3/6/2013 – Michigan 80, Purdue 75 – 25-5, 12-5 Big Ten
You'd be forgiven if you hurled your cookies at the trough of Michigan's lurching roller-coaster of an evening last night. To go from 12 up to 12 down is a painful 20 minutes of basketball, and after the Penn State debacle the prospect of yet another gross loss way out of proportion to how difficult it is to play on the road loomed.
I went into "if you can't say anything nice…" mode on twitter; judging from the tenor on WTKA today many people who did not probably should have. Our reactions to the swings in basketball games are interesting: everyone is happy if Michigan had fallen behind by 12, gone up 12 in the second half, and saw their lead whittled down to five by the end. It seems like people judge these things like Kenpom's wingraphs do:
That black time when Purdue built their peak is the thing that seems to be lingering on in people's minds today, because Purdue isn't very good this year. I'm among the grumbly crowd today even though I think I should rationally say that the order of points isn't important just so long as you pile up the expected number before the end of the game, which Michigan just about did. While Purdue's not great, the line here was 6 according to both computers and Vegas, and Michigan was a free throw from hitting it.
And yet. It seems like Michigan's playing with fire and calling in Trey Burke to put it out once you accidentally get it on the cat and he spreads it through the house. Trey got that glint in his eye because Terone Johnson made at least one bad decision amongst his impressive barrage of lane runners:
Burke said he was spurred by some good-natured trash talk by the Boilers' Terone Johnson and his younger brother, Ronnie.
"Both of them. The Johnson brothers and a couple others," Burke said. "We knew it was going to be that type of game. Purdue is coming off a win at the Kohl Center in Wisconsin."
Burke said it was the run-of-the-mill trash talk, such as, "You can't guard me" after made baskets.
"I think it got me going — that shouldn't be something that gets me going but I was passive a lot in the first half," said Burke, who added seven assists and five rebounds in 37 minutes.
I cannot imagine what would possess oneself to poke something as spiky as Trey Burke. I guess 32 points on a bunch of tough shots. In any case, Burke activated alpha dog mode down the stretch and clawed Michigan back into the game, as he is wont to do and Michigan plays for a second consecutive Big Ten title on Sunday.
That's a lot of weight on one man's shoulders, even the player of the year. Kemba Walker teaches that it is possible for some dude to drag teams to glory; it's a lot easier when he's got significant backup. Michigan got it in this game… on offense. Right now anyone disqualifying Michigan from serious things because of a lagging defense is hard to argue with.
From Bryan Fuller:
Trey usual. Burke had a couple of free trips to the line late but otherwise earned all of his 26. He earned most of those down the stretch. Those came on 24 shot equivalents. That's not a great ratio out of context. In context you're sucking up almost 40% of Michigan's possessions and carrying Michigan back from a huge deficit, so scraping above a PPP is pretty dang good. I'm not even sure the passivity Burke bemoaned is that big of a deal. The story of Michigan's first half offense was missing point-blank shots.
Meanwhile it was the usual in A:TO: 7-1, and he added the three or so steals that's becoming customary*. He had a number of those one handed-floaters where he puts the ball up and yoinks his hand back like it is a hot potato:
These go in more than it seems they should. (Fuller)
When Michigan was climbing up their second-half hill, Trey alternated between being an alpha dog at people and seeming super pissed off when other folks—usually Stauskas—were not getting him the ball. Stauskas was getting to the line consistently. This is the only thing that saved him from the wrath of Burke.
*[Q: Trey gets credit when he pokes a ball out from behind and it goes to another player, right? Or is it the guy who secures the ball? If it's the latter Trey probably got shortchanged since his teammates corralled some balls that were set free by his on-ball D.]
Hello Mr. Stauskas, nice to see you again. Michigan's shiner-sporting Canadian got a sly "not just a shooter"-type compliment early in the game when he drove into the lane. Everybody drink. By the end of it Stauskas had attacked the basket so consistently that the announcers did not even bother to mention he could do things other than shoot when he drew his third shooting foul of the half. IIRC, one of his trips to the line was a freebie when he got hit away from the basket with Michigan in the bonus; even so his ratio of attempts inside the line to attempts outside was 8:4.
He also locked down DJ Byrd, who had three points on seven shots and couldn't find an uncontested three all night. It was his best game in a long time.
You'd like him to hit more of those swooping layups, I guess, but at least he's now getting the block/charge calls he wasn't earlier in the year. He suffered some truly horrendous decisions on those early in the year. Refs probably assumed he was just a shooter. No more! For now.
