This Week’s Obsession: One Shining Moe-Ment

This Week’s Obsession: One Shining Moe-Ment Comment Count

Seth June 15th, 2018 at 2:08 PM

[Bryan Fuller]

THIS ARTICLE HAS A SPONSOR: It’s Nick Hopwood, our MGoFinancial Planner from Peak Wealth Management. Nick is also a Podcaster—if you haven’t listened to it before, his podcast Finding True Wealth, with recent episodes covering the mortgage industry, social security disability, and what number is enough for retirement.

Legal disclosure in tiny font: Calling Nick our official financial planner is not intended as financial advice; Nick is an advertiser who financially supports MGoBlog. MGoBlog is not responsible for any advice or other communication provided to an investor by any financial advisor, and makes no representations or warranties as to the suitability of any particular financial advisor and/or investment for a specific investor.

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The Question:

When you close your eyes and think of Moe Wagner what moments come to mind? Can have multiple answers.

Ace: Trying to narrow it to one…

But if we had to, it would start here:

Seth: Other than Gary...

Ace: But that moment also shows why this starts to get really hard. That was the final blow in a two-year-long battle with Nick Ward that was an absolute joy to watch. Wagner had a few of those. The Painter-Beilein Wars spring to mind.

slackbot: image

Ace: One of the first things that comes to mind for me when I think of Moe Wagner is a Matt Painter postgame press conference.

I still have the quotes saved from when he asks the assembled media if they really want to hear this (I’m nodding furiously) and then goes full scheme-geek on how Wagner absolutely blows up everything you want to do on defense.

Seth: The one for me—other than "ankle breaker"—is late in the Final Four, drenched in more sweat than the guy whose job he usurped, dribbles into the lane then right back out to the corner like he just suddenly had an idea to shoot from out there instead, and swoosh.

Brian: Wagner was so sweaty against Loyola

BiSB: Carrying a team for 30 minutes is sweaty work.

Brian: The sweat a culmination of all the work he put in to become an outstanding defensive rebounder. The brow of the working man. The common 6'11" three point shooting man. The man who could no longer be called soft.

Ace: Seriously, though, those NBA Combine numbers!

Brian: He played 30 MPG at center for a top 5 defense.

Ace: Fair point. I was still surprised.

[After THE JUMP: see what we remembered before you comment what we forgot]

Seth: Geoff Schwartz, an NFL lineman who tweets about drawing weakside ISOs on his daughter's magnetic doodle board, was in awe of Wagner's effort that day. Schwartz has never complimented anybody within 50 pounds of Moe.

Ace: Here’s a glorious sweat putback:

Brian: The moment towards the tail end of the first half against Loyola where he looked like Ricky Doyle in a sauna was a moment for these reasons.

But even though I wrote a whole dang column about Nick Ward's ankles…

slackbot: image

…I think my absolute favorite Moe moment was the year before:

Brian: Michigan entered that game a seven seed against two-seed Louisville and their criminal sex vampire coach; Louisville had four different seven-footers and Wagner ate all of their lunches. That upfake that gets a center to commit outside the three point line and guard-like drive to the hoop is Wagner's career in five seconds to me.

Ace: Wagner’s crowd theater stands out to me as much as almost any specific in-game moment. I have so many gifs of him that could be captioned “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?”

Brian: Yes, the laughing on the bench gif

He was a walking meme.

Ace: Every foul call.

Brian: I LOOKED EXACTLY THE SAME TBH

Ace:

He was often justified!

Seth: So there's another one that wasn't his great basketball but it's embedded in my head under its gfycat name: Enchanted Lame Antelope Ground Squirrel. After Poole makes his shot he starts running and then realizes he's being chased by a 7-foot mad German and you can see the moment when his brain clicks off "I WON THE GAME" and goes to full fight or flight.

Ace: Yes, thank you. I couldn’t have been happier that the player nearest to Poole ended up being Moe.

Brian: It feels off brand for the blog to mention that Wagner stopped and consoled one of Houston's many Davii immediately after that GIF.

Like Peter King should say it instead of us.

But that was nice!

Seth: Sportsmanship!

Brian: We here at MGoBlog treasure sportsmanship.

