Courtesy of the BTN
- O-ver-rat-ed! (CLAP, CLAP, CLAP-CLAP-CLAP)
Big Ten Geeks looks at teams who have AP rankings much higher than their Pomeroy ranking, Michigan makes the list.
- Reality Chuck
Brian talks expectations, three pointers, and gives his 2 cents on the Big Ten Geeks article.
- Michigan’s C.J. Lee was key in the clutch vs. Indiana
- Using defensive efficiency to identify contenders and pretenders
Michigan makes Winn’s “Dreaded Earling Warnings” list
I would have rather lost by 20. As I was going to say in my gracious post-game victory post, it’s an odd sensation to have a 17 point home lead and yet fear that Michigan’s coach might engineer a comeback. I didn’t feel that way when Michigan was good, let alone the last 10 years. The Big Ten is on its way back. We aren’t quite yet.
- The Morning After: Michigan, or clapping alone
Rough year to be an IU fan…
- Methodical comeback
I would call the comeback lucky before I called it methodical.
Disaster averted. It definitely wasn’t pretty but Michigan escaped Assembly Hall with their first win since 1995. The first thirty minutes or so it looked like every other game at Assembly Hall, everything that could go wrong went wrong.Â I’m not even quite sure how it happened but somehow Michigan pulled out a win. You can talk about how bad Indiana is or what an ugly win it was but in the end a win is a win, especially on the road in the Big Ten. One thing I’m not going to do is excuse any poor performances because of last year. This is a different team and if we are serious about making the NCAA tournament this year there is no room for moral victories; losing this game would have been devastating to this season.
The first half was hard to watch. Devon Dumes couldn’t miss, Matt Roth hit a three pointer from about half court, and Michigan was down 17 at the half. Indiana shot 50% from the field and 62.5% from long range in the first half while Michigan shot just 25% from the field and 16.7% (3-18) from behind the arc.
The second half was a different story. Statistically Michigan dominated the second half but it still seemed like they wouldn’t have enough to win the game. Michigan shot 51.9% from the field (41.7% 3pt) and held Indiana to 36% (22% 3pt) and 20 points in the second half. Michigan needed several breaks down the stretch and finally got a friendly roll on a Laval Lucas-Perry three to tie the game. In overtime Michigan got out to just a big enough lead that they could hold on for the win.
My game ball goes to CJ Lee. The captain came in and made some huge plays in the second half that helped get Michigan over the hump. CJ hit two three pointers and also broke up a 2 on 1 fast break that would have probably put the game away. CJ has bailed out this team several times and he made the plays that a captain is supposed to make, he is definitely a steadying force for this team.
I’m not sure how Michigan won three of the four factors to winning (eFG%, turnovers, and free throws) but they pulled it off. 40 of Michigan’s 61 field goal attempts from long range and they kept chucking away. I thought most of the shots in the first half were pretty good shots and Michigan got rattled because they were missing wide open shots. Of course there were several that were forced, DeShawn and Manny combined for 2-12 and definitely took some questionable shots. They shot a higher percentage inside the arc but their comeback was built on the same three point shots that dug them into a hole.Â Live by the three, die by the three.
Defensively Michigan is really struggling in the first half. Through three Big Ten games opponents are averaging 40 ppg compared to only 25.3 ppg in the second half. I don’t know what it is but there just has to be better defensive intensity in the first half. You can’t let your opponents get out to that big of a lead and shoot over 50% every night because miracles don’t always happen.
A win is a win no matter how ugly and I’m sure a game like this will help bring the team together but it’s not going to get any easier from here on out.Â This team has heart and there is something to be said for avoiding upsets and battling through tough times. Michigan isn’t good enough to dominate teams but they are good enough to beat anyone if they are hitting their shots. They are a team that can give up points in a hurry and also score points in a hurry. That means a lot more roller coaster games are likely in the future, it’s time to throw out the tape and move on to Iowa.
- Manny Harris: 17 points (4-12), 11 boards, 3 assists, 4 turnovers, 2 blocks. Manny really struggled at times tonight, he feels like he has to be the one to make the big shots and takes some very poor three pointers.Â Manny still hit a couple big threes, made most of his free throws, and pulled down a huge rebound late that iced the game. He has struggled in the early Big Ten season but he just has to realize he doesn’t have to do it all.
- Zack Novak: Zack just plays hard. He didn’t shoot the ball that well today but he hit a huge three to start the comeback and was very vocal keeping guys involved. The play that stands out for me is Zack diving to tip a rebound away from an IU player, this is the kind of play that won’t show up in the box score but was so important. I am going to love watching every second that Zack plays for the next four years.
- DeShawn Sims: The (forced) outside shot wasn’t falling for Peedi today but he played very well inside and was 7-11 on 2 point attempts for 14 points to go along with 2 blocks and 2 steals.