Rough night for Mitch. 3/4 shooting but only 13 minutes, 3 fouls, two TOs, and zero rebounds. Michigan got beat up on the boards 24%/38% and the bigs take the brunt of the blame there. McGary, Horford, Bielfeldt, and Morgan played 42 minutes and acquired five rebounds between them, with only two of those on the defensive end. Yech.
It seems like Tim Hardaway is not shooting well even when he is sometimes. Tim was partially responsible for the missed bunny parade; he still finished 3/7 from both inside and outside the arc. That is… pretty good, actually. Yeah, a couple of those buckets came in transition but when one is a thunderous and-one that came because you made a move to get past a guy trying to take a charge that's still a point earned.
And yet it seems like Hardaway scuffled. I don't know man.
Hi I'm Matt Vogrich. Hi Matt.
I'm leaving now. I'm Matt Vogrich. Bye Matt. Thanks for hitting a three this time.
Halftime run: all right OH WHAT THE… Michigan came out of the locker room seemingly poised for Beilein Patented Halftime Adjustment run, getting the first two baskets out of the break. Then they scored two to Purdue's 11 over the next five minutes. Oy.
The sixth-most irritating thing about college basketball refereeing. Guy puts two hands on midsection of opponent and gets away with it. Happens 92.3% of the time. Should be a clear-cut call: bring both hands down to check opponent, make even vague contact, call.
Sliding. Kenpom's reflecting the eye test when it comes to Michigan's defense, which was floating in the high 30s midway through the conference season but has now slipped to 60th—coincidentally the exact place they finished 2012. If they stay there, some team is going to raid them and there's nothing Burke or anyone will be able to do about it.
It's disappointing. You'd think that they'd move the other direction since they're so young and hypothetically getting better faster than older teams who are closer to a full grasp of what their coach wants them to do.
Stupid half court heave and stupid Penn State game. Without those, Michigan has locked up a share and Indiana is playing for one.
Random thing about hypothetical tourney matchup that will almost certainly be irrelevant. Whenever someone posts a bracket and says they like or do not like the matchups therein there is always the guy who says they will boil themselves alive if VCU is a potential second-round matchup. I say bring the Rams on:
They could stall us into getting into our offense forcing us late into the shot clock.
We all know what that means: Trey Burke 1-4 ISO
I don't like our chances if that our offense for the majority of the game. It hasn't worked thus far, I can't see it working then.
Trey isn't going to turn the ball over, I don't care who's playing defense. But we've seen teams disrupt our rhythm and force us out of any type of real offense with the pressure.
“True loyalty is that quality of service that grows under adversity and expands in defeat. Any street urchin can shout applause in victory, but it takes character to stand fast in defeat. One is noise — the other, loyalty.”
About the VCU thing, can you explain? We seem to really struggle against press/ball pressure. Aaron Craft clearly disrupted the offesnse and took Burke out of his comfort zone. Also, Penn State ran press quite successfully for a few stretches of the game. I'm quite concerened about VCU/Louisville style defenses
I posted this in another thread but your observation about people being pissed when we're down 12 is exactly what I experienced with my brother this morning. I didnt see any of the game and only followed the last minute on my phone and I was happy as could be today and looking forward to Sunday. We "survived and advanced" by winning a B1G road game by five points. A pretty good result given our recent road woes.
My brother, on the other hand, is pissed today. He watched the game and was bitching up a storm about the lack of desire on defense, the lack of rebounding and the lack of just about everything not named Burke. He is worried about Sunday and more worried than ever about the B1G and NCAA tourny's. I think he's still reliving the time we were down 12 points and has yet to start enjoying the win. I had to remind him about five times "we won right?" until he stopped fussing.
Maybe the moral of the story is to stop watching the games if you're a "glass half empty" type person like a lot of Michigan fans (like my beloved brother) can be.
Michigan played less than their best game on the road against a team that just thrashed Wisconsin at the Kohl Center and still won. Not every game is going to be pretty, and a road win is still a road win. Why are so many people grumbling today?
Not only that, but they had every opportunity to quit on the game, down 12 in a pretty raucous arena after losing four consecutive road games. And that they didn't wasn't just a matter of Trey Burke carrying them (though it was that) but of Stauskas, Hardaway and others hitting big shots.
I think this game was actually encouraging in that they figured out how to pick themselves up.
Near the end of of the season, every team looks back at games they could have won/lost. Michigan is no different than any other team in the country. Pundits predicted before the season the IU - Mich game would have title implications. It wasn't the predicted path, but we got our wish.
