here at my office, I would've ended this with an embed of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" from Monty Python's Life of Brian. If someone cares to embed it, that would sum up how we should feel today nicely.
MBB Silver Linings - reasons to look on the bright side
What sucks is the Wisconsin game, which we should have won 60-57. This would have been infinitely more bearable had we won that game and, in fact, went 2-2 through this stretch.
I know the losses suck, but we faced 3 Top 10 teams, two on the road. Going 3-1 in that stretch would've been pretty miraculous, 2-2 a reasonable expectation, and 1-3 a disappointing one. We do have the easiest schedule remaining, the two Penn State games, Illinois game, and Purdue game should be wins, and then we get a chance at revenge against both MSU and Indiana -- both of whom we are talented enough to beat -- at home.
Michigan basketball is 21-4, pretty different than any season this century, and we're definitely trending the right direction.
Wisconsin was more depressing to me, so I've already backed away from the ledge after last Saturday. A "W' there would've wrapped a 2-2 record over a murderous stretch of basketball. MSU was bad, but I wasn't expecting a "W" in E. Lansing this year on the tail end of the 4 game basketball journey from hell.
As Dakich mentioned many times last night, MSU played their best game of the year. They were lights out on both ends of the court and deserved to win by 20+ points. I still believe we can avenge this loss - as well as Indiana - at Crisler.
Positives: this team now understands how the intensity needs to be racheted up against the likes of Wisconsin and MSU. The neutral court setting for the B1G and NCAA tourney should not hinder us as much as playing in hostile environs like Bloomington, E. Lansing, and Madison. Going forward, I really hope these types of road games don't rattle us as severely as we've seen the past two weeks.
Things people don't seem to remember about the 1989 National Championship team-
- Got blown out twice by rival illinois, once at home on senior day.
- Lost to Division 3 Alaska-Anchorage.
- Had 7 losses
- Didn't win the Big Ten
This season is LONG from over.
Now, all we need is
1) Our coach to accept a job at Arizona State right before the tournament;
2) Dave Brandon to profess that only a Michigan Man will coach Michigan;
3) The players to rally around Bacari Alexander; and
4) Stauskas to remember that he can shoot like Glen Rice.
Seriously though, this team still has potential. However, they need good matchups in the tourney. Plus, as repeated ad nauseum yesterday, there will be neutral courts in the tourney and tourney refs don't let teams play as aggressively as a typical B1G game.
The real question is who is this teams version of Michael Griffin?
Excellent choice. I was thinking Matt Vogrich but I can see McLimans as well.
I do not know why Vogrich isn't seeing more time. He is not that bad...and it's not like everyone else ahead of him is playing well.
Whenever Griffin touched the ball. The dude never shot, even when given a 5 foot buffer by his defender at the free throw line. But what a great role player on that team.
it kind of reminded me of. . . me!
Great teams can absolutely get blown out. I mean, hell, look at the 95-96 Bulls, who were arguably the greatest NBA team of all time. They lost a game by 32 points. And it wasn't like anyone was out injured or resting or anything during that game.
It definitely got my head out of the oven. Got me off of the ledge. Got me in from out of the cold. Got me out of the Bell tower. Got me ...
Well, it helped me feel better. Much appreciated.
Can't wait to see the game in Crisler though.
I was just bummed seeing how everyone else was bummed on here, and I wanted to do my part to cheer everyone back up.
I think the rest factor is a really good point. That should be huge over next week or two.
I also think THJ rebounds to play well down the stretch. He had been lights out recently, and just had a really poor performance.
Between now and MSU return trip, we need to figure out how to defend their post feeds though. Even when Nix / Payne didn't score, they seemed to hurt us with their passing.
And GRIII isn't leaving for the draft, I can assure you that.
is if he goes all Carmelo Anthony in the tourney and leads us to the title. Otherwise, you're correct, he's coming back.
