGary continues to improve rapidly and Tuesday’s game at Michigan State might be his biggest challenge yet this season.
  • Nik Stauskas: Stauskas was just 2-of-7 (1-5 3pt) but did grab seven rebounds and hand out three assists. He had a great curl jump shot a step inside the three point line in the first half and also knocked down a triple in transition. I thought he did a fairly good job on Ben Brust in the half court and even held his ground down low when posted up by Wisconsin’s strong guards.
  • Glenn Robinson III: Robinson’s slide extended to three games as he never managed to get anything going once again, finishing with four points on 2-6 shooting. He seems to be struggling with the physical nature of play and nothing will get easier as Michigan heads to East Lansing on Tuesday evening. He did have one great play, a fake hand off drive and finish at the rim off of an out of bounds play he still looks like a player lacking all confidence.
  • Caris LeVert: This was a Saturday afternoon that LeVert will want to forget. He started the first half with a nice pump fake and drive but didn’t have the strength to finish. The next time down the court he found an open mid-range jumper but his attempt went in and out. His second half wasn’t much more encouraging. He missed an open three and was burned on Ben Brust’s buzzer beater as well as his overtime go-ahead winning three.
  • Spike Albrecht: Albrecht had two rebounds and a steal in 11 minutes but he quietly ran the Michigan offense in the first half, leading to a 7-0 run.
  • Max Bielfeldt: It was clear early on that this was going to be a grinding game on the block and John Beilein was smart to opt with Bielfeldt, who played a career high 18 minutes. Bielfeldt still struggles to finish (1-3) but he did grab four rebounds (2 off.) and handed out an assist. He’s undersized height wise but is one of Michigan’s best at using his lower body strength to move people around on the block.
  • Jon Horford: Horford struggled to finish around the bucket (1-of-4 with a turnover) and only scored two points in seven minutes. While McGary and Bielfeldt both played strong physical basketball, Horford was pushed around quite a bit in the post.
  • gobluemd16

    Everyone will talk about the plays at the end of the game, including me, but those single plays didn’t determine the outcome. As Beilein said in his press conference, we missed at least 6 layups that I can remember. Horford missed one or two early, Bielfeldt one, McGary missed the huge one in OT and at least another, and Trey on at least two occasions. Absolutely brutal ending and this game may come back to cost us the B1G championship if we are unable to win at Breslin. Besides Mitch, Tim, and Trey, someone else has GOT to get it going if we are going to beat the best teams in the country, home or away.

    • Mattski

      Yes. The final score is what it is, and Wisconsin deserves plenty of credit. But this could have been a game that Michigan won handily.

    • Adam St Patrick

      I think that what’s more realistic than someone else getting it going is the team playing better defense and improving ball security. It means less that turnovers aren’t an issue for the first 38 minutes if you can reliably trap and pickpocket a Michigan ballhandler in the last two.

  • Wayman Britt

    Very frustrating lost, still hurts.

    It’s gut check time for the Wolverines. If they want to win the Big Ten, win the Big Ten tourney or go beyond the Sweet 16, they need to buy in to playing better defensive and being more aggressive. You know MSU is going to pound them physically.

    The word is out on the Wolverines, body up on them and they go soft and cannot make layups around the rim.

    • Jalen Rose

      Especially Glenn Robinson III. The Big Dog needs to there is nothing powerful about this forward right now. He had his shot blocked by Wisconsin. That’s pathetic. Really needs to show us what he’s capable of.

      • jemblue

        Well, at this point the Big Dog is about 40 years old, so maybe it’s not shocking if he gets his shot blocked by a college player… ;)

        Seriously though, while I agree that he needs to assert himself more, Wisconsin is not exactly “pathetic” defensively.

  • Austin

    I am still gut-wrenched about this loss. Crushing.

  • http://www.umhoops.com/ Dylan Burkhardt

    Frustrating? Yes. The good news is that there’s a lot of basketball still to be played. Michigan’s schedule favors a stretch run.. but might need a few breaks.

