...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
12:26 PM: First commercial break; UM with four fouls already, down 6-7. Petway questionable. Hunter out. Argh.
12:28 PM: Come on, you know the 5'6" white guy can shoot. Don't leave him for a lumbering PSU big. Then a horrible Coleman turnover leads to a blocking foul and a four point PSU lead. Coleman immediately gets lifted for Andrews.
12:29 PM: Two shots, two bricks for Horton. Harris shooting well. Two fouls on Mathis already.
12:31 PM: Dion on fire, back to back 3s to tie it at 14.
12:32 PM: Way too much back-dooring going on. Uh. Backdoor cuts I mean. The Amaker brand of D is counterproductive against teams like this... their players aren't really skilled enough to create their own shots, but are good shooters and smart players who will take advantage of overplaying defenses.
12:34 PM: Brutal, brutal, brutal foul on Sims. We've got 6 already... we're in the penalty with 12 minutes left in the half.
12:36 PM: Mathis, Brown, Andrews on the floor at the same time. Bleah.
12:38 PM: Petway isn't playing today, or he'd be out there right now. We are giving them wide, wide open three point looks.
12:40 PM: What is it with Penn State and posts that think they can shoot jumpers? They finally got rid of Jagla and his 0 for 30 from 3 per year and now they've got some dude #11 who is pulling the same #$*&. Harris drains another three... and Coleman airballs one. Oy.
12:43 PM: Amaker TO. We really need Horton and Coleman to start hitting some shots... Harris can't keep this up. That's not an over-and-back! Brown dove on the floor to steal a ball and knocked it back to a UM player on the other half of the court, but he never had possession.
12:44 PM: What for does 7UP think that someone watching college basketball wants to see two "Sex in the City" cast members having Officially Hot Men pamper them? F-.
12:46 PM: PSU hit its first five shots and have missed their last nine. That #11 just hit a long three. Totally ridiculous. Horton hits a rainbow for his first points.
12:49 PM: Brown keeps getting the ball in the post, getting great position, and then missing bunnies. UM up 23-20 with 4:16 left in the half.
12:53 PM: Harris nails a jumper and his fouled. On fiah.
12:55 PM: That was a bad shot by Horton... went in anyway. Sims been playing a lot this half with two fouls... The only damn baskets PSU is getting are dunks. Sims with a nice post move... and a HORRIBLE AWFUL FOUL ON SIMS. Absolutely ridiculous!
1:00 PM: 30-26 at half. Michigan has shot 1 free throw.
1:29 PM: Second half underway a bit. Brown doing what he does well... just make more of those layups dude. 35-32 at first commercial break.
1:33 PM: Mathis has the uncanny knack for doing things at the wrong time. Foul on a shot he had no shot of stopping. This is ridiculous. Johnson has initiated contact four or five times today and gotten the call every time. That's a no call.
1:36 PM: We really miss Petway. He's worth 5-10 points just with his D and rebounding. Mathis makes another horrible decision, taking a three, and Brown cleans up with him for an and one. Mathis is a mental disaster.
1:42 PM: Beautiful Dion pass for a uncontested Mathis layup. The backcourt is going to have to carry us. PS: I hate Big Ten referees.
2:10 PM: Stupid internet went down. 1:28 left UM up four. Brown is carrying the team. Brown!
2:11 PM: This refereeing is simply atrocious. Sims needs to get in now, there's a minute left in the game. Now we're up 2 with 1:04 left.
2:13 PM: Coleman is KILLING them! Four threes from the same spot on the court, two with guys right in his face. What a stroke! UM 62-57.
2:14 PM: This one's in the books except for the shouting here. 19 left, UM going to the line with a 5 point lead.
Game thoughts: Man. This was a good, ugly road win without Hunter and Petway and with Mathis and Sims in foul trouble the whole way. Penn State looks a little better this year, still not good. Graham Brown did everything he could to drag UM to a win with 13 points and 10 rebounds. He gets the absolute most out of his physical ability. Coleman drained four threes, one to basically salt the game away at the end of it after airballing his first three and generally looking bad in the first half. Harris carried the team in the first half. Horton was mostly invisible. Mathis alternated nice plays with inexplicable decisions, like usual.
- Graham Brown
- Ron Coleman
- Dion Harris
Next up is a roadie at Indiana. That one could probably go either way. Then two huge games against MSU and UI. Hope... burgeoning...
Chippy game last night featuring a wide array of scorers. Michigan played pretty decently defensively but was helped out by UAF whiffing on most of their really good scoring chances. Montoya didn't make a tough save all night. Nor did he give up a soft one... neither goal was savable. I'll take it.
Michigan players that stood out: Hensick (of course) and Moss. Michigan's strategy for gaining the line on the power play now seems to consist of "get the puck to TJ and get out of the way." When he's on the ice, there's no dumping, there's no difficulty, it's just 10 seconds with TJ and then you're set up in the zone. Moss managed to escape last night without notching any points, but he was making smart little plays all night to keep pucks in the zone, break out 2 on 1 against the UAF PP, or strip UAF players of the puck. Excellent all-around night for him. Kolarik also made a number of very nice passes.
Refereeing... always an issue, and McInchak made a lot of really, really marginal calls, including some interference penalties I don't understand. But at least he was consistent last night, which you don't always (often) get.
Kolarik went down injured in the third but returned later in the game. Woodford did play in place of Ebbett and had a typical Woodford game: one bad penalty, solid defensive play, an unconverted scoring chance. We'll probably get Ebbett back tonight.
Overall, thumbs up for everybody.
Update: Check out the boxscore. Unless I was hit in the head recently, something's new: blocked shots are listed under each player's summary. Red's serious, man. He's seriously serious. (Also, UAFs Curtis Fraser went 12 of 14 in faceoffs.)
We missed out on exactly nothing by losing Hairston and Crawford. Ron Coleman will do more in college than both of them put together.
Less about his play than his life, which has been very tough to say the least.
Okay, okay, okay. I'm REALLY sorry about the headline.
But the Daily has an article today about the Nanooks and how they've been in AA the past week... UAF is still on winter break and last weekend they played (and got thrashed by) Bowling Green. Apparently the 'Nooks went to Cabela's monday, presumably to buy equipment to defend their homes from polar bears or whatever. That's how I imagine life in Alaska: a dystopian future world containing nothing but rabid polar bears.
Also: "The guys, I'm sure, have shopped the mall pretty hard." Ifyouknowwhatimean. Nudge nudge.