When we were up 21 to 7, I was watching via gamecast on my cellphone and I noticed some things - we were getting called for foul after foul after foul after foul and that's what gave Purdue the spark to come back (in addition to missing easy shots). A lot of those fouls were on missed opportunities for defensive rebounds that Purdue just put back in the net because they have a tall guy. This portion of the game (around the 12 minute mark of the 1st half) corresponds to the begin of the swing up on the KenPom graph to Purdue's side.
Don't you notice something? They call fouls on those offensive-rebound-put-back shots 90% of the time! When I was watching the game later on, I noticed that Purdue players were often times being hit by other Purdue players and that was the source of the foul. How can you be expected to play good defense away from home when a tangle of bodies near the basket most of the time goes the way of the home crowd? Or if putting a single hand on an opponent can be considered a foul, and when they put two on you it's not a foul?
The same thing happens at Crisler too... All of our "gritty" defensive games happen to come at home and it's obvious why that's the case. Home teams are given much more leeway for contact than away teams. For example, the Burke steal on Appling at the end of the home MSU game would most likely have been called a foul if it was at MSU.
Nevertheless, the officiating did in fact come through for us by giving us a window of opportunity around the 10 minute mark of the 2nd half, where I believe we were the beneficiaries of three nearly consecutive blocking fouls which put us near the double bonus. If you look above on the KenPom graph, that corresponds to where the win odds came back to our side.
I want no part of the Rams. They are hell to play. It took everything and then some for IU to beat them in a 4/12 second round game a year ago. They ball, are fearless and have this craz ability to play their best in the biggest spots
The disappointment in the big guys is out of context, in a way. They played bad over the course of the night because Sandi Marcius owned whoever was on him for the first half and early second half. After Marcius went out, the pendulum swung in Michigan's favor and McGary was able to handle Hammons and Carroll for the most part. Marcius's injury was critical for Michigan to defend Purdue; without that Purdue could have very well scored enough to keep the game out of reach, given how well he was playing against Michigan's interior earlier.
Purdue was 11th in the Big Ten in Free Throw %. They hit nearly 85% last night I think. If they had shot their average from the line it would have been less of a game. Our rebounding does blow however and I saw laziness in getting back on the break. Hopefully they can cure that.
There were a few times on the Purdue break I was yelling "stop the ball!". Also a lack of charges taken was surprising, must have been poor defensive rotation.
"I knew Bo Schembechler and you sir, are no Bo Schembechler!"
is pressing. He is entirely too frenetic when he gets the ball, be it in transition or in the half court. All of this shots and/or moves have to come RIGHT NOW. He is not being patient with his offense. He seems to have trouble just integrating into a game so he is doing some things out or rythem and without much rhyme or reason to try to have an impact on the game. Even some of the positive things that he is doing on the offensive end look awkward and out of the flow of the offense. Three years in, and THJ still does not have a good read on what kind of player he wants to be. Frustrating player.
light of the conversations being had about the propriety and purpose of negging, I just need a quick explamation of how this was "off-topic." Not starting shit, just honestly trying to determine what people determine neg-worthy and why.
When we were down 52-40 I hit the DVR and went and did something else. Find out the final score and then watch it later after we win. Never watch it if we lost. Takes a lot of the aggravation out of being a fan although admittedly it is a bit anti-climactic. But after blowing it against PSU I was in no mood to see them let another opportunity to win the conference slip away.
I want nothing to do with VCU or Louisville or any pressing team. Burke would have 30 points on a bunch of layups but their traps would forced him to pass it a lot of the time as well and then we'd wind up with like 25 turnovers as the rest of the team is terrible at handling ball pressure. Hardaway and Stauskas would combine for 15-20 turnovers. Those guys are OK at straight line driving to the hoop but both have poor handles and would get eaten alive by that press. At a minimum you'd have to have either LeVert or Albrecht in the entire game just for ball handling and that hurts the offense. I guess I am in the in boil us alive group. Plus VCU is #14 in kenpom which puts them as a #4 seed in quality so no I don't want to be playing anyone that good in the second round in say a 3 vs 6 or 2 vs 7 if VCU is under-seeded. Third round would be OK, still don't like the matchup but at that point you are probably going to be playing a good team no matter what.
I don't get the grumbling and I think Brian doesn't give Purdue enough credit. It's a road win against a team that just handled UW at the Kohl Center -- a tall task indeed. Terone Johnson is a stud and Purdue always plays good defense. They've obviously gotten much better as the season progressed. That's a top-tier Big Ten team next year with the same roster.