  • B Rose

    If I were the Michigan coaches, I’d put this game in the rearview mirror and figure out how to reinvolve Glenn Robinson. When he was playing well, this team looked so smooth on offense and was really moving the ball. With him dogging it everywhere, it looks more and more like a two/three man vs. five man game. The only things I would take from this game is to guard the inbounds pass, learn how to foul, and practice more aggrssively in practice so they can body up and make layups. They need to beat lil bro Tuesday; hitting threes will be crucial b/c our bigs don’t match up

  • Lexington Clyde

    These kind of games are always the toughest to watch…close game, think you have it won, desperation heave sets up the loss…And I guess they are the kind of game that provokes discussion board response…so here are a few random thoughts:

    – I think the coaching decision that actually warrants the most discussion is Beilien’s general reluctance to call TOs. That stretch of the 2nd half from 6:31 to 1:06 was (I’m pretty sure) when McGary was on the bench and Bielfeldt was the 5. You could see McGary at the scorer’s table for a good chunk of this time, not able to get in, and you have to wonder if the team would have really profited from a TO to get reset and to get McGary back in.
    – I think you can argue that the game was called pretty evenly, in that the refs swallowed their whistles for most of the game. That being said, you can argue that this type of game favors the more physical team, and that would seem to favor Wisconsin (And I still don’t know how you can miss the call when Stauskas is taken out at the knees).
    – Finally, going into the season everyone knew that this was going to be the toughest stretch of game. For Michigan to playing as well as they are during this time without one of their starters seems to be rather encouraging. Morgan makes a big difference on defense, and also gives them more experience in big games. For one of the youngest teams around, not having Morgan is a really big deal.

    • Mattski

      Yes, McGary has really come on in Morgan’s absence, and that could be a godsend later in the season. Also, win or lose the B1G, the team should be able to get rested and experiment more–reigniting the offense a little–down the stretch.

  • Jalen Rose

    I don’t know how Horford can get pushed around so easily. He’s a friggin’ monster! Having to go to Bielfeldt really cost Michigan. He blew a couple of easy finishes, including that shot-clock violation were Burke set him up beautifully but he didn’t have the dexterity or presence of mind to get the shot up quickly.
    We simply can’t rely on Biefeldt offensively, and if he has to play significant minutes in EL we’ll be in trouble.

    • Wayman Britt

      I agree Biefeldt lacks offensive moves, but he does rebound well. I think we will need his bulk at MSU.

      • mikey_mac

        Since I suspect Morgan will miss the MSU game, I have to agree … Max won’t wow anyone, but he’s got a knack for the ball and actually sets pretty decent picks. Having his energy and physicality spelling GRIII makes sense to me. Having Morgan healthy is still the best option, however. Any minutes Max can play at 4, Morgan could probably be even more effective with.

    • Jeff

      Burke gave him that pass too late, as the shot clot was about to expire. There was no way he could have gotten a decent shot off in time. Everyone on the team was missing layups, largely because the refs weren’t calling anything. I thought Bielfeldt played really well.

    • eddieben

      I’m not quite sure you can call Horford a monster. Dude is pretty soft and still has a pretty unrefined game. I actually think he will be a pro some day (here or in Europe), but at this point I really dont think you can question giving beilfeldt some minutes in Horford’s stead

      • gpsimms

        Well, keep in mind that Josh Asselin and Jevohn Shepherd are “pros” by that metric.

        At this point, I’m willing to say that Horford will never play in the nba.

  • catwomanrx

    3 games without Jordan’s defense and three games lost…

    • http://www.umhoops.com/ Dylan Burkhardt

      One was a win :-)

      • rlcBlue

        Actually, it’s been five games, and three of them were wins, but who’s counting?

  • arsenal926

    tough game to lose but it’s one that Michigan will undoubtedly get better from. I still think Michigan has a fantastic shot to win the b10 even if they lose @MSU . Also based on the way top 5 teams are dropping like flies I really like how Michigan ends their schedule with home games against the other big10 contenders. #1 overall is still well within reach

  • GoBlue

    One thing that has been overlooked is that Hardaway had two deep two point baskets that were literally a centimeter away from threes in the second half. It’s a game of inches…

  • ChathaM

    I’m more impressed with Hardaway every time I watch him (which is every game). His would-be game winner was outstanding. In a stressful situation like that, for a RH shooter to dribble to his left, use pro footwork, and elevate over a good challenge is very impressive. He’s a pro.

