Michigan 82, Florida State 80 (OT)

Submitted by Ace on November 22nd, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Via Diehard Sport

The first half confirmed everyone's worst fears. Michigan couldn't handle Florida State's size on either end of the floor, repeatedly getting caught in mismatches defensively while failing to get to the rim offensively. The Wolverines trailed 37-27 at the break, and a 6-0 FSU run to start the second half had the game on the verge of blowout territory.

Michigan gradually worked their way out of the 16-point deficit, however, thanks to three things: John Beilein's defensive adjustments, Mitch McGary rounding into form, and Nik Stauskas leaving no doubt regarding the identity of this team's go-to scorer.

It started defensively, as Michigan switched from playing exclusively man-to-man in the first half—allowing FSU to exploit their significant size advantage—to a brief dalliance with the 2-3 and a full-blown love affair with the 1-3-1, which led to seven second-half turnovers and got the offense going in transition. It also allowed Caris LeVert, who was attacked repeatedly on the interior in the first half, to become a disruptive force at the top of the zone; he was credited with two steals and generally wreaked havoc defensively.

McGary finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds (7 offensive) with three assists and two blocks, and aside from some trouble finishing at the basket (6/15 from the field) he looked like the McGary of last season's NCAA tournament, crashing the boards with aplomb, affecting shots at the rim, and even leading the fast break. He even tallied an assist with a behind-the-back pass in transition that bounced twice before reaching Stauskas, who calmly sunk a three to cut the Seminoles lead to six; naturally, the fast break opportunity came off a McGary steal.

Then there was Stauskas, who finished with a career-high 26 points despite shooting just 7/16 (3/8 3-pt) from the field. After forcing some questionable perimeter shots in the first half, Stauskas found his rhythm in the latter stanza by repeatedly attacking the basket and taking contact—he finished 9/12 from the line. When Michigan found themselves down by two with 11 seconds to play in regulation, John Beilein entrusted Stauskas to make a play, and his trust was rewarded: Stauskas declined a high ball screen from McGary when he saw an opening, drove hard to the baseline, and finished with a layup to send the game to overtime.

Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III, who had a relatively quiet game otherwise, led the way in the overtime period. Stauskas buried a three and added four points from the charity stripe, while Robinson sunk two pull-up jumpers to account for 11 of Michigan's 13 points in the extra period. The Wolverines had to sweat out a desperation heave after Derrick Walton missed two free throws with a chance to ice the game; while FSU's prayer hit the backboard (ack!) it harmlessly bounced well wide of the rim.

The concerns brought forth in the first half still stand, of course; Michigan has traditionally had trouble with very big teams, and Florida State was no exception. The fact that they adjusted so well in the middle of the game this early in the season, however, cannot be ignored; it's entirely possible that the Wolverines just stumbled upon their ideal defense going forward. McGary is doing better than anyone could've reasonably expected while playing his way into shape, Stauskas has taken the mantle as the team's go-to scorer, and a young team showed plenty of fight when they could've simply folded. We may look back at the second half as a critical turning point en route to another special season.

First, however, Michigan must get past Charlotte on Sunday at 6:30 EST to take home the Puerto Rico Tipoff title.


El Demonio

November 22nd, 2013 at 8:24 PM ^

MGOBLOG preview by Ace (posted at 3pm):

"but Florida State broke VCU's vaunted Havoc press time and again en route to an 18-point victory.."


UMHOOPS preview by Dylan Burkhardt (posted at 7:17a):

"The Seminoles broke VCU’s vaunted ‘Havoc’ full court press time and again and blew out the Rams, 85-67"


November 22nd, 2013 at 8:33 PM ^

Are you accusing me of plagiarizing Dylan? Because Dylan and I are friends, the VCU press is both "vaunted" and called Havoc, and that's quite an accusation to drop in such a manner. We happened to write very similar sentences about a thing that happened. That's going to happen every once in a while when we write about the same topics.

EDIT: Also, I'd have to be quite the idiot/asshole to link to the post I'm "plagiarizing" in the very same post in which the offending quote appears. I'm both of these things at times, certainly, but I'd hope at this point I'd get more benefit of the doubt than that.


November 22nd, 2013 at 8:41 PM ^

I could be wrong, but I think he's accusing you and this 'Dylan' of being the same person. Or is it Dylan is the same as 'Ace'? Is this one big conspiracy? Is it really just an evil corporation who runs all UM blogs with 3 writers outsourced from India? Man, this just got deep.

El Demonio

November 22nd, 2013 at 8:57 PM ^

Frankly, anything I put here will be met with vitriol, but I want to respond nonetheless.

