That 2005 Illinois game was the night of the infamous Orange Krush charity prank, right? I watched it go down from the student seats in the upper bowl, and it remains one of the strangest things I've ever seen.
Dion Harris On The Other Foot
1/9/2013 – Michigan 62, Nebraska 47 – 16-0, 3-0 Big Ten
on mah grind (Bryan Fuller)
also note all five Nebraska players are in this shot looking at Burke
Yesterday's game was an ugly slow-it-down slugfest that brought one particular game to mind: Michigan's matchup with that 2005 Illinois team everyone brings up when they attempt to put this year's offense in historical context. The Illini were 23 games undefeated, Michigan was 3-6 in the league and so injury-wracked that walk-ons Sherrod Harrell, Ashtyn Bell, and John Andrews got 51 minutes between them. Collectively they attempted three shots.
Michigan's strategy consisted of taking the air out of the ball, giving it to Dion Harris with the shot clock winding down, and vaguely hoping. It darn near worked. Michigan kept contact the whole night, leading at points, and eventually went down to a narrow six-point defeat. It was an extreme underdog kind of strategy willing to trade possession-to-possession efficiency for increased variance, because over time Michigan was just going to die.
Better to up the randomness: no turnovers, no transition buckets, all half-court jump shots which can do things like rim out. If basketball had innings, you'd lose by more, on average. It doesn't.
So Nebraska came out determined to make this basketball game an exercise in half-court blithering. Michigan obliged, clanking a series of threes and free throws. They were never really threatened and pulled away for a comfortable win at the end—more comfortable than those amazing Illini, by some distance. By the end they'd fallen a few points short of Kenpom/Vegas, understandable in a game with a mere 57 possessions. By comparison, Michigan's only other game in the 50s this year was Binghamton. Give them the extra ten opportunities at the basket they had against Iowa or Northwestern, and change the tempo of the game to get them, and… well, yeah.
This is what it's like to be the overdog against a team that knows they're nowhere near your level. The opponent tries to whittle down the time and opportunities you have to display your superiority, and when your keep coming up craps on your shots things get a little sticky. This game serves as a reminder that the great hand of fate is waiting to crush you, but shouldn't impact expectations going forward much, if at all.
Redundant Bullets Header Section
Photos. From Bryan Fuller:
Concerns: do we have them should we have them what? Yeah, a couple. One: Michigan had only six assists on 21 makes. At times it seemed like too much of the offense was guys going one on one. Maybe that was just Nebraska's defensive philosophy? I don't recall much help defense or switching. Six is a really low number, though, and I don't think that was all on shots that usually go down not doing so.
Two: Nebraska was able to keep their turnovers way down (just six). Turnover avoidance is the only bright spot on their offense, so again this may be part of their extreme underdog philosophy. It would be nice to have a defense that could pick up steals to spur Michigan's excellent transition offense; at this point that does not seem to be in the cards.
Pounding the glass. Michigan's offense actually reached a respectable 1.1 PPP by the game's end despite subpar shooting everywhere because they had their usual lack of turnovers and they pounded the offensive boards. Michigan grabbed 41% of their misses, with three to each of the frontcourt guys (McGary, Morgan, Robinson) and a whopping five "team" offensive rebounds that IIRC were mostly Mitch McGary being a possession-generating animal. Like that one where he was roaring out of bounds and flung it off a Nebraska player. That's probably a "team" rebound.
Because of that, McGary's impact on the box score was considerably lower than I expected it would be after watching the game: 1/4 shooting, three OREB, three DREB, a block, a steal, 18 minutes. That looks like not much, but my eyes are all like "he is rounding into form as a monster possession-generator." Back to back with the Iowa game it's exciting to see him round into a guy who makes an impact whenever he hits the floor, which he will do literally at times. Frequently, even. I bet he dives at squirrels on the Diag if they're orange enough.
Remember when Zack Novak won the Michigan dunk contest?
Tweet of the night #2:
I feel like I just watched a Michigan State football game
Tweet of the night #3, in response to #2:
[ed: reference to this]
Tweet of the night #4, in re: Minnesota:
Please write your own term papers, please write your own term papers, please write your own term papers...
And Tweet of the night #5, in re lol:
Periodic Hardaway complete player alert. Just one assist in this game, which is not a huge surprise with six total, but made up with an 11-DREB double-double. Nebraska got just 18% of their misses, which is fantastic. Also it is perhaps further evidence of extreme underdog strategy: the Cornpack was so focused on getting back to prevent transition opportunities that there was almost never anyone on the glass.
KNITTING LADIES OF CRISLER, WE SALUTE YOU. A Michigan woman comes prepared for commercial breaks.
yeah you know I made this scarf myself
This is becoming a thing.
Periodic bitching about long twos. Gonna do it: in this game there were several instances in which it seemed a player—Burke and Hardaway generally—passed up a good look at a three for a two just inside the line that was at least as difficult a shot. Burke in particular can get that eighteen footer whenever he wants, so unless the shot clock's under ten keep working.
Also in complaints: it seemed like Nebraska went under screens all night and Burke too frequently allowed them to do this instead of pulling up for the three. No hedge and guy goes under screen means that screen is not disrupting the balance of the defense, and the driving lane isn't great since the guy isn't trying to fight through over the top. I'll take an open three from Burke any time.