    Freshman inconsistency is maddening. We have no idea what we’re going to get from LeVert, Spike, Robinson, or Stauskas from one game to the next. But, that’s typical freshman play. We have to live with it, and hope for the best. McGary, on the other hand, seems to be improving by the game.

    I’m sure we’re all alike in that we’re trying to figure out exactly what this team’s ceiling is, and what needs to be done to reach it. My biggest concern right now is the halfcourt defence. I was alright with IU and OSU getting consistent good looks, simply because I think so highly of their talent. Wisky, though, is an offensively challenged team. For the first 30 or so minutes of the game, I thought they consistently got good looks, and that doesn’t feel right to me. That can’t be solely a factor of Morgan’s absence. That UM was able to lock down better over the final 10 minutes of regulation is encouraging, but the first 30 scares me more than the final 10 encourages. Tuesday will tell me a lot. Will they be able to guard MSU? I just don’t know. After Tuesday, I’ll be ready to set some level of hope/expectation for the rest of the season, and into the tourney. We aren’t quite at the “team X is what it is” point of the season, but we’re getting pretty close.

    I worry about Robinson as well. I think he’s been put in a very tough position; having to constantly guard players who are bigger and stronger than him. That’s showing on the defensive end and on the boards. Offensively, he seems to drift at times, almost as though he doesn’t know how he fits in the offence. I do think there’s something to the theory that he’s worn down physically, but his mind doesn’t seem right at times, either.

    • Adam St Patrick

      I think we know what we’re going to get from Stauskas — a few makes, too many misses, a weak drive, tons of defensive errors, a backbreaking turnover late, and far, far too much talking after those few makes.

      • Mith

        Relax, he’s not a robot. He’ll continue to make mistakes, but he’ll learn and improve and be a heck of a player.

      • gpsimms

        What has he done to make you say he’s such a liability on defense? I actually think he’s made huge strides there since the season started, when his D was terrible. He closes out hard and uses his length well to keep people from getting around him. He was even banging down low with some bigs to get boards yesterday.

        • Adam St Patrick

          I think his D has gone from non-existent to a place where on occasion he plays a nice defensive possession. I agree he’s going to be a great player at UM, but I think it might have been better to make him earn his way on the court by demanding a baseline of competency in the areas that aren’t his focus.

  • ChathaM

    The 5 minutes scoreless stretch that’s detailed above is interesting. It reminded me of a quote from Izzo last season when discussing the NCAA Tourney. His point was that you can’t judge a team solely by its Tourney performance, because all it takes is 5 minutes of poor basketball, and you’re on your way home. That’s kinda what happened to UM today.

  • UMQuasi

    I was as crushed by this loss as anyone else but some of you make me sick. Those of you who are calling out Beilein or basically saying the season is over because the team is too soft are ridiculous. If not for a lucky buzzer beating heave (yes it was lucky, this was not Evan Turner a few years ago where he was able to square his body–this was a guy off-balance with a hand in his face), we win this game and end a FOURTEEN YEAR losing streak at the Kohl Center.

    If Brust’s shot rims out, you’re all praising the grit the team showed in winning in a tough environment. We outplayed Wisconsin on their home floor–just because we lost doesn’t change that fact. The result of game is often not an indication of who played better–don’t have your viewpoint of this game and this team poisoned by one disappointing result.

    • gobluemd16

      I don’t think people are calling out Beilein, just wondering why a foul wasn’t committed or any pressure on the in-bounds passer. These are valid concerns. Everyone here loves Beilein, and we wouldn’t be in this position without him. I also don’t think anyone is “basically saying the season is over.” I don’t know where you are getting that from. Saying it will be an uphill battle for the B1G ‘ship is one thing, but I don’t think anyone has lost faith in this team, just making some constructive criticisms.

      • AlwaysBlue

        And JB answered both of those questions in the post-game press conference. They were supposed to foul and didn’t. McGary was back as the last defense in the event they passed to a guy streaking for a 3. I don’t know, I guess they could have guarded the passer but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t hit a guy on the run, with his defender on his hip.

        • robpollard

          Of course it “doesn’t mean” but the whole point is to reduce the chance of that significantly. Same nonsense as with Evan Turner. You ALWAYS guard the inbounder with so little time left. Why give the guy a free chest pass? You know the inbounder will have the ball, so why not focus one player on him, instead of sending McGary down to guard…well, potentially somebody (actually, nobody in this situation)?