It's one game... It's one loss. They were clearly the better team. Good news is Michigan plays state again. At home. Chill out, yes we will all be teased and annoyed by little brother just Ignore them and ask if you can have just the fry large and not the drink.
Morgan coming back healthy will be key for a deep run. That way the first sub off the bench can be Mcgary for Gr3 and we can avoid offensive challenged lineups for prolonged periods of the game like last night.
Adversity makes you stronger and this team has had plenty of it the last couple of weeks. They will have to grow up as players very quickly and gain some confidence and as I mentioned in one of the other 24 basketball threads. We have Penn State twice in the next three games which sounds like some good medicine for our ailing freshman.
GR III being back next year has been my real bright-spot. I just hope he gets a little confidence back in the next few games and doesn't disappear again come tourney time.
This loss was bad but you could see the writing on the walls. Morgan was not 100% and Horfod is isn't either. McGary had to have a huge game and played like you would expect a freshman to play. WE all have to remember that we have 6 freshman playing (counting Max) and contributing a lot of minutes. Games like these are hard to overcome as upper classman and State was playing lights out. This next stretch will allow us to get healthy and have a few confidence booster games under our belt before the grind begins again.
That doesn't explain our junior guard having his third awful game in a row at Breslin. Sometimes I question whether the staff is capable of getting these guys in the right mindset for tough road games, State in particular. I don't blame the kids cuz they're kids and most of them are young but Beilein has to realize that when Michigan walks into Breslin, MSU is out for blood. The main reasons we won 2 yrs ago were (a) we snuck up on them because were were terrible at the time, and (b) we had a player who was not afraid to scream his head off to wake up his teammates.
Thank goodness for some rest and some Nittany Lion, this team is running on fumes.
With 3 games in the next 2 weeks that will give the team time to rest their legs, regroup and get some quality practice time in AA. Hopefully the games vs PSU are blow outs so the starters can get some rest and the freshman non starters & sophomores can get some extended quality minutes. Also I think this will give J Morgan time to further heal giving M the ability to use both he & McGary at the same time vs IU & MSU and that will in turn keep GR3 & Stauskas minutes down a bit to not wear them back out
- the guys who need to step up have the talent to do so
- We're getting healthy in time for March
- Better to get kicked now and give Beilein time to fix it
- GRIII has played himself out of the draft
- We have a fantastic recruiting class (MSU has 0 commitments)
I agree. We lose Burke next year but have a a stud point guard coming in as well as another Hardaway type player. We add another Big Man next year as well. The future of Michigan Basketball is looking bright.
Zeller will go to the NBA, Nix will graduate and Payne may leave for the NBA although I don't see him being an extremely tough matchup with Nix gone
Actually, I think you're underselling Irvin. It is strange to say, but I think comparing him to THJ isn't doing him justice. He will be Indiana's Mr basketball and they were saying last night that he was better than Gary Harris and GR3. He is going to be really special. I also see Walton stepping in like Ferrel did this year at Indiana. Next year's team has a real chance to be special
We don't play defense. We will make an early exit from the NCAA's unless we make huge strides in short order.
This just boils down to grit and determination. You simply have to take pride in playing D.
GR3 is lost in the wilderness and (imo) sulking because his offensive production blows. He's not breaking HARD to the basket and therefore gets no passes thrown his way. Then he mopes around the rest of the offensive possession, followed up by a half-assed, mailed in effort on D.
Stauskas gets lost on D. It's like watching a child navigate a subway station at rush hour.
I think it's time for Coach B to go all "Izzo" on the players and let them know in no uncertain terms that the effort sucks ass and won't be tolerated.
Defense is almost entirely effort, especially when you're just playing man-to-man. It's not terribly complicated. You make it your mission to stay within 12 inches of your man at all times and Michigan doesn't even attempt to do that.
Defense is effort.
If you look at Beilein's West Virginia teams that made runs in the NCAA tournament they were not maligned for playing bad defense. If anything, Beilein was seen as a 1-3-1 system coach.
