"this hurt me, and it is unfair and stupid, and now I am moving on."
I am pretty sure this is the exact definition of AIRBHG.
2/8/2014 – Michigan 67, Iowa 85 – 17-6, 9-2 Big Ten
Did you know it took like three hundred years for people to agree that they should not spell a lower-case F like they spell a lower case S?
I know it seems obvious enough that some under-typeface apprentice would eventually get into a life-threatening slap-fight with the over-apprentice about this issue, but the only people they could relate this life or death issue to were their immediate family. Since everyone got wiped out every five years by the epidemic du jour, the end result was a bunch of corpses and no progress towards anything resembling sense in written language. Which of course brings me to "welp."
"Welp" is unique amongst internet utterances, and that makes me love it. "Welp" is an expression of fatalism in the face of disaster. It maintains no sense of irony, mitigation, or aloofness. To say it is to say "this hurt me, and it is unfair and stupid, and now I am moving on."
Compare that to any other sentiment expressed by an internet meme in an effort to find a better one, like, morally. Go on. Go ahead. I submit that you have not found anything even in that category, let alone competing with it.
And this, of course, brings me to opponent three point shooting.
Michigan's defense is sinking like a stone in Big Ten and national rankings, and deservedly. When Roy Devyn Marble pulled up for an open transition three after a Michigan make, fuming was an appropriate response. (Silent fuming, or at least just twitter fuming.) Caris LeVert was standing next to Glenn Robinson in the paint; there was no reason whatsoever for a clearly-dangerous Marble to not be a priority.
But even so, come on man. A week after Yogi Ferrell was 8/9 from three, Marble was 6/10 and started 6/7; as a team, Iowa shot 59%. They started out 9/12. One game earlier, Iowa went 3 of 20 against Ohio State. They're dead last in threes attempted in the league for a reason.
In between these two games, Michigan bombed the Cornhuskers back to the stone age. I'm ready for basketball to resume being a game instead of an exercise in flipping a coin to see who gets a face-eating bear dropped on them. To some extent, you just have to say this hurt me and is stupid and let's move on.
To some extent. Michigan's latest struggle has further exposed Michigan's defense as a problem that is not going away. Michigan typically sticks Caris LeVert on the opposition's most dangerous perimeter player, and this has not gone at all well the past month. Michigan turned off Terran Petteway in their laugher, and Purdue does not have a dangerous perimeter player. The other three most dangerous players went off:
The thing that made Trey Burke Trey Burke is his general refusal to be removed from the gameplan. It happened, mostly against Aaron Craft. When it happened Burke would fume with hatred until he could stab his nemesis in the face. Sometimes that took a few weeks, as when Burke had 16 points, eight assists, and gave Aaron Craft in last year's OSU rematch. Sometimes it happened on the other side of halftime—ask Kansas.
So here it is for Stauskas. Is it going to be "welp, I guess somebody does put baby in the corner," or is it going to be a rain of hellfire upon all those who presume to check Nik The Great And Powerful? And here it is for LeVert: is it going to be "welp, that three went in" or is opponent going to get off a good three over your dead body?
It is crunch time. Let's see some lip curl.
GET YOUR HANDS UP. It was one thing for LeVert to play frustratingly far off the lightning-quick Ferrell, because Ferrell does just go by guys in a flash. Marble is good, but not that good, and open look after open look just got handed to him by miscommunication and other things. Caris has a bad habit of being in position with his hands down that practically invites guys to raise up over him.
Time to acknowledge reality. Devolving offensive responsibility from Stauskas is painful partially because it turns Glenn Robinson into a guy who's trying to create off the bounce. This doesn't work well very often. Against Iowa it was a complete disaster, as he had 4 TOs against one assist and was 1/7 from the floor. A couple of those were open looks generated by his teammates; the rest were heavily contested jacks.
There was one particularly illuminating possession on which Robinson gingerly prodded at whichever 6'9" guy was checking him and then dumped it off to Walton with the shot clock ticking down. One lightning-quick Walton crossover later he was in the lane getting fouled. Robinson had just tried a similar move; in comparison his looked like he was executing it in a tar pit.
Robinson can do good work coming off curl screens and on cuts, but the only time he should dribble in an effort to score the basket is off a post-up. This is completely fine as long as the team acknowledges GRIII's strengths and weaknesses and plays to them accordingly.
At least Irvin's heating up. 19 points for Irvin in 22 minutes, 4/5 from three, and he was able to take the ball to the hole in transition a couple times. He's slowly diversifying his game, and he does shoot a lot. He's putting up 27% of Michigan's shots when he's on the floor, and his eFG% is near 60%.