Stauskas. I'm watching Stauskas get to the basket and dish impressive assists and wonder a bit about next year. If Burke and Hardaway are gone, isn't he going to be the primary creator on offense? I guess it'll depend on how good Derrick Walton is and how much GRIII develops his handle. Smooth out some of Stauskas's rough edges with an offseason, though, and he's a credible shot creator.
Gauntlet: now. The next month of Michigan's season:
- @ OSU
- @ Minnesota
- @ Illinois
- @ Indiana
- @ Wisconsin
- @ Michigan State
Here it is. Purdue and Northwestern should be slam dunks, and I'm not too worried about Wisconsin no matter where it is this year. Then you've got a couple should-wins (OSU at home, @ Illinois) and the four road games that will decide damn near everything. Win all the should-wins and go 2-2 there and you've got to be feeling good about winning the league. In all likelihood there are three losses in this stretch, though, and it'll come down to holding down home court against Illinois, State, and Indiana to finish out the year.
Ah yup. I've seen this in my twitter feed a half-dozen times but if you don't have it, here's Chris Paul apropos of nothing:
Honestly, if Burke went in the top ten would you blink? I would be like "yep."
I regret I only have but one life to give for excessively elaborate charge calls. Ed Hightower is fine after an incident in which, well:
If there's a purple heart for referees, there shouldn't be one. Also Hightower has it.
Last night West Virginia shot 15% on their 3s and 38% on their 2s on the road. And won.
Texas is horrible. Meanwhile, Illinois is all like OH NO NOT AGAIN:
Illinois just crested 1.0 in that OSU game, BTW. They kind of are thrash.
What did they do? I can't recall.
That box score is curious. Why did Dion Harris play 38 minutes but not start, and why would Ron Coleman play 31 minutes and Brent Petway only five?
If memory serves, they purchased a block of tickets under the guise of being a non-profit group or some sort of charity and then all brandished their Orange Krush shirts at once.
I might be hazy on details, but that's what I remember hearing.
They took advantage of a charity discount program to procure a large amount of tickets, used it to get a tour of the locker room and a visit with Tommy Amaker (photo op and everything), got fake t-shirts made up for the charity, the whole bit. Right before pregame introductions, they all assembled in a ring around the inner concourse of the arena, ripped off the fake charity shirts, and started up their Orange Krush routine. And didn't let up for the rest of the game.
Ah yes - I remember that now. Nothing like getting one over your "archrival."
One of them is that all of the non-freshman have been in a great many games that resembled last night's. I can't imagine that Burke, Hardaway, Morgan, etc. are tense about the thought of a grinding game that ends with both teams in the 50s.
As for McGary, the guy is the embodiment of contributions that don't show up in stats. My love for him doubled in size last night when he went on the floor near the end to win that last jump ball from amongst a sea of Cornhuskers. That was the play of the night, IMO.
If Burke and Hardaway depart, then Stauskas will be called upon to create more, and to a greater extent Caris Levert; Caris is right up there with Hardaway in shot creating ability.
D Walton should be able to create shots from the get go. He is a true PG with a nice shot, and don't forget about Irvin; He will be able to get his own shot as well.
Also, McGary should be a greater threat on offense next year once he figures out how to power dribble and dunk without that dang rim getting in the way! :)
For those who want some extra pleasure while watching our games on TV, I have found viewing (in real-time) the inevitable "scUM vs. ....." threads on RCMB much more entertaining than any M-related threads. (Except MGoBlog threads of course - Sorry Brian)
Perhaps I just enjoy Sparty-freude more than the average person.
That scarf lady is awesome. That is all.
Chris Mannix at si.com already has Burke going at 13. In a pretty weak draft, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see some team in the top 10 fall in love with him.
If Minnesota wins in Bloomington this Saturday, we may really regret that Michigan doesn't get them at Crisler this year.
There are just no surefire stars at the top. The top 5 is subpar compared to normal... but i'd say the caliber of player you'd get from 10-30 is actually pretty good.
Mathematically speaking, this draft doesn't necessarily resemble a normal distribution of talent
Rick Barnes is terrible? That's the best I've got.
The NCAA hasn't allowed their best player, Myck Kabongo, to suit up, and his loss has been too much to overcome. Darn shame.
Compare the Kabongo situation to M last year, if the NCAA had said Trey Burke is ineligible to play. Michigan would have been in deep trouble. Certainly no Big Ten Title, and likely no NCAA bid.
The "All Your Base Are Belong To Us" video game writer appears to have resurfaced as an internet product-description writer. Note the description of the MSU "What a Game" shirt:
The skill that backs the Michigan State Spartans promised their Week 1 matchup against the Boise State Broncos would be one for the books, and What A Game it was!
Looks like the basketball players don't come to play school, either.
At least they're consistent.
I had a strangely serene feeling watching this game -- I just kept thinking about how fortunate it is that we timed such a terrible offensive game with a team that couldn't beat us.
When I saw the title all I could think was, "I guess the foot's on the other hand now, isn't it Kramer?" and then I kept getting distracted during the article by thinking of Airplane! lines. Damn it, now I'm going to have to watch Airplane!
The Upper hand is on the other foot Saddam!
Illinois = ?
Thrash metal explained by an expert:
Let’s just get this out of the way quickly: this shit basically sucks. Well, I guess it doesn’t suck, it’s just super entry-level and overrated. It’s essentially like someone telling you their favorite restaurant is McDonald’s.
Okay, yeah I see it.
Much bigger game, just natural.
"I bet he dives at squirrels on the Diag if they're orange enough" is the funniest thing I read this week. Thank you.