And so Michigan starts out the season running smoothly, taking care of business on its home floor, looking solid in nuetral site games against tough competition, with two of it players turning up on first round big boards and two point guards that look as capable as any in the country. They return home to beat Syracuse in a "not as close as the final score would indicate" game, and then predictably drop 2 straight to the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Eastern Michigan, managing only 40 points against the Eagles.
What the hell is going on. NJIT seemed somewhat flukish, I was sure that things would return to form last night. What I ended up seeing was pretty concerning. If we have learned anything in the last 5 years of college basketball is that things ebb and flow throughout the year, a team can appear dead in the water one moment and be on top of the world the next. However, I sensed something concerning last night, it looked like there was some give up there. They seemed "irritated" that it was happening but no so much so that they planned on really doing anything about. I think fatigue could be a real issue right now.
I started the season thinking this team was almost going to platoon certain positions and overwhelm teams with perimeter athleticism and bodies, but I have been really stunned how reserved Beilein has been with the rotation.
In my opinion, the move at this point is to throw the fresh fish in the water against Zona. Let's be honest for a second, this game is not looking good. And at this point, we are not talking about tournament seeding anymore, the focus needs to be on making the tournament now. Arizona is the only game remaining on the non-conference schedule that is not a must win. Four losses is a concern going into conference play, five losses would be a flat out problem, concerning the nature of the two most recent ones. He should go with Dawkins and Rawk for a while this Saturday. They are going to have to grow up at some point. This team needs them, like now, and I think it is time for JB to see what kind of hand he has in game action.
My opinion - with McGary we win by 15, without him we lose. Bummer.
Here is a video of Nic being interviewed by a kid reporter for the kings. It is a nice little piece that will hopefully let you chuckle and forget that michigan still doesnt have a football coach and that the saviors aka the basketball team just lost to New Jersey Institute of Technology
Free to someone who can use them tonight. First to respond gets them -- let me know your email address.
On December 9th, 1989, I was one of 13,609 in Crisler Arena for what turned out to be the best basketball game I have ever seen in person. #6 Duke came into Ann Arbor to play defending NCAA Champions Michigan and the atmosphere was electric.
Duke was led by Bobby Hurley and Christian Laettner and would end up losing that year in the NCAA Final. Michigan was led by Rumeal Robinson, Terry Mills, Loy Vaught, and Sean Higgins. This was the first time the two teams had played in 20 years - and was the beginning of the modern day Michigan-Duke rivalry.
It seems like yesterday and 100 years ago at the same time. They don't make college basketball like that anymore...
From the AP:
Sean Higgins scored 7 of his 32 points in overtime, leading Michigan to a 113-108 victory today over Duke.
The Blue Devils (3-2) fell to top-ranked Syracuse, 78-76, Wednesday. Michigan (5-1) has won five consecutive games since its opener, a loss to Arizona.
Greg Koubek's tip at the buzzer lifted Duke to a 94-94 tie at the end of regulation. Higgins started the overtime with his sixth 3-pointer of the game. Loy Vaught scored Michigan's next 6 points, including a short jumper that put the Wolverines ahead to stay, 103-101, with 2 minutes 52 seconds left. Vaught finished with 27 points, Rumeal Robinson with 22 and Terry Mills with 18 for the Wolverines. Christian Laettner had 26 points for Duke
First episode of Inside michigan basketball covering the win against Syracuse and the loss to NJIT. Seems like Beilein sees that loss as a positive thing for the team to learn from. Who Knew? Episode also covers the Womens big win against Wake forest. The ladies team is off to a great start. Enjoy and always GO BLUE!!!
Also anyone else notice something strane about Matt Shepard?