Seth: Firm handshakes for everybody.

Brian: That means we're kicking them off the team.

(After they graduated!)

Seth: This is what comes of making light of #sportsmanship for a decade, sir.

Ace: And at the same time I absolutely understand why players (and opposing fans) hated him.

Brian: Oh god yes! The tongue alone.

Ace: Just imagine spending 30 minutes being dragged by a German dude who hits threes, doesn’t play defense, and calls you “bitch” every other possession.

…Nick Ward doesn’t need to imagine except for the 30 minutes bit.

slackbot: image

Ace: STILL GOT IT.

Seth: It's one thing to get trash talked all recess. It's another when it's the foreign exchange student. Also you guys: lips.

Ace: While we’re tied up in Wagner’s emotions, the interplay between him and Beilein also made for amazing theatre.

Brian: I wonder if Moe actually hooked Beilein up with his German hip-hop

Ace: This picture is unfairly taken out of context but it absolutely kills me every time:

image

[Marc-Grégor Campredon]

Also did NOT have to scroll far for one of these:

image

[Marc-Grégor Campredon]

But in the end:

image

[Bryan Fuller]

That’s another one for me: John Beilein talking about Moe Wagner while trying to keep a straight face.

Brian: They would have been perfect in a buddy cop movie. Also I have many ideas about good buddy cop movies involving Michigan persons, 98% of which star Don Brown as the curmudgeon about to retire.

Seth: "Pitch a Don Brown Buddy Cop Movie" is a future TWO.

So my first memory of Moe is his first game (not counting the scrimmage I didn’t go to) against Elon. It sticks because Marc-Gregor was so excited he got the shot and because Demorest and I are two of the fuzzy things behind it:

image

[Marc-Grégor Campredon]

Ace: Moe really grew an insane amount in two years. Seeing Baby Moe bleed is kinda jarring.

Brian: That's a wing.

Ace: Two years later, he dropped 24-15 in a national semifinal.

Brian: Another excellent on-court thing was that one specific game vs Purdue at Crisler where Matt Painter kicked off his desperation switching defense. As Ace mentioned, Wagner and Purdue made for really fun basketball games.

Ace: Also: learned English.

Seth:

image

Just in time.

Ace: I’ll show my NBA habit and make a comparison for Moe that’ll seem odd initially: Steph Curry. There’s been a lot of talk this week based on this bit of brutal and 100% correct insight:

Nobody since Stauskas had Crisler under their spell like Moe when he had it rolling and man that Purdue game was one of those times.

Ace: This post would’ve been incomplete without the German three signal.

Seth: Oh what about that Wisconsin game last year (Feb 2017).

image

Find the spot where Moe goes off.

Ace: A lot of it runs together for me. There are absolutely peaks that stand out but it’s more faces and threes and murder offense and foul trouble and touching Player’s Tribune articles.

Which is another thing: it was genuinely remarkable to watch a kid from Berlin grow to love and understand Michigan in ways that he expressed quite beautifully by the end of his career.

Seth: Also: mad dunks.

image

[Marc-Grégor Campredon]

Ace: Yes, MAAR’s face. Also: the future of Wisconsin basketball.

Seth: MAAR vs the camera lens is undefeated.

BiSB: It's hard to believe he was only 20 when he played his last game. The guy was mature and contemplative beyond his years. But only after he played the game like a 16-year-old hopped up on Pixy Stix and Surge.

Ace: Really personable, too. He found a way to connect with people. This will sound a little fanboy-ish but whatever. I’m not one who asks a lot of questions in pressers. After a game this year I was the last person lingering behind the player scrum for Wagner, who I really doubt knows me from Adam (so to speak, hi Adam), and I slipped in an off-kilter question that I don’t completely remember but am 97% sure was about Jordan Poole. A lot of guys would quite understandably fire off something quick and run back to the locker room. He paused for a moment, said something legitimately funny and insightful, and winked before heading for the exit.

Seth: Also: ran over Tom Crean.

Brian: You're going to be asking a lot of questions about mulch next year

Ace: I’ve already taken notes on pitchforks vs. shovels.

BiSB: Jars three. Runs over Tom Crean. Appears to feel bad about running over Tom Crean. The Moe Wagner Story.

