Who would have thought that our bigs would be the difference? Love that pick and roll with Morgan and hope to see more of it. Morgan is starting to go to the hoop more aggressively. He and Smotrycz showed some nice footwork in the game too. Definitely seeing improvement in both. This team has heart and deserves to be in the dance.
Morgan and Smotrycz
I was surprised by how much M was attacking the paint right from the beginning. I'm used to seeing M as a perimeter-oriented team, but they were stuffing it right down the Spartans' throats most of the game. It seemed like neither team could buy a 3-pointer for the longest time. Both guys had nice moves for sure but Morgan was my favorite of the day.
Rebounding was not so good. I found myself yelling "GET IT!" at the TV a lot after a missed shot for either side. However, FTs were pretty solid overall. The defense was pretty nasty too.
Great to see us win a game inside when the 3s weren't coming. We beat Minnesota from downtown when we knew they had the size on us, and today we had the size & weren't shooting well, so we attacked the paint & got the W.
I must also say that Hardaway getting an elbow in the face was possibly the most important play of the game. As soon as he came back out after that, he was on a mission.
Has been a very pleasant surprise this year. Truthfully, the lack of MSU's bigs developing is kind of surprise as well. Delvon Roe (5* Jr.) has literally the same production for the past 3 years; Nix (4* So.) and Sherman (4* So.) haven't come close to providing the benefit that Jordan Morgan (3*RS Fr) has for us.
Kudos to the coaching staff and for all of our bigs for working hard and making themselves better.
They have this kid named Payne. I think he was a five star to rivals. I guess we will see how he develops in the coming years.
What does that have to do with Roe, Sherman, and Nix?
it must suck being outplayed by 3* guys when you have 4* and 5* guys.
the times they are a changin...
Really proud of Smotrycz and especially Morgan today. That is all.
I give credit to the coaches big time and also to B. for recognizing these guys.
I'm excited to see Smotrycz next year. I think he'll replace Stu in the starting lineup, which will give us a pretty nice average height boost. I was pretty disappointed, though, when he went for the lay up instead of dunking it on that first break away.
i hope so...
Hitting the weight room wouldn't hurt either. He seems to be pretty coordinated and have a great shooting touch. But, we need him to get more rebounds and play some more in the paint. Especially when Morgan is in foul trouble and sitting on the pine. But, I think Smotrycz has a big upside and I'm looking forward to seeing him improve a lot next season.
Give Smot time. He's a skinny frosh from a New England prep-school. At a lot of top college programs, he wouldn't have gotten much pt this year; it would have been spot duty, with the promise of major minutes once he fills out and gets stronger, in a year or two. I think he'll be dangerous as an upperclassman.
Agree with you. I feel like Smotrycz's season went from good, to meh, to bad, and it seems he's finishing strong.
You must unlearn what you have learned. Mmmm...
In NON-Yoda news, this was the first time I really thought Smotrycz's looked like a solid starter for this team. The first time I saw a glimmer of what he can be. I figure he had to be broken down and reconstructed, but he's got enough talent that it didn't take the whole offseason to do it.
I was expecting Tim Jr. to make the Morris-like jump into next season, but I'm not sure if he hasn't already done it. IF he could perform at the level he has been for the last few games all next season, that'd be the bees knees. The guy who might surprise and come on a lot stronger than you remember him is Smotrycz.
You read my mind
5-19 on 3's and we win.
4-21 shooting for Novak, Morris and Douglas and we win
16-26 shooting by Freshman is why we won.
I thought Morgan's foul trouble could really hurt us, but Smotrycz stepped up for his second-best game of the season (he tore it up at Clemson). Without Smotrycz's offense and his pretty good defensive performance, we'd have been really hurting inside. Morgan always plays well, but Smotrycz was more of a surprise today imo. Great to see all of these freshmen with big games.
It's no accident that MSU's best run came when Morgan was on the bench, nor was it any surprise when he came back onto the floor and stopped the bleeding. I'd love a 7-footer, but Morgan's presence inside is huge for Michigan right now.
Now, we get to see if Michigan learned enough from the Illinois loss to beat them at the BTT.
I was surprised to see McLimans in when Metrics and Morgan picked up some early fouls. Horford is a good defender and has offensive skills that are at least equal to those of McLimans.
Horford tweaked his knee again.
Smotrycz played really well on defense today and by that I mean he wasn't obviously horrendous.
Played solid minutes, hit the only shot he took at a needed time. kept up the tempo. Imagine how good they'll be once they aren't jittery freshman. I get a little nervous when Smot tries to dribble a lot, Hardaway and him both got pick pocketed. Love this squad
Players are always talking to each other coaching up and encouraging each other. That is what kept the team from tearing apart when things were not going well early in the season. The choice was made to help each other and the rewards are huge ,thank you to all on the team.
I was nervous when the game started and I watched Novak guard Green. I told my daughter it was going to be a long day for him. I was wrong and pleasantly surprised. We played really good in the paint today even with Morgan on the bench for a lot of minutes. Props to our team for passing the ball and creating the defensive shifts that lead to paint points. Those are easy buckets and usually high percentage shots. There were a lot of long rebounds in this game as both teams shot from the outside. I was surprised that Morris and the others did not get more of them. We definitely had the size mismatch in the back court, but had the heart mismatch on the low post. Good win for the guys. Now if they can stay focused.
See that is the thing with Novak. Every game you see him guarding guys like Mbakwe, Sampson III, Davis, Tisdale, Green, and Roe, and you just hold your breath and hope for the best. Then by the end of the game you realize that scrappy m'efer held his own and made Wolverine nation proud.
Vogrich gets honorable mention today as well. He was in there battling with the big boys too, and ended up snaring 5 rebounds I believe.
They kept saying "Smotrycz with the reach-around".
That being said, seriously, it's a nice little defensive move for a guy without foot quickness but long wings. On one of his breakaway layups initiated by a reach-around (snicker), he actually poked the ball out of bounds on another reach around (heh heh) a few seconds before.
Either Smotrycz's induced turnover by popping the ball from behind as his man went around him, and then recieivng the pass back for the open layup a moment later, or Morgan's slump snapping dunk in the second.
I really relish the thought of 3 additional seasons of Smotrycz and Morgan growing up and excelling side by side. Plus the bonus "upside" of seeing what Horford and McLimans turn in to. I love what's developing in AA.
Obviously he's no Darius Morris, but Evan moved much more athletically with and without the ball than I was expecting at the beginning of the year.
Kid played great yesterday and can only imagine him being so much better in a year or two with better conditioning. He looks pretty slow out there going up and down the court (compared to others) and still manages to do ok (more than ok yesterday). Looking forward to watching this team grow.
Smotrycz actually was able to get to the hoop on the two breakaway layups without being caught from behind. I thought they would catch him both times and I was wrong. Maybe MS(phew) just didn't have the heart to chase him down.
My favorite plays of the game were Smotrycz' move under the bucket finish, fouled and made the ft. Very old school and I loved it. Morgans pick and roll to stop the bleeding late in the second half. Warmed the cockles of my basketball heart. That is how the game is supposed to be played.