- Laval Lucas-Perry: LLP missed some shots early on but he hit the big one to send the game to OT. Laval was 5-12 for 18 points with 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal. Michigan has to be thankful for Laval because he can get in the lane, he was the only player besides Manny Harris to shoot a free throw.
- CJ Lee: As mentioned above, CJ Lee hit two huge threes in the second and broke up a 2 on 1 fast break late in the game. CJ likely posted great +/- numbers again and I think he is starting to show us why.
- Kelvin Grady: Stepping out of bounds at the end really killed me but overall it was an ok game for Kelvin. Kelvin hit 2 threes and had 4 assists and 1 turnover as well as 5 rebounds.
- Stu Douglass: Stu is in a slump but he is still a freshman, he also hit a three in Michigan’s comeback right after Novak’s as the shot clock was ticking down. 18 minutes, 3 points (1-4), 2 boards, 3 assists, 2 turnovers.
- Zack Gibson: Gibson didn’t follow up his best performance of the year in a very impressive fashion. Zack traveled twice when he was in the game and really looked out of it.
- Dave Merritt: The mostly clueless announcers mentioned that Dave had been under the weather and that probably explains his 2 minutes. Because of Zack and Dave playing only a few minutes, we saw probably the tightest rotation all year in a game where Michigan only played 7 guys for 10 minutes or more.
- Tommy Amaker: I know he’s not a player but on a day when most people will probably point to this as a game that a Tommy Amaker’s team would have lost. I want to give Tommy his props for knocking off Boston College tonight.
Finally, thanks to everyone who showed up at the LiveBlog. Something like 900 people participated thanks mostly to Brian for posting it on MGoBlog. It was fun seeing the anger, excitement, frustration, and overreaction after every play.
Wow… Michigan escapes Bloomington with a win. Post game coming soon.
LiveBlog starts at 6:15 EST. For the game preview, click here.
Who: Michigan (11-3) at Indiana (5-8)
Where: Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Indiana
When: Wednesday, January 6th 6:30 ET
Line: U-M by 6.5
Preview: Stat Sheet, U-M KenPom Profile, IU KenPom Profile
Radio: MGoBlue, WWJ-AM (950), WTKA-AM (1050)
The good news for Michigan is that Indiana has been absolutely awful this year. The bad news is that Michigan hasn’t won a game at Assembly Hall since 1995.
Indiana comes in on a 4 game losing streak with losses to Kentucky, Northeastern, Lipscomb (RPI #318), and Iowa and Indiana fans are wondering when the team will finally bottom out. When Tom Crean arrived the cupboard was dry and there just isn’t much of anything to work with.
Indiana relies on two double digit scorers, big man Tom Pritchard and scoring guard Devan Dumes. Pritchard averages 12.8 ppg on 56.1% shooting and 7.3 rebounds per game while Dumes averages 13.5 ppg on 39.6% shooting (31.7 3pt) and 1.7 assists per game.
Freshman guard Nick Williams (8.4 ppg) is the other consistent starter but there are 4 other players who have made a start for the Hoosiers and all average around 20 minutes per game. Michigan fans probably remember Matt Roth, a former recruiting target, Roth is shooting 35.7% from long range for the Hoosiers. Daniel Moore, Stu Douglass’ point guard at Carmel HS, leads the Hoosiers in assists with 3.9 per game. Moore started early in the season but recently Verdell Jones III (7.6 ppg, 2.2 apg) has been starting at the point guard for Indiana.
As a team Indiana’s offense is not pretty, the Hoosier’s adjusted efficiency of 91.6 ranks 290th in the NCAA. They turn the ball over on 28.1% of their possessions (341st) and shoot an effective field goal percentage of only 46.9% (240th). Their high turnovers and poor shooting, especially from long range at 29.3% (303rd), should mean a healthy dose of 1-3-1 zone from Michigan. I wouldn’t expect Indiana to have the passing ability, discipline, or size to pick apart Michigan’s 1-3-1 zone the way other teams have.
On defense Indiana is just mediocre, their adjusted efficiency ranks 98th in the country. The one thing that they do well is cause turnovers, luckily Michigan has done a very good job of taking care of the ball and only turns it over on 16.1% of their possessions (4th nationally). I also wouldn’t be surprised if Indiana’s ability to cause turnovers has been inflated from playing in blowouts and sloppy games. They still allow their opponents to shoot 51.4 eFG% from the field (263rd). For some perspective, we think Michigan’s defense has been bad but opponents are only shooting an eFG% of 47% against Michigan.
This is a game Michigan really should win easily but the easy ones haven’t always been so easy for Michigan this year. Add in the fact that Michigan hasn’t won a true road game yet this year and the fact that Assembly Hall is a nightmare and I’m a little worried. If Michigan is serious about making the NCAA tournament, this isn’t a game they can lose. Pomeroy predicts a 72-62 win, and Vegas has Michigan as a 6.5 point favorite.
