Rory Delap had many throws far better than that one. And there was a kid in these parts that had the same skill. OU product and one of my son's fave players Stu Givens.
that is nice bonus change
1/30/2014 – Michigan 75, Purdue 67 – 16-4, 8-0 Big Ten
Albrecht is one of six Wolverines hitting 38% or better from three [Bryan Fuller]
When your friend asks what Purdue is like this year and you tell him that they are the same bunch of inexplicable bricklayers they were a year ago, there's always that trepidation in the back of your mind. Did I just doom Michigan to witness the Johnson and Johnson and Johnson three point spectacular first-hand?
For one, one of the Johnsons is gone. For two, if you spent this game looking exclusively at the rim Purdue was shooting at you'd come away with the impression that their form was borrowed from Rory Delap.
Michigan struggled with the ensuing rebounds because the normal rules about how to position yourself no longer applied. Missed shots generally pop off the top of the rim and go to the back side. These were going anywhere; on one memorable occasion Michigan gave up an offensive rebound because the shooter left a ten-foot floater so short that it bounced right back to his chest. On several other occasions Michigan players had to snap their head back lest a basketball travelling at speed ricochet into their faces. I'm pretty sure at one point Jordan Morgan asked a Boilermaker "you know we're not playing squash, right?" He responded by flinging a ball really hard in the general vicinity of the backboard.
That's just how it goes for Purdue these days. They're 10th in the conference at making twos; tenth at making threes; dead last at making free throws. They were much the same last year save for the presence of DJ Byrd, who vaguely propped up their three-point percentage. That solitary bit of green in Purdue's shooting stats in the post-Hummel era comes with a massive caveat, though: Purdue took fewer threes than all but six of the 345 D-I basketball teams.
Threes are good shots. Very successful bug people masquerading as humans have built entire programs around not allowing them to be launched while launching many themselves. Purdue regards them as poison, because for them they are.
Meanwhile, when Nik Stauskas comes off a screen and takes a pull up long two I'm not even mad anymore.
I feel this deserves a group hug of some variety. I hate long twos. They are odious rejection of math, unless Michigan is shooting them. Nowadays I just think "well, that's probably going in." Michigan shot over 60% from two for the fifth time(!) in eight conference games and stroked over half of their three pointers for the second consecutive outing. The following players launched jumpers that I felt were probably going in as soon as they left their shooters' hand: Stauskas, Robinson, LeVert, Horford, Morgan, Albrecht, Irvin, Walton. That is everybody.
Purdue fans must have looked on at this like cavemen discovering fire, or amoebas recently out-evolved. As a Michigan fan I remember what it was like, and think there but for the grace of six to eight players on Michigan's roster go I.
You keep telling yourself that the thing is unsustainable and then they keep proving you wrong. At some point is the expectation that Michigan can beat just about anyone by launching whenever they get a window of space? You keep waiting for that game where their shooting fails them and they collapse in a heap, but Michigan just banged in 11 of 19 threes at the Breslin Center. When is it going to get, you know, hard?
At some point, surely. This is the belief required both by reason and superstition. But every time Stauskas goes from velocity to perfect airborne stillness it gets a little harder to remember that.
But Mitch, I am contemplating the duality of existence. Ask for Mitch/Horford shots and ye shall receive.
HI JON DID YOU KNOW I USED TO BE A MUPPET [Fuller]
Aside from the shooting, how did you like the play? Not very much at all, old-timey newspaper reporter of legend. This was a very frustrating game to watch when Michigan was not banging in everything they threw up. Which wasn't that often. But still.
Michigan's sixteen turnovers would have done them in against many opponents, and they kept Purdue vaguely in it after Michigan had pushed out to a double-digit lead midway through the first half. A number were extremely sloppy. I can live with Stauskas trying to thread the needle for an assist and getting picked off; not so much LeVert having his pocket picked at the time line. A return of Morgan's hands issues was also unwelcome.
Turnovers both robbed Michigan of opportunities to continue making it rain and propped up Purdue's miserable offense by giving them transition opportunities; without that spate in the first half this game is a laugher by halftime.
