Not a bad showing today although we looked very inconsistent at times. The defense was very inconsistent allowing a very average Penn State team to battle back into what should have been an easy blowout. With that, the offense did disappear at times only to come back and display some serious potential in the team. I'm hoping John B makes the necessary adjustments on defense and offense so that we can compete well with Wisconsin... I'd love to see some zone.
MBB Snowflakes and Looking Forward to Wisconsin
I agree about the zone. But I'm wondering if Wisconsin is the place to bust it out because it seems like they have a lot of shooters that could be zone busters.
True, but dribble penetration killed us once again along with points in the paint... PSU was able to easily distribute into the paint, and Wisconsin is a much better team in the paint than PSU with guys like Kaminsky and Dekker... If all else fails, I'd most certainly resort to a zone defense.
Kinda harsh to say the offense "disappeared" at any point. We scored 80 and shot 54% from the field. I guess we didn't score on every single possession, but that doesn't really count.
On PSU's runs we did rush shots, turn the ball over, and looked tentative at times... I understand that runs are a key part of basketball, but if we can't stuff them or at least respond, we could be in for trouble on the road on Saturday.
That's just basketball. You're never going to score evenly throughout a game. If the offense disappeared at times in this game, then there's never been a basketball game where it hasn't. Sometimes you go 3 possessions without a score.
I love that we have gotten so use to winning and seeing 'pretty' basketball. I believe we had a season low 6 turnovers. PSU is streaky and held it close with MSU, Illinois, Minnesota, and Indiana. In fact, the only game they didn't lead at half time was the Illinois game where they were down by 2 at the half.
I am not professing Penn State to be a dominate or even a top half of the BiG team, but they present a fomidable challenge.
Demand 80% shooting minimum.
Nuthin less than 80% is acceptable!
1-2 feels about right; I would be very pleasantly surprised with 2-1. Team looks better every game; Walton is really coming along well, and we are getting great production from the bigs. Being in these next three is going to require shifting to another gear, though. Defense needs to get a lot better, as does rebounding.
I'll be just fine with 1-2, but 0-3 is a very real possibility and shouldn't push us off a cliff.
While this team is far from perfect, I'm finding it very easy to root for them. I hope they do well in the B1G and go far in March.
Regardless of how they do, this team is really starting to make a Basketball fan out of me.
Last year didn't make a fan out of you!?!
Last year (and the year before) started the trend. Prior to that, I had never been a big fan of basketball in general, Michigan or otherwise. While I still think the sport is flawed (intentional fouls at the end of the game should be less advantageous), I'm really enjoying watching Michigan basketball.
Also, this year feels different to me. Last year I had very high expectations. They were mostly met and it was good. This year, due to departures and injuries, the expectations were lowered, but the team has shown the ability to battle. I like that a lot.
It seems everyone has steadily improved, including Morgan, Horford, and Walton. I think the coaches have done a great job. and the schedule makers did us a favor too. Good games to get some wins and confidence built rather than a gauntlet to start the B1G season.
Hopefully Wiscy comes out feeling the effects of their first loss of the season; doubtful but everyone's human and they may have a hangover. I'm pumped as hell for This game though, ESPN primetime type game on a Saturday evening.
I find it somewhat funny we're sitting atop the Big Ten all alone. Boom! Fuck Bo Ryan and 7 foot trees and backboard using assholes!
We've got company at the top unless the fellows from East Lansing lose at Northwestern tomorrow. Either way the team did what it needed and now has probably the toughest three game stretch of the season.
Ahh duh...I was thinking Michigan St. had lost to Wisconsin in the last few games. My derp.
No worries. Your point stands that it is nice we are 4-0 but now we are going to see what this team is made of. If we can go 2-1 that would be huge but it is going to be tough unless this team can continue to get better at defense every day.
Maybe this is a result of playing down to the opponent but the team still lacks an identity to me. The bigs have settled in well, Nik does his thing game in game out, and GRIII and Walton are becoming more consistent. I guess I just don't understand whats going on with Caris. Dude was torching dudes early in the year hopefully he is just hitting a wall that he can work through.
It's a team with good players but without transcendent ones. Stauskas is the best offensive option, but we saw against Duke that he can be controlled by certain teams--he's not a sure thing every game.
So it's really an ensemble cast, without its best big man, and without the shut-down defense that would make whatever offense they have enough to compete for championships.
All things considered, they're not doing badly. Beating top conference teams will be a challenge, though.
Wasn't Stauskas hurt in the Duke game? I know he played but he had a bum ankle, couldn't cut on it, had no hops. I am really impressed with Stauskas' play this year.
Didn't we just beat the bottom 4 of the B1G? I'm not expecting much in these next 3 games. I hope I'm pleasantly surprised.
Was coming off an ankle sprain. I was at the game (lots of fun despite the fact that we never felt in it even when closing to 6 point) and he didn't seem to be able to make sharp cuts at all like he usually does, with our without the ball. He could've made a big difference. Also, GRIII hadn't woken up yet, like he has apparently done, and become more aggressive. Wish we could play those guys again!
The fairly frequent defensive lapses are aggravating.
If you are into the numbers at all, KenPom now rates Michigan as the fifth most efficient offense in the country. I will say that tonight's performance makes me feela little better about going into a much rougher stretch. We were over 1.3 points per possession and had an effective FG% of 62.5%, not to mention an A/T ratio of 3.00. We do indeed work.
Effeciency is certainly wonderful, but we have definitely slowed down the pace averaging only about 60 possessions a game (UMHoops). I'm a little scared that efficiency may be skewed by the quality of B1G opponents we have played so far and that there could be a drop off once we play higher quality opponents with our limited amounts of possessions.
