- Lure of Pro Ball Still Tugs at Pittsnogle
Great read from the NY Times on Kevin Pittsnogle
- Interview: Pete Tiernan of bracketscience.com
Greg Dooley talks NCAA tournament and Michigan with Pete Tiernan
- â€¦Is This Thing On?
A new U-M blog on the radar, ThoseWhoStay.com. Be sure to check out articles on Greg Robinson and The Barwis Beach.
- Escape from Evanston
Purdue has their IU/Savannah State moment
- Uggggh! Cats Collapse, Fall to Purdue-63-61
The Northwestern reaction…
- The Missing Ingredients
“What a choke job from the Badgers. Wisconsin made Minnesota look like high schoolers for 33 straight minutes in the middle of Thursday’s game. With about three minutes left, Tubby Smith FINALLY reapplied full court pressure and the wheels came off.”
- On a trip
Did Suton trip Talor Battle?
- Hoops Recruiting: Regan, Brandt, â€˜11s and more ($)
Rivals with some tidbits on many hoops recruits
- Michigan at Illinois 1/14/09 SD
I have to apologize in advance for the overall quality of the video and camera work. It was the only footage I had to work with and I figured it would be better than nothing. The problem with WTHef sharing all of that quality Darius Morris footage is that it raised expectations for anything else I post. Blake is #44 in maroon (Worcester) and the footage is from a 84-74 win over New Hampton. I’ve included all the plays that Blake played a part in even though some of them might not quite be “highlights”. Blake has been a bit of a mystery recruit so hopefully this can at least give everyone glimpse into his game, my first takeaways are that he blocks a lot of shot sand shoots a lot of threes.
There is also some Will Regan video floating around the net, WGRZ was on hand to see Regan score his 1000th point at Nichols Academy. Check out the video here.
Mark Snyder has a piece in the Free Press with Rumeal Robinson who is due back in town this weekend for the 1989 reunion. Rumeal gives his 2 cents on Steve Fisher, the Fab Five, Ed Martin, and NCAA violations. His answers will raise some eyebrows to say the least.Â Here are a few highlights:
“That got a lot of attention. At the end they got to take down all the accolades they got and worked hard for, but it wasn’t like they were using steroids. Somebody helped out somebody with some money.
Fisher’s firing in 1997, in part, because Martin (a Detroit booster but not an alum) provided money to several Wolverines: “Knowing Steve Fisher, I don’t think he knew anything about any of that. He wouldn’t put himself in that position. Coach Frieder, now he might have. Frieder cared a little bit more than Fisher.
“The NCAA may need to give some money for the players.”
“You got nine pros and none of them left school early? If you’re taking care of players the right way, you understand the process to make it work. Otherwise, a player’s got to go out and look for help, it’s going to happen” like with the Martin scandal.
Robinson did not hesitate when discussing his era in college basketball, but he also was cautious about being specific about himself and his teammates.
“Coaches need to keep their jobs,” he said. “How do you compete against Duke? How do they get those players? Have you been to Durham? Who wants to go there? If you can get them and be successful and your program can go forward, you can do well.
“At the end of the day, you’ve got to win, baby; you can’t come in second. C-Webb, Jalen, those guys were great, but you’ve got to win. You can’t go back. It’s not like the pros where you have 15 years and have the opportunity to win. You have four years.”
Those are just a few highlights, the whole article is definitely worth a read.
The Michigan offense left Champaign at half time. Michigan only made 6 field goals in the second half and Manny made 5 of them. Illinois held Michigan to only 20 points on 20.7% shooting in the second half. Grady, Novak, and Lucas-Perry finished the first half with 5 points each, they combined for only 2 points total in the second half.
In many ways the game was similar to the first meeting between these two teams:
- The road team held the halftime lead but the home team won it down the stretch on the defensive side of the ball.
- The winning team had a guy who hit three 3-point shots in the first half to keep his team afloat (McCamey/Novak).
- A tall unathletic big man took over the game in the second half (Tisdale/Gibson).
- The home team shot and made a lot more free throws.
- Both teams turned the ball over the same number of times.
- Both home teams were missing their students due to winter break.