Brian: God if that was Izzo instead of Crean he'd have a statue already

Ace: We can give him partial credit for this:

Brian: I think this is where i say YAAAAAAS QUEEEN?

Ace: Good couple years for angry opposing coach gifs, and again, Wagner is largely responsible. Also some very short opposing coach postgame press conferences, hello Tom Crean.

Brian: Pretty much the direct cause of Twenty Minutes Of Izzo Eating His Liver At Breslin

BiSB: Unlike Izzo, at least Wagner put Nick Ward on the floor once in a while.

slackbot: image

Ace: I feel like I’m taking the lid off my still-only-outlined Moe retrospective post early but, yeah, that man’s legacy is being pure uncaged emotion and sucking everything around him into that vortex. I’ll, uh, work on the metaphor.

Brian:

Ace: Are we missing anything glaringly obvious?

Brian: Probably

But that's what commenters are for.

Ace: One last shoutout to his signature, awkward, devastating behind-the-back move, which in addition to murderating Nick Ward’s ankles also produced the most hilariously evil basket in the Texas A&M game, which was 40 minutes of hilariously evil baskets:

slackbot: image

Comments

One Frame At A Time: Loyola Chicago

One Frame At A Time: Loyola Chicago Comment Count

Ace June 13th, 2018 at 6:00 AM
what's german for 'galoot'? [Bryan Fuller]

So, uh, recovery hasn't been as smooth as expected—those following me on Twitter have probably picked up on that—and as such I'm pushing out posts when I can. I've been hoping to get to the Moe Wagner retrospective but have held off because I've hit a block there; in the process of preparing that post and working through the block, I did at least get through the Loyola Chicago game in GIFs. (Most of it, at least. This copy cut out all good replays of Wagner crashing into Raftery/Hill, which is an argh experience.) Did I do Florida State yet? Uh, working on it. Time is a construct.

Anyway, remember that time Moe Wagner put up a Final Four stat line matched only by Akeem Olajuwon and Larry Bird?

That was enjoyable.

[The rest of the Loyola game in GIFs, featuring a LOT of Moe, after THE JUMP.]

Comments

Exit: Moe Wagner

Exit: Moe Wagner Comment Count

Ace April 14th, 2018 at 11:29 AM


An all-timer. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Moe Wagner has made his decision. In an article he penned for The Players' Tribune, Wagner announced he'll enter the NBA Draft and sign with an agent, foregoing his senior season at Michigan. Wagner's lengthy, heartfelt farewell (titled "Thank You, Michigan") makes it clear this wasn't an easy choice, but he has some familiar footsteps to follow:

Alle träume klingen verrückt. Bis sie wahr werden.

This is what it says on the poster that I have on my wall. I’m looking at it now, in my apartment in Ann Arbor, as I’m telling you this story. It’s German, which you probably guessed, and it means: All dreams are crazy. Until they come true. (Good saying, right?) And then beside these words is a picture of Dirk Nowitzki — who is basically my idol.

Wagner is projected as a late first- or early second-round pick, an improvement over his stock last year, when his rebounding and defensive limitations had him projected closer to the bottom of the draft. Wagner improved both this year, especially rebounding, and while his defense is still a big question mark, his offensive skill set at his size will get him a contract and a roster spot.

This is the end of Wagner's remarkable collegiate journey. He came to Ann Arbor from Germany as a lanky wing, outgrew the position almost immediately, spent his freshman year struggling to earn playing time behind Ricky Doyle and Mark Donnal, and then became the key piece of John Beilein's five-out offense as a sophomore and junior. That doesn't mean we won't be seeing him around town, however.

Ann Arbor will always be the first American city that I ever really knew. In my opinion, it’s the perfect place to live — not too big, not too small. You get all four seasons, great sports, and some of the nicest and most genuine people I have met. I’ll miss Ann Arbor a ton and come back as much as I can.