Emphasis on "slowly," though. Irvin still does almost nothing other than shoot in a box score. This is the third straight game he's recorded neither a TO or assist; he's got one assist in Big Ten play.
Crushed in McGary stats. Iowa blew Michigan out on the boards with 15 offensive rebounds. That's not a huge surprise against the fee-fi-fo-fum Hawkeyes. Worse is Michigan forcing only 7 TOs and losing steals 9-3. That is an 11 shot advantage handed the Hawkeyes; that's how you give up 1.33 PPP.
This was a game in which Michigan did really miss Mitch. Morgan only got 15 minutes and had zero defensive rebounds; Horford was better but still eh.
Caris steps up, again. As frustrating as LeVert's game was defensively, he was really, really good on offense, with 22 points on 17 shot equivalents. He's not in Stauskas's class as a distributor and he's not as efficient of a shooter, but he is a fine second option. It's just the "second" bit that needs work.
This guy. I knew we were in trouble as soon as this guy.
That guy is a mobile home court advantage. I wish to hire him to do his thing whenever I post something.
"this hurt me, and it is unfair and stupid, and now I am moving on."
I am pretty sure this is the exact definition of AIRBHG.
Welp just about somes it up.
I've already said my peace and moved on. Before conference play started, we probably had penciled this in as a likely and even understandable loss. The fact that it's only our second loss in the Big Ten is frankly bacon-flavored gravy. Yeah, I'd rather not have had our guys carpetbombed, but a loss counts the same whether it's by 2 points or by 27. This sounds like so much post-traumatic rationalization, but if Marble is that hot from outside I don't know that we win even if we were playing well, so it's probably just as well that we get that stinker out of our system. Move on, and live to fight another day.
is this has become a trend. If we just accept it and move on, it will continue to be a problem.
I can understand an opponent making 2 straight triples, but no way in hell is he going to make 3 straight let alone 4! I don't care if you have to double team him, you can not let a shooter get on a roll. It is infectious to his teammates, especially on the road. Irvin did it to Nebraska and Yogi and Marble did it to us. Once it gets rolling, there is no stopping it.
was the passivity that Brian points out (and that the announcer did as well). This isn't the first time this has happened, and what is Bellein going to do about it ((or do to guys watching guys jack uncontested threes?). Talent and size deficits are one thing, effort is another. Not just effort on D, but effort overall was lacking.
My opinion is Beilein needs to recruit an elite defender. He doesn't seem to have an answer when someone on the other team gets hot. Also, why is Glen Robinson still starting over Zak Irvin?
So much this. Let's face facts. Irvin is better than Robinson right now. Irvin at least looks interested in defending and scoring. Believe me, he can and will create offense off the dribble when given the chance.
this is the way it looks in practice. And if you've been following the last two years, you have seen Robinson play a number of magnificent games. Irvin hasn't even come close to matching that. The point is to get Robinson going, hitting that three so he can drive, involved in the offense. He's also quietly often our best defender, including against Iowa according to umhoops.
How many "magnificent games" against good teams? Seriously?
In practice, Robinson is going against OUR defense.
He doesn't drive, like, ever. Nor should he, he can't maintain posession doing that.
Not many guys are lockdown defenders coming out of high school. Elite defenders are generally developed, not recruited. We should keep in mind that LeVert is only a sophomore. He could become a great defender later on. Stu Douglass was mediocre at best as an underclassman, but developed into a good defender by his senior year. Burke also became a lot better defensively his second year.
Irvin was thought of as a good defender in h.s. too. He likely just needs time to learn when to switch, etc.
Your post points to a greater issue that I know people won't want to hear, but I think it holds water: This team is very young. Last year, Stauskas, LeVert, and Robinson were watching Burke and THJ lead the way. Walton and Irvin were in high school. A group like that is going to have slip-ups.
Definitely. We have two upperclassmen on scholarship (or three if you count Bielfeldt, a RS sophomore). College basketball has changed, sure, but that's still awfully young. Throw in the fact that McGary is out and we really can't complain too much about being 17-6 (9-2).
i'm giddy over our 9-2 record. after MM got hurt, i really thought we were looking at 11-7. yet, we have a legit shot at the BIG title.
walton and irvin are both improving and i think beilein will work this team harder on the defensive end to improve there too come tourny time. the biggest areas of work are 1-blocking out on rebounds. actually looking for a guy and boxing him out vs just standing under the basket, and 2-getting caris to focus for 35 sec on D. he can play good D when he wants, but i think he gets caught watching the ball too much and losing his man. he needs to worry about his man first (especially a marble-type guy).