The talent level is high on this Michigan team; the defensive effort and intensity needs to match it. It's not like some failure of scheme (I also acknowledge that Stauskas, for one, is young and defensive awareness will increase as he matures as a player).
The season's hardly over, but this run of games against all of the conference contenders has not been a good sign. I don't find any silver lining in getting embarrassed by one of our bitterest rivals, least of all the obvious comparison: as State rounds into typical late season form, we seem to be losing falling apart.
GRIII playing himself out of the draft seems more like a double-edged sword than a silver lining.
- I chose to go to Michigan over State
- I did not literally get kicked in the balls
- Kate Upton + gifs both exist
- My current head football coach has never told a story about a turtle biting a past legendary football coaches balls
Forget winning the Big Ten. This team is going to have trouble making out of the first weekend of the tournament.
Spin this mess any way you like but the one "excuse" I think is hilarious is the "remember...we're STARTING FRESHMAN. LOTS AND LOTS OF FRESHMAN!"
As did Kentucky last year.....
As did a certain team we all know and (mostly) love from years gone by.....
I'm getting tired of the "Haven't faced an environment like this" cliche. Does that mean playing at the Schott, Assembly, and Kohl, along with being #1 for two games and having that bullseye on your back, couldn't help prepare us for Breslin?
As for silver linings: We get to watch the best player in the country. Even the Sparty fans I was watching with were giving Trey his due. Unfortunately I think he got a little frustrated with how the game was going and it resulted in foul trouble like the charge off the inbound.
I think it's funny how people react to the "starting freshmen" excuse by bringing up Kentucky or the Fab Five. Kentucky played in a terrible league last year, as evidenced by Florida this year. If the B1G was as bad as the SEC, Michigan would probably be undefeated at this point.
And everyone loves the Fab Five, but don't forget they went 11-7 in the Big Ten as freshmen, and 25-9 overall. We tend to forget that because they went to the title game, but it isn't like they dominated the Big Ten or anything.
Anybody who thought for one minute that the freshmen on this team are comparable to Webber, Howard, Rose, King, and Jackson is simply a dope. The Fab Five, whatever their off-court issues, were a singular phenomenon without equal in college basketball history.
Anybody who thought for 5 seconds that Stauskas has proven he's as good a pure shooter as Glen Rice is an idiot. Rice still holds the NCAA tournament record for most points for a reason.
Anybody who thought for 1 second that this team is better than the '89 team—and there were numbskulls who actually were trying to assert that when we were undefeated—is beyond help.
The phenomenon of so many people being ready to jump off the bridge or slit their wrists or advocate firing Beilein over this loss is largely due to the completely unrealistic expectations that so many have had for this squad. There is absolutely nothing wrong with hope and desire, and disappointment after a tough loss is entirely natural. It's when fans buy into the hype and start assuming without question that Michigan will of course get a #1 seed and a spot in the final four—after 15 years of being in the basketball wilderness and having a very inexperienced roster overall—that you get the doom and gloom. There's a good percentage of fans here who are like meth addicts: crazy, wild-eyed exhiliration over a run of victories, and then the inevitable black-hole suicidal crash when the high wears off after a run of losses.
Not all Freshman are the same. Chris Webber was a 5 time NBA All-Star and had almost a 15 year NBA career, Jalen had almost a 10 year career, and Juwan Howard spent 20 years in the league, all 3 were first round picks too.
Same with Kentucky. Davis was the No. 1 pick, and Kidd-Gilchrist was the No. 2 pick. Teague and Jones were also 1st rounders.
Do you really think our Freshman are 1st round picks? Or are so good they're going to be starters in the NBA next year?
"Not all Freshman are the same"
I 100% agree with you. Then the people claiming that for the reason behind our loss and recent poor play should say that instead. That our Freshman, despite the hype WE built around them, simply arent as good as we had thought and hoped. I'm OK with that one. It's true. And that's not to say that in a couple of weeks they might be playing a whole lot better again too.
