Arby's Ouroboros Comment Count

Brian January 16th, 2018 at 1:21 PM

1/15/2018 – Michigan 68, Maryland 67 – 16-4, 5-2 Big Ten


[Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Michigan won the game you lose because it's almost too weird to call basketball. At several different points in last night's game I cried "what is going ON?!" to the world at large, usually because a Michigan player had missed a point blank shot or dribbled it off his own face. Crisler's halftime highlight montage had literally every single first-half Michigan bucket in it. It was that kind of game.

This happens from time to time, especially when you're on short rest and the opponent isn't. A virtual lid descends on the basket; things look more or less fine except in the period between the shot going up and the shot entering the basket, because it never actually enters the basket. It was miserable.

Naturally, Michigan followed this up with a period in the second half where you could have blindfolded Jordan Poole and friends and it wouldn't have mattered. By the time Maryland called its second befuddled timeout of the half, Michigan was 8/11 from three. This slightly contrasted with their first half shooting performance, which qualified the entire roster to join COBRA or enlist as a stormtrooper.

A gob-smacked Mark Turgeon afterwards:

Michigan scored barely over a point per possession in this game, and also sent the opposing coach into a tailspin of recriminations and purges. Basketball!


So it wasn't a surprise when Michigan decided 59 points was sufficient to win and reverted to pew pew laser shooting. It wasn't a surprise when Maryland trundled back into the game despite having 80% free throw shooters brick front ends. It wasn't a surprise that Michigan's attempt to get it inbounds after Maryland cut it to two travelled from Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman, a 91% free throw shooter, to Zavier Simpson, a 50% free throw shooter.

Simpson clanging both shots was a little weird. Because it's kind of what I expected. Also weird: Michigan choosing three seconds left in the game to give up the first wide open three Kevin Huerter had seen all night despite Huerter's evident willingness to shoot from half court.

Then there are three seconds left, and the play you run with three seconds left—which never ever works for a dozen reasons—works so spectacularly well you end up with Abdur-Rahkman, who has damned and redeemed and damned himself already in this game, charging at the basket for a potential layup when a flat-topped moose thunks him from the side. Tweet tweet. Foul. Two shots.

This is what Abdur-Rahkman looks like as he shoots the ensuing free throws:


These men are nihilists, dude. MAAR looks like a Michigan football fan during the fourth quarter of the bowl game. He sinks both free throws and Michigan wins.

And I want you to know this, reader: Crisler literally has a promotion where a ticket stub from a Michigan win during which they score 70 points nets you a free slider at Arby's. Yes. Nihilist Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman sends Michigan to victory with 68 points. Eat At Arby's. Don't Eat At Arby's. If ever a basketball game deserved to end on a Nihilist Arby's infinite regression paradox loop, it was this one.


WOOF? Uh... analysis almost seems beside the point. Michigan's offense bogged down a little bit early and had far too much of the late-clock stuff they haven't been good at, but probably a majority of their misses were at the rim. Maryland did a decent job challenging shots; they did not do enough to hold Michigan to 0.7 PPP while forcing one (ONE!) turnover.

Bad luck? Something goofy because they'd played on Saturday? I don't know. I think it's just one of those things. Michigan's insane three point shooting gallery in the second half was probably the same thing in the other direction: abnormal luck.

Anthony Cowan is the Steph Curry generation. Dude is a dude, and every time Maryland got in a late clock situation I thought about his Hoop Math page and its 50% unassisted 3 column. He was 4/6 from deep and maybe all of those were jacks? Two were heavily-contested buzzer-beaters off the dribble in the first half that were really, really painful given what was going on at the other end.

Anyway: Cowan's ability to rise up over anyone at any time is where basketball is going. I compared David DeJulius to Derrick Walton the last time a highlight video of his hit this here site, but immediately after this game I think Cowan is a closer fit.

This is a nice thing to think about your fourth-most-hyped incoming recruit.

Jordan Poole! Poole was a major catalyst for Michigan's second half comeback, and revealed afterwards that he named his NBA 2k character The Microwave in honor of Vinnie Johnson. My dude. He had his typical defensive issues and one over-eager turnover, but in a game where Michigan seemed afraid to take a shot his second half minutes were a breath of fresh air. All the potential in the world.

Wagner: back. Second straight game he leads Michigan in points, and 11 rebounds give him a rare-for-Mo double-double. Turgeon's right: Wagner adds an aspect to Michigan's offense that could take it from okay to excellent. We saw it against MSU, and in this game his 4/6 from deep was critical.



January 17th, 2018 at 8:30 AM ^

"Cold blooded killer at work -- Do Not Disturb!"

The contrast to what Simpson does on his way to the line this year is remarkable. He's distracted, looking around, not focused solely on the free throw. I'm not judging -- he's got a lot on his mind. But this is something he needs to learn to do. Especially the first shot -- the focus should be on it, not on what might happen after that. Rahkman isolated himself, tuned everything and everyone out -- he's not posing there -- he's doing his job.

Franz Schubert

January 16th, 2018 at 5:44 PM ^

But he should have never called a timeout to ice his own free throw shooter and give Turgeon a chance to set up an offensive play. And stop giving the ball to your worst free throw shooter in the clutch. Lastly, play Poole Moore. He’s a great coach!