The weird, lost rebounding war. The board war was significantly distorted by the fact that there were so many more opportunities for rebounds underneath Purdue's basket (41) than Michigan's (21), so 16 OREBs to 5 isn't quite the enormous blowout it seemed like at the time.
And while the 16 OREBs given up was frustrating, there was no one thing you could point to as the cause. No Boiler acquired more than two of those sixteen offensive rebounds and about half were weird bounces off bricks or scrums in which four or five players touched the ball until it popped out to someone or another.
Result of previous two bullets. Michigan easily won a game in which they had a whopping 19 fewer FGAs than their opponents. (This was not an MSU/Iowa thing where fouls distort that. Michigan shot 17 to Purdue's 15.) That's cool and all, but let's not try that again.
dunk courtesy Derrick Walton [Bryan Fuller]
Okay, Walton, okay. I was trying to pump the breaks a little bit after Walton's 19-point performance against MSU because I wasn't seeing a whole lot of activity in the half-court offense and the free throws distorted his stats.
I am full speed ahead after this one: 14 points on 7 shots, a couple of steals, and a number of nice assists, none prettier than the wrap-around to Jordan Morgan for an uncontested dunk. Moreover, the transition takes were finishes that featured impressive body control against good defenders—not Travis Trice—and he generated offense in the half-court. He may officially be Coming On, and if so that is bad, bad news for the Big Ten.
Come on guys, think of the computer rankings. Major Kenpom-time failure in this one, as the under 4 timeout saw Michigan up 15 with an excellent chance to hit the 17 point KP spread. Two missed front ends and a couple turnovers later Purdue walked out with their heads held high, because there's something about Purdue that makes them super interested in making final scores look good. (Remember Michigan versus Purdue during the Danny Hope era? Onside kicks down 4 scores with two minutes left, etc.)
As a result, Michigan slips to tenth in the all-important Kenpom rankings. If you guys are just going to do that I don't even know why you bother winning the game in the first place.
What is the opposite of the Reggie Cleveland All-Stars? Because Basil Smotherman is on it. I have been envisioning Basil Smotherman in my head for years, because his name is Basil Smotherman, and at no point did it cross my mind that he was a black guy.
I don't miss Glenn Robinson… yet. I may at some point in the future. Robinson was near invisible for the second straight game. He took a few threes and had one nice post move into a short jumper, and that was it. For almost the entire game he was stuck on one rebound; he had no assists. He was a ghost on the offensive side of the ball.
This is basically fine right now since Michigan can get any shot they want, but it's a bit worrisome that Lottery GRIII that showed up in flashes for the Big Ten season has gone into hibernation again. Just a bit. Maybe the next step on the pick and roll is incorporating the GRIII dive to the basket?
Caris carrying things. For the first time in a while it was someone other than Stauskas who seemed to have the primary offensive burden, and that was LeVert. It wasn't by much with Walton and Stauskas helping out significantly; it did seem like LeVert had stepped forward in this one.
The results weren't incredible: 14 points on 13 shot attempts, two assists against four turnovers. His issues were a main sticking point in the first half as Michigan strove and failed to truly blow the doors off. The eyeball test was kinder. Beilein afterwards:
“He can get to places that you can’t figure out, how’d he just get there?'
if he can cut down on the mistakes he can take the heat off Stauskas significantly.
On to the next team of Indiana bricklayers. Indiana, up next, is just like Purdue when it comes to shooting except their point guard can actually do it and they've got a guy (Will Sheehey) who believes he can but cannot, at least not this year. Think sophomore Tim Hardaway Jr.
I don't get it, man. You're in Indiana! You are within the most fertile ground of corner gunners in the country. Hell, Michigan has plundered Indiana for who-dat snipers for years now. Are you telling me there's not one Novak/Douglass/Albrecht around for these teams to pick up? More for Michigan, I guess.
Rory Delap had many throws far better than that one. And there was a kid in these parts that had the same skill. OU product and one of my son's fave players Stu Givens.
No alley-oop in this one...BORING.