Michigan fans looking to point fingers have to look no further than DeShawn Sims. The 6-foot-8 big man was not himself tonight and looked sluggish from the get-go. Sims was held to 3-14 shooting for 7 points and didn’t bring the effort and intensity on the defensive side of the ball. Illinois big man Mike Tisdale posted 24 points on 10-12 shooting and dominated the game in the second. Sims missed tons of easy looks deep in the lane and also refused to drive the ball on slower Tisdale. I would have liked to see a little more Zack Gibson down the stretch but this team really needs production from Sims night in and night out.
Michigan lost this game by letting Illinois get to the free throw line and by not being able to buy a basket. Their shooting was dreadful with an effective field goal percentage of 38.1%, Michigan’s lowest eFG% all year. Illinois usually struggles to get to the line, their free throw rate of 23.8 ranks 343rd (2nd to last) in the NCAA. On the other side Michigan doesn’t let opponents get to the line, their defensive free throw rate of just 23.8 ranks 8th nationally. Illinois posted a free throw rate of 47.8 tonight compared to 4.8 when these teams played just 10 days ago.
This one stings because Michigan was in the game for the first half and Assembly Hall appeared to be pretty tame without students. At the end of the day there is no shame in losing this game, Illinois is a very good team that will be dancing in March. They are 14-2 with an RPI in the top 20 and have quality wins at Purdue and Missouri. They play lock-down defense (top 15 per Pomeroy) and will beat a lot of teams in Assembly Hall this year. Saturday night’s game against Ohio State is a big one. This team has played well coming off of a loss and they can’t afford to lose to a struggling Ohio State team at home.
- Manny Harris: In the live blog a lot of people were saying that Manny struggled (and he certainly has for stretches this Big Ten season), isn’t that good, is overrated, and whatever else. Manny scored 20 points on 7-13 (3-5 3pt) shooting with 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 turnovers while the rest of the team combined for 12 field goals all night. Yes, he took a couple questionable shots and yes he turned it over a few times but I’ll take this effort from Manny any time, especially when the rest of the team is limping behind him.
- DeShawn Sims: See above, simply not good enough.
- Zack Novak: Zack hasn’t been getting a ton of open looks but he is doing enough to deserve his minutes. Novak posted a game high 9 rebounds to go along with 5 points on 2-4 shooting in 33 minutes.
- Laval Lucas-Perry: LLP had a rough day shooting the ball, he was 2-7 (1-4 3pt) for 7 points with 1 assist and 3 turnovers. I think you have to remember that this is only his 7th game this year.
- Zack Gibson: Zack Gibson loves playing against Illinois. In only 9 minutes (really?) Gibson scored 4 points (2-4) and pulled down 2 offensive boards to go along with 2 steals.
- Kelvin Grady: This is the case with most everyone besides Manny Harris, a great first half (5 points) and nothing in the second.
- Dave Merritt: Just not a threat to score, I think he played a few too many minutes but the box score says he only played 10.Â Dave is just not a threat to score the ball and opposing defenses know it.
- CJ Lee: Always hustling CJ posted 5 rebounds and played 14 minutes.
- Stu Douglass: It was good to see Stu hit a three in the first half but he missed a really deep (25 foot+) three pointer in the second that he shouldn’t be taking. Stu really can pass the ball and even though he’s going through a bit of a funk you can see what Beilein likes in him. Right now it’s all about teaching Stu the right pass and the right shot.
- Jevohn Shepherd: I just don’t see how Jevohn is the answer to any questions… This team is going to win games by out scoring people. Shep isn’t going to help us score points and he isn’t 7 foot. Shepherd is more athletic than Novak but he has only pulled down more than 3 rebounds twice this year (4 each time). Novak is averaging 6.75 rebounds per game in conference play and grabbed 9 tonight against a team with two guys 6-foot-10 or taller.
Who: Michigan (13-3) at Illinois (14-2)
Where: Assembly Hall, Champaign, IL
When: Wednesday, January 14th 8:30 ET
Last Meeting:Â Michigan 74-64 — Post-Game, Preview
Spread: ILL by 6.5
Preview: Stat Sheet, U-M KenPom Profile, Illinois KenPom Profile
Radio: MGoBlue, WWJ-AM (950), WTKA-AM (1050)
Michigan heads to the other Assembly Hall to try and break an identical streak to the one they snapped in Bloomington last week. Michigan’s odds of pulling off a road win this week aren’t nearly as high as they were last week because Illinois looks to be a legitimate upper tier Big Ten team and they are going to want revenge.