Wagner's exit has significant ramifications for next year's team, of course, and we'll dig into those in greater detail this week. Jon Teske is now your surefire starting center next year, which will make Michigan a more defensive-focused team (with a greater defensive ceiling) but he'll be an offensive downgrade barring a breakout on that end—while he improved greatly at the pick-and-roll, he doesn't provide the same pick-and-pop, spead-the-defense threat. Austin Davis is most likely to settle into the backup role while talented freshman Colin Castleton—a Wagner-like player with plus rim protection—gets used to the system and adds some needed bulk.

Danke, Moe.

Comments

MGoPodcast 9.25: Sweating to the Drip Boys

MGoPodcast 9.25: Sweating to the Drip Boys Comment Count

Seth April 2nd, 2018 at 7:00 AM

55 minutes

image

We are at the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, and perspiring, but fortunately there’s an indoor pool just down the hall.

We Couldn’t Have One Without the Other

We can do this because people support us. You should support them too so they’ll want to do it again next year! The show is presented by UGP & The Bo Store, and if it wasn’t for Rishi and Ryan there would be VERY long hiatuses between podcasts.

Our other sponsors are also key to all of this: HomeSure Lending, Peak Wealth Management, Ann Arbor Elder Law, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Michigan Law Grad,Human Element, Lantana Hummus and Ecotelligent Homes

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1. Cheer Up Sister Jean

starts at 1:00

A Pittsburgh left is a social custom to allow a left-turner to get out of everyone’s way. Really as soon as Duncan Robinson gets his sixth point it’s all good. Some weird lineups for the bulk of this game, though not crunch time—none of them were two bigs. Wagner’s amazing game was as defensive as offensive. Z…uh…came in late. C.J. Baird is the greatest player who ever lived!

2. Villanova Preview: They’re Really Good.

starts at 24:25

Why were they so wide open vs. Kansas? It’s like they thought Villanova was going to be five Tum-Tums. Watching different games to get a feel for Nova because we presume Michigan is going to defend them in a way that makes any kind of sense. Brunson may not be a huge NBA prospect but as a college player he is unguardable—a point guard who can post. Everyone shoots well from three. Their Bridges is better than MSU’s Bridges. Theory of geometric progression says Michigan due for another A&M game. Defensively they rank about where Loyola does—make your three pointers and you can make it a game.

3. Gimmicky Top Five: Great Postseason Performances

starts at 42:10

Top postseason performances by players that we remember—sorry Craig but guys named Gustav in nineteen dickety-two don’t rate. The GOAT in the Orange Bowl versus a bunch of murderous defensive linemen and a terrible secondary. The nuts game. The Shot. The little guy. The big man. The Champ (Ace was two so we kind of broke the rules). Stick around for honorable mentions!

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No segment four but we’ll probably have an extra podcast this week to discuss whatever happens tomorrow night.

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MUSIC

  • “Mo Fire”—Lil Wayne
  • “Praise You”—Fatboy Slim
  • “Across 110th Street”

THE USUAL LINKS

Or you know, just, you know score six points Duncan. Just score six points. By the way. You know we may be testing it a little bit. If that happens and Michigan wins the national championship, that is going in the stupid stat hall of fame. And I will love and appreciate that stupid stat—I will cherish that stupid stat. It will be my favorite stupid stat.

Comments

Michigan 69, Loyola Chicago 57, One More Game

Michigan 69, Loyola Chicago 57, One More Game Comment Count

Ace March 31st, 2018 at 9:56 PM


Moe Wagner made history with his performance tonight. [Bryan Fuller]

We just had to believe.

Believe in the Moe Wagner First Three-Pointer Corollary. Believe in Luke Yaklich's defense. Believe that Zavier Simpson wouldn't have the worst game of his life for every last minute. Believe that these damn shots would eventually fall. Believe in the Ironclad Law of Duncan Robinson's Six. Believe in John Beilein.

Our beliefs were tested. Michigan shot out of the gate, gaining an early 12-4 edge, before a well-coached Loyola squad started outplaying them. The switching Ramblers defense kept the Wolverines from getting into their usual sets. On the other end, Loyola combined dizzying off-ball motion with strong post-ups from center Cameron Krutwig. While Wagner was a force, tallying 11 points and 11 boards at halftime, he received almost no help. Charles Matthews churned out eight points on 3-for-8 shooting. Backup center Jon Teske made his lone attempt. Nobody else on the team had a bucket.