But they did hit Stauskas on that backdoor cut for the slam! Which was awesome. And I totally thought he was going to come up short on.
at mgoblue.com; one of the more satisfying collections, IMO.
am i the only one scared of noah vonleh?
than any other I've encountered this morning. And everyone else is knocked out by Caris's contribution last night. I think that Brian's happy pills don't tend to kick in until well into the aftermath of games.
negative to me.
I think his analysis is spot on. We played a sloppy game, which would have ended in a loss against probably any team we faced this year.
Caris had a hell of an eye test game, seemed to touch the ball more than anyone, and got his first double double. But he didn't lead the team in points or assists. Turned the ball over a little too much. So it can't be all roses and sunshine.
if it's a fan's prerogative to gripe then it's also kosher to gripe about the griping. But--yeah--lot of good stuff here, as usual.
A big part of Caris's contribution is on defense, gets less notice. See Dylan's piece about him just up at umhoops:
Agree it was sloppy but imo, somewhat expected. They came off a brutal 3 game stretch. To come away with a relative stress free win is huge. They can put Purdue behind them and get focused for a quick turnaround at Bloomington.
1 - I love the Reggie Cleveland All Stars. If there isn't an analagous group, naming them the Basil Smotherman All Stars works for me
2 - McGary as Muppet is outstanding, I thought that live too
3 - When Stauskis and GR3 are taking those NBA style elbow jumpers I expect them to go in too. I called those shots "NBA Open" a few games ago. We don't usually see those shots in college because most college kids aren't considered "open" with that little space. It's similar to how people talk about NCAA vs. NFL windows on throws. These guys can hit those shots.
Is he his own Muppet? Fozzy Bear?
I've always thought that the Reggie Cleveland All-Stars just go both ways. When Basil Smotherman is enshrined, he can go in next to VT's Joey van Zegeren.
Tennessee and later Ole Miss QB Brent Schaeffer (yaw yaw yaw yaw, yaww-yaawww) belongs on the Smothermaniacs.
Former OSU DL Dexter Larimore was a first round pick of the Reggie Cleveland All-Stars.
I always thought that the Reggie Cleveland All Stars was a "list of sports figures whose names would seem to indicate that they are of a different race or ethnicity than they actually are" so Basil Smotherman or Luol Deng are also on the list.
The opposite of a Reggie Cleveland All Stars would be a list of people whose names are very stereotypical of their ethnicity.
neither of the two passes Morgan mishandled were easy catches--one was among many hands and the other (Walton's) a tad hard in the lane. While you could see Morgan say "my bad" to Walton, I think that simply says what kind of teammate Jordan is.
was uncatchable; I saw the usual complaints from posters, but noticed that, too.
"He can get to places that you can’t figure out, how’d he just get there?'"
Amen to that. Caris is simultaniously the most entertaining and frustrating player on the floor for me. He does stuff and that makes me say "Holy Shit" in both the positve and negative but more and more each game it's the former, not the latter.
Thats why I started a separate thread on LeVert's game... because he is one slippery guy, so much so that I cannot put a finger on who he reminds me of.... a few mentioned Rip Hamilton, but I think its gotta be someone else unnamed.
hamilton never had the kind of shake-and-bake that levert does...in the last couple weeks he's been doing some serious ankle-breaking on the regular.
initially, not necessarily because of the player Caris is now, but in trying to look ahead and determine what kind of player he will be if he continues to the next level. Shake-and-bake is run way to put, complete spaz-out is another one. At some point he is going to have to settle down and play a more coherent game. When I said Rip I was kind of thinking "if he succeeds at the next level, what will his nitch be? What will his game look like when he settles down and figures out what his real strengths are?"
when i say shake-and-bake i'm referring to his ability to face someone up and still juke them to get space for a shot, but you're right - he has a spaz-out mode that can drive you crazy.
not to contradict myself, the more i think about it, the more i like the hamilton analogy. rip got free by just constant motion, which levert also does. maybe george gervin - he seemed to be able to get free for a shot at any time, too, althoguth he didn't do it by juking people. tim hardaway sr., maybe. pure but unconventional scorers, all.
A few more have crossed my mind. Manu Ginobli and Jason Richardson to name a couple, but you're right, I cannot think of that guy either. It will occur to us some day.
dilithium crystals no longer displayed at Michigan Stadium.
