Michigan 72, Indiana 66 (OT)

Wow. The only thing I want to do after that game is let out a sigh of relief. Michigan was down by 20 points early in the second half, but fought back against the Hoosiers for an overtime win, their first victory in Bloomington since 1995.

This game (along with Eastern Michigan and Savannah State wins) shows that, with poor enough shooting, Michigan can lose to anybody. Of course, the corollary to that is that Michigan can also beat anybody if the shots are falling (wins over UCLA and Duke). Of course, there is also a disturbing trend of letting bad teams play with them, and opposing offenses consistently shooting the lights out.

The shooting woes were attributable to several factors. Michigan hasn’t played away from home since December 20th, and haven’t played a true road game since the loss to Maryland in College Park. Several players, Manny Harris chief among them, were also settling for terrible looks early in the shot clock (I’m sure UFR will bear that out).

As far as the defense, I really don’t know enough about basketball to say “this is the reason opposing offenses can’t miss when they play Michigan.” I’m sure John Beilein does, and now it’s up to him to see if he can get that figured out and solved before it really bites this team. One of the few things I can really point to is the inability to corral defensive rebounds, which gives oponents way too many second looks.

In the end, though, it’s wins and losses that matter. Michigan was able to squeak one out today, and the NCAA tournament dream can live on.

Posted under Basketball
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6 Comments so far

  1. Ann Arbor 1879 says...

    It is tough (although fun) watching this team play ball. There are times in a game when you NEED 2 points to stop a run or to keep it within the realms of a come-back and in those instances you post up and go for a high percentage shot down low. These guys are told not to do that if they have an open 3. Really tough to watch, but it is a calculated risk and when it works it works well. this team will be a freaking roller coaster ride all year long. A win is a win, but man that was an ugly one.

  2. Steve says...

    That was definetly scary. Simms should never be allowed to shoot unless he has one foot in the paint…period. The team and him all play much better when he goes in and shoots or kicks it back out.

    I struggled not to teach my kids new words when Michigan would drive down the court and throw up a BAD 3 with lots of time on the clock.

    I think the commentators missed the point about zone vs man. They couldn’t play zone most of the game since they are almost exclusively man off missed shots. The few times they went zone in 1st half were very lazy.

    Progress not perfection.

  3. Ann Arbor 1879 says...

    Simms has actually been hitting his 3 balls of late. He has turned into a player with equal or slightly less pro potential as Manny IMO.

    About the BAD 3’s with lots of time left. That is the system they are taught though. JB tells them to chuck if they are open. The “back them down and get an easy two” to settle things down is not built into this system as it is in most. this is a different style of ball and it is very frustrating to watch, but it sometimes causes massive upsets.

  4. Tim says...

    AA1879, I agree with you that backing down the defender is not part of Beilein’s offense, but disagree with you on the rest of the design.

    Beilein’s teams consistently play at a pretty slow pace (which translates into running the clock down on most possessions). The effort last night, with desperate chucks early in the shot clock, is not something that he has built his success on.

  5. Steve says...

    I’m not saying play traditional big-man basketball. Just saying that the 3 ball for the big man should be the first tool out of the bag. The team played vastly better when he was at or below the foul line.

    I’ve watched plenty of JB teams at WVU and realize he greenlights the 3, but I don’t think he wants them throwing it up without running the offense.

  6. Steve says...

    That should have read “should NOT be”

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