I'm not accusing you of plagiarism, and maybe I could have chosen a better way of pointing this out, but I assumed you saw other previews, which is normal and typical and acceptable, and maybe that phrase got stuck in your head and you repeated it.  You do good work, and I enjoy reading your material.  Maybe just be more careful.  That's advice we can all heed in everything we do.

Also, you and Dylan being friends is irrelevant.

Shop Smart Sho…

November 22nd, 2013 at 9:04 PM ^

Yep, you're still wrong.  When checking for plagiarism, the similarity between what Ace and Dylan posted wouldn't trip any competent teacher or professors alarm.  

Just stop now before you dig yourself a bigger hole.  Everyone has an off night, and we can just call this one yours.


November 22nd, 2013 at 9:06 PM ^

It's entirely possible that could happen, though I'll say with certainty in this case that it didn't, since I wrote so much in the last couple days that I didn't get the chance to read what was posted on this site, let alone any other. (Tonight's job is catching up on the defensive UFR.) Also, I'd already written an FSU preview for HTTV Hoops; I didn't exactly need any help today.

I do appreciate the response; I don't appreciate the "I'm not saying, I'm just saying" tone of this post or your original post. If you see an issue like this again, a much better way to handle it would be to email me or Brian, wait for a response, and then make such a serious accusation if and only if you think it's warranted.

El Demonio

November 22nd, 2013 at 9:14 PM ^

As to my method, probably not fair and I understand that.  I've erred greatly in that respect.  I don't like messing with people's jobs or reputation and it was a lack of judgment on my part to do that in such a forum. 

If you say it is a coincidence, I believe you since you've pretty much presented yourself as a forthright individual since you've been on board with the site.

However, the fact that you wrote an FSU preview however long ago has nothing to do with that particular phrase, since it referred to an event that occurred just yesterday.  


November 22nd, 2013 at 9:22 PM ^

Cripes, man.

The reason I said the thing about writing an FSU preview before is that I didn't have any need to look at someone else's FSU preview. The reason I said the thing about Dylan and I being friends is that I value that friendship and certainly wouldn't steal content from him; that would put quite the strain on our friendship, not to mention the fact that I'm good friends with Joe Stapleton (of UMHoops) and our assigned seats at Crisler are right next to each other.

I appreciate you admitting your error in judgment; I'd also recommend trying a little less hard to hold onto any possible point in your favor when you're clearly in the wrong here.

Shop Smart Sho…

November 22nd, 2013 at 9:15 PM ^

Whatever happened to the idea that got tossed around when the whole kerfluffle over comments about a kid looking young happened about setting up a contact link for the moderators to have access to?  It sounded like the mods were in favor of it, but nothing ever came of it that I've seen.


November 22nd, 2013 at 9:48 PM ^

You're being way too nice about this, Ace.

This guy thought he was being sly and quick-witted; instead he was totally fucking wrong and refused to completely own up to this fact and continued to take subtle shots at you even whilst "apologizing."

Petty and bush league.


November 22nd, 2013 at 9:20 PM ^

he's not accusing you of plagarizing so much as he's being a dick.

here's another article calling it "vaunted havoc" and it's from last year (http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/81273/rapid-r…).  uh oh, get the cops out on dylan.

no wait, it's rothstein that's the plagarist.  because dienhart did it too: http://btn.com/2013/03/23/quick-hit-what-havoc-michigan-rolls-vcu/

not to be outdone, but so did this other guy i've never heard of: http://collegebasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/03/23/why-was-vcu-unabl…

and the associated press: http://www.dailygazette.net/standard/ShowStoryTemplate.asp?Path=SCH/201…

and those are just the first four hits for "vaunted havoc" and VCU in my google search.  i could go on all night here, but kinda feel like going home. 

el demonio = dick.  QED.


November 22nd, 2013 at 8:28 PM ^

Any chance for a GIF of Nik's ridiculous drive to reverse? The one where he split the entire FSU team and hung in the air for five minutes before a sweet finish.


November 22nd, 2013 at 8:52 PM ^

Ace just assumed it had to be a 3 point win because Kenpom said it would be, easy mistake to make.

Also, great write-up, Ace. I was unable to watch the game so just followed your twitter on my phone to figure out what was happening; it was almost like I was watching the game.


November 22nd, 2013 at 8:36 PM ^

That was a final four caliber game. Impressive that they were able to pull it out with Noles having a 6-12 point lead for most of the game and seemingly in control. 40 ounces of Jolly Roger enhanced my viewing pleasure.


November 22nd, 2013 at 8:43 PM ^

Stauskas seems to be much improved and is a killer out there on the floor.  He took it hard to the rack a number of times.  McGary looked like Final Four Mitch, and Levert seems much improved as well.  If GR3 could at make at least half of the major jump we all expected him to take between year 1 and year 2, this team could easily make another deep tourney run. There's tons of talent on this roster.