          Beilein’s a great coach and knows more about basketball than I could ever hope. But his obstinacy on this issue is, to use a word that was said on the broadcast in a different situation, dumbfounding.

      • Adam St Patrick

        Fair enough. Another head scratcher is trying to draw a charge on the big guy’s drive. Ideal to not let him score at all, but better to let him waltz in, take the 2, and have the ball with 30 seconds left and up by a point. Trying to draw a change courts the risk of an and-1.

        • Mith

          It’s not like Burke has time to think about it. He tried to draw the charge which pretty much could have won the game if he got the call. Didn’t work.
          Calling it a head-scratcher is silly and reeks of 20-20 hindsight.

    • Dr_ZC

      Too many ifs… Yes, lucky shot. Basically we did nothing to reduce his luck. Guarding the inbound pass (especially when we defended like this E Turner) could have helped a lot more than defending a 2 (?) point shot, with 2.4 sec with McGary, and with a more experienced defender.

    • UMQuasi

      Those are valid concerns. I was talking more about the people making generalized statements like “If they want to win the Big Ten, win the Big Ten tourney or go beyond
      the Sweet 16, they need to buy in to playing better defensive and being
      more aggressive.” after a game where they allowed .96 ppp and rebounded 80% of Wisconsin’s misses. There’s also “Calls go to the aggressors, and Beilein’s approach forfeits that benefit.” which seems like a condemnation of Beilein’s overall philosophy rather than just a critique of the late game decisions today.

      • Adam St Patrick

        Well it’s just how it is. Calls go to the aggressors. Every strategy is going to have its strengths and weaknesses.

        Beilein is obviously a great coach. But I’m a defense-first guy and I think that most of the time a great defense is better to have than a great offense, so I am indeed skeptical at times about the overall strategy. I think it also explains why OSU plays Michigan dead even despite the fact that there’s one future NBA player on their team and 5-6 on ours. We’ll see how it goes, but IMO Beilein needs to stress defense and hustle points more.

    • ShoelaceNation

      I agree with you.

  • Troy

    Am I the only one who is not impressed with Caris LeVert? Not a good game by Stauskas or GR3.

    • davis104

      Yes, very disappointing defense by Levert on the second three, the first one…eh…it was a miracle shot. Still think we should have guarded the in-bounds passer. They are three freshmen though.

    • jemblue

      LeVert has given us good minutes at other times this season (notably at Minnesota). It seems like he, like a lot of the other freshmen, is going through a bit of a funk at the moment.

      • Dr_ZC

        As the games became tougher, we lost our early game creativity, by relying too much on Burke dribbling the air out of the ball. And this has a negative effect on the other freshmen, who not only have become timid, but they are reduced as observers, without any motion on the baselines, since they know they will not receive THE EXTRA PASS. When the shot clock winds down, we are too predictable on offense, and easy to defend. This team was not fun to watch the last 3 games. Maybe we need to go back and watch some more film, from early games when the swagger was on, the ball was shared, the extra pass was made and everybody was happy.

      • Adam St Patrick

        I think it’s wise to base normal expectations on the Big Ten season vis-a-vis what the kids did in December against weaker competition.

      • mikey_mac

        LeVert just isn’t ready yet to play a bunch of minutes, but I think he’ll be a solid rotation player (10-20 MPG) in the future. Right now, he’s a step too timid to stick with quicker/smaller 1s and 2s, and too light to match up with 3s. Give him a year to really fill out and let the game slow down, and I think his talent will show through.

  • UMQuasi

    One comment about Beliein’s approach at the end of regulation–I seem to be in the minority here, but I don’t think it’s a no-brainer to foul. There’s a chance that they see the foul coming and quick-shot and get the foul in the act of shooting or you just foul them too late and happen to foul them while shooting. Then you put them on the line with a chance to tie.

    I think the chance of that scenario unfolding was probably about 25%–this may seem high but consider that there is just 2.4 seconds left–you have a very small window of time in which to foul the player on the floor. A couple of tenths of a second late, and your fouling a shooter. Now, Ben Brust is a 64.5% FT shooter on the year, so the chance of him making all three free throws is 26.8%. So, the chances of fouling him while shooting and him making all three FTs is 6.7%.

