Fresh off the most needed one week break in history, Michigan brings in Illinois on Sunday (before Staee travels to Columbus at 4:00 PM, that day has promise, beers will be consumed). Illinois, coming in with a strangely unipressive winning streak considering one of the wins was Indiana, has brought themselves back to all square in conference play, and Brandon Paul can play some hoops. Should be a good one. Michigan, going from the team that makes Dick Vitale tell other teams to "get a TO" to that team that everybody seems to think somehow just became not good just cause, needs to get down to business and get back to form starting now. College basketball is a game of peaks and valleys with teams, Michigan has peaked at the right time and the wrong time in the last couple of years, 2011 going head to head with Duke was not foreseeable in February, and last year a loss to Ohio (NTO) in the first round seemed inconceivable while delivering a solid beat down to Ohio (YTO) in February as well. So, that epic drubbing to Lil in EL can actually mean very little if the swag returns for this home stretch. I think there are three keys going forward to Michigan getting this show on the road.
1. Jordan Morgan - I was appauled earlier this year at the suggestion that his absence was not significantly impactful. When healthy, J Mo eats glass, runs the floor, and can deliver some highlight real finishes that gets the team fired up. Morgan is an energy player that the rest of the team feeds off. I hope that ankle got some TLC this week, because if I see a pattern in the last three years it is that this team goes when he goes, so, let's go.
2. Run baby Run - The most impressive 10 minute stretch of Michigan's season in my opinion was when they went showtime against WV at Barclays in the first half. Burke in the middle of the floor with options is as pretty as well struck seven iron on a UP course in early September. Board, push, and dish, Stauskas will do the rest.
3. Timmy - to the basket. In another noticeable patters, once a year Hardaway will deliver a Jordan vs. the Blazers 3 point performance that convinces him and Wolverine nation that he is Larry Bird in the 3 point contest. He is not. TH3 is soooooo much more effective when his instinct pushes him to the basket. Hardaway has the athleticism to shoot 10 free throws a game, his desire to settle for the long gun becomes tiresome. Take it the hoop, good things will happen.
Any others that I am missing?
March madness coming soon. Great time of year, (not including the white out conditions outside right now). Go blue.
For those who haven't seen and those who wish to watch again.
An excellent article on Grantland today:
I don't know if others think this about basketball as well, but I know I love Michigan's offense under Coach Beilein than many other coaches in the area.
I would love to see the West Liberty Team and would love to see offenses like Bo Ryan's disappear. However there is an advantage to slowing things down, and with the officials allowing the increase physicality on the perimeter there is a distinct advantage in mauling the better players.
Jay Bilas himself noted that Trey Burke will do well in the NBA where the kind of physicality practiced by Aaron Craft for OSU and the other guards in the Big 10 will not be allowed.
Ah well one can dream.
#1 IU escapes on poor clock mgt. and FT shooting by #4 MSU at the end.
#2 Miami wins on a last second Derp rom UVA.
#4 MSU: see above.
#5 UF loses to unranked Mizzou after blowing (2) 10+ pt. leads.
The #1 seeds are there for the taking; March will truly be Madness.
EDIT: I see there are (2) similar threads on the topic. Mods feel free to edit or merge.
Title says it all. #5 Florida loses to unranked Mizzou 63-60. Crazy year in college hoops continues.
If Indiana wins tonight I think it would be really difficult for Michigan to share the Big Ten Title. If state protects the home floor could they possibly be #1 when they visit Crisler? Big game tonight. Thoughts??
I know a lot of us laugh at the RCMB most of the time, but I thought this was pretty cool of them to do. A lot of the posters ordered pizzas and the like for the izzone while they wait outside for the game tonight. It would be a good idea for Michigan fans to do the same for the msu game when it comes up.http://michiganstate.247sports.com/Board/93/Official-FEED-the-IZZONE-th…
Michigan has swept this week's Big Ten player of the week awards as Jenny Ryan was named the women's winner today.
- Posted 24 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals in Michigan’s victory over Michigan State last weekend
- Did not commit a turnover in 39 minutes of action
- Made four free throws in the final 17 seconds to seal the Wolverines’ one-point win
- Earns the first weekly award of her career
The Michigan women's team has had a very good season, but they've done it without the elite players the men's team has. So this type of individual recognition has been rare. No one on the women's squad has won a Big Ten weekly award since Courtney Boylan was named player of the week in November 2011.
Michigan (19-6; 8-4) plays #24 Nebraska (19-6; 9-3) at home on Thursday at 7pm. It's a Triple-Threat Thursday—just $3 gets you a general admission ticket, a hot dog, and a drink.
Here's a bit more on Ryan's year and career from an mgoblue.com release:
This season, Ryan is averaging a career-best 11.2 points per game. For her career, she ranks second in school history in both assists (454) and steals (280), third in games played (122), 10th in rebounds (672) and 28th in points (911). Earlier this season, she was named to the Capital One Academic All-District first team for the second straight year.
After seeing all of the recent analysis of what ails Michigan Basketball, it seems obvious that something needs to happen to shore up the defense. The team had a fair bit of success in the first half of the season running a man-to-man look, which JB said was taking advantage of the superior athletes on the team. Now the defense is looking slow and unable to stay in front of the players they are defending, or unable to recover and rotate when things begin to break down, resulting in easy lay-ups and a ballooning 2pt% given up on D.
So would it make sense for JB and staff to use some of the extra down time to bring out more zone looks on defense? As I understand it, a zone defense like a 2-3 can help clog the middle of the floor, making drives to the basket more difficult to execute, while tending to give up open 3pt looks. Since Michigan already gives up many wide-open 3s playing man, what would be the downside to more zone?