Let’s hear your thoughts and predictions in the comments. I’ll be doing a live blog during the game starting at 6:20 PM.
Pre Game Reading:
- Spartans Add to Buckeye Misery
This isn’t the start the preseason conference favorites imagined. Purdue looked pretty bad last night without Hummel and Kramer.
- Know Thy Opponent: Michigan Wolverines
What they think about us
- The Michigan game.
Hoosier fans find hope in the fact that Michigan won’t be able to push Indiana around
- Novak sheds criticism, makes immediate impact as freshman
“Every shot he takes, he expects to go in,” Beilein said. “He plays hard and he plays smart. Those are two great qualities to have.”
- Novak finds a role at U-M
More on Novak and his return to Indiana, this one from the Detroit News.
- Beilein knows feeling
- Wolverines’ Gibson finds groove in reserve role
Michigan needs Zack so hopefully he continues playing well.
Matt VogrichVogrich led Lake Forest to a third place finish at the State Farm Holiday Classic. Matt was held to 15 points and no three pointers in a 48-38 loss to tournament champion Normal Community. In the third place game Matt poured in 23 points including 4 triples in the 73-67 win over Chicago DeLaSalle. Vogrich was named to the all tournament team for his performance.
Since the last update, Darius Morris’ team split a pair of games at the Torrey Pines Classic and also dropped a game to state power Leuzinger at the Pangos Dream Classic. Against Newark Memorial in a 58-39 win Morris had 8 field goals and 5 free throws for a game high 23 points. In the fifth place game at Torrey Pines Windward fell to Rocklin 77-66, Morris had 10 points in the loss. UCLA bound big man had Brendan Lane had 25 points for Rocklin.
I posted video from the Pangos Dream classic here. Windward lost to Leuzinger 59-49 but Leuzinger is a solid team who only lost to Westchester (favorites to win states) by 4 points. Morris had 16 points in the loss.
Worcester has been out of action over the Holidays, they resume play on 1/10/09.
U-D Jesuit is back in action 1/9/09.
I stick my stance that DaShonte won’t end up in Ann Arbor but he plans to visit Marquette this weekend.
Regan’s Nichols School rolled through the NHSCA High School Basketball Festival with a 3-0 record.Â I wrote in last week’s report that Regan had 19-10-6 in the opening win against Poly Tech.
In the next win, 62-57 (OT) over Gwynn Park, Regan had 18 points and 18 rebounds. Regan also sparked a late comeback with a three pointer with 38 seconds left. Nichols rallied from 8 down with 47 seconds left to send the game into OT before pulling away. The Terrapin Times (Rivals $) were in attendance and got a look at Will Regan. In their final game at the NHSCA Nichols got a win over 44-35 over Oxon, MD in their last contest.
In a 64-51 win over St Joe’s, Regan posted 20 points and 16 rebounds.
Dragicevich had 29 points (3-10 3pt), 4 rebounds, and 4 assists in Glenbrook North’s 65-51 loss to Homewood-Flossmoor.
Tim Hardaway Jr.
Palmetto lost by 2 points (44-46) to Leonard. Scout.com has an update ($) on Hardaway Jr’s recruitment and fast start.
Germantown went 3-1 last week with wins over Lower Merion (74-71) and Malvern Prep (51-44) and a loss to Norristown (64-54). Ayers had 15 against Lower Merion and followed it up with a balanced effort against Malvern with 13 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals. Cameron had 18 points and 2 triples in the loss to Norristown.
Winton Woods beat Southern (60 – 42) but lost to Mason Co Fl (54-60) at the Daytona Sunshine Classic.Â Payne had 11 points, 11 boards, 3 assists, and 3 steals against Mason.
Returning to Ohio, Winton Woods lost at Milford in overtime (72-66) but Payne had 29 points, 14 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 3 blocks.
Prather is a newer target on Michigan’s radar who talked about Michigan in a recent Scout.com update ($). Prather made a recent visit to UVa and talks about his experience here ($). There is no mention of Michigan in the article but there are tons of schools mentioned and he hasn’t really narrowed down his list.
Prather’s team was not in action over the Holidays but he is worth keeping an eye on and is a big time talent.
Mt. Pleasant was out of action over the Holidays, they get back to it tonight @ Midland.
Back in action on Wednesday versus Arbor View.
- Michigan high school hoops kick back into gear this week, here is a look at the big games today.
- City Hoops looks at the PSL as we head into league play including a big game between Pershing and Southeastern that will matchup Brandan Kearney vs MSU bound point guard Keith Appling.
- City Hoops also has an Elite 11 look at the top 11 prospects in the PSL.
- Michael Talley III made the Motor City Roundball Classic top 10 and continues to score the ball, the issue for Talley is that he is a scoring guard trapped in a very small body.
- If I missed a game, recruit, article, or story let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to the post.