    While that’s a very low %, I would argue that Brust’s shot had a less than 5% chance of going in. Think about it, if he took that exact shot 100 times, would you really expect to make more than 5?

    Obviously this calculation all depends on what you assess the shooting foul % to be and what you perceive to be the probability of Brust making that shot. Different people would use different numbers than I have. So, I’m not saying I’m definitely right that they shouldn’t have fouled, but I also don’t think you can say that they definitely should have fouled.

    • jemblue

      FWIW, Beilein wanted to foul there. He did not want to play straight-up defense.

      • Dr_ZC

        License to kill, is hack. And wanting to foul with none contesting the inbound is tough. The inbounder has a much better chance to throw an accurate pass to somebody cutting clear of defenders. JB should know that, as he tried the same trick against Evan Turner’s OSU. And we had a TO left to call. I guess we saved it for OT. And we put a 7 min per game freshman to defend, twice.

        Ryan mentioned they run that play in their practices. We also have the scouting team simulating teams we face, which is cool. I wonder if we practice last second defense situations. I doubt it seriously. What was McGary guarding under our basket with 2.4 seconds and nobody harassing the inbounds?

        • Adam St Patrick

          That’s what killed me about it — Beilein said that LeVert couldn’t execute the plan because players aren’t used to fouling on the run like that. Is he saying the team isn’t practicing that enough? I’d also bet they aren’t running enough ball-security drills in practice.

    • Dr_ZC

      Ok let us play the percentages then. Of all Wisconsin players Brust and Dekker had 2 3’s. so the chance they will take the last heave is higher. If JB is not sure who will take it, he could see the W sets and call a TO. Then put the best defenders on them with license to kill.

      Why you will have a freshman averaging 6 min per game defending Brust is beyond me. But then again, why in the OT keep the same defender on Brust? Why not have Timmy on him?

  • CDeSana

    This game highlighted the fact that our offense (when Trey Burke is running the point) is too reliant on one player. Trey is a star for sure but our ball movement and offense can get bogged down when he has those possessions where he dribbles the air out of the ball. In no way am I saying I want Spike to start but he does make sure that others touch the ball more often which seems to keep everyone’s attention.

    It has been years since we could say that Michigan has the better athletes on the court and having offensive possessions that does not take advantage of that just drives me crazy. Nik and GRIII are simply too good of athletes (same as Timmy the last couple of years); to spend the lions share of every offensive possession standing in the corner waiting to chuck up a 3 ball. We run the occasional curl for Nik and now that he has cut down on the crazy high risk passes they have resulted in getting quality shots; when are they going to run something similar for GRIII?

    I said it yesterday I would love to see a little 2 man game for Nik and GRIII; a little pick and roll or pick and pop. Clear the floor out for them because we know the better on the ball defenders will be on Trey and Timmy. If the other team helps I love Trey and Timmy getting open looks for 3; or Mitch on the weak side roll to the basket.

    In the end winning on the road in this league is tough and we let this one get away. Hopefully our young team can put it behind them quickly as we head to State on Tuesday.

  • Mattski

    Wonder will we have Morgan on Tuesday?

    • gobluemd16

      We better hope so.

  • Mattski

    It’s the nature of the fan-beast to hunt for scapegoats after a loss like yesterday’s, and the last events of the game are going to be fresh in people’s minds. It’s not like Beilein hasn’t thought through the implications of different defensive sets in such situations–Bo Ryan said after the game that he often employs the same strategy. An incredibly low-percentage shot went in and then we didn’t get it done in OT. Still chaps my behind that we lost one we should have won, but carping about Beilein too much is just kinda immature, considering how far he’s brought all these freshmen. These are the breaks of the game.

    • Dr_ZC

      Let us see if he can manage to instill to them the confidence they had earlier the season. I noticed that Stauskas on one occasion in OT was way open, but he did not pull the trigger. I am not sure if it is a confidence issue, or if JB instructed them to have the ball in Burke’s hand with the clock winding down, rather than trying to find the open man.

