Game 23: Michigan at Iowa Recap

Dylan Burkhardt

Iowa 85, Michigan 67. Beilein presser. Player presser. McCaffery presser. Box Score. (Photos: Getty)

Michigan ran into a buzz saw in Iowa City and never recovered. The Wolverines came out flat and Iowa’s Roy Devyn Marble didn’t.

Marble was just 5-of-18 from three-point range in his last five games, but he had his stroke going on Saturday afternoon.

Marble made three made 3-pointers in the first four minutes of the game and Michigan was in an early hole. His fourth make extended Iowa’s lead to 11 points with 11 minutes to play. Then he hit his fifth, and then his sixth as time ran out in the first half, extending Iowa’s lead to 14 points at the break.

Marble finished the first half with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Michigan had just 29.

From there, the Hawkeyes were in cruise control and were able to expand their lead to 27 points midway through the second half. The final 18 point deficit was forgiving to the Wolverines, who finished with a 7-0 run in the final 75 seconds of the game.

Caris LeVert and Zak Irvin combined to score 41 of Michigan’s 67 points on 13-of-24 shooting. Their teammates were just 9-of-28 from the floor with 12 turnovers.


Two-thirds of the way through a season that has seen plenty of disappointing defensive performances, this was Michigan’s worst. The Wolverines surrendered 1.34 points per possession and did nothing right on that end of the floor. In the first half Iowa killed Michigan with its three-point shooting (8-of-11) and when the threes stopped falling the Hawkeyes killed Michigan on the offensive glass. Iowa rebounded 43% of its missed shots and scored 11 second chance points.

Michigan’s transition defense struggled to pick people up, including in the secondary break, and its half court defense routinely got lost off the ball chasing Iowa’s shooters through screens. In the second half, Michigan forced a few more misses, but gave Iowa 18 free throw attempts. The Wolverine defense is now the third worst in the Big Ten on a per-possession basis and has to be Michigan’s No. 1 concern going forward.

Michigan’s usually reliable offense didn’t do its lackluster defense any favors. The Wolverines took a number of questionable shots early in the first half which allowed Iowa’s lead to snowball quickly. Michigan scored 1.06 points per trip, but was woefully ineffective for the first 20 minutes. The Wolverines only scored .95 points per possession in the first frame and were only able to count on two players for consistent production.

Once again, Michigan’s high ball screen game with Nik Stauskas was rendered ineffective. While Iowa used some of its smaller guards against Stauskas, this was a different approach than Indiana (who denied him the ball). Stauskas could catch the ball, but he couldn’t do anything with it. Iowa realized that taking Stauskas out of the game takes Morgan and Horford out of the game, so they blitzed every ball screen. The passes to Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford weren’t there, but Stauskas still tried to force them and was just never able to find a groove.

This was a bad loss for Michigan. Not because of the result – a loss at the No. 3 team in the standings is nothing to cry over – but because of how flat the Wolverines looked. You can’t win on the road in the Big Ten with an effort like that and for the second time in three games, Michigan just didn’t look sharp. The Wolverines don’t have any time to lick their wounds as they are back on the road at Ohio State on Tuesday to face a Buckeye team headed in the right direction that just won at Iowa.

Photos: Getty

Player Bullets

  • Caris LeVert: LeVert was Michigan’s only starter that played a good game offensively – finishing with 22 points on 6-of-12 shooting – but he had several defensive breakdowns early which led to open threes for Marble. Offensively, LeVert continued to show off his diverse game. He was 2-of-6 form long range, 4-of-6 inside the arc and 8-of-11 at the free throw stripe. His defense was a major step back after a string of several solid defensive games.
  • Zak Irvin: Irvin still has defensive issues to work out – who doesn’t after this game? – but he came off the bench shooting and just kept on firing. 19 points on 7-of-12 (4-6 3pt) shooting is a big performance for the freshman. He’s slowly starting to do a little more than catch-and-shoot, including a couple mid-range jumpers. His one driving attempt was swatted at the rim, but his offensive development is something to be excited about.
  • Nik Stauskas: Stauskas had another disappointing performance and was just never able to get comfortable. The forced passes were frustrating (for a second game in a row) and he’s now just 5-of-15 from the floor with 10 turnovers in Michigan’s last three games. Things won’t get any easier at Ohio State, but the Wolverines need Stauskas to bounce back.
  • Glenn Robinson III: Robinson opened the game with an alley-oop dunk. From that point on he was 0-of-6 from the floor with four turnovers in 25 minutes. Michigan needs more from Robinson, Robinson needs more from Robinson. John Beilein put it bluntly: “He had a bad game.” No one is going to argue that. This was eerily similar to the game at Indiana where he forced 17-foot jumpers early in the shot clock and tried to attack off the dribble, but was constantly stripped or blocked.
  • Derrick Walton: Walton finished with 5 points on 1-of-4 shooting with 6 assists to 1 turnover in 18 minutes. The stat line looks decent, but I think Walton will learn a thing or two about controlling a game on the road after this game. Walton also struggled a bit attacking the basket given Iowa’s length around the rim.
  • Jordan Morgan: Morgan was 0-of-2 from the floor including an ill-advised 15-foot jumper. Maybe he can hit that shot, but it isn’t the right shot early in the game on the road. Morgan didn’t grab a defensive rebound in 15 minutes and really struggled against Iowa’s size.
  • Jon Horford: Horford played a little better, finishing with 4 points, 2 assists and 7 rebounds (4 defensive) in 20 minutes, but he also gave up inside position quite a few times. Both of Horford’s baskets came in the final four minutes with the game already decided.
  • Spike Albrecht: Albrecht played a terrific game against Iowa at home, but finished with just two points and two assists in 20 minutes in Iowa City.
  • Max Bielfeldt and Andrew Dakich: Both players made a few nice plays in garbage time. Bielfeldt knocked down a three and drew an offensive foul while Dakich had a nice drive and kick to Zak Irvin.
  • Guillermo

