Hopefully teams don't all figure out that the way to take Michigan from Offensive Efficiency King to lost is just putting a small quick guy on Nik.
Mason NEEDS this, Pistons, after all you've put him through
2/2/2013 – Michigan 52, Indiana 63 – 16-5, 8-1 Big Ten
Stauskas was barely involved, but they don't take pictures of guys hanging around at the three point line. [Chris Howell/Hoosier Scoop]
There was a second-half possession on which Nik Stauskas stood in the corner and watched, hands on hips. Zak Irvin—this team has more guys apparently missing a C in their names than any in the country, where is that on Kenpom—banged in a three pointer that I barely noticed before it went in, because I was distressed and looking at Stauskas to rescue things. He did not.
The only thing that was unique about this particular possession was the hands. The standing eventually became standard. This was because Yogi Ferrell, Indiana's lightning quick, generously-listed-at-six-foot-even point guard, was guarding him. Ferrell started out in much the same way as Gary Harris did, denying heavily on the perimeter, and for whatever reason back cuts against this behavior are infrequent nowadays. Michigan did not even attempt one. When Stauskas did get the ball he felt harried enough to dump it to someone else most of the time.
Stauskas was effectively shut off for most of the first half until late, when he attempted to back Ferrell down on one possession, and drive by him on another. The post-up resulted in a shot that was well off; the drive ended with a charge call as Stauskas extended his arm.
And that was that, really.
I thought that Stauskas would be pissed and Beilein would do something to get his star into the game. Over the past couple years, Michigan has an excellent track record when it comes to storming out of the locker room at the half and putting it on the opponent. There was not a hint of that in this game. The second half largely followed the first. Other than a couple of nice passes, Stauskas's contribution was limited to a couple of jacked late-clock shots and the standing around.
In Stauskas's stead, things fell on LeVert, Walton, and Robinson, far less efficient players who went about the business of being less efficient.
This was massively frustrating. Cat-quick or not, ball screens require hard decisions on the part of a defense. When Michigan did get into the Stauskas pick and roll offense a couple times in the second half, Michigan got quality looks at the basket. I have a ton of faith in John Beilein's overall genius because I have eyes frequently applied to basketball games, and seeing the lack of answers on his part was distressing. So, too, was Stauskas's growing passivity.
This was the second time this year that Stauskas had been eliminated from the offense. The first time was against Duke, and that was another listless loss where Michigan was tagging along behind the opponent with a series of LeVert drives that never seemed like they would come together into the surge Michigan needed to take the lead. Cut off the head and the rest of the team flails; unlike Trey Burke, opponents have shown an ability to do that with Stauskas.
Whether that's because of an inherent difference in their attitudes or just the fact that Burke brought the ball up most of the time while Stauskas gets involved in the offense after lining up on the wing, I don't know, but somehow, some way Michigan has to get the ball in the right hands. They are not good enough on defense to get away with nights featuring six shots from the man.
One call. I didn't have much problem with the refereeing in this one despite it being an Assembly Hall game. There were a couple of things each way that were wrong, sure. I was too busy being incensed about Stauskas's lack of involvement to really get any lather up about officiating.
But, man, if Derrick Walton gets what looked like a blazingly obvious charge call on Ferrell, this game changes significantly. That would have been Ferrell's second, knocking him out for about eight minutes, both freeing up Stauskas and removing 85% of Indiana's offense. I'm not sure what else Walton is supposed to do there: he was moving with Ferrell, square to the shooter, and got plowed in the chest. Ferrell got the same call a few minutes later, and it was the right one.
I have no idea what a charge is anymore, so I am now qualified to referee college basketball.
(The other thing that drove me nuts was Michigan getting a blocking call on a flop a few minutes after Indiana's flop didn't draw one.)
Our defensive stopper isn't stopping anything of late. LeVert draws the opposition's best perimeter scorer, and the results have been grim. Ferrell blazed the nets in this one, as did Gary Harris in the MSU game. While Purdue's guards didn't do much, they are Purdue.