January 16th, 2018 at 1:41 PM ^

Don't see the Cowan comp. I think Walton is the right one. DDJ is going to have a harder time getting to the hoop than Cowan because Cowan is lighning quick. Quickness is probably one of the weaker spots in DDJ's game. DDJ uses change of pace and strength to beat guys more than speed (i.e. Walton). And, he's gonna have to adjust in college because he loves the hesitation dribble to do that, but he'll be getting called for a carry a few teams a game if does the same stuff you see on film.

Still, his range is ridiculous.


January 16th, 2018 at 1:52 PM ^

Yeah Cowan was a fringe top 50 recruit who dominated in one of the top high school basketball leagues in the country in high school. De Julious will likely be great because Beilein but the dude has been clearly elite from the get go. 

That was an ugly performance that saw some of the same late game issues that cost us Purdue and LSU re-surface but good to see them gut out a win.  Simpson needs to get his head on straight at the line, as of now he can't be played with under a minute left in a fouling situation, I'd rather have Brooks out there and run an offense defense substition.


January 16th, 2018 at 2:50 PM ^

What I mean by change of pace is rocking a defender. Stop-start-stop action. Get the defender going one way, change direction or stop moving, then get him going another, rinse repeat. What you see guys like Walton and DDJ do is using that type of movement to get a defender unstable in his stance and then get by them.

Some guys can just blow by people with the ball like DeAaron Fox last year. That's the type of player I think of when I think of a quick player. Players like DDJ or Walton have to be a bit more creative. And that's why it helps when you can carry the ball a tad like DDJ does. Defender doesn't want to let him shoot off the dribble cause he's really good at that, but he also doesn't want to lift up to block the shot because DDJ may still have his dribble and drive by.


January 16th, 2018 at 1:45 PM ^

I don't believe he said his 2K character was named "The Microwave", I believe his character earned the "Microwave badge", which means his character earned a skill in the game that affects how his player plays.

Should've ran this article by Ace, Brian! This is an unforgivable trangression!


January 16th, 2018 at 2:12 PM ^

When he's playing like this, we're as dangerous as any team in the country.

He was a part of a great run last year, if he can lead an even better run this year, I'll tip my hat good luck to the man and thank him for his three years.  He's been great the past two games.  Really stepping up the defensive intensity and focus, vaccuming up rebounds and the making shots part doesn't hurt.


January 16th, 2018 at 1:54 PM ^

There were a handful of bad possession, hoist it up late in shot clock but overall I thought we were getting good to great looks.Only 1 first half turn over was a good indication that the offensive flow was good.Sometimes the ball just doesn't go in.Regression to mean in 2nd half.Defense was good throughout.Mich has quietly become a very good defensive team and rebounding well.


January 16th, 2018 at 1:57 PM ^

was the man, and I tried to emulate his two handed no arc shot.  This didn't help an already bad basketball player at all. 

Glad that kids still know who the bad boys are. 


January 16th, 2018 at 10:07 PM ^

in the second half.

Simpson couldn't stay in front of him and Cowan was literally sprinting to the rim with the ball in th first stanza. In the second half, UM was hedging another defender his way on just about every possession. It slowed him down a bit and sometimes forced him to give the ball up.

I haven't seen the box score but Cowan played a lot of minutes -- he might have tired a bit, too.


January 16th, 2018 at 2:15 PM ^

Wow! Could David DeJulius be a more perfect fit for Beilein??? The kid can dribble, drive, shoot from anywhere, create his own shot, has great vision. What, if any, are the cons in his game? And why didn't a team like Duke or Kansas try and recruit this kid?!


January 16th, 2018 at 2:20 PM ^

When Rahk and Simpson aren't scoring we need Poole to get more minutes. This dude is the future of our team. I'm stoked Beilein is giving a lot of Robinson's minutes to Livers. Just need to make sure Poole gets 15-20 a game too. This team is really starting to get very exciting. Hail coach B.


January 16th, 2018 at 2:40 PM ^

I agree with you 100% - the kid has skills that haven't been seen from a freshman at UofM in a long time.  But where do his minutes come from?  MAAR? Matthews?

It was interesting to see the MAAR/Poole/Matthews lineup last night with no true PG in the game.  I wonder if coach B will tinker with that any further moving forward. 


January 17th, 2018 at 12:40 AM ^

you never know when guys "aren't scoring" until after they've not scored.  Also, with scorers, it doesn't matter what they've done up to any given point, they could hit their next shot with same probability of any shot.  Take MAAR last night for instance.  1-8 or something on the night and hits a huge three with a minute to go to extend the lead to 5 and then makes the winning play.

I am curious to see if we play a little more of the MAAR-Poole-Matthews backcourt.  Hard to take minutes from MAAR and Matthews, but you could take minutes from Brooks to get Poole on the floor more.


January 16th, 2018 at 2:42 PM ^

Wow, how is David Dejulius already far more jacked than everyone on our team? Teske in particular looks so soft and squishy, I don't think i've ever seen a 7 footer with narrower, more pathetic shoulders. Haven't been impressed with Camp Sanderson outside of Stauskas's development.


--weird take