I agree. Also our rebounds/game has been abysmal for years. We need more presence on the glass. I suppose Donnal will do that when he returns, and unfortunately McGary is sidelined. Otherwise we'd probably be fine in this regard.
everyone's ignoring him.
That image will forever be imprinted in my brain now
I get that Nik is having trouble when opponents are putting smaller, quicker guys on him... but why doesn't Michigan do the obvious thing and put the 6'6" Nik in the post against a guy who is 6'? Nik's a sneaky-good post defender, why not make the point guard try to defend a 6'6" guy on the block?
I could not agree more. That is the obvious response to smaller defenders and I wonder too why we havent employed it more. It's not like Nik doesnt have a pretty good array of low post moves - he's just got to get used to delploying them from down low and not under a full head of steam.
I also wonder why we havent at least shown some zone when we're struggling defensively. Sometimes, just the presence of a different look can knock a hot team off it's roll. I'm sure coach Beilein has good reasons to not use it more - I just wonder what they might be.
I know with guys like Morris they worked really hard to develop his post game, but I'm just not sure they've gotten to that point yet with Nik. Nik also doesn't have the greatest of lower body strength, which can make it difficult. Also, and this seems weird but you'll even see it with guys used to playing in the post, but sometimes playing guys a lot shorter than you is difficult down low. The way little guys use their hands, how they leverage your body, stuff like that, can throw you off. I do think teams should work much more on post moves and touches for guards though in basketball. For me personally, I was never a great basketball player, but I worked a lot on post moves and that match-up was one of very few real advantages I had on offense. I saw a number of other people do that as well. It seems like guards that become comfortable in the post really take advantage of it, and it's always surprised me that more teams haven't put more priority on it, though I understand there are practice limiations.
I'd like to see Nik get a few touches in the post when smaller guys are on him, but maybe they have worked on it in practice a bit but Nik isn't yet comfortable with it. What I find more bothersome is that the other players aren't getting more blow-by looks or back cuts. Forcing a defender to stay tight to a man disrupts help defense and rotation quite a bit. When someone else has the ball, it should essentially negate half a defender.
And Michigan did try a bit of 1-3-1 against Iowa and got killed in doing so. Walton and Spike are just way too small on the back line that any shot from above the free throw line puts them in a rebounding situation. Combine that with Nik being an essential rebounder from the wing, and Michigan got killed on the glass whenever they went to it. It's seemed to me that every time Michigan has gone zone this year that the other team has immediately had open looks.
tl;dr version - they didn't execute
Sarcasm? Or ineptitude? It takes a whole minute to read that and he made some good points, especially about Stauskas posting up (I don't think he's that good at it, myself) that are more than just an execution notion.
But what about fundamentals and technique? Toughness?
I agree with SC that 'posting up' requires an offensive player with post moves...also Coach B system doesn't seem to have many post up options in it anyway.....most seem to be missing the fact that opp. def. are trapping any ball screen Nik is involved in,the 'smaller guy on Nik' meme is an oversimplified explanation of why his looks have been limited lately.
a team like iowa or indiana has a seven-footer in the lane waiting to help, so i don't see a lot of value in posting up nik. that said, horford could make a team pay by camping at the free throw line if stauskus were to post up. horford can hit that shot and it would give nik an option should the double come.
Marble drew Stauskas, not Gesell. Gesell was aggressive on ball-screens, not guarding Stauskas. Versus the first game, that was they key defensive move. (I realize that this fact invalidates the explanation.) The second changeup was cheating the bigs out high to frustrate the roll. Beilein was surprised enough by the changes that in his press conference he refused to discuss them, allowing that he wasn't going to do OSU's scouting for them.
Calling Gesell an "Iowa safety" is good, but given the number of them in the NFL, somewhat counterintuitive. Gesell, unlike an Iowa safety, leads the basketball league in TO/Assist ratio.
Other than that, the story was accurate.
Stauskas is the obvious emotional leader of the team - at least on the floor. The team doesn't need him to lead in that way at home when it has the fans to pump them up, but they don't seem to be able to find a spark on the road if Stauskas is not having a good game.
May the team who scores the most jump hoops that mark three tallys win the prized game hen! Tally-ho! But srsly, I feel like that's all this team has going for them though luckily its a gamble favored on their side most games.
i enjoyed walton's "get f***ing pissed" in an on-court huddle in the 2nd half. Like Brian said, when the going gets tough...
It will be interested to see how it plays out for the remainder of the big ten season...and I don't see a tough perimeter defensive stopper coming through the recruiting pipeline as of now so lets hope levert OR irvin finds the mettle.