After Ferrell's third late clock shot I started getting really frustrated with LeVert allowing Ferrell to take virtually uncontested jumpers, and then thought back to last year's Wisconsin game… why doesn't LeVert ever get a hand in anyone's face? He's six inches taller than Ferrell, he should be able to contest his shots. Instead there's a lack of awareness that leads to plenty of rise-and-fire threes that look like bad shots until you see the replay.
This could have been a super-ugly win you exhale and mutter something about road games after, except Indiana kept hitting shots they had to jack up with about two seconds on the shot clock. (This was a glacial 55 possession game.) Michigan's problem is that they let Indiana look like Jordan Taylor-era Wisconsin; almost all of their late jacked shots were actually decent looks. Compare that to the three Stauskas had to take from about 30 feet.
[Chris Howell/Hoosier Scoop]
Morgan up, except for the one thing. Jordan Morgan had an excellent game with ten rebounds, five of them offensive, to go with two blocked shots and two makes. His miss was blocked by Vonleh and immediately put back up by Morgan for two. His rotation on defense was part of the many, many late-clock situations Indiana found itself in, and the resulting makes were not really on him. He was pretty great.
The main exception, of course, was the free throw line, where Morgan was 1 of 5 with a critical missed front end late. That dropped his season percentage almost ten points and as the clock ticked down it was impossible to not look at Michigan's score and add in the missing two or three points even though the team's overall percentage at the line was about average.
Walton: improving, verging on improved. Thirteen points, six of them at the line. Walton's FT percentage has gone up six points in the last couple games and he's consistently chipping double digits more often than not. He's still not up to the task of taking over games in the fashion Michigan needed with Stauskas marginalized, but at this point a solidly productive night is the expectation.
Taking over games… is just not in the cards for GRIII. Like the Duke game, when Michigan was out of its element in the second half the burden fell on Caris. This was due in part to two or three ugly possessions earlier when Robinson tried to create and ended up with a bad shot or a turnover. Chastened, Robinson receded into the background again unless there was a transition opportunity.
It just is what it is. Robinson's NBA draft hype was always built on his ability to jump really high, not his skill level.
Spike limitations. This was a bad, bad matchup for Albrecht. He came in, got smoked a couple times by Ferrell, and then got yanked. He had a period of time in the second half where both he and Walton were in; he chased someone else around.
Hopefully teams don't all figure out that the way to take Michigan from Offensive Efficiency King to lost is just putting a small quick guy on Nik.
if they didn't before, due to your followership they surely know now! Thanks...
Seriously though, I had the same thought but I also hope that other scoring options step up like they have before. One of this team's greatest attributes, as far as I'm concerned, is their depth. I hope they use this loss as an opportunity to identify a plan for teams who match up against Nik in that way.
the good thing is that most teams don't have a player that can do so. at least not one that can also shoot 40,000% from 3 on the other end.
So at this point, I'm wondering if we concede that GRIII is just not very good. I know he has tons of potential, and that's alluded to all the time...but his production just doesn't seem very impressive. He consistently underperforms in games against non-cupcake opponents, and that's not something that seems to be changing. I'm assuming he's gone after this year, and honestly I wonder how much he will really be missed.
I think "conceding he is not very good" is an incorrect statement. I'm pretty sure he would be starting for 95% of teams at either the 3 or 4. Despite his struggles, GRIII is certainly a good college player (should anyone else on our team start over him?), albeit one who has not lived up to the hype.
More fair, would be saying his lack of development is discouraging. I'll admit I usually lead the charge on this. Sarcastically referring to him as the "Best kept secret in the B1G" because of how the media swoons over his talents. For whatever reason it seems like the light hasn't gone on for him the way it did for Stauskas, Levert, Burke, Morris, etc. Hopefully Beilein finds a way to light the fire in him, he had some impressive games early in conference play where it looked like his game developed, because the basic tools are certainly there.
I think with GR3 it's almost all mental. That TMD profile of him was a great look into his attitude and his ability to "be the alpha", or lack there of. There are times when GR3 just figures out that he's the most athletic person on the court and uses that to his advantage. I want to say it was the Minnesota game before his injury where GR3 had almost "realized" that he could dominate that game and he decided to do it.