You mean B1G teams with really good bigs, teams with shut-down defense that can make running the offense really challenging, teams that can keep Stauskas out of the flow and expose the lack of playmakers elsewhere on the floor?
Yeah, I think you might be right.
Just Win Baby!!!
If we score 80 points...we win the majority of our games.
Plain and simple. Regardless if they're playing PSU's average defense.
even once. Can not see us continue to torrid shooting against better opponents. I'd expect teams to start looking for the drive and dump for the dunk, so we are likely to get fewer, lower percentage shots. D is the key for the next three games.
Bench is not looking real deep recently. Will need to avoid fouls next three games (esp bigs) to give us a chance.
Are not going to be a very good defensive team, especially with the lack of rebounding. Not much we can do about it. Luckily we are a very good offensive team.
We will struggle with the big boys in the conference for sure...I think 9-9 is still my expectation. Not bad when you're down you all American big man.
Defense is one thing that you CAN get better at by working harder and smarter. Much harder to will a team to start making its shots. That gives me some hope that Coach B can get these guys to turn the screws a bit going forward.
With 4 already, I have a hard time seeing this team not getting to 9 conference wins.
I don't have faith in this team beating Wisconsin or MSU either home or away (4 losses), I doubt we win either road game against Iowa or OSU (2 losses), plus Indiana on the road is never easy as Wisconsin showed (1 loss). That's 7 very possible losses, and at that point you're betting that we win at least 4 of: home against Iowa, Indiana, and Minnesota, on the road at Purdue and at Illinois. I can see 9-9 happening, especially since Iowa already won a big road game at OSU, and we struggled to a 1 point win over Nebraska on the road.
I agree that 9-9 is possible, but it's basically a worst-case scenario, provided injuries don't play a factor. 11-7 is probably about as godo as I could see us finishing
I think you underestimate this team.
No I don't see us winning @wisco or @MSU but we should take one at home. Road games are tough for everyone, not just us, and we play well at home. I could see this team winning 5 more of the home games and then stealing 1 or 2 more on the road.
11 wins seems most likely to me.
I wouldn't write us off in any home game. Ask Arizona if it's easy to come out of Crisler with a win. We've lost three home games in 2.5 seasons.
Not as bad as it seemed. On a couple of PSU runs, they got neither open looks at the rim nor from the 3pt line, but managed to just hit every single 2pt jumper and floater from about 7 feet out. You can't prevent EVERY shot, and most of the time, a team isn't going to shoot 52% on those opportunities like PSU did, more like 40-45, which would've made this a 20-30 pt blowout, instead of 13 pt very very solid win.
There were a number of posessions the D strung out till the very end of the clock. I thought they were definitely improved. Not great, but definitely better.
And the offense... when they get moving, wow...
I thought the same thing during the game - PSU was making difficult, low percentage spots, especially near the end of the first half. Very easily could have been a 12-15 point halftime lead
Would like to see the defensive issues fixed but the offense seems to coming along nicely without Mitch. We'll see how it goes on Saturday in Madison.
They also mentioned that his HS coach told Gr3 that he seemed as if he wasn't enjoying bball anymore. Apparently he's takimg a different approach to the game which is helping. M sure there are other reasons too but attitude and pressure can make a big difference.
seems like GRIII is matching the hype. wasnt too impressed by his non conference play, but he is coming along. wonder how much no burke had to do with his slow start.
very excited about walton's consistent improvement.
5 more B1G wins should do it. plenty of opportunity, but theyre going to need some good wins to get there. tough sched.
Not sure where all the concern for getting 5 more wins is coming from.
They've got Iowa, Purdue, Nebraska, Wisconsin, MSU, Minnesota and IU left at home. 5 wins on home games ALONE seems very possible.
Then you add Wisco, MSU, IU, Iowa, OSU, Purdue, and Illinois on the road. I think they'll probably get 2 there too.
And why set the goal so low a 5 more wins? That may be enough to get us to the bubble. Other teams may get the injury bug, too.
Going into tonight's game our opponents were shooting 74% from free throw line against us making us the 318th ranked team in that department. For reasons I cannot even begin to fathom there are 317 teams that have the good fortune of have their opponents make a worse free throw percentange than we do.
Tonight? PSU goes 10 for 13 or 77% from the line meaning we will probably drop again on the "Luckometer" as there really isnt any explanation for this other than that.
Either luck or God's will. I'm going with luck cause the alternative isn't very encouraging.
I've seen this come up before and someone commented on us fouling guards instead of bigs likely driving this. I looked at the box scores of our four B1G games...
Penn State - Guards 9-11, Bigs 1-2
Nebraska - Guards 6-6, Bigs 5-6
Northwestern - Guards 3-4, Bigs 4-4
Minnesota - Guards 11-14, Bigs2-5
So, in total, guards are 29/35 (83%) and bigs are 12/17 (70%). I'm not sure if this is really indicative of anything, but I think the high percentage of fouls on guards probably skews it.
By the way folks, let's not forget that this Penn State team isn't exactly a terrible team. They're still "Penn State" to an extent but the've been competetive in most games they've lost (Big Ten) and frankly should have a couple wins. Frazier is a very talented basketball player who can score, and we know about Newbill from last year. These guys can ball pretty well, we didn't play a slouch of a team no matter their 0-4 conference record.
Michigan trades off more pourous defense for not fouling IMO. It keeps our key players out of foul trouble and makes the offense that much better and consistant. Without being able to get a charge called, our personnel just aren't able to play the kind of defense Beilein teams have in years past. Eventually they will adjust.
Next 3 games are going to be very difficult.