    • robpollard

      Why is it immature? Now is the time to talk about a coach’s decision not to put a defender on the ball. It doesn’t mean I think he should be fired or isn’t a good coach. It just is inexplicable. He may have “thought through the implications” but he hasn’t shown evidence of that. His decision, with 2.4 seconds left and up by 3, was to put a Mitch, 6’9″ active widebody who is perfect for defending an inbounds throw, back at the opposite end, where logic dictates it’s more than likely he would end up having absolutely ZERO effect on the final play. Why not instead of put him 2 feet in front of the passer, where he for SURE would have been involved – he may not have ultimately prevented a perfect pass, but he sure as heck would have made it a lot harder. It’s not “luck” if you’re making it easier for them to get a better shot.

      I mean, I went to go look at the Evan Turner play for the first time since it happened (fun!). That play is even worse then I remember. Turner gets the ball with ease, dribbles and fires with ease. This one was defended slightly better b/c Levert was a bit closer, but if Brust hadn’t shot so early, he could have gotten about the same ~30 footer Turner got. That is unbelievable. Beilein needs to learn from his mistakes, but that’s not going to happen until he recognizes it was a mistake.

      This was a huge loss that was there for the taking, even though UM overall didn’t play that well. I’m not going to worry about why a 5-minute a game freshmen can’t determine how/when to commit a non-shooting foul with 2 seconds on the clock. I am going to worry why our coach repeats his errors which cost huge games — which again, doesn’t mean I’m not glad he’s our coach – I just want him to do better. I can root for that, right?

      • Mattski

        Again, a shot that goes in about one in 100 times. It’s just one of the standard ways that you play that situation; each one has its drawbacks and pluses. And if Brust had fired it downcourt for an easy layup underneath or shot from close everyone would have complained about that. I don’t want to have an argument, but my statement didn’t say that analyzing or even second-guessing about it was uncool, just that going off on Beilein for it was.

        • robpollard

          What does “if Brust had fired it downcourt for an easy layup underneath” even mean as a defense of this decision? We were up THREE POINTS! Who cares about a layup? And there were only 2.4 seconds left – do you know how hard it is to complete two passes, then get up a three pointer, in that amount of time? The only real option is a tip pass (a la Valpo in the tourney ~20 years ago), and that requires an inbounds pass that goes well-over half court. And you know what can help make that initial pass almost impossible? A big man guarding the inbounder with his hands waving high in the air, instead of sitting helplessly in the key.

          I’ll stop there b/c you noted you don’t want to argue/discuss this further, which is completely fine, but Beilein’s decision-making in these late game situations will bother me for quite some time. I expect more from our 30 years+ experienced head coach. He’s got to stop screwing this up and his comments indicate we’ll be down this road again sometime in the future.

          • $584645

            You can’t blame Beilein when Wisconsin made a one-in-a-thousand shot, period. It’s like blaming the centerfielder when the baseball gets blasted 500 feet. Just stop!

  • Johnson

    As crushing as yesterday’s loss was, this is the perfect time of year for it to happen. If that had happened in the sweet 16 or elite 8 we would be done now and really all be crying. Better to have close fluky games and learn from our mistakes now rather than in March. If anything, we will be better prepared the next time a game comes down to the wire. On top of that, we are still in good position to at least come away with a share of the B1G title as long as we take care of business at home. Plus, a B1G title is great and all, but I’d much rather us make a final four run than anything else.

  • Dr_ZC

    Watching the game between OSU and IU. The parallels are staggering with the upcoming UM and MSU matchup. Both IU and UM were top 5 teams. Both IU and UM had gut wrenching loses on last second shots in away games against unranked conference teams. Next game for both teams still on the road against top 15 team – contenders for the B1G title. IU persevered from the disappointing loss and took care of business at OSU with a gutty win. Now they are controlling their own destiny. Can UM bounce back and do the same against MSU? This is what will determine if they can be title contenders.

    Winning Home games does not seem to be easier this season.

    • Adam St Patrick

      Frustrating as Michigan has been recently for those of us who love defense-first basketball, they have yet to lose at home or on the road in a game they should have won. Indiana fell to Wisconsin at home and at Illinois. The OSU win today simply erased one of those mistakes. They still have more tough road games to play than Michigan, if I have it right. Michigan controls its own destiny in the conference, I think.