In this game he started trying to take charge (the long 2 early in the shot clock comes to mind) and when he didn't have immediate success he backed off. His ceiling is so high, I just wish he hit it more frequently.
He's our best defensive player, playing out of position at the 4 spot, playing heavy minutes while rarely fouling. He's also shooting 50% from the floor while averaging 13 points per game. I'll take "not very good" like that anytime.
are you going to argue that Robinson has not been dissapointing. Aside from the Nebraska game and the first half against Wisconsin he has been a mess offensively. He is the exact same player as last year. If you were told at the beginning of the season that GR 3 was going to be the exact same as last year, no more aggressive, no more consistent, no more impactful on games, would you have been happy with that?
He was pretty good against Arizona:
8-9 for 20 pts, 4 rebs, 2 tos
I agree that GRIII has overall been a disappointment though he has had many moments where he has done very well. At the end of the day the best player should play so unless the light comes on for Irvin GRIII should probably start.
I trust this coaching staff to better prepare for the strategy that Indiana used in the future. I'd rather teams throw out different looks now, our team adjusts, and then be very successful in later games during this year.
right, I drew a complete blank about the Zona game. And I am not saying he should not start, but I think it is fair to say that he hasn't quite lived up to his billing consistently this year.
between not being good and not meeting the hype of a mid-1st round NBA pick.
I realize some people expected more - there was offseason talk about him moving to the 3 spot and going with McGary at the 4, but that obviously didn't happen. I don't see that "disappointment" as a huge problem as much as I see it as misguided expectations. Is it really a shock that his percentages have dropped without Trey Burke? Does that really mean he's not playing well? I don't think so.
I don't need GR3 to create off the dribble. We have Stauskas, Walton, and Irvin to do that. Not all good players have to be high utilization scorers. GR3 relies on others offensively - so what? Nik relies on others defensively. There's a reason people like Robert Horry have long NBA careers and people like Adam Morrison fade into oblivion. It's a team game not a battle of one-on-one players.
This Robinson is bad because he doesn't score enough argument is the equivalent of saying Denard Robinson is a bad quarterback.
Holy crap not very good? Yeah he isn't the alpha dog we were all hoping for but he is the teams second leading scorer and rebounder, I think that's doing ok.
I too was mystified by Michigan not screening for Stauskas. Coach Beilein said something after the game about IU putting "our primary screener with a switch guy" and how that crossed Michigan up. http://www.umhoops.com/2014/02/02/video-john-beilein-recaps-loss-indiana/#more-56495
I lack the basketball knowledge to say exactly what that means. I do not (I think) lack the basketball knowledge to say that the team feeds off of Stauskas's energy and emotion and that it needs him to score for more reasons than just the scoring itself.
None of this is meant as criticism of Coach Beilein, whose socks know more about basketball than I do.
i did not see one double-screen to open up Stauskas all game...add that along with LEVert's terrible defense on Yogi and GRIII's disappearance into the abyss and we got ourselves a bad loss against a very mediocre team on the road
I would imgine that means someone that is capable of guarding the guard through the screen or the big rolling to the basket after the screen. Because if it wasn't a hybrid guy that could do that there should be no issue. If that was the case we should of just picked Yogi all night as I think he's under 6'0 let their 'switch guy' flow to the guard w/ the ball and create a mismatch in the post w/ Yogi guarding a big. I'm sure Belien knows what he's doing but that is not an uncommon occurence and I'd be surprised if Crean would be the first coach to figure out we like to screen for our shooters.
This actually happened a couple times. IU switched on the Stauskas screen and Yogi ended up on Horford or Morgan. Announcers even called it out, but Levert dribbled away from that side of the floor on one place and I can't remember what happened on the other.
I would be delighted if this team won the B1G and made it to the sweet 16. I don't think it will, but it would make me happy. That is my ceiling of expectation for this team. Do we really think we are "NC contender" good? I think that is a little unfair for this team. We are good enough to beat anyone on our best day, sure, but I just don't see this team doing anything crazy (like last year).
