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Post Game: Michigan vs. Purdue

Purdue 67 – Michigan 49

At the end of the first half it was 26-25 Michigan after a last second tip by Gibson as time expired.  The first half Manny was quiet and Novak was suspended. Michigan got some good production from DeShawn Sims early and then the bench brigade, mainly Sheppherd and Gibson, was key in providing a lot of the first scoring.

The first half was pretty brutal offensively overall. Michigan didn’t score for the first 6 minutes of the game yet only trailed by 4 points.  Michigan played tough and hustled hard on defense even though they were overmatched at more than a few positions.

The second half is where it all went to hell. Usually there isn’t a particular play in a basketball game, much less a 18 point blow out,  but this game is defenitely an exception. Like most games, Manny Harris was frustrated as he would go to the basket, get mauled and have to get back on defense when the ref didn’t blow his whistle.  Before the 18 minutes mark in the second half, Manny had the ball outside the 3 point arc on the wing. The defender, Robbie Hummel [UPADTE: It was Kramer. My rage got the best of me], was right up in Manny’s face playing tight D.  Manny brought his arms with the ball around and accidentally caught Kramer in the nose with an elbow.  Kramer went to the ground holding his nose.  There was blood, and the Purdue fans were howling for more. Immediately a foul was called. Manny looked around for a ref, so he could give him the ball. All of a sudden they called it a flagrant personal foul and Manny was heading to the locker room. The rule book (pg 87) says:

Art. 4. Flagrant personal foul, live ball.
A flagrant personal foul shall be a personal foul that involves severe or excessive contact with an opponent or involves contact that is extreme in nature while the ball is live.

I guess there isn’t anything in there about intent, so if the official thinks that the contact is that far out of the realm of normal play, he has every right to throw Manny out. But it wasn’t a dirty play. Manny wasn’t trying to hurt the player; he wasn’t even trying to hit the Purdue player. Obviously it should be a foul. There was contact and the defender had his position, but there shouldn’t have been an ejection for that.

Speaking of the refs, they were pretty awful the entire games. Like most Big Ten crews, they love to call stupid, ticky-tack fouls, yet don’t call muggings at the rim. I really don’t get it, at all.

After that, everything went to hell in a handbasket. Purdue got hot and Michigan was rattled. They couldn’t get anything going offensively and that affected their defensive ability.  Eventually it got to be too much. Around the 11 minute mark, most observers could tell the game was effectively over.

They were able to lead a good Purdue team at the half without Novak, who is arguably Michigan’s 3rd or 4th best player. No way Michigan had a chance without Manny for the second half. Manny averages 32 minutes a game, but only could play 18. Novak averages 26 and played none.  Playing on the road against a team with better talent, it was just too much for this team to overcome.  They played hard, but when Anthony Wright, CJ Lee and David Merrit all have to play serious minutes, the team is not going to win much.

Do you think that the ejection was the wrong call? Let us know in the comments.

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17 Comments so far

  1. Aaron says...

    It wasn’t Hummel, it was Chris Kramer. Kramer is the kind of guy who plays really tight D. When you play that tight, you’ve gotta expect a few ‘bows across the chops. His flop was outrageous. He actually brought his feet off the ground. That’s a borderline offensive foul. In no way is it a flagrant foul. Under absolutely no conditions would you eject the player from the game. Truly unbelievable.

  2. Credit says...

    Absolute crap call. No way to you eject a player for something that is often not called at all.
    I wouldn’t say it cost us the game, because I don’t think we would have held on even if they don’t make the ejection, but it certainly eliminated any chance we had in the game, especially when you consider we were already without Novak.

  3. Dan says...

    Def. a flagrant foul – there need not be intent – and the announcer is correct that Manny can’t swing his elbows up like that – however, you don’t eject a guy for a flagrant foul. Ejections should be reserved for malicious intent only. Refs. botched this one big time.

  4. Mike C says...

    It was a bad, bad call. Sure a penalty should be called. The defender is most definitely entitled to his space but it was obvious to anyone but Purdue fans that it was not an intentional foul but an accident committed in the heat of a defensive game. Every official has to make judgment calls, obviously this officials judgment was wrong, dead wrong

  5. Dale says...

    crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Tim says...

    Sorry, Dan. In most games, that isn’t even a foul, much less a flagrant. Sure, a flagrant foul can be argued, but to say it’s “def. a flagrant foul” is not accurate at all.