While Michigan's poor outside shooting wasn't anything new this tournament, the same couldn't be said for the seven-point halftime deficit, nor the simultaneous disappearing acts of Robinson, Simpson, and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman. The Wolverines had been able to grind out wins without one or two of those players in top form; getting nothing out of all three would be tough to overcome.


The exclamation point. [Fuller]

Ever so slowly, Wagner and friends worked their way back in the second half. Ever so slowly. The margin remained at seven at the first media timeout and climbed to eight on a pair of Clayton Custer free throws out of the second. With the outside shots still clanging iron and Simpson looking entirely out of sorts, Beilein turned to his bench, subbing in Teske and Jordan Poole. With ten seconds of entering the game, Poole drove baseline for a layup. Shortly thereafter, Poole grabbed a defensive rebound in traffic, pushed the pace, and the ball worked around to Robinson for a three-pointer—quite notably, his second, reaching the magic six-point mark while cutting the deficit to three.

Poole, fully at home taking center stage in the Final Four, kept seeking out buckets. After another board, he went coast-to-coast for a tough layup. Wagner knotted the game a minute later by backing out of a double-team and launching a three-pointer right over it. Poole took his the next turn, giving Michigan its first lead of the second half at the line with 6:20 to play.

"The Drip Boys are full of swag, that's what they call themselves," said Matthews. "They bring instant energy, especially this kid here [Poole]. This is my roommate, so I've got my hands tied with him the whole trip long."

In closing time, Beilein went with his go-to guys. Simpson came back in for Simmons, rediscovered his defense, and kept the ball moving without those unsightly turnovers. Matthews hit a gorgeous reverse layup off a sharp pass from Wagner after taking a quick breather. Abdur-Rahkman got Michigan's lead up to double digits with a tough runner, only his second basket of the game, that all but ended the game with 2:13 to play. Sister Jean got a head start up the tunnel right around the time Matthews hammered home the final nail.


How many more, Jordan? [Fuller]

This was, above all, a career-defining performance by Wagner, who finished with 24 points on 17 shot equivalents, 15 rebounds (six offensive), an assist, and three steals. That stat line put him among Hall of Fame company: Larry Bird and Hakeem Olajuwon are the only other players to record 20 points and 15 rebounds in a national semifinal.

"Wow," said Wagner upon hearing that fact. "If you put it like that, it's probably cool. But to be honest, I kept looking possession by possession, we had trouble scoring the first half. We scored 22 points and that was kind of the only way we found our way to the basket, grab offensive rebounds and get second-shot opportunities. And I honestly just tried to do my job. The shots were falling the second half. It's a lot more fun when the ball goes through the net."

Wagner also played one of his best defensive games; while Krutwig went 7-for-11 from the field, he also coughed up six turnovers, and Wagner committed only one foul—of paramount importance in a game the Wolverines needed all 36 of his brilliant minutes.

Michigan's now-usual stifling defense handled the rest until the offense finally clicked late. Just don't tell the Wolverines they just knocked off Cinderella.

"We never looked at the team as a Cinderella team," said Matthews. "It's like 300-something Division I teams, and they're one of the last four standing. That's no Cinderella story. We respected them and we knew we had to come out and execute against them."

It took a lot of patience and faith in the system, but it ultimately paid off in Michigan's second trip to the NCAA championship game in six years. The winner of Villanova-Kansas awaits on Monday night.

"Everybody is really happy," said Beilein. "And we're ready to move on to the next game, whoever it is."

[Hit THE JUMP for more photos and the box score.]

Comments

Do More, Say More

Do More, Say More Comment Count

Ace March 24th, 2018 at 12:05 PM


our student manager turned walk-on is better than yours and knows it

The nature of the tournament means you may not get much of a chance to savor a great victory before much of its luster is worn off. Thursday night was, without question, a great victory, and I'm going to make a conscious effort to give it the savoring it so richly deserves.

Upon approximately my hundredth rewatching of the video containing all 14 (FOURTEEN!) of Michigan's three-pointers against Texas A&M, I came to a startling realization. I was genuinely, unironically glad that Reggie Miller, whose commentary I normally find obnoxious at best*, was calling the game for TBS. For one night, he was the perfect person to call a basketball game.