I think this team could do anything from collapsing and barely making the tournament to winning the conference and making a run to the Final Four. This bunch isn't as good as last year's, but the whole country seems to be down compared to last year, so I think Michigan has a chance at the Final Four. I certainly caution anyone against expecting that, though.
At this point I would expect us to make the tournament and win our first game and then hope that we make it to the next weekend. That would put us in a theoretical 'top 16' which is about where this team plays at its best. Anything past that would be luxury
This is pretty much exactly what everyone was saying last year, and the team made the Final Four.
This team had a bad game (at Indiana where it is very hard to win). It happens.
Not really directing this all at you (or anyone), but there is far too much pessimism on here for a team that is still 8-1 in the B1G with wins against Wisco, Iowa and MSU.
Michigan doesn't suck.
is suggesting that Michigan sucks, but if we are being honest with ourselves there are a lot of teams that can easily expose our weak defense and inability to get anything going is Stauskas is neutralized...time will tell how far they get, but I'm not very confident at this point in the season to say we are a lock for the 2nd weekend come March
How many teams are truly a "lock" for the 2nd weekend though? Syracuse and Arizona? It's March Madness. There's really no such thing a "lock". Anything can happen. Sure we could lose before the second weekend, but I don't think it's as likely as people are making it out to be.
I think "a lof of teams" is reach too. There have been two games where Michigan's been shut down: Duke and Indiana. Both on the road. Beilein's a good coach and Stauskas is a good player. I don't anticipate Stuaskas being shut down becoming a regular thing. If it does, then I will start to worry. Until then, this is still one of the best offenses in the country and I'm not going to panic about the few clunkers we've had.
Wasn't everyone saying basically the same thing last year when we took terrible losses at PSU and against Wisconsin in the B10 tourney? I don't think this team is quite as good as last year's, but I think they're clearly good enough to make the final four when everything is clicking.
Right. I try to remind myself that going in to the tournament last year, no one was very optimistic about a deep run. We had lost to that horrible PSU team and looked bad in the BIG tourney.
I also think about OSU and Wisky this year. Both started out 15-0 or so and have cratered since. Michigan has another gauntlet coming up so a big losing streak like those teams had is not impossible.
Overall, I hope the team just doesn't panic. We played a road team in the big ten, it was a low possession game, they shot above average and we shot below. I don't think there is a ton of teams that can take Stauskas out like that, so hopefully we just stay the course, beat Nebraska, and ten try to spilt the next 4. Do that and we'll be just fine.
I completely agree with your last statement. Nobody should be expecting a Final Four unless your UNC with Ty Hansborough or Kentucky with a nice mix of veteran talent and the annual one-and-dones they get.
Arizona was pretty close to losing even when they were full strength and they were probably one of if not the "best" teams in the country.
Once you reach a certain level you can make a run in the Tourney it's just not wise to say this is definitely happening.
Did we, honestly, have that same feeling last year? I thought we were definitely Sweet 16 good a year ago at this time...and I honestly think they are that good this year, too. NC Contender good, for Michigan's purposes, needs to be redefined with the loss of MM. And I think that the last gauntlet, along with the one coming up, are crucial to that realization.
will make for a successful season.
1. The Big Ten regular season championship.
2. The Big Ten tournament championship.
3. An Elite 8 appearance.
I do think people are over-reacting to one game. Teams lay eggs. It happens. This doesn't mean anything more than they did not show up and paid for it. Just like at Penn State last year.
all of the above issues point out various deficiencies that occured in this game, Michigan was within 4 points late in the game with posession of the ball and could have cut the lead to 2 points and maybe spurred a closer game. But it seemed they just couldnt make a shot when they really needed one at a critical time to pull it off. Is it a trend or just an off game? I believe its midwinter doldrums on Superbowl Sunday.
Against MSU it seemed we fought to get Stauskas the ball. Against IU and Duke it seemed that we tried to win a 4-on-4 game. Why?
I asked this after the Duke game - why not have Stauskas bring the ball up the floor and initiate the ball screen offense from there?
was an effort issue. Nik looked completely checked out. The team did not get him the ball because he did not work to get open. This team can overcome Stauskus having a bad shooting night but they cannot overcome him being disinterested. He typically has a chip on his shoulder that gives this team their identity. This, distressingly, was the second time this year that he really looked completely disinterested in the game. I like Stauskus a lot but he really left the team hanging yesterday and that should not be the mark of an All-American player.