  7. Ruchir says...

    Big Ten officiating is absolutely pathetic. I grew up watching the Big East, and the referees there are a hundred times better.
    In the name of allowing “physical” defense, Big Ten referees do not call murder in the paint. Do you think Pittsburgh, Georgetown and UConn are not physical? No, but referees keep them in check by calling fouls when they occur. Big East teams play tough defense; teams like Ohio State and Wisconsin are just straight-up thugs.
    Harris did not do anything wrong. It was a foul; a bad one. But flagrant? Absolute nonsense. I would file a complaint if I was Bill Martin. I’m sickened that those stupid Purdue fans got vindicated. They should have been sent home miserably.

  8. Maise? Maise! says...

    He nearly took his head off, we all need to stop being such homers and realize it.

  9. Tim says...

    He grazed his nose, in a play that happens hundreds of times every day, and is a foul 10% of the time, and is essentially never a flagrant. If it was a Purdue player doing the same thing to Michigan, I’d be angry that our guy got hurt over it, but realize that it was a bad call.

  10. trueblueintexas says...

    Here’s the official rule:
    Art. 7. When during the course of play, an individual strikes an opponent
    with the hand, elbow, arm, foot, knee or leg in a non-confrontational manner
    but the act is excessive or severe, it shall be ruled as a flagrant foul and not
    a fighting action. When a defined body part is used to strike an opponent
    but the contact is not severe or excessive, a judgment shall be made by the
    official as to whether the contact is intentional.
    The refs saw the blood and deemed it severe. I would assume that is what they were trying to explain to Beilin. Personally, when a defender played me that close, I always swung my elbows to get the point across. Most of the time I did not reconfigure the guys nose.

  11. Troy Wilbert says...

    Here is the deal…there would have not been any thing about an ejection had it not been the Novack incident in the Ohio $t. game. Let’s be real here…he did commit the foul but it was not malicious period.

    The kid put his face out there and he got bowed…it is a physical game and it happens…it makes us look bad so soon after a real intentional elbow in the other case.

  12. Andy says...

    Reality check… this was thuggish move by an obviously-frustrated Harris. Kramer occupied the defensive space and Harris had many options to clear it, particularly by back-pivoting.

    He chose to clock Kramer. Check that, ’cause a conscious thought process probably didn’t occur. Instead, he instinctively clocked Kramer, who was obviously inside Manny’s head by that point.

    And yeah, Kramer’s feet came off the ground. Deft acting job, as was the spontaneously gushing blood out of his nose.

    I’ve been watching Big Ten basketball for many years. Novack’s puerile elbowing at the end of an embarrassing performance in Columbus and now Manny’s short fuse are giving the program a very bad name. These are two very serious and inexcusable acts. It’s akin to Georgetown in the late ’80s / early ’90s… except the Hoyas back then were actually a good team providing a home for wayward boys who didn’t know how to behave competitively.

    This is as shameful and embarrassing to Michigan as the thuggish MSU player’s slash on the ice last weekend. Any attempt to excuse what happened yesterday at Purdue is ridiculous. Look at Manny’s face immediately after contact… a clear “Who, me?” sheepish look. No reflexive attempt to go to Kramer’s aid.

    Thug. Ejection. Cause and effect. You guys are homers in the worst way if you don’t come clean about it.

    The team is reeling right now and are frustrated. A mediocre OSU team eviscerated them the other night. Still, they were hangin’ tough with a very good Purdue team on the road. A little poise in the face of tough D was all the situation required. And Harris snapped. When else in the conference has this sort of thing (back-to-back) happened within the past decade?

    Embarrassing day to be associated with Michigan.

  13. Tim says...

    Andy, you are wrong, in just about every way.

    What Novak did was maybe thuggish on a comparable to Tropp (though far, far less severe; it was more along the lines of what Conboy did, though I think even less severe than that, if only slightly). What Harris did was not realize how close the defender was (he was clearly looking the other way), and accidentally clip him in the nose on a FUNDAMENTAL basketball move. That isn’t called a foul 70% of the time, is called flagrant maybe 5% of the time, and is absolutely not an ejection unless there is clear intent (and it was in fact clear that there was no intent). The nosebleed wasn’t even actually a nosebleed, the skin on the outside of his nose was cut, and if anything, Kramer’s acting job of flying to the floor.

  14. Andy says...

    Tim… apparently you never played competitive basketball, or if you have you’ve forgotten the norms.

    Kramer owns that space because he established himself there within the rules; Harris has to find a way out of it given the fact that Kramer established position while Harris’ feet were fixed.

    We’re not talking about a brush-back pitch in baseball c. 1950. We’re talking about college basketball.

    I actually liked Beilein’s attempt post-game to to rationalize what Harris did (i.e., the three ways to “clear space.”) What Coach B neglected to mention is that even mild contact via any of those three methods (clearing below, mid and above the body) leads to an offensive foul if the defender has established himself in that space before the offensive player’s movement.