Sure, we could have played better, but you can say that for every game you play in conference.
They're a team that looks to make a jump next year if Painter can get Hammonds on the same page with him. The only guy they lose is Byrd and I have to imagine Purdue has a long range gunner somewhere on their bench that's going to give a lot of what he does.
I think this is a consequence of a ton of people, on this blog and elsewhere, who haven't watched a lot of basketball watching it regularly for the first time. Runs happen, they always happen. Every team goes down - most teams drop at least one game they shouldn't (Indiana to Illinois?).
I walked out with a positive feeling about this game. Purdue came out VERY physical, Terone Johnson essentially played like Dwayne Wade, Keady Court reached afterburner decibel levels, and we were down 10+ with 11 to play...and our young guys answered the bell and won the game. That's more difficult than most casual fans give them credit for.
Now we get to play for the B10 title on our home floor, where we've won 33 of our last 34. Things are good.
Unfortunately I didn't, and I started watching the game when Michigan had its peak lead early in the first half. And to top it off, I sat down in a foul mood.
Three things that infuriated me at the time in the subsequent Purdue run.
1. Michigan's point blank shots were pretty meek. (Stauskas excepted.) Whatever Horford did to flip the ball towards the basket must have drawn JB's ire as he didn't see the court again (contradicting #3).
2. Guys were jogging back on defense on Purdue's break. Vogrich was back at the basket where he's supposed to be and then tried closing out the 3-point shooter. That wasn't his fault. Guys gotta sprint. They didn't.
3. Belein didn't punish them with the bench. Indeed, it might be interesting to ask about the philosophy here. JB seems a little slow with the TO, and I haven't seen him make a statement with mass substitutions. (Maybe I just don't remember.) Another kind of philosophical approach, but when Michigan was up, I would have jumped all over the first slippage. In that game, Michigan needed to stomp on Purdue's throat and put it away early. They didn't. And I think that's what angered most people.
This team will go as far as Trey takes them. How many more games can Trey win is the question du jour? The team is what it is at this point. Pretty bad defensively, inconsistent contributions on offense from Hardaway, Stauskas and Robinson. Not your ideal recipe for success in tourney play. But is Trey a Danny Manning, Pervis Ellison, Glen Rice type of player who can put a team on his back and win the whole thing? He's 6'1". The other guys mentioned are not 6'1". I think it's a tall task (get it?) for Trey, undeniably a great player, to dominate the NCAA tournament. Unless Hardaway starts contributing major and consistent offense, I think we're in trouble. Still could beat IU, go deep in B1G tourney and be a #1 seed. That's a pretty successful year at any school, let alone a school that a few short years ago was lost in the wilderness.
"Better to have died as a small boy than to fumble this football" -- John Heisman
Isiah Thomas and Mike Bibby are two point guards who led their teams all the way - and college basketball is a guard-dominated sport nowadays.
I don't think we're national-title material but I think a run to the Final Four is possible if some things fall into place. Last year notwithstanding, Beilein's a good tournament coach and I'm excited to play some teams that aren't as familiar with our system as the B1G teams are.
It'll go as far as Hardaway will take them. Burke is the most consistent guy in the country. You know what you're getting from him. Get early season THJ and we could make a nice run. Continuing struggles and this team will disappoint in the Tourney. If he can get hot for six games....
And as to the next post after, Burke may be a Bibby (though I don't know), but he's no Isiah. And that Indiana team had a lot of talent (as Indiana always did then). Zeke's teammate was actually the Big Ten player of the year. Burke can stir the drink, but he's going to need help. (Glen Rice had an awesome Tournament, but he had long time NBA players in Mills and Vaught and heroics from Rumeal and Higgins).
I thought it was the other way around - the guy who deflects it gets credit for the steal if a teammate secures it. (He also gets credit for a deflection, whether or not it's secured.) That's been my understanding anyway.
"You'd think that they'd move the other direction since they're so young and hypothetically getting better faster than older teams who are closer to a full grasp of what their coach wants them to do."
Maybe not, when what your coach seems to want to do is have the bigs hedge so hard on ball screens that they end up chasing a guard 30 feet from the hoop, leading to a wide open three or a late rotation on a layup, also leading to a potential 3pts. Love Beilein, still don't get this....
"[Y]ou probably shouldn't count out John Beilein, because he's a wizard masqerading as a basketball coach/sub enthusiast."