"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
The list of star players not present in East Lansing was staggering Saturday: Branden Dawson, Mitch McGary and Adreian Payne all were out for two teams that have been the walking wounded for most of the season.
Spartans point guard Keith Appling played, but his wrist was in such bad shape he could barely shoot.
That left Nik Stauskas and Gary Harris with the opportunity to fill the void.
The two guards went back and forth for most of the game in a matchup that often left them one on one, but in the end, it was the Michigan guard Stauskas who was blowing kisses into the crowd at the Breslin Center.
Stauskas finished with 19 points against Michigan State and 26 against Iowa on Wednesday for two of Michigan’s three consecutive wins over ranked teams. The week, in which Stauskas shot a combined 15-of-26 from the field, earned the sophomore Athlon Sports National Player of the Week honors.
“We knew he was going to have to pick his spots but he hit some daggers that were tough shots with Gary all over him,” Michigan coach John Beilein said. “It was a great matchup of two really good players and that was a pretty efficient game by Nik.”
First, I would like to apologize to the superstitious among us for sending my son back to college on Sunday. Since we attended the UM-Stanford game, and attended or watched all games together during his semester break, he has proven a 100% effective good luck charm.
So if things don't go as well in future it is definitely my fault for putting him back on a plane to Baltimore.
Secondly, overwhelmed by sudden optimism, I am thinking of trying to get to the B1G Tournament in Indy. At the moment the full strip on Stubhub is $300 minimum, which seems
--wackadoodle and likely to come down.
--actually higher than buying each session individually.
Can any of the faithful advise me as to the best timing/method for acquiring tickets?
Jerry Palm, CBS Sports' resident bracketologist, has an updated bracket with Michigan moving up to a 3 seed (4 seed last time) in the West. His current projection shows potential rematches against Iowa State (2 seed) and Arizona (1 seed) in the West.
EDIT: As pointed out by Paps below, Stanford (11) could also be a potential rematch in this region.
Other Big Ten teams include:
- Minnesota (8 - West)
- ohio state (8 - East)
- Iowa (4 - East)
- michigan state (1 - Midwest)
- Wisconsin (3 - South)
Dan Feldman (a very underrated NBA writer), makes the claim that Gores backed his team into a corner with his statement that the Pistons "better make the playoffs.”
I rarely ever present a thread with comment, but for this one I have to add a few thoughts.
One: When the Pistons signed Josh Smith, I said right away that it was a very large mistake for a rebuilding team to make. I am of the school of thought that says unless that guy makes you a title contender, don't sign him. While the Pistons signed Smith to a decently cap friendly deal, it was clear to anyone who bothered to look, that Smith simply didn't fit the Pistons lineup as currently constructed. He provides great athleticism and defense, but when you are starting two centers in your lineup, you need someone who stretches the floor, and provides a more consistent, and applicable scoring option. Not a guy who consistently proves that he has no idea what a quality possession looks like.
Two: Why trade Ben Gordon when rebuilding? This, by far, is the dumbest thing Joe Dumars has ever done. Was Ben Gordon a part of the big picture for the Pistons? Of course not, but it made far more sense to just let his contract run out. Especially when one considers the price to get out of that contract was to mortage your 1st round pick in what is widely considered to be the best draft in a decade. Essenetially, Dumars got out of a contract that was slightly more than the mid level in exchange for a chance to land a difference maker. Because truth be told, there are 8-10 difference makers in the upcoming draft. I don't just blame Dumars for this, I blame Gores. Placing a playoffs mandate for this franchise was largely ignorant, and showed just how inexperienced he is at owning a professional franchise.
Three: You can't rebuild and compete at the same time, you just can't. This is the single biggest issue that NBA GM's get wrong year in and year out. If you're going to rebuild, FUCKING rebuild, the fans will understand. You have two great pieces in Drummond, and Monroe. Granted they don't fit together all that well, but finding out they couldn't coexist could've been accomplished by just letting the process play out. At that point, you could then likely trade Monroe for a piece that better fits with Drummond, and been much further along. Now, you've got 4 more years of Josh Smith, and are committed to Brandon Jennings, and neither player are great pieces to pair with Drummond. Just rebuild, commit to it and fucking rebuild the correct way. Instead you've created a cluster fuck roster with no discernable direction, and pieces that don't fit together.
Lastly, Maurice Cheeks is a TERRIBLE NBA level coach. He was a terrible hire then, and he's an even worse hire now. He can't handle line up changes, and he has no idea how to handle late game situations. As Phil Jackson is fond of saying, the first indicator of a bad team, is one that makes the same mistakes over and over, and shows no sign that they even understand what those mistakes are. All this being said, It's time for Dumars to go, he has no idea how to compete in today's NBA.
Sorry for my long winded rant.
Congratulations on the well-deserved awards to Nik Stauskas and Derrick Walton Jr.
...the Aneurysm of Leadership happened.
It's hard to believe now how bleak things seemed at this point. We were 11-9 overall and 1-6 in B1G play entering that game. We had shown our potential occasionally (taking Kansas to OT, for instance), but didn't show any kind of consistency. Minnesota had just punked us in Crisler.
At that point, Beilein was 22-39 in B1G play in nearly 3.5 years, and while he'd surprisingly taken us to the NCAA tournament in his second year, he had posted two losing seasons out of three. At this point in late January, we seemed in danger of posting losing season #3. There was a lot of grumbling that Beilein's system couldn't make it in this conference.
Then the MSU game at Breslin.
Novak not only was a vocal leader that day but drained six threes and scored 19 points as we stunned MSU, 61-57. At the time, it seemed like it might just be another fluke good game, like the Kansas one earlier, but as it turned out, it started the ball rolling. Would it have happened if we'd lost to State that day? I don't know. At the least, we probably wouldn't have made the NCAA tournament in 2011.
From January 27, 2011 onward, Beilein and Michigan have gone 40-14 in B1G play, 80-27 overall, made the tournament every year, won a B1G championship, and made the national championship game. It's cool that we can pretty much pinpoint the day the turnaround started.