I just reject the notion that an acceptable excuse for our recent swoon is the youth of our team. Virtually ALL elite teams these days are young - that's they nature of the "one and done" rule in action IMO.
Yup.There's also the phenomenon of UM fans dismissing our opponents' talent. Plenty of fans, here and on the radio, were simply waving off the Spartans as having the talent to stay with us prior to the game.
Then we get our asses kicked, and the reality comes home: as Sam Webb pointed out this morning, Izzo has three 5-star players and two Mr. Basketball recipients on his roster, and they're big and physical. For a fan base that is as obsessed with recruiting rankings as Michigan's, we're remarkably prone to disregard high rankings when they're for players on the opposing teams.
There was a caller on the local radio yesterday who compared Nik Stauskas to Michael Jordan, and she was making a positive comparison. It's complete lunacy, and I don't think it helps Nik to have had so much smoke blown up his butt as a pure freshman. The expectations that have been laid on him are ludicrous right now. He'll be a nice player at UM, and maybe he'll be part of a championship team before he's done, but when UM fans are likening him to Glen Rice and Jordan it's really gotten out of control.
The body language and the apparent attitude of the team during last night's game. I understand that we're young and building a toughness is going to take some time, but there appears to be no leadership from any of the players. That is really concerning me and making me feel like we may be lucky to make the round of 32.
The other huge concern is the lack of a third offensive option when shots aren't falling and teams are shutting down the pick and roll. If those two things get taken away from us we do not seem to have a thrid option. To me, that is coaching.
So you're saying a 2 seed Michigan is going to lose to a 15 seed?
Is it that unknown for a 3-seed to lose to a 15?
for a 2 seed to lose to a 15 seed. even rarer for a 3 seed to do so, since they don't match up frequently.
I just don't see it happening. At worst this team is headed for the Sweet 16.
Why exactly is this comment trolling?
Unless the wheels completely fall off, it's unlikely Michigan will fall below a 2 seed and outside of last year's craziness with Missouri and Duke both going down, 2 seeds rarely lose to 15 seeds. Our only losses are on the road in the Big 10, three of which came to Top 15 teams. The other loss was made possible by a miracle half court shot to send the game into OT.
Could a dangerous 7/10 seed upset Michigan? Sure. Could a dangerous 8/9 seed upset Indiana? Sure. There is no 2007 Florida or 2012 Kentucky this year. There are about a dozen teams (Indiana, Florida, Michigan, State, Ohio, Syracuse, Louisville, Duke, Miami, Kansas, Gonzaga, Arizona) who could win the title, but have serious flaws. It's that kind of year.
it's either trolling because they realized that I was making a funny on the previous poster's typo about a 3 seed losing to a 15 seed (when he obviously meant two) and didn't like my joke, or it is my phantom neg-banger who has been following me all week and downvoting everything I post, regardless of merit. I even got downvoted for wishing a guy who had twins congrats on his announcement post saturday.
Agreed, but losing by 30 to anyone is pretty damn embarrassing. The "young team" and "hostile environment" excuses apply but still . . . it was not cool. I'm not ready to get over it just yet.
Someone, other than the coaches, needs to rip the entire team a new one about effort on D. I doubt anyone on this team will do that.
...it worth remembering that the kids just played 4 games in a 10 day stretch. 3 of them on the road in three of our toughest opposing arenas. And 3 of them against top 10 teams.
That is an absolutely brutal stretch with little opporutnity to catch a break. The kids are probably dealing with mid-term exams by now too. No wonder they got gassed at Breslin. Even if they had cruised through the previous three games with easy wins they probably would have still hit a wall last night.
It's disappointing to lose but this is also the perfect time to regroup and start working towards a big finish.