“It’s definitely fresh in our minds,” senior guard Trent Meacham said. “They got a lot of guys that can shoot it. Not one of the guys hesitates to shoot the three. It makes it tough. They have different matchups and they cause mismatches. But we can do the same thing. Hopefully, we can make them pay for playing small.”
Illinois played only one game in the 10 days since their loss in Ann Arbor, a 76-45 drubbing of Indiana at home. Clearly this team isn’t going to be drastically different than the one we all saw in Ann Arbor 10 days ago, Illinois is still the same mid range jump shot shooting team that plays good defense. This game is going to come down to who can make the right adjustments, I usually like Beilein in this type of coaching battle. Last year three of Michigan’s five conference wins were in Michigan’s second meeting with a team and this year we managed to make the right adjustments against Duke, the only team we have played twice.
To win on the road, Michigan is going to need a defensive effort like the one they brought in the second half of the first Illinois game where they held the Illini to only 25 points on 33% shooting.Â If they lose cutters and give up easy looks like they did in the first half the game will get out of hand quickly. Calvin Brock has been a constant thorn in Michigan’s side, they need to limit him and make Illinois earn all their points.
This one comes down to a battle of big versus small. Illinois wants to go big as much as possible and utilize Mike Tisdale and Mike Davis while Michigan wants to go small and spread the floor. In the first meeting, Bruce Weber was forced to match Michigan and only play one of his big men because Tisdale just didn’t have the speed to hang with Michigan’s quickness, even Zack Gibson beat him baseline for a slam. The two Illinois big men combined for only 17 points and 8 rebounds in the first meeting, I think Michigan would settle for this type of production again.
Offensively, Michigan played a very solid game in the first meeting but there were certainly a few things they could have done better. Chester Frazier and company did a very good job against Manny Harris and really kept him out of his game. I think Michigan is going to need Manny’s A+ game tonight if they are going to have a shot. Novak had a big game in the first meeting before being KO’d and forcing Gibson to step up. I am hoping Novak can get some revenge for those stitches in Champaign. This is a tough one for Sims because he is going up against guys that are bigger than him, the key is to force the Illinois bigs outside of their comfort zone on defense and make them guard you away from the block.
The guy who really killed Michigan last game was Demetri McCamey, McCamey had 11 points to go along with 10 assists, 0 turnovers, and 5 boards. McCamey is a tough match up for Michigan, a big point guard, but even McCamey had trouble hanging with Grady late in the game. Michigan has to hope McCamey doesn’t get hot with those line-drive three pointers early and try to contain him.
I really think that this is a game Illinois will win in a pretty comfortable fashion because Michigan has yet to prove they can win on the road. Assembly Hall is a tough place to play, and this Illinois teams wants to avenge a win that is still fresh on their minds. The key for Michigan is to stay cool and collected, play the game in 4 minute intervals, and just stay close to have a shot at the end. Stealing a road win here would go a long ways but this is one of Michigan’s toughest remaining games. Pomeroy puts the odds at only 16% and considers it Michigan’s third toughest game remaining.
Let’s hear your thoughts, predictions, and comments.
- Persistent pair provide pride for U-M
More walk-on love. Would anyone else love to see CJ as a graduate assistant?
- Big Ten flexing its muscle, ranks third on Dickie V’s radar
Just how good is the Big Ten…
- Big Ten Hopes Hoops Make Up for Football
The Wall Street Journal’s take on the conference
- Checking in on theâ€¦ BigÂ Ten
“The conference is sitting on 62 possessions, one of the lowest numbers in recent history.”
- Conference Walkthrough
Big Ten Geeks goes team by team
- Manny Harris’ move helps Michigan go forward
Moving to SF was really the only option in my opinion. Practice facility plans should be brought before the regents on Jan 22.
- Help with team page
Pomeroy has redesigned team pages. Michigan page. (HT: SpartansWeblog)
- Top 25 Freshmen: The Sequel
Gasaway mentions Laval Lucas-Perry as one of the freshmen he overlooked on his first list.
- Tisdale Working To Contain Smaller Players ($)
He let Gibson blow by him for a dunk…
- Better Know a Blogger: Pride of Detroit’s Sean Yuille talks about writing, the Detroit Lions and Rich Rodriguez
Sean from Michigan Sports Center gets the interview treatment
- Ignorance is not a sportswriting skill
Kaufman looks at the baseball media and their ignorance of new statistical measures. (HT: mgoblog)