I agree with Caris being simultaneously entertaining and frustrating. During the MSU game my cousin texted me to tell me Caris shoots too much - right at that moment Caris nailed a three. With the possible exception of GRIII, Caris has the least predictable offensive output game to game.
By taking your good local players, then I guess that Coach Meyer DID ruin Indiana basketball after all, and will CONTINUE to do so, ......BWAH HAH HAH HAH HAH
Words Used By Sportscasters To Describe White Guy Shooters:
that Indiana will start raining down threes as if brought back Steve Alford, Calbert Cheney, Brian Evans, Jordan Hulls, etc.
It happens almost every time we play at Assembly Hall.
so right. And half of them will be with the shot clock at 1 from 24 feet.
Seriously, though, I do think that is going to be our first conference loss. Quite frankly, we kind of need a loss. There are two "peaks" to every great college basketball season. We have unquestionably had our first one and it may not be such a bad thing if things level off a little. I am not saying I "want" us to lose, I just think that this is the type of team that needs adversity to thrive when it matters most.
...was only able to watch bits and pieces of this one, but one of the bits included stauskas tweaking his ankle...he waved off a sub (it was crazy), and saw that he played a full game, but did anyone mention it postgame?
I don't even think it qualified as a tweak, I think he suspected a tweak but conducted further investigation and eventually determined that no actual tweak took place.
Is there any update on Mitch's expected return date because I am a little concerned about losing our All-American quality hype man. He is clearly the reason behind our recent success.
there is no "expected" return date.
It was said with tongue in cheek. I just like his enthusiasm on the bench.
Great write up as usual Brian. I actually watched this game live. The last three were too stressful for me to watch. Glad I didn't jinx the team. Really want to see a win at Indiana. Tom Crean is the worst.
But that doesn't mean he wouldn't be a vast improvement over the collection of bricklayers the Hoosiers have on their roster now.
Walton is now at 40.4% on the season (21-52), so that gives us four regulars above 40%. LeVert is closing in now, up to 38.0% (27-71) himself.
The McGary-Horford buddy comedy is my favorite recent feature of the site.
If McGary and Horford were a cop buddy team, what would their nicknames be?
Animal and Mineral?
Mace and Bellow?
I have high hopes for LeVert to take over the Stauskas role next season being the teams go to leader. He has shown flashes this year but I can't figure out where the 18 lbs went because he still looks rail thin. Hopefully he can put another 18 lbs on and be a bit stronger in the paint. However, adding more weight may cause him to lose his ability to go 2-D and get to impossible spots on the floor.
I like the maize and blue shoes Spike is wearing in the pic.
The board war was significantly distorted by the fact that there were so many more opportunities for rebounds underneath Purdue's basket (41) than Michigan's (21),
I think you have that backwards. (Or at least, I've always thought a team's basket is the one it defends, as in the other sports, not the one it's shooting at.)
This was a trap game that a lesser version of Michigan would have lost. I am happy that they won and am not worried. Michigan plays up and down to the level of competition and has learned how to focus better at "winning time." It may or may not cost them an "upset" loss, but I think their late-game focus will be enough to mitigate their inconsistency against teams like Purdue.
How about A C Green as an NBA comparison to LaVert. Great defender, could finish at the rim, decent outside shooter.
I was specifically watching for GRIII touches last night on offense. He just doesn't get the ball frequently, and when he does it's usually for an obvious "next pass" sort of spot in the ball movement rotation at the top of the set. The talk last year was how he wasn't really part of the offensive gameplan - just had to pick up the "garbage points" off rebounds etc. and I feel like it's exactly the same role this year. In the last couple of games, he's been in position for offensive put-back dunk/rebounds off what turned out to be made jumpers several times.
I'm just going to assume that McGary and McHorford are not drift compatible or McGary is a farter and finds it hilarious when others don't. How can two people be on such different ends of the emotional spectrum at the same time during a game in which they are team mates? If you think about it the answer is farting.
Anyone else wanna punch Brian in his stupid face for asking a jinx worthy question?