[*I'm pretty sure this video was made in jest. I hope, at least.]

Reggie Miller made a Hall of Fame career from hitting threes—often audacious, sometimes outrageous threes, seemingly always in critical circumstances—and talking a spectacular amount of shit. His game was loud, his personality louder still.

As Miller watched the Wolverines rip the Aggies limb-from-limb, his usual schtick disappeared and genuine joy broke through. He called shots and reacted with glee as they unfolded before his eyes. He found a kindred spirit in Moe Wagner. At one point he uttered "ooh, my goodness" while so taken aback it's almost lost beneath Kevin Harlan's exhilaration.

Michigan did not just rain in a torrent of threes. They matched them with Miller-like theatrics that escalated with each strike.

The show turned to a full-blown three-ring circus, Oakland-style, by late in the first half. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, the silent killer of the squad, lined up a long-range shot in transition. By the time the ball actually went through the net, 60% of the team was back on defense.


Robinson's arm went up the moment the shot did

Not a whole lot changed after halftime other than Michigan's willingness to cede Texas A&M post-up buckets, which lack both efficiency and swagger. Reggie wasn't here for that. Reggie's here for this.

Michigan's team shirts say "DO MORE, SAY LESS" this postseason. It's in the spirit of a John Beilein team, to be sure, but not this one, not anymore. This team is embodied by Moe Wagner removing his mouthguard to talk trash, Charles Matthews laughing in Nick Ward's face, Zavier Simpson's biggest mood, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman coldly staring down his shot while the rest of the team merrily turns the other way, and student-manager-turned-walk-on CJ Baird flashing three fingers after drilling a 25-footer. Effervescent ailurophile-slash-tournament hero Jordan Poole, perhaps the most brash of the bunch, inspires art such as this Smoothitron masterpiece:

This has turned into a team that'll take your lunch money and throw your empty wallet into the woods. Every once in a while, as they did on Thursday, they'll use that money to buy your mom a nice meal. Maybe they'll take her out again tonight. 

Comments

Michigan 82, Michigan State 72

Michigan 82, Michigan State 72 Comment Count

Ace January 13th, 2018 at 3:33 PM

I'm going to try to write through the very real tears streaming down my face. I'm also cackling with glee.

I know Brian already posted it. Moe Wagner giving Nick Ward a crippling case of the jelly-ankles cannot be posted enough.

Teddy Valentine and Co. may have done their best to muck up an classic rivalry row, but between the endless whistles (51 combined fouls!) was some fantastic basketball. Michigan and Michigan State played a back-and-forth affair with neither team able to break the other. The lead changed hands 13 times and was knotted up 11 more; the margin didn't crack double digits either way until a Wagner free throw with 1:10 to go.

Wagner's ankle may not be at full health, but you'd never know it based on today's performance. Despite only playing 27 minutes before fouling out in the game's waning moments, he poured in a career-high 27 points, roasting whichever Spartan big man tried to defend him with a dizzying array of off-the-dribble moves for layups and pops out to the perimeter for three-point bombs.

Ward couldn't keep up, nor could he come close to matching Wagner's impact on offense, scoring just four points in 14 minutes. Jaren Jackson Jr. (and a host of others on both sides) also battled serious foul trouble, and MSU's vaunted defense could be driven on as a result. The Wolverines nearly matched the Spartans in points in the paint, 32-34, and more than made up that ground by hitting three more three-pointers. Remarkably, they also outrebounded MSU on the offensive end 11 to 8.

Wagner had plenty of help, too. Zavier Simpson dominated his matchup with fellow sophomore point guard Cassius Winston, outscoring him 16-to-11, dishing out five assists to Winston's two, and recording zero turnovers against his counterpart's four. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Charles Matthews made up for poor performances from the field by combining to make 11-of-13 free throws. Isaiah Livers, who got his first career start, added six points in 25 energetic minutes. The man he replaced, Duncan Robinson, sunk his only triple from the corner and fought hard against brutally tough matchups.

