Detroit has the Indiana transfers because their coach was an assistant under Samspon at Indiana. When everything imploded a couple of the guys followed him to Detroit.
The Defense Returns
Michigan 75, Detroit 64. Michigan 5-4 (0-0 Big Ten)
At halftime, this game was looking like it might be just the latest in a series of disappointments in this young basketball season. Detroit led the Wolverines 36-33, and Michigan couldn't make a defensive stop to save their lives. If you had told me that it would be Michigan's defense that would carry the second half, I would have laughed in your face. The team put in a great defensive effort in the second half though, and the Wolverines were able to capitalize and get the 11-point victory.
Zack Novak, despite a poor day offensively, came away with a huge block on a transition play for the Titans. Manny Harris and Deshawn Sims carried the offensive torch for Michigan, and it was the first game in a while that they were both able to really get going at once. Manny finished with 27 points, and was a single rebound away from the double-double.
The outside shooting is still not where it should be, but 33% from behind the arc was a definite improvement over the past few weeks. If the defensive intensity can continue over the rest of the season, Michigan may have turned an important corner today. When opponents don't score, Michigan can keep games close and the shooting will come around eventually.
- Deshawn Sims was spectacular today. He scored 23 points on just 12 shots. Defensively, he was a little weak in the first half, but he was one of the guys who really turned it on after halftime.
- Rough day for freshmen. Darius Morris and Matt Vogrich both get very little run. Vogrich was in for just a minute, and still managed to commit a turnover. Eso Akunne was the best freshman on the court.
- The rotation was really small today. 5 players played 30 minutes or more, and only two other guys (Morris and Zack Gibson) had double-digit minutes.
- As mentioned above, the shooting was much better than it has been lately, but there's still some room for improvement. Stu Douglass and Zack Novak are just going to tear up the nets at some point.
- Michigan outrebounded the opponent(!) but didn't force too many turnovers (7). Bizarre day, given the style that the Wolverines usually play.
- How in the world did Detroit land two transfers from Indiana? That should be a pretty good team in the near future.
"He knows we need him. That's something we talked about, and he just picked it up." Manny Harris, on Deshawn Sims's defensive effort in the second half.
"I think we're just a step slow right now... We've gotta be a little bit quicker." Zack Novak, on the team's defensive struggles this season.
"I just timed it up. You didn't know I could do that, I bet." Zack Novak, on his shot block in the second half.
"We've kinda been trying to play out of what we're capable of. Just stay solid. Stay solid on defense, don't gamble, run the offense. Just do what we've been practicing for the last 2 months." Stu Douglass, on how the team can improve its play.
"I just don't wanna be part of the losing side of that conversation." Deshawn Sims, on playing in-state opponents.
"Down three at the half, I think the guys felt a sense of urgency." John Beilein, on the defensive renaissance in the second half.
"Usually the last thing that comes to young players is defense, not just individually, but also off the ball." John Beilein, on giving freshmen onl limited playing time.
The Wolverines have this week off to take their exams, and then have a date with Kansas on Saturday. The Jayhawks are the consensus #1 team in the nation, and Michigan will need a small miracle to come home from Lawrence with a win.
I think the win at Kansas would need a real life miracle not a small miracle.
Unlike Tim, I didnt really see many bright spots in this game. The only thing that allowed us to win was that Manny and Deshawn were both on their game at the same time. This rarely happens. Kansas will destroy us. I hate to be so pessimistic, but they are really really good, and we are not at their level.
...though I do think that we'll play Kansas a lot tougher than people might think. This will be our first game when there's nothing to lose, and the team will come out loose and fired up.
nah. small miracle. like shooting 75% from three. that would do it. is that considered small or large?
What Yinka said. They were on Sampson's last team and McCallum was a bench coach.
They followed him the way Robert Vaden followed Mike Davis to UAB.
They are already 2-0 in Horizon Play and look honest-to-God as the most legit challenger to Butler in that conference right now.....although UWGB certainly stated a case with their upset over Wisco last week.
Good game for Michigan.......Good to Sims come alive. He had to go up against some big bodies today, not unlike what he'll see in the Big 10. Hopefully he has turned a corner as MIIIICH needs the Manny/Sims 1-2 punch to be among the best in the league to get a winning conference mark and into the ncaa tournament.
once we account for the second half u-d/m missed dunk and missed lay-up(s)?...does the m defense for the second half still come out ok per possession?
When I saw the headline in my feed reader, I thought it was going to be something along the lines of "Donovan Warren (aka 1/2 of our defense last year) is coming back."
I just dont think they have the strength to really compete in the Big Ten. They're too "soft", in my opinion.
Much has been made about our lack of height, but I really believe that college basketball is all about how much a given team is willing to put on the line in a given night. Or in other words, the "hard" scale. One example of heart prevailing over height, I think, would be Davidson beating Wisconsin in the Sweet Sixteen two years ago. That Badger team was huge and those little guys on Davidson shut them down (with a little help from some Curry fella). Davidson employed that same trap philosophy (not unlike Beilein's approach to big men) to their next opponent, Kansas, and only lost by two.
Moral of the story: if there isn't the fire beneath this team this year that pulled them through last year's big games, it's all over. From the beginning, they've been evoking the "Hunter" mentality, but I just haven't seen it so far. Is it leadership? Maybe. Embarrassing that we can't beat less talented teams? Definitely.
It's not going to be pretty.
...where it isn't due seems to be the trend with these hoops updates. Saying "The Defense Returns" implies that this was a strong defensive effort where we shut down the opponent, which was just not the case. The main story of this game was not the defense returning (though Novak's block did get me way off my seat), it was the continued struggles. I can remember more than five times when Detroit got easy breakaways resulting from bad passes at the top. A few of which were Gibson's fault. The lack of a third scorer remains a glaring issue. Rebounding? What does that even mean anymore? Akunne keeps playing, which I find odd. Why is he so limp wristed?
In general, I think we are unprepared for the real season to start and optimistic posts like this one spread positivity at a time when it is clearly unsubstantiated.
My hope is that the team continues to play to the level of its competition, which will clearly be an advantage upon facing the best team in the country this week.
or bother to look at the box score? Michigan shot 52% from the field and was 5-11 from 3 in the second half (45%). The post reflects the desire to play defense, not the one or two turnovers that led to fastbreak points. This team committed to playing defense, rebounding, and not taking unnecessary chances at creating a turnover for an easy basket, albeit a half later than I would like. They didn't force shots in the second half, there was a fair amount of driving and kicking to open shooters. Jimmy King was spot on when he said that this team is still learning, much as his senior season went. THE SKY IS NOT FALLING. That may have been the best half of basketball this team has played this year.
I hope there is peace on Earth. I hope Packers and Bears fans get along. I hope Democrats and Republicans agree. I hope the Hatfields and the McCoys stop fighting. I hope... oh the heck with it. I don't think I'll get what I want. I just hope Michigan doesn't get blown out. Anything is possible, but a win is highly unlikely.