It’s time to finally acknowledge that Michigan is “on the bubble”, even if the Wolverines are still on the outside looking in. I was trying to resist the temptation to start posting things like this but, at this point it’s relevant information.
Burke had 14 points on 5 of 7 (1-2 3pt) shooting, seven assists, four steals, and four rebounds in the Columbus City League Championship game. Burke had 10 points in the first quarter before Waltnut Ridge started throwing a variety of box-and-one and triangle-and-two defenses to try to slow down the talented floor general. It was Northland’s fifth consecutive City League Title and we posted video here.
Northland tips off the State Tournament this Wednesday as they face Groveport Madison. Burke finished the regular season averaging 24 points, seven assists, three rebounds and two steals per game while shooting 66% (143-232) on twos and 48% (39-81) on threes
Tim Hardaway Jr. earned his second consecutive Big Ten Freshman of the Week award and his third overall. Here’s the release:
Michigan’s Tim Hardaway Jr. earns his second consecutive weekly award and third overall after averaging 20.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game. The freshman shot 56.5 (13-of-23) from the floor, 55.6 percent from long range (5-for-9) and 90.0 percent from the free-throw line. In Michigan’s 75-72 overtime victory against Iowa, Hardaway scored a career-best 30 points, going 9-for-14 from the field, including a 5-for-7 performance from long range. His performance made him the first Michigan freshman to hit 30 points in a game in 33 years.
Last Michigan Freshman of the Week: Tim Hardaway Jr. (Feb. 14, 2011)
A common theme for Tim Hardaway Jr.’s big games (excluding the Penn State game) is that he is usually able to get a few early shots to fall. These were more important earlier in the season because it seemed like he would get in a funk if he missed some early open looks and he wouldn’t be effective. At this point, Tim seems to have matured so rapidly — and he doesn’t need to rely on the 3-point shot as much — that he can disregard early misses and force himself to be a factor whether he’s hitting his outside shot or not. Still, it’s always good for Tim to get things going from beyond the arc early in the game, especially in one as sloppy as this one was. On the first play, the “Big Three” team up to get Tim open and get him the ball: Jordan Morgan sets a screen on Tim’s man and Darius Morris finds him for the open triple. On the second play, Darius gets one of his more impressive assists on the season, tipping the ball to Hardaway in the corner while falling down in transition. Tim buries the shot but this is an extremely impressive play by Morris, who manages to not just see Hardaway but also get him the ball all in the split second that he’s falling to the ground. [click to continue…]
Any team can win when everyone plays well and every shot finds the net. It takes significantly more willpower and mental toughness to win a game when nothing comes easy. Michigan managed to escape Iowa City with an overtime win despite a first half that was filled with mistakes, fouls, and chaos. Things started spiraling out of control as Michigan’s offense stagnated and player after player went to the bench due to foul trouble. Bryce Cartwright’s 60-footer banking in at the buzzer felt like the culmination of a perfect storm of disaster. Luckily, Michigan’s fortunes would begin to shift at halftime as that basket was waved off and despite a forgettable half that couldn’t have gone much worse, the Wolverines trailed by just eight points at the break.
When the going gets tough, somebody has to put the team on their back. Today, it was Tim Hardaway Jr… again. The freshman wing has carried this team to past victories but did everything in his power to one-up himself tonight. Hardaway scored 30 points on just 14 shots and made big play after big play to will Michigan back into the game. Darius Morris and Jordan Morgan provided ample amounts of support, scoring 20 and 18 points respectively. When all was said and done, Hardaway, Morris and Morgan combined to score 68 of Michigan’s 75 points and the Wolverines escaped with a narrow overtime victory.
While all three played tremendous games, the biggest play of the game wasn’t one of Morris’ dazzling passes or Hardaway’s lethal three pointers. It was Jordan Morgan calmly hitting a pair of free throws to tie the game with :12 seconds remaining in regulation. Those are clutch makes for any player but for Morgan, a 53% free throw shooter, to step up and hit those shots on the road is impressive.