Most importantly, the whole team gave a defensive performance that, given the context, is among the best single-game efforts in Beilein's tenure. Little came easy for the Spartans, who couldn't get anything going on the perimeter, making 3-of-12 threes, and instead had to rely on brute force. Michigan held up remarkably well against MSU's front line and forced 18 turnovers with an aggressive, varied approach.

In fact, if Michigan had made a few more layups in the first half or more free throws down the stretch, this could've been a downright comfortable win. Holding the Spartans at bay for a double-digit win will more than suffice, however.

By the end, Jordan Poole wanted to know where all the Spartans had gone.

The Stauskas is strong with this team.

[Hit THE JUMP for the box score.]

Comments

MGoPodcast 8.19: Your Poison Gets 2 Points Per Possession

MGoPodcast 8.19: Your Poison Gets 2 Points Per Possession

1 hour 29 minutes

image

[Marc-Gregor Campredon]

We Couldn’t Have One Without the Other

This podcast is presented by the Bo Store, UGP & Moe's. Rishi and Ryan have been here since the beginning—shopping with them supports us and supports good dudes who are deeply involved in the Ann Arbor community. It was recorded at the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown—you should probably book your next stay in Ann Arbor there to offset all the free stuff we took.

Speaking of offsetting costs, here’re the people who bought us the set we use to record way more of these than we used to: Homesure Lending, Ann Arbor Elder Law, the the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Deo Bookkeeping, Michigan Law Grad, Defensive Drivers Group, and Peak Wealth Management.

You don’t have to visit them now, but remember to come back to our podcast to get a link when you need them!

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1. Tales from Indy Part I: Okie State

starts against 1:00

The best 7-10 game in college basketball history? We’re saying that. Michigan’s three-point shooting was matched by the legit #1 offense in basketball. New developments include DJ Wilson: impact shot-blocker.

2. Tales from Indy Part II: L’llv’lle.

starts at 23:05

AKA the OTHER 40-minute heart attack. The Cardinal survey available poisons and choose the tall bottle with an import sticker—that too is the wrong poison. Was it that or a Pitino long con, because that pump fake drive was there all year. M’s six-man rotation is Don Brown-like in its multiplefromthesamepersonnelness yes that’s a word you want me to prove it fine now it’s a tag on mgoblog.

3. Ace and Brian’s Excellent Gimmicky Top 5 Adventure

starts at 46:22

Now a gimmicky top 5 so grand (whoa), so magnificent, and so vast, it spans 7,000 years (no way!) Brace yourself for a most triumphant Top 5 premise, as two bloggers jump in a time machine that can go back to mid-January, encounter their other, pre-Maverick selves, and unveil the future. Starring: Zak Irvin, Mo Bamba, Beilein players with lip curls, Red, and an odd casting choice for Jules Winfield in the Pulp Fiction remake.

4. The Tournament So Far, plus Oregon Preview and Beyond

starts at 1:06:56

When a 5-seed isn’t chalk in the first round, you’ve seeded badly. Appalling calls, especially those that took the air out of the end of some great games. However the insane seeding did lead to some radical 2nd round games. Bathroom Bill sinks Duke deliciously.

Oregon is without their DJ Wilson—that might mean a lot. As for Kansas, they’re super athletic, and coached only just enough not to step on each other, i.e. not the guys you want to face after a quick turnaround.

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MUSIC:

  • “Opening Theme”—Pulp Fiction
  • “Flight of the Valkyries”—Wilhelm Richard “Moe Buckets” Wagner
  • “Inside OUt”—SPOON
  • “Across 110th Street”

THE USUAL LINKS

Basketbullets: Matchup Chess, The New Rotation, Wagner/Wilson Quote Bonanza

Basketbullets: Matchup Chess, The New Rotation, Wagner/Wilson Quote Bonanza Comment Count

Ace February 28th, 2017 at 3:46 PM



Stopping all of this has proven quite difficult. [All photos: Bryan Fuller]

Generally, opposing coach press conferences after losses are brief and uninformative. After the Moe Wagner-Derrick Walton pick-and-pop obliterated Purdue's defense to the point they had to entirely change strategies, however, Matt Painter went into great detail on the problems posed by Michigan's offense, specifically those that result from facing two big men that can shoot.