One quick note though. In the Duke game he was coming off injury and I thought at the time it partially explained his performance. He tweaked his ankle against Purdue. I am wondering if he truly was not 100%. Raftery suspected illlness but perhaps his ankle is an issue right now.
anyone have a still of walton's 3 that was called a 2?
and yet the refs still didn't overturn it after the replay. What's the point of replay if they don't trust what it shows?
That was a charge and it could of changed the outcome but so could of any number of things. We didn't close on shooters(Yogi), we didn't hedge off screens and force their guards to go around the defender and I'm not even sure where to begin on offense. It was like that game you played as kids where the couch was a rock and the floor was lava well we treated the paint as lava yesterday. Dribble drives ending in foul line jumpers are ok shots when they are falling but they weren't. We showed very little effort trying to get to the rim and we didn't get out on the break. It was rough to watch but I think this game is an anamoly and we won't have to worry about to many/any more quite like this one. It's hopefully just a symptom of being so locked in for so long that it's hard to sustain.
yup. sometimes teams have bad games.
It's really this simple.
Even great teams, like Michigan last year, have bad games.
Everyone seems to think they are machines who always perform with consistent output. They are people who have to stay focused week in and week out.
They had a 2pt loss to the number 1 team in the country followed by 10 straight wins. 1st loss since Dec 14th? IU was a letdown, but lets get real here.
to jump really high, not his skill level." Except that Robinson's two and three-point shooting % was quite a bit higher last year, according to UMHoops. Agree about his attempts to get it going, though. Posters were pissed, but those go in, his confidence rises, maybe he DOES assert himself to win the game. I believe he also did that a few times last year, too.
What worried me--despite my qualified defense of Robinson above, is that with Stauskas leading the charge it has looked like Caris was a marvelous second option. In fact he's a work in progress on offense, and--at least yesterday--not a great first option. And Robinson has not been able to step up. That said, everyone is going to keep developing, and Irvin and Walton look increasingly helpful.
I was also disapointed in the coaching adjustments. When a team is dedicating one guy to stick to your one guy like glue you have to use that to your advantage. Instead it looked like Michigan was just playing "how do we get it to Stauskas?" most of the game.
My hope is this game gets in Robinson's head. He is supposed to be the guy this year, but he is being overshadowed by Stauskas. If teams are going to shut him down this is GRob's chance to shine.
In the events like yesterday where Nik is getting denied the ball, can we just dedicate like 3-4 possessions every 5 mins to Nik carrying the ball up the court. Get into a pick and roll position, and get the offense going?
I watched a lot of college basketball Saturday from teams all around the country and was not impressed with anyone. That includes Duke/Syracuse and that was a Great game. My point is we are capable of beating anyone. I'm guessing the next team to try to take Stauskas out of the game Boach B will exploit them.
He played a terrible game on both ends of the floor.
Last year we all anticipated a huge game from Nik, as Indiana stuck their weakest link on him, as expected. Nik tried to dribble by Hulls in isolation but it never worked and M quickly discarded the strategy. Stauskas shot 1-5 from 3 and 2-5 from inside the arc that game. Hulls was "hidden" successfully.
This year, the opposite strategy - Indiana stuck their best defender on him, even though he's a half-foot shorter. The result was similar: 0-2 from 3 and 1-4 from inside (the lone make was a transition layup). That's zero FGs in the half-court offense from our best offensive player. He also took a pretty stupid 3 while he was covered, 5 feet behind the arc. It missed badly. So did his post up attempts.
Getting him the ball more probably wasn't the solution in either game. His record against NBA-caliber defenders isn't good. Ball denial is part of it, but the efficiency has been pretty bad too. The MSU game was spectacular, but it's been mostly duds against the Dukes and Arizonas of the world. Nik, not just his teammates have to play better.