    Belein needs to prepare these guys better when Stauskas is taken out of the game. This was very similar to the Indiana game. He needs a plan B because t seems like he learned nothing from that or the Duke game.

    • kam

      irvin and caris combined for 41.. glenn needs to be the preseason all american and help out. Nik was taken out but we had two others step up

      • Mattski

        Nik was pretty awful, but Glenn seems to be the whipping boy. There’s something a little off when we sit back in our easy chairs and call a kid like that lazy.

        • kam

          i agree. Im not calling him lazy.. I just don’t think he’s as talented as we thought. I think he’s playing about as well as he can. Ive never said he doesn’t try hard.

    • Picknroll21

      Agreed, coaching just is not getting it done. No plan B when the game is not going our way. Robinson , can’t figure him out, last game he said coach told him to play angry and he had a great game. Today what was his mood,? How did Beilein tell him to play today? Also after the way Spike handled the team against Iowa at home, might have been a good idea to start him today, although I know Beilein is in too deep with the Walton thing to do that. We might have gotten off to a better start. Albrecht makes more assists per minute of playing time than anyone on the team, and is the best passer. We need to get an inside game with assists. YTD Walton 66 assists to 42 turnovers. =1.57 assist to turnover ration. Albrecht 56 assists to 9 turnovers =6.22 assist to turnover ratio. which leads the big ten and everyone seems to ignore. Seems like the offense plays more like one on one with Walton in vs. team play with Albrecht. Given Walton adds an element of speed at times, but something is just not clicking. Be nice if they could both play together more but then lacking on size.Zak Irvin could be the answer to start in place of a non motivated Robinson and maybe this week is the time to change starting lineup? Be nice to get more rebounding from someone inside. Big game in Columbus will be interesting to see how the team responds.

      • johnny9308

        Spike came in the game with 17:01 minutes left in the 1st half. And played almost the 1st half. Nothing happen when he was in .

      • Bigplaybray

        I would agree that Beilien was out coached at Bloomington. I’m not sure that was the case here. Blaming coaching for this loss is a huge stretch, given the level of effort that the players on the court exhibited.

        The team will continue to improve. As almost all of Coach B’s teams do.

        I think games like this, where the effort/energy isn’t there and we are getting out-hustled illustrate how much we miss a HEALTHY McGary.

    • AlwaysBlue

      Do you think Duke, Indiana and Iowa did something unique by trying to take Stauskas out of his game? State, for just one of many, had the same objective…different strategy maybe but same goal. Plan B depends on the reads, reactions and execution of the rest of the team…Caris and Walton in particular. I just don’t think Caris and Walton have the experience and command of the offense to overcome some defensive looks…yet.

  • Michigan fan

    Twice in the game today, Dan Dakich called out Glenn Robinson for not living up to his billing. And he did it quite harshly by saying sarcastically something like, “If Glenn Robinson is a first round NBA draft pick, he should be making that shot.” It would be fine, in my opinion, for him to say “he should be making that shot” or “Glenn Robinson is 1 for 6 on the day and really struggling.” But to use the sarcasm of “if he’s really a first round NBA draft pick” is unfairly sarcastic. Yes, Glenn is struggling. But the fact that his son is playing for Michigan, moreover, calls into question whether he can be objective about any of our games. What does ESPN think of his use of this sarcastic language? Doesn’t it unfairly put pressure on a 20-year old? Can’t it lead to bad blood on the Michigan team when Andrew Dakich’s father is calling out a teammate? My opinion is that ESPN should reconsider his announcing Michigan games.