To set this up: Purdue started the game with Caleb Swanigan defending Wagner. Michigan exploited the matchup by forcing Swanigan out to the perimeter, usually with high screens. Wagner feasted.

Wagner went 9-for-12 in the first half, hitting 5-of-6 twos and 4-of-6 threes. Michigan fielding a lineup with five viable outside shooting threats wreaked havoc on Purdue's defense and their rotation. 7'2" center Isaac Haas usually plays 20 minutes per game, often pairing with Swanigan to form an imposing frontcourt duo. Here's what happened when Purdue put both big men out there:

If Michigan's big men can't shoot, Swanigan wouldn't be in no-man's land, and Haas would be in position to block Simpson's shot into the tenth row if he manages to get into the paint anyway. The threat of Wilson and Wagner instead opened a cavernous lane for the quick point guard to bolt through.

As a result, Haas played only seven minutes in the first half, and just two with Swanigan also on the court. The adjustment Painter had to make in the second half forced his second-best player off the floor almost entirely:

We just went and switched everything, knocked them out of their [pick-and-pop] action. The downside of that is now you have your bigs guarding their guards and they can break you off the dribble. Then you have to help, now you’ve got to get to their shooters. When you have a good point guard and you have bigs that are skilled that can shoot and spread you out, you have to pick your poison. We can flip it on them, but when you don’t score the ball at the rim—and I thought we had a lot of opportunities for Haas in there, missed dunk, layups, a hook, that he normally makes—if we could’ve made those plays, we could’ve lived with all of it, because we wouldn’t have been out of the game, and now we put them in a bind because they’re eventually going to foul us and get out of the game. But if we can’t keep you in the game because [of defense], that gets hard for us. We just decided at half that we had to switch, and then when Donnal came in the game we could play Isaac [Haas]. But obviously we didn’t play well enough to be able to get back in.

Haas played four second-half minutes, entering the game after Michigan inserted Donnal and exiting at the first stoppage after Beilein lifted Donnal and put DJ Wilson at center. The combination of Wagner and Wilson in Beilein's offense rendered the second-best player on the Big Ten's best team effectively unplayable.

[Hit THE JUMP to see how Michigan took advantage of Purdue's new defensive tack.]

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MGoPodcast 8.16: Fair But Mean

MGoPodcast 8.16: Fair But Mean

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Mmmm potential rebound [Bryan Fuller]

Our recording got cut off before we did the intro and outro so David had to record those at home.

We Couldn’t Have One Without the Other

We get to make audio content because we can afford the studio time and equipment to make it happen, and that’s thanks to the people running ads between segments.

The show is presented by the Bo Store, UGP & Moe's, and if it wasn’t for Rishi and Ryan we probably would have real jobs.

The others: Homesure Lending, Ann Arbor Elder Law, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Deo Bookkeeping, Michigan Law Grad, Defensive Drivers Group, and Peak Wealth Management.

1. Bandwagon Basketball Podcast

starts at 1:00

The bandwagon for this Beilein team has a lot of room, since Ace’s is the only ass to remain in its seat through the bad times, and it’s a rather scrawny one. Defense is alright, offense is as good as the best of ’em. Talk every starter and how each has developed this year. Why two stretch bigs makes Michigan a tough ask to defend.

2. Finding a Seed

starts at 30:00

Disgust over the Minnesota game lingers: what that game could cost this team in the postseason. Appreciation for Northwestern’s commitment to drama (and Econ homework).

3. Gimmicky Top Five Developments You’d Like to See in Spring Football

starts at 46:30

Wilton Speight to the NFL, people saying the best recruit in the country is good, prophesies that might make Penn State fans, and more Glasgows.

4. A Grim Hockey Talk

starts at 1:05:16

David Nasternak, who’s been covering hockey for us this year, sits in to talk about how the bottom finally fell out, and what’s really up with this program right now. Fandom endurance badges to anyone who sticks around for all of it.

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MUSIC:

  • “Secure the Galactic Perimeter”—Soronprfbs
  • “Bubble Song”—Spongebob Squarepants
  • “Catch 'Em Slippin’”—O.G. Style
  • “Across 110th Street”

THE USUAL LINKS