Last night's game vs. Michigan State was exciting and a great game to watch. However, this may be the high water mark for the year. Thankfully, Michigan has done well so far. There are three ways, however, that our schedule was and continues to be very tough.
- Last five game stretch. Five games in thirteen days is pretty rough for college teams, as Beilein mentioned in the post-game interview, but we weathered this with a 3 - 2 record.
- Games vs. top 3 teams and bottom 3 teams. If you go through the schedule, Michigan and OSU play the other 3 front runners a total of six times, and the bottom dwellers four times. MSU & Illinois have a slight advantage, with playing the top 3 five times and bottom 3 five times.
- Home vs. Road games. This is perhaps the most significant gauntlet and challenge facing Michigan. From here on out, we have four home games and eight road games, only one home game for every two on the road. In contrast, MSU has seven at home, and five on the road (and Ohio six at home.) With our four remaining home games, three (Indiana, Ohio, & Illinois,) are against teams ranked in the top 25.
Wins will be very difficult to come by from now through the end of the season. If we are going to finish well, it is critical that especially Hardaway and Smotrycz, along with Novak, Douglass, and Burke, return to form with the 3 point shot. This will completely open up the floor, and make back door cuts and the pick and roll much, much more effective.
We'll have to see what happens, but at this point, I hope we get at least six more wins. I can see winning at Nebraska, & Penn State, and beating Indiana, Illinois, and Purdue at home. If we win one of the other seven games, better yet, two, we would finish with a record of 21 - 10 prior to the Big 10 Tourney. Should we do better than that, this team will have exceeded my hopes and expectations.