Also let us not forget by the end of the big ten season last year this team looked dead to rights.
Someone mentioned the lack of an "energy guy" in one of the fallout threads on Saturday and I am beginning to think that's part of the problem. In 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 we had Novak, in 2012-2013 we had McGary, but this year nobody is our energy guy -- the person who can change the game by stepping on the court and provide a much-needed spark when things aren't going our way.
GRIII, for all his talent, just doesn't bring the energy. Stauskas maybe does, but I don't see it like I did with McGary. Levert is also pretty soft-spoken in terms of the game.
Maybe Beilein ought to consider bringing McGary to road games? Or maybe it's just coincidence we have looked so terrible without our "energy guy". It's also probably not Beilein's decision, so there's that.
For the IU and Iowa game we can pretty much tell the story given the first few minutes of the game. If our shots fall, things will likely hum along, but if it is sloppy and riddled with misses, well, we don't seem to have the type of guy on the court that can dig us out of that.
To be 9-2 in the conference at this stage relative to pre-conference expectations, well, we're still on pace. Win our home games, and get what we can on the road (aiming for, at worst, a split). We are 5-0 at home and 4-2 on the road, not terrible, and while I would've loved to not see us run out of Carver-Hawkeye arena, basketball is funny like that.
I don't know if he fully qualifies as an energy guy, but Irvin's a guy that can come off the bench and heat up in a hurry. He's got a little Vinnie (the Microwave) Johnson in him.
It seems pretty clear that responding to the other teams' Stauskas Plan is already and will continue to be a high priority for JB. So far we've seen
In terms of likely success, I doubt #1 will feature much. That just isn't a big part of M's non-McGary offense. #2 is kind of limited, though it does help as a pressure release. #3 just doesn't seem to do much, since M doesn't have a Pittsnoglian pick and pop guy that can punish the D for having the screener's man sag off.
Which leaves 4 (1A and 1B). Here I think JB needs to ride or die a little with Nik, much as he did with Trey. I think Nik just has to cut hard to get open off the screen or handoff and then just try to force the issue a bit.
Another possibility would be to have Irvin be the screener and then the pick and pop is a real threat.
moving on, though I know that I have to suck it up and get ready for OSU.*
*Not putting a snark tag here if you are that slow.
Yeah every game has a presence and history of its own. Beat Ohio!
"Le sigh" used to be a contender, but has lost popularity as its corresponding video has.
Stauskas seems to be playing passively for reasons that defy logic, but here's hoping they can turn it around a bit against OSU. What is going to be tough is that Craft will definitely shut down Walton in terms of being a scoring option, so it falls on Irvin, Caris, and RGIII to step up and help out. I'll take 2/3 at this point.
I always thought RGIII would struggle this year with his shot, but not to this level. I guess it happens (kind of like Hardaway's sophomore season), so hopefully he makes the necessary improvements this offseason if he comes back. Because right now, I don't see where he fits on an NBA team except as an energy guy who can play acceptable defense.
Clearly-Dangerous Marble (TM)
Anyone else disturbed by the picture of the Iowa dude holding onto Nik's legs?
Aaron White is sleepy.
If you watch the video, you will see that he is reaching for the ball.
At least Ohio doesn't have anyone who can go off like that..
Or so we hope! It would suck if Craft went off.
Wow white has some tiny arms.
My analysis is thus: sometimes you come out flat. It just happens over the grind of the season. It isn't easy to watch, but it happens.
For the record, I didn't think they came out flat against Indiana. They just couldn't hit shots, but the energy seemed to be there. Saturday was a different story.
After all, in our tourney run, he only shot like 35% in the 6 games. But he kept on firing people had to pay attention and he would pass it to McGary inside or Nik, THJ, GR3 outside. Now Nik isnt the ball handler, let alone player, that Burke was but he is our best player and passer. At some point he has to realise he is too good to only get up 6 shots. If the guy is 6'2", then back him up and pop the three. A career 44% 3 points shooter, needs to be taking at least 6 3's a game, if not more. If a couple go in, they have to back off that plan, and then the pick and roll we saw in January is back in affect.
That one cheerleader they always showed drank all my tears during the game. Sad.
Would move without the ball like Doug McDermott does for Creighton- especially when a smaller guy is on him. McDermott constantly posts, screens away, comes off screens and re-posts. When things aren't going Nik's way he seems to stand in the corner and wait for things to come to him. It's maddening that a guy with his offensive abilities isn't demanding the ball every possession.
When do the "Free Stauskas!" T-shirts go on sale?