Especially on defense. Caris gets blasted here for not playing good enough defense while being 6 inches taller than Ferrell. Meanwhile, Nik is 6'6, gets easier assignments, and grades out terribly nearly every game. He isn't even an option to defend Ferrel, Harris or anyone like them. LeVert shouldn't be the defensive stopper but there aren't too many other options. Maybe GR3 should be doing that while Nik plays the 4 on D...but Nik would get worked. Bielien doesn't have great choices here as Nik (like Spike) is a liability on that end that results in suboptimal roles for others.
The criticism of GR3 is also unfair. His NBA potential is based not on "jumping really high" but on "being able to defend a moving NBA-type object" - something that Nik needs to show he can do before he deserves the mid-1st round projections that started popping up after MSU and Wisconsin. This team needs defense - GR3 is one of the few players on this team that delivers it consistently. Repeatedly griping about GR3's offense when Nik's defense is a far bigger problem for this team seems pretty biased. GR3 is 2 inches taller, but he's still doing the Novak thing that deserves our praise.
play defense, grab rebounds, run the break hard.
This something we don't see from Nik that we did see from THJ by his soph year and especially in his jr year.
I am still pretty bummed by the game, but find it hard to complain about being 8-1 and tied for first in the conference as it stands. I would've been ecstatic if, around Jan 1, you said we would be 8-1 at this point and I see no reason to not be.
Just win at home, and take whatever road games you can, and we'll be fine.
Personally I think Stauskas was just tired and was checked out a bit. It happens. I have to imagine that it is super difficult for a college student to stay focused and pumped for every game in a season. Sometimes you just have an off day and that is that. As much as I was in the same boat of "GIVE THE DAMN BALL TO STAUSKAS," he wasn't hitting his open looks and on the relatively difficult shots he was missing badly.
I am not overly concerned. Maybe it will be a thing, but for now the most likely explanation is that Stauskas had a couple bad games.
On the other hand, I fully agree about GRIII. I feel bad for him mostly, but it is quite apparent that he isn't the player we all thought he would be going into the year.
A question for those who know more about basketball than me (most of you): How much is a player's ball handling/driving ability an inherent skill versus something you can practice and get better at? I mean, GRIII looks like he should have the athletic ability to be a great penetrator, but his handle is quite bad and he often simply loses the ball. Is this due to not enough practice or is it mostly likely just a fact of his game at this point? If it is mostly a practice issue then I still have hopes of GRIII being a star. If not I think he will peak as an athletic role player.
1. Did not understand the lack of back cuts from Stauskas and Robinson. Conley was good at the rim but the denial of our wings, particularly stauskas was begging for this.
2. Also could not understand why Stauskas did not run the baseline and get set up on opposite wing a bit. Seems like the dribble handoff or the break to get open or the primary options. When he gets covered up , it's a sad retreat to the wing and some mire standing while Caris jacks one up or a lesser plan b works itself out. Stauskas simply. has to touch the ball more on sets. He is too good to only get that many shots and limited touches. This seems a little bit scheme based and a little bit player based to me.
3. Morgan was a one man beast in the first half on the boards, but it seemed like their undersized guys out roughed us in general. Was surprised to see that come back a little bit since we had not seen that ailment in a long while.
4. Point guard play hurt us this game. Walton showed some nice burst on some transition plays but was not steady or consistent enough to endure or defensively preempt the yogi-thon.
5. Crean has awful awful hair.
This is exactly why both Nik and GR3 should (will?) return for their junior years. Neither are actually ready for the NBA - in terms of playing time. They would likely get drafted just on potential ... but there's quite a long list of non-playing "potentials" in the NBA trash bin.
...was Walton's "two pointer". I mean, if you can't get that right even after a review.................................
There's a lot in the end-game that might have gone differently if Michigan had another point.
Worst call I have seen in a while and it had a profound effect on the game...
I think I said on one of the recent podcasts that IU could win this one with Yogi going off in a low possession game.
So many small things that the team could've done that all would have given them a win or put them in a position for it to be a one possession game in the final minute.
But all in all, replay that game and 9 times out of 10 and Stauskas could've stood around just like yesterday and we win because Ferrell isn't going to hit 3's like he did, wide open or not.