    • kam

      Glenn isn’t a child. if it bothers him play better. Dan is like that in every game. its why dawson punched a table. i personally like his I’m going to say what i think and not censor it because I’m on TV. He does it to everyone. when he did the UK game he called their play “stupid” because they didn’t foul at the end. Does it put pressure? Nah, because I’m sure glenn gets that same pressure from reading Twitter, watching ESPN and talking to people.

      • Dr_ZC

        I agree. Dakich tells it the way he sees it and you have to appreciate his brutal honesty and style. Perhaps Glenn and Nik can get the message and get better, and for the others (us), we should not kill the messenger if we do not like the message. We like to remind that these are 20 year old kids, which is true. But we also have to remember that this is a mans league where on one hand the man are separated from the boys, and on the other, these man at 20, stand to make more money that I will ever make in my entire life.

    • ChocoJoe

      I agree with Kam. Dakich is my favorite. He’s just doing his job.

    • Indiana_Matt

      I agree with you. It is the responsibility of the person calling the game to comment on what is happening. If a player is struggling that is what you have to talk about without sugar coating it. Yet I think it is unprofessional to use sarcasm. Bill Raftery comes to mind as an excellent color commentator, partly because I think he shows some empathy when kids struggle.

      Something about a 50-year-old man railing on a young kid, mocking his play in relation to a draft ranking that was given to him by adult men who make their livings making predictions about draft rankings (i.e., something he did not ask for) is… a little off.

      While I do think Glenn or anyone else in his position has to be able to handle the criticism (and not punch tables), that doesn’t make Dakich a top tier color guy. He has insights from time to time but largely he’s just trying to be provocative. It is his schtick and I find it lame. He also seems to have the habit of attempting to predict what will happen and then fishing for evidence to support his “insights” as the game goes on, regardless of how much he has to reach.

      • Mattski

        Dakich has some insight to offer, but all too often it’s about him. I weary of him pretty quickly, and don’t find getting down on kids appropriate, at least not while we’re still pretending this is amateur athleticism and these are–increasingly, for me–young people playing out there, who work their butts off daily. Also don’t understand how people can run SO hot and cold sometimes, and are so ready to pile on someone like Glenn. Love Rafterry and Kellogg, even though he’s an OSU guy; they’re my favorites.

    • ajerome33

      I have no problem with Dakich or with the bluntness in his comments during games. He calls it the way he sees it and honestly, is he wrong? Glenn has too much talent to play this poorly. Dakich is 100% correct, you want to go pro and have a long NBA career, you better start bringing a little more in these big games.

      • Indiana_Matt

        You know, he might not be wrong. But does it show a high level of professionalism? In my opinion, no.

        But I prefer a Bill Raftery or Clark Kellogg style to a Billy Packer or Bill Walton style. What is gained from being so blunt? The announcer brings more of the focus on himself and perpetuates his brand.

        • kam

          i like bill too and clark but i think Dan is really funny. Did i laugh at the glenn comments? No because we were getting smacked. I just find him entertaining. This isn’t the first time he’s said this about glenn either. We are just mad because we lost. he said earlier in the year “glenn plays too cool, he doesn’t play like he wants to win” maybe no one else heard it but this isn’t his first time

          • Indiana_Matt

            Even as I criticize what I consider his weaknesses, he can be funny. Have to be honest. Just think that by and large he’s supposed to help explain the game. When a guy misfires from three the way Glenn did, we don’t need help to understand that was bad.

    • MLA

      Wow…deflecting blame to an announcer who has a universal reputation for ‘telling it like it is’ is really weak. Even coming from a big UM fan, Dakich was spot-on all game about the issues plaguing GR3 and UM at large. There are a boatload of issues that I knew would catch up with them after a surprisingly assertive stretch 2 weeks ago. Horrible transition defense, soft interior defense, no rebounding (Morgan & Harford – I’m sure they’re good guys but they are useless in the post and vs. bigs at large), Stauskus’ lack of composure under pressure, no offensive continuity. This could turn out to be the biggest meltdown of a team who stated out so incredibly strong out of the gate in the nation’s best hoops conference. Win at OSU is critical to stop the bleeding.

  • Wayman Britt

    Well we know every opponent for the rest of the season is going to pressure Nik and deny him because when that happens UM’s whole offense shuts down.

    I know Nik, GR3 and Horford don’t have many post moves, but they might want to try posting, because every team is going to deny our perimeter game. I would much rather see Nik or GR3 try to get a foul down low, rather than force a 26 footer with 1 second on the clock.

    • kam

      but they didn’t deny Nik this game though. they just put a small guy on him. Id like to see Nik try and post up. He did it against yogi and it was ugly.