  • Nexttimedown

    Michigan’s offensive struggles late in the game began when they started having either Burke or Haraway hold the ball up top for much of the shot clock. When they do this, they keep the ball in the hands of their two best players, but they stop running their offense and go away from what was working.
    Not guarding the inbounds with a big is inexcusable, as was not fouling. Having said that, McGary’s missed breakaway layup in OT was a real turning point in the game. In that situation, I just think McGary has to dunk the ball.

  • mikey_mac

    This was actually a pretty bad game for UM’s starters, THJ excepted. They were really bailed out by the solid play of Spike, Max, and obviously Mitch. McGary thoroughly imposed his will in this one, completely the opposite of Horford, who was absolutely cowed by the physical play.

    UW is a terribly difficult place to play without tenacity. Horford and GRIII found that out, while Max and Mitch fit right in.

    As a related aside, UW’s style of basketball is really just … gross. I really struggle to see this slow, hacky (meant in both meanings of the word) strategy as a “good thing” for college basketball. The grossness has been somewhat masked in recent years by some great talent like Taylor and Leuer, but that’s clearly gone and we’re left with a whole lot of scratch-and-claw that refs just can’t mitigate and is painful to watch.

    • yinkadoubledare

      The refs absolutely can mitigate it, they just chose not to. Not calling it when you can audibly hear McGary get slapped on the arm, the obvious hack across Stauskas’ arm that caused him to lose it (and then adding insult to injury, called it off Stauskas when it didn’t touch him), and all the other grabby stuff that seemingly never gets called, that’s all in the refs control, they just refused to call any of it.

      • mikey_mac

        Your examples are missed calls, or home-court calls, and you’re right, they can be mitigated (called correctly). It’s a fine line, but what I’m talking about are things that just won’t be called a foul without willingly stopping play every minute, like pushing through box-outs, contesting put-backs with body contact, and holds on players coming off off-ball screens … i.e. things just considered “physical basketball,” and things Dan Dakich seems to adore.

        The refs can choose to make the game even uglier and call it accurately, making for constant clock stoppages and in-bounds passes, but they just seem to be loathe to do that — “calling the game consistently” or “letting the players play” seems to be the inevitable course.

  • http://www.umhoops.com/ Dylan Burkhardt

    Failing to see how fouling has to do with finishing on offense and getting to the line. Michigan defended twos very well today, FWIW.

  • Adam St Patrick

    Agreed. Calls go to the aggresors, and Beilein’s approach forfeits that benefit.

  • gpsimms

    We are allowing 33.5% from 3 against in Big Ten play, which essentially puts us right at the Big Ten average. But, interestingly, teams take 37.6% of their shots from 3 against us, and that is last in the conference.

    I know you were worrying about the first stat (probably incorrectly, imo), but kenpom would say that second stat is a real red light.

  • Adam St Patrick

    I think Robinson did a pretty good job on DeShaun Thomas. He’s not a player you measure by box score. That said, fewer minutes might work. The kid would probably look better against players his own size. IMO the kid who is a liability on both ends is Stauskas. 1-5 from 3 doesn’t cut it when you can’t play defense and regularly suffer those deer-in headlights turnovers in crunch time.

    The whole team save for the 5s could do with a greater understanding of the fact that great shooting isn’t enough. You have to rebound, play D, force turnovers, get in the other team’s face, and make plays off the script. But ESPECIALLY Stauskas.

  • UM 05′

    you make some good points on Stauskas D ability or lack there of. At least on O he makes teams account for for him. He spreads te floor and actually attempts to drive and kick or finish. Robinson won’t even dribble the ball…

    Robinson did ok vs Thomas of you look at the box score but UM doubled as trappe him a lot. That’s why the other OSU players went ff for 3. UM collapsed on D and scrambled a lot that game. Not a bad strategy to make non Thomas players beat you though.

  • gpsimms

    I’ve just been thinking that Stauskas has improved leaps and bounds on defense. He closes out hard on shooters and doesn’t get beat off the bounce when he does it. I even thought he held up pretty well against athletic wings, like vs. OSU.

    Kid pulled in 7 boards this game and I think 6 the game before. I actually think he’s doing a great job of not letting his offensive struggles get to him. Robinson, on the other hand, is really disappearing.

  • UM 05′

    wisc had no offensive threats of the dribble though an they still got way too many open looks at 3. UM can’t stay in front of anyone. Bigs can’t man up anyone down low either. Need Morgan back ASAP.

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