Maybe so but I'll say this: All of the truly good teams go through this kind of thing. The truly great ones emerge at least somewhat unscathed. They are kids and they have so many things to worry about (practice, school, social life, etc.) but its the same at every program. I think many of us just got our hopes a little to high coming into this brutal stretch. That said, I'm still confident about a #2 seed at least.
Like when McGary hustled to keep the ball in bounds in the 2nd half, no one had gotten themselves into a position to grab his save. They were on their heels and reacting instead of being aggressive and anticipating.
Earlier in the year, we had some games in which the kids were dominant and assertive, and some games against inferior competition in which the kids played meh but would end up winning by 15 anyway.
They need to play more intense defense, which leads to transition opportunities, and for their talents, easy, easy baskets. Not enough D and too much settling for jump shots.
I understand all the frustration about lack of leadership/drive/fire/etc. What's hard is that with this team, the highs are really high and the lows are unfathomably low. Think about how we felt after the Ohio game just a week ago. The players and coaches have to have short memories if we expect them to improve, and so should the fans. We have to wait and see how they'll respond the rest of the season.
I also have to say, getting blown out against a main rival is extremely shitty, but most of my anger came out on Saturday after the Wisconsin loss. That doesn't excuse a lackluster performance last night, but as most of you have observed, we seem to get teams' top efforts, and when teams are making virtually every shot (I swear the statistics are wrong....48.4 team FG% my ass), losses will happen.
Thanks for this thread...the game threads for losses get so unbelievably negative that it's important to remember why we love this team and why we will absolutely continue to watch every game.
It will be important to win most of the up coming games. If we can beat IU and MSU at home, the team will gain confidence and I think we will get to the sweet 16, possibly the final four! However, if we keep playing poorly, lose at home to both IU and MSU, then we may only win one or two games in the NCAA tournament!
Will the real Michigan team show up?
I know that the game yesterday was as bad as it could be from our perspective. I have watched every game this year and I thought that it would be hard for us to win last night but the way in which we lost was completely out of the blue - easily the most gut wrenching basketball defeat in quite some time (the caveats of a young team, extremely raucous road crowd, tired legs at the end of a brutal stretch etc. apply).
I still think that we can go 5-1 and maybe 6-0 in the remaining games and possibly share the B1G title (we would need help but the B1G schedule should offer us an opportunity if we go 6-0) - we need to heal/rest up, work on our defense and get ready to protect home court in the last week of the regular season.
The biggest takeaway I have from this is that it's just really hard to win on the road in the Big Ten. We've played all the tough conference teams on our schedule on the road. The only one to come to Ann Arbor so far, we beat. Still plenty of time left in the season.
Our B1G schedule this year is especially tough. Amongst the 4 teams we play only once, the two weaker teams (Iowa, Nebraska) are at home and the two mid level teams (Wisconsin, Minnesota) are on the road. In addition, as you had stated, our first game against all of the elite teams (Indiana, MSU, OSU) is on the road.
our young team learned what it takes to get fired up and defend your home court.
also, can we design some plays to get easy baskets? three man weave around the three point line is the best we have.
for some reason the Wisconsin loss is still harder to get past than last night's for me. I think the guys were just plain tired. They went down by 6-8 early and didn't have the emotional or physical reserves to fight back. We can talk about all the numbers and statistics we want...but there's also the reality of hotel rooms, bus rides, plane flights, away crowds and some fairly decent teams stacked back to back to back.
I think that accounts for the lack of hustle, driving to the bucket, etc, etc.
Let's be careful about writing these guys off before we see how the next couple of weeks go.
4 games in 10 days, 3 on the road and 3 against top ten teams
Brutual...but good prep for a March Madness tourney run!
and calming down I feel similar to your write up. Though, I think the Wisconsin game just sucked a lot of energy out of this team and we could have been seeing the ol "Wisconsin beating us twice factor". We were just exhausted last night and on top of that, sparty was going all crazy with their shooting percentage.