  • Indiana_Matt

    Man, hard to watch. I felt like this one would be extremely difficult to get. Even if we were playing well. Anyway. I think we could easily go 5-2 the rest of the way which I think makes us 22-8 going into the B1G tourney. I recall people lamenting that we would be an NIT team a while back. Thankfully, I don’t think we have to worry about that. If we go 1-1 in the tourney I think we get a decent seed at 23-9 considering the schedule we have played.

  • JohnNavarreIsMyHero

    This is the performance I expected from Iowa when we wanted them to beat MSU. So of course they miss every wide open three imaginable and over a dozen FTs. Magically all those go in versus us. What a joke. Anyways, I don’t think this is too big of a deal since I see Wisconsin having an inspired performance (similar to this game) and beating MSU tomorrow.

  • Justblue

    I read these discussions all the time but some of you guys are so hot and cold it’s ridiculous. They have a couple bad games now the world is going to end. You guys jump on GR3 like it’s your job. Reminds me of Hardaway jr last year. He will get better and so will the team. Oh how we forget when we beat Wisc, Iowa and MSU. The team was awesome then…. Just relax. Go blue!

  • johnny9308

    Walton still learn how to controll a game on the road. Walton has been controlling the road games since the Big10 conference. Less T/O in hostile places like the Breslin. Nobody talks about the so call leaders and their T/O lately. Everybody just need to calm down.

    • guestavo

      Walton isn’t there yet.

      • johnny9308

        He been doing a good job so far.

        • guestavo

          Not as a passer or defender, he hasn’t.

  • Chris De Sana

    This game was just really tough to watch. Poor transition defense, an offense that was offensive, getting beat up on the glass at both ends of the court and no adjustments that I saw to help any of the above.

    I am a coach B fan and I know I will get slammed but IMO this is another game like Indiana where I feel we not only got out played, out hustled, out executed but out coached as well. I just do not see where we as a team try anything other than high PNR action.

    If you watch the action away from the PNR it seems that players are either standing still around the arc or basically running around switching sides with no purpose or down screens to help each other get open. This is the Big Ten, most every team is loaded with great athletes that can chase a guy from one end of the court to the other especially if he never has go get thru a pick. In other words we need motion but not just any motion it has to be with a purpose if we are going to be successful going forward because the better teams now have a blueprint to follow.

    With GR3 playing another game where he was a non factor, Nik both struggling to get his and helping others get theirs, the big men getting beaten up on both ends of the court and our point guards struggling there were a couple of positives. When all else fails Caris is a willing leader, and that is huge. Zak continues to show he can almost always get his shot off and is now showing he has a mid range game.

    Things will not get easier against OSU because they have 2 very good defenders in the back court so Nik better be ready for Craft and they have a big that will be a handful for JMo and Horford.

    In closing maybe coach needs to watch this video as an option to the high PNR action.

  • david

    What I don’t understand is this: Why are we so bad at defense? Is it because of defensive principles, effort, athleticism, or something else? I genuinely don’t understand.

    I don’t usually believe in arguments about “heart” and “will,” but yesterday I do think the team’s effort was poor. Caris’s lack of hustleand lack of a box out on Basabe’s tip dunk in transition was, I think, emblematic of an overall disinterest on that end of the floor.

    The offense, though highly imperfect yesterday, wasn’t really the issue. We scored 1.05 points on the road against Iowa, which would be good enough for 5th in PPP overall in the Big Team, and this against a team that only allows 99.6 PPP.

    We have to be able to get more stops.

    • guestavo

      You expect Caris to have the ability to box out Basabe? LOL…. Beilein took out Glenn and put Caris on their 4 to teach a lesson.

      • Dr_ZC

        A guard can box out a big, if he has the right fundamentals. If the big goes on the top to get the rebound, the only defense a guard has is to flop a push by the big. And Caris should be capable to box out Basabe as far as hight. I do not buy excuses on boxing out. It is a lot easier than rebounding, and it has to do with desire, and who wants to do the dirty work.

        • guestavo

          The point being that Beilein took out Glenn and Nik to teach them a lesson and pretty much ceded mismatches on the court i.e. it was garbage time

    • Dr_ZC

      What I would love to see, is stats on our 3-point defense. Who is our worst 3 point defender. Also, what I would like to see is who misses the most box-out assignments. Even Whalton was upset yesterday on our inability to box-out, by punching his palm after our forwards missed box outs resulting on offensive put backs. These are defensive fundamentals that seem to be ignored by our team day in and day out.

    • Chris De Sana

      Defense and rebounding are mostly about effort but it is more than that. For example when it comes to rebounding the %’s are that a ball will come off the rim opposite of where it is shot from. Do you see our weak side baseline players crashing the rim when Nik puts one up from the corner because I sure don’t.
      The other is studying the opponent which I think JMo does the best job, he is always forcing post players away from their comfort zone.
      Last I do not recall a game where Michigan tried to deny to anyone player, for example this past game it probably would have been a good idea to do so with Marble especially once he got hot.