LeVert's "rebound out of nowhere" was spectacular. I do wish Michigan players did more of that, especially when so many threes are being shot, and the ball more regularly caroms farther away from the basket.
One Frame At A Time: Big Ten Tournament
Thank you, Dustin Johnston, for lobbing this softball over the heart of the plate. It's remarkable, not to mention hilarious and captivating, that Jon Horford coexists peacefully on a team with these two hooligans:
Note John Beilein's futile effort to wave Andrew Dakich and Mitch McGary back to the bench. You cannot stop their enthusiasm. You can only hope to contain-- no, that seems impossible, too.
[Hit THE JUMP for Aaron Craft's greatest contribution to the Aaron Craft debate, Nik Stauskas making absurd layups, various moments of Illinois failure, the bench mob takeover, and more.]
As usual, click the links/stills to open each GIF in a lightbox, and don't forget to vote for your favorite at the end of the post. Also, this post contains no Michigan State GIFs, because I don't have the video yet and who wants to relive that, anyway?
Putting a line break between HMs now so it's easier to find each of them.
Aborted Dakich celebration.
Zak Irvin hits wide open three after Illinois make, John Groce reacts accordingly.
Caris LeVert steal/slam and bench reaction.
Jordan Morgan rejects Tracy Abrams, saves ball, nearly runs into camera.
Nik Stauskas wants the ball, please.
Morgan's game-winner against Illinois.
You'll be shocked to see who was first off the bench after the Illinois buzzer.
Aaron Craft elbows LeVert, slams into Morgan, draws foul.
A warm welcome from Dakich and McGary.
What happens when three defenders all guard the same player on a high screen.
Caris LeVert gets and-one while disappearing into another dimension.
Just another Stauskas three and Dakich/McGary dance/handshake.
Walton three, Dakich/McGary things.
Stauskas post-buzzer slam.
10. Andrew Dakich Huddle Dance
This requires no further explanation. God help us all when Dakich is legally allowed into Rick's.
9. Stauskas Pullup, Dakich/McGary React
The crossover-to-pullup-three is GIF-worthy on its own, a filthy sequence of skill that Stauskas makes routine. The bench reaction is a bonus, and quite a bonus at that.
8. LeVert Triple, Dakich/McGary Handshake
Dakich and McGary starting out each of these on complete opposite ends of the bench only adds to my enjoyment of them.
7. Nik Stauskas's Second-Best Layup Of The Weekend
Nik Stauskas splits two defenders as he gathers the ball, maneuvers around 6'11" shot-blocker Nnanna Egwu, and puts up a layup like he's tossing pizza dough. Of course it goes in, because Nik Stauskas is not human.
This was his second-best layup of the weekend. Cherish this tournament run, everyone.
6. Mister Fantastic Saves The Day
Jordan Morgan's layup proved to be the game-winner. Caris LeVert's rebound out of nowhere, however, was probably the biggest Michigan offensive play of the Illinois game. Without it, the Illini would've been up three with the ball, and their next possession ended in a bucket with 2:31 remaining.
Also, the fact that once Derrick Walton got the ball there was no doubt he was going to hit the tying three is really, really nice. He's the fourth-best shooter on the team, statistically, and he's a freshman point guard hitting 39% of his three-pointers. Quite the luxury.
5. Subs On The Brain
The context is irrelevant.
I had to include the actual last shot, but everything you need to know about how it went can be seen in the reaction from the Illini cheerleaders...
...and these two guys:
I'm starting to understand why they hate us so much.
3. Karma: Rayvonte Rice Edition
Sadly, this went down in the official box score as "MISSED LAYUP by Rice, Rayvonte" and not "MISSED DUNK by Rice, Rayvonte | BLOCK by Rice, Rayvonte" — step up your game, official scorers.
2. Up And Under
One of the best plays of the year deserved, and received, one of its best celebrations.
Replay angle of the layup, which... dang:
He put some English on that ball, to say the least.
FRAMES OF THE GAME: AARBALL II
Curse you, Spauding!
Replay angle featuring Trey McDonald double facepalm:
Doug Gottlieb's "slippery balls" argument in one GIF:
Clark Kellogg cackling and Seth Davis openly mocking his colleague, who seems to realize at the very end his argument is idiotic—but probably doesn't, because Doug Gottlieb—is perfect.
I read Beilein said in the paper that was not what Caris is supposed to do and he literally told him that after the game, before saying "good play". Basically his assignment is not to crash the boards but protect from transition baskets but he made a judgement call which turned out to be correct. Sort of like when you say "why the heck did you take that sho.... oh, great shot!"
But to your point of "I wish they did that more" - they are being coached not to.
I'm not sure if he's never allowed to crash the boards. I think he just wasn't supposed to on that particular possession, with us clinging to a 2-point lead with 10-12 seconds left.
I was always taught to "follow your shot" because, in theory, the shooter has the best angle to see where the rebound is going to go, and the ball often bounces back towards the shooter. It's obvious Michigan doesn't do this. They've given up 2-3 offensive rebounds per game as a result. It's harder to quantify how many transition opportunities they've prevented by being so conservative, but it appears to be working. You can't argue with the results (outright B1G championship by 3 games).
I have officially started watching all movie clips by watching the background first. It is so often more entertaining than the supposed purpose of the clip.
Not a bad gif in the bunch. What is a group of GIFs called anyway?
"Are you gonna eat your fat?"
Doug Gottlieb is a D.B.
Not if there is any justice in the world.
Dakich and McGary tearing up Ricks together would be quite a sight
That level of enthusiasm does not happen in the NBA. Take another year, Dakich will likely be back.
The guy on the right's head looks WAY too big for his body...
I kept waiting for him to unhunch his shoulders to their original width, but he never did.
Oh man same here. Saw that shot during the game and thought it was a FatHead or something. His proportions are...different.
I am disappoint. NEED MOAR DAKICH!
How funny would it have been if the refs had called that "missed layup" basket interference like they probably should have
Like a crazy uncle or something. It is like he is trying to execute some sort of move and gets sidetracked.
I love watching the rotation on that final "shot" -- it looks like the ball is spinning along four or five different axes at the same time, at different speeds.
Like he changed his mind about shooting or his hand went numb.
And why is the OSU assistant coach applauding?
and thought it might be called a three-shot foul on UM.
knew he couldn't make the shot. The way he moved his arms was almost like he was trying to look like he was fouled.
I think we need an Aaron Craft version of "I Believe I Can Fly". He looks like he's flapping his arms and is much more likely to succeed than Louis Nix.
I needed this after reading the mumps thread
is it just me or does McGary look like Steve Erkel in the first gif (his mannerisms)
Couple of things:
1) Beilein thinking about subs is fantastic, and I think Ace made one of him with a law mower thought bubble (because Johnny B always relaxes by thinking of fresh cut lawns)
2) Stauskas 3s are not human
3) McGary/Dakich pairing is incredible
4) wow the elbow from craft looks super intentional
5) Doug gotlieb is a prick
I especially enjoyed the Stauskas up-and-under layup. Not just because it was a spectacular play, but because Craft foolishly went all-in for the steal, promptly fell on the ground, and conceded the back door (are we still doing phrasing?).
As soon as he turns 21, somebody get Andrew Dakich a RICK'S black card. He deserves one with those moves.