    If indeed Coach B has schooled Manny in the proper response to in-your-face D such as Kramer practiced, then he taught him the drop pivot. I’m confident he has done so.

    Manny was aggressive with the elbow because he lost his composure. I watched the replay umpteen times. I listened to Jay Bilas on ESPN mount his high horse about what a disgrace this was. Yada cubed. Context counts here. Everyone seems to focus simply on the act, which is bad enough in itself.

    In isloation in a game in which Harris was in sync with his shooting I would give him the benefit of the doubt. He was, however, obviously rattled by the D and frustrated, as the entire team has become as their season has fallen apart. The context of the game leads me, and most reasonable observers, to conclude that his reflex was to get Kramer out of that space hard.

    I’m sympathetic to Manny. But he has lots of other ways to deal with that stifling D. As I wrote earlier, I don’t believe it was a conscious act. It appeared visceral. But his expression after the fact said it all. He didn’t care about what he did. I though briefly I was watching a sociopath. It was disturbing in a way similar to watching what happened on the ice last weekend, though what happened there was obviously visceral for the initial act and then completely premeditated and conscious for the subsequent slash/kick/whatever.

    Coming on the heels of the Novak abomination (WTF was that about anyway… and against a mediocre tOSU team?!) this is really gutter stuff for Michigan basketball. When Beilein gets all of his guys in the program I hope that we won’t see this sort of thing. A month ago I never would have guessed this would happen. But it’s embarrassing for anyone associated with the university. And it’s completely deflating after initial promise in the wake of the Fisher/Ellerbee/Amaker clusterf&*# that basketball became ages ago.

    I don’t like seeing Michigan fans attempting to justify it. Purdue has played stifling D on everyone else this year. So has Illinois and Wisconsin (the latter to little effect.) And so do they year in and year out. You never, ever see this sort of high hard elbow to the face happen in the conference. When there’s hard contact to the face there’s inevitably a very penitent offensive player dropped quickly to the floor to help the defender and make clear the contact was incidental. I defy you to find a comparable instance this decade in a Big Ten game of what Harris did yesterday. It’s a several-sigma event.

    You’re deluded if you believe this was an accident. The proper response for all Michigan fans is simply to say that the two incidents that Michigan basketball players initiated this week were unacceptable under any conditions for a program that has any shred of integrity. And that’s it. End of story. We all should have learned at least that much last week watching the pitchfork-wielding rubes up the road in the wake of the hockey game.

    To soft-pedal this or outright excuse it is simply to become a Spartan, in both the pejorative, historical Greek and literal (best-case) Lansing sense.

  15. Paul says...

    It should have been called an offensive foul. As far as competitive basketball, I seem to remember Shaq had a “move” where he cleared the defender out by elbowing him in the face. It wasn’t really called a foul his first few years in LA.

    And Manny looked like a sociopath to you? You’re a prosecutor’s dream. He looked confused and a little freaked out, like “Oh my God, did I just kill him?” Probably because Kramer played possum for a good 2 minutes. I probably would have too, though. Also, I think the cut on the face was probably from Manny’s elbow. If that’s the case, he just barely caught Kramer with the elbow. If he really wanted to take him out he could have let his elbows swing out more.

    Manny was wrong and should have gotten a foul. I doubt that this is an ejection at Crisler, which is probably more an indictment on the refs than anything else.

  16. EchoWhiskey says...

    Andy, your argument, while articulate, is an extreme overreaction to two unrelated incidents. The only correlation is that the same part of the body was used in both. Novak’s elbow was a premeditated cheap shot and while I won’t excuse it, I will say that freshman make mistakes and deserve a second chance.

    You’ll never convince me that Manny’s elbow was anything more than an attempt to clear space. It’s an offensive foul because he made contact with his opponent while doing so. Anything more is excessive. Your attempt to surmise the mind-state of a 19 year old kid is laughable. I’ve watched Manny Harris for two years now, and he’s not exactly a tidal wave of emotion on the court. Sure he had been bottled up that game, but please leave the psychoanalysis at home. It has no place in determining a foul on a “basketball move,” which it most certainly was.

    Also, I have watched Beilein’s teams since he started and WVU and I know a former player of his from Richmond. Any assertion that he encourages or even tolerates this type of action is ludicrous.

    The sky is not falling. At least not in terms of having a clean, hardworking team.

  17. Jeff says...

    I though briefly I was watching a sociopath

    Get a grip, son. Seriously, get a grip. The word “projection” comes to mind when you start throwing around terms like that.

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