Still love this team, still can be very good, the longer break we have now in between the PSU game is much needed. Hopefully the guys can get a day off or two and just rest, re-focus.
Hold court at home and we can be in the hunt for the B1G.
Also, I think most of the comments about giving up on the team was largely due to the fact it was against sparty, we all hate them and we all hate losing to them.
PS. sorry for all my stupid comments yesterday in the open thread, emotions were getting a hold of me.
I'm still having a hard time finding any silver linings after that debacle.
The past 3 SuperBowl winners illustrate that in a one and done situation, get in and you have a chance to win 4 in a row and win it all. Given that a lack of experience and some toughness that has been exposed all of the freshmen that play except McGary, I would be more than happy with 4 wins and a final four appearance. Where before I was dillusioned to think this team was a serious National Title contender, I think it's more likely that a MSU or even Ohio passes the eye test of a team poised for a deep run with they way their athletes on defense can make life difficult. That said, Michigan will enter the tournament no lower than a 2 seed and I would not be surprised if they win 4 in a row. Unfortunately, today I am resigned to this position and not as optimistic as I was a week or so ago.
They are freshmen playing vs alot of seniors... and played very soft, as expected. It sucks that 'sophomore' Burke couldnt get the team to step up and block out the atmosphere... now watch us turn around and crush msu at home... it'll show you how rattled these 18 year olds get.
Ok, but if we beat them in Crisler, then it will prove to be the atmosphere (and thus, softness).
We are a good team but we have some major issues. Those issues don't just go away when we play at home or a neutral site.
That gauntlet was an XP feast. The frosh will be level 10 in time for the tourney. Mark it, Dude
So you are asking our coach (who is one of the few coaches who doesn't act like an idiot, one who doesn't yell at his players and instead tends to teach his players and calmly explain the situation) to berate his team, his boys, during a hostile road game??? I can assume you have never coached in your life because as a Coach your behavior is one of your most valuable tools. You cannot just become a d*ck to your players when times are bad. its not about motivation. its out of character for beilein to act that way. And I am glad he didn't act that way.
One thing that is nice about coming off what really was a meat grinder of games for us is that this teams has seen the tougher defenses and has a basis for making adjustments in that regard. Going 1-3 in that stretch definitely stinks, but the team learned volumes that it can use to its own advantage later.
Indeed, the next three games hopefully will be used as an opportunity to test some the adjustments, and while playing Illinois and Penn St. is not going to be like playing Indiana and Michigan State, you have three likely wins coming up where you can work with what you now know about this team if you're the staff. It could certainly be a springboard for preparation for the final week of the regular season, as it will not be a picnic for the most part even if it is mostly at home.
The Big Ten is, by most measures, the toughest conference. Those people who predicted a 13-5 or 14-4 conference record in all of the preseason threads stand a good shot of being correct yet. The good news is that this is a good team overall and it seems like it can only get better going forward with the experience gained in this stretch.
I think this team was just physically and emotionally beat after the 4 game stretch, but especially after Wisconsin. That's the kind of loss you don't just "get over." That's a demoralizing and deflating way to lose a basketball game. 99 times out of 100 that shot doesn't go in.
Also, you're playing a bunch of freshman and expecting them to compete at the highest level against a bunch of upperclassmen on their court in the toughest conference in basketball.
All I can say now is thank God we have Penn State next. This team is in dire need of a breather.
Do any of you feel that in an effort to get out of a funk on the road, the 1-3-1 trap would be a nice way to start out? I feel our man defense is getting torched and we would just need to get to the boards strong. Just thinking out loud.
At least we didn't lose by 30.....or 40.
Beilein didnt give 3 fucks about the performance.
Time to sit the rest of this one out, Champ. In the PGB household, we call it a "timeout." Your points will return next month.
in the big ten you can get away with just about anythign on defense at home... we won't have to deal with that any more... And come tournament time these games shoudl help us prep. Should...