Michigan 79, NC State 72

Submitted by Ace on November 27th, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Eric Upchurch/MGoBlog

Nik Stauskas says he never followed hockey. When asked about Alanis Morissette, he looks downright befuddled.

"I don't even know who that is."

Yes, Stauskas isn't your typical Canadian. That's because he spent his youth in the backyard—not on a frozen pond, but an asphalt court—hoisting three-pointer after three-pointer.

"I've probably taken a million shots in my life. That's pretty much all I'd do when I was a kid, just go outside and shoot. It's something I'm very confident doing," he said, after leading Michigan with 20 points on 6-10 shooting (4-7 3PT) in a 79-72 victory over NC State.

Thanks in large part to the shooting of Stauskas, Michigan was able to cruise for much of the game against a talented Wolfpack squad, weathering a late 10-0 run by the visitors to give the Big Ten its first win in this year's Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

It's a testament to the balance and depth of this year's squad that Trey Burke went scoreless in the first half; taking what the defense gave him, Burke doled out nine first-half assists as the Wolverines built a 43-36 lead. Burke went into attack mode in the second half, notching his first-career double-double with 18 points and 11 assists—he also had zero turnovers, as the team tallied just six total.

The four factors tell much of the story:

Factor Michigan N.C. State
eFG% 58.3 58.9
Turnover % 9.8 20.4
O. Reb % 24.1 33.3
FTA/FGA 37.0 16.1

Michigan had a lights-out offensive performance with stellar shooting, great ball control, and frequent trips to the free-throw line. Glenn Robinson III had a quiet 11 points on 3-5 shooting to go with seven rebounds, while Jordan Morgan and Mitch McGary combined for 14 points while going 6-9 from the field, largely coming on open looks set up by Burke.

The Wolverines struggled to put away an athletic Wolfpack squad, however, as they couldn't protect the defensive glass in the second half—NC State scored ten points off of seven offensive boards in the final stanza. The frontcourt of C.J. Leslie, T.J. Warren, and Richard Howell poured in 46 combined points, taking advantage of the inexperience of Robinson and McGary to create several open looks.

Though the end got a little hairy, this was a game that Michigan largely dominated. Early foul trouble for Howell—who would eventually foul out—and Leslie forced NC State to go to a zone defense, which the Wolverines picked apart with ease. While Tim Hardaway Jr. had an off night from beyond the arc (1-9 3PT), he and Burke both took advantage by getting to the paint for pull-up jumpers—Hardaway finished with 16 points, shooting 6-9 from two-point range.

When Michigan most needed a bucket, leading by just five with 1:38 to play, it was Hardaway who put the game away, finding a lane and banking a shot home from just outside the paint. On a night when Burke went scoreless for nearly 23 minutes and Hardaway shot 7-18—against a top-25 ACC opponent, no less—the Wolverines had a comfortable lead for most of the game and survived a late scare.

For that, they can thank Stauskas—for growing up obsessed with his jump shot, not his wrist shot, even in Ontario.


Blue boy johnson

November 27th, 2012 at 10:58 PM ^

I could be completely mistaken, (haven't see Reggie Miller in a while), but on some of Stauskas jump shots his form reminds me of Reggie Miller.

NC State has as talented a frontcourt as M is going to see all season. If they can figure things out by March, I wouldn't want to meet up with them again

Are McGary and  Morgan coached to roll the "wrong" way on pick-and -rolls, or are they just reverting to bad habits in the heat of the moment?


November 29th, 2012 at 2:53 PM ^

You are completely mistaken, while Reggie was one of the best shooters in the game, mechanically he has the worst shot I've ever seen in the NBA.  He pushes with both hands, looks like he's putting side spin on the ball, follows through with both hands, and his hands cross at the end of his shot.  I've never understood how he could be so good with such an ugly shot.  Meanwhile Nik's stroke is textbook.  I love Nik's free throw routine, so many players have long free throw routines and Nik is one bounce and shoot.  So simple, so quick, I bet when he practices free throws the quickness of his routine allows him to get twice as many shots off as most players in the same amount of time.


November 27th, 2012 at 11:46 PM ^

I agree.  But in his defense, three of the attempts he missed tonight were products of the shot clock running out and someone passing it to him with a second or two left. 

I really appreciate THJ's aggressiveness in terms of taking it to the hoop this season.  Even Stauskas had a couple nice drives against NC State.

Blue boy johnson

November 27th, 2012 at 11:24 PM ^

I must admit I was a little disappointed in Morgan's lack of assertiveness and swag. He has the Stu Douglass disease of failure to recognize his talent level. Jordan, like Stu, is capable of more than he believes himself to be. Go for it Jordan.


November 28th, 2012 at 9:31 AM ^

who has overachieved massively in his career to date, and who has thrown it down with crowd-rousing emphasis many times over the last two seasons. I never quite get what people want from a guy who led the B1G in shot percentage two seasons. Fans have to tolerate that players miss shots, that the game is a struggle.

1989 UM GRAD

November 28th, 2012 at 10:25 AM ^

I somewhat agree with all of the above on Morgan.  Yes, he has overachieved in many ways, but he also does seem to fumble the ball around a fair amount...and is sometimes way too hesitant when he gets the ball underneath the basket.  He seems best when he gets the ball in transition and has an open look for a dunk or lay-in.  His problems seem to arise when the ball comes to him when he's set under the basket.  Many times, he fumbles the pass or the rebound.  Or, if he catches the ball, he'll go up with the ball slowly.  Despite his high FG%, it does also seem as though he misses more than his fair share of bunnies.

1989 UM GRAD

November 28th, 2012 at 10:27 AM ^

Despite his negatives, his production overall has been a pleasant suprise over the past three seasons.  There's no doubt that he is a positive factor on the team and will be looked at as a strong four-year contributor when his career at UM is over.


November 27th, 2012 at 11:33 PM ^

NC State really had no answer for Michigan's ball movement and long range shooting.

Michigan did not do well defending down low and weak side rebounding.

The lack of turnovers on Michigan's part was huge. By the time, I had turned it off because the  game was sealed, they only had 5. They manage to turn the ball over less than five times a game then they very well could go undefeated.


November 27th, 2012 at 11:48 PM ^

Burke didnt have a turnover the entire game? That's incredible. I'm sure at this monent he isn't regretting his decision to come back. His draft stock is getting better each game.


November 28th, 2012 at 12:20 AM ^

It will be interesting to see how this team plays on the road. It is possible that this game unfolds differently if we're at NCST tonight.

Not comparing this team to last year but .... comparing this team to last year, we lost 1 at home, 3 at a neutral site, and 6 on the road. Giving up a ton of points late kind of scares me. We gotta be able to keep those big leads if we want to make the kind of run at the you.know.what (trying not to jinx it).


November 28th, 2012 at 3:53 AM ^

Did anyone catch the clip of Gottfried's pregame talk that was aired before tip-off?  Did it seem corny too anyone else and some of the mannerisms remind them of Kevin Nealon in Happy Gilmore?  "

"Yeah, lot of pressure.  You gotta rise above it.  You gotta harness in the good energy.  Block out the bad.  Harness.  Energy.  Block.  Bad.  Feel the flow, Happy."

STW P. Brabbs

November 28th, 2012 at 7:34 AM ^

I knew that speech reminded me of something! My wife and I agreed that it was maybe the least mootivational pregame speech we could think of.

We're together. We play together. As a team. Not last year's team. This year's team. Together. This year's team; there'll be ups and downs. They get six, we get six. Together. Team. Together. (Also lots of weird arm motions, esp. the one that looks like you're bring your arms around a barrel.)