Michigan 95, Iowa 67

Submitted by Ace on January 6th, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog

For the first 13 minutes against Iowa, Michigan looked as disjointed and inconsistent on both ends of the floor as they had all season. The Hawkeyes, coming off a four-point loss to Indiana, looked poised to give another top-flight team a serious test, holding a 21-17 edge with seven minutes left in the first half.

Over the course of the next 27 minutes, the Wolverines scored 78 points.

The onslaught actually began on defense, when Mitch McGary electrified the Crisler crowd with a volleyball spike of a block against Iowa's Aaron White—a display of sheer athletic superiority. From that point, Michigan finished the first half on a 27-14 tear featuring three thunderous dunks—one each by Glenn Robinson III, Mitch McGary, and Tim Hardaway Jr., whose one-handed throwdown will assuredly crack the Sportscenter top ten.

In the waning seconds of the half, the Wolverines somehow moved the ball coast-to-coast in under four seconds, capped by a Robinson layup that sent the team running into the tunnel with an 11-point lead.

Iowa had made their upset bid. There would be no upset.

The acrobatics continued in the second half as the Wolverines pulled away; in all, Michigan totaled 11 dunks by five different players. They also connected on 10-of-22 three-pointers. Of their 36 field goals, 24 were assisted. They committed six turnovers.

Robinson, perhaps more representative than any other Wolverine of the new breed, led the charge with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting and ten rebounds. After the game, he revealed one of his nicknames, "Light Rob," for his ability to register so-called quiet points within the framework of the offense. His points weren't so quiet today—five dunks tend to make some noise—but he once again displayed a knack for showing up in the right spot, rarely needing to do so much as dribble to put the ball in the hoop.

Trey Burke did what Trey Burke does: 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting, 12 assists, a steal, and a lone turnover. Michigan's other star, Hardaway, also managed 19 points, hitting 3-of-5 threes and stuffing the stat sheet with five rebounds and five assists. Nik Stauskas, working around the margins, scored 13 and threw down a slam of his own, using his lethal three-point shot to set up the drive.

Then there was McGary, doing the grunt work in his best game as a Wolverine. He finished with five points, hitting his only two field goals of the day; more importantly, he hit the glass, bringing in 11 rebounds in just 20 minutes and keying the fast break with quick outlet passes. Continuing to show more explosiveness after starting the year rusty, McGary tallied three blocks and, yes, dunked.

Despite a margin that hung in the neighborhood of 30 points for much of the second half, Crisler didn't begin to empty until the last couple minutes, after the starters had all been (mercifully) pulled. This was a show, the divine intersection of athleticism and skill, and woe be upon the fan who didn't savor every second.

Asked to compare this team to the others he's coached, John Beilein said, "we run a little faster and jump a little higher." In a grand concession given his previous, tongue-in-cheek dodging of such questions, Beilein even went so far as to say "a few" of his past players may even admit this Michigan outfit is superior to his past squads.

Indeed, Coach. Indeed.



January 7th, 2013 at 10:47 AM ^

I don't think he's as nuts as you think.  Manny put up points and got boards but he was very inconsistent and inefficient.  You might be able to make a case for starting him over Hardaway, especially last year's version, but I don't think I would given his improved shooting.  Plus, if you start him for Stauskas you lose that deadly outside threat.  I think he would come off the bench.

As for Sims, you might be able to make a case for starting him at the 5, but that's quite a logjam and its not his natural spot.  Or, you start him over GR3, which might not be a bad move, but I don't think it's necessarily that cut and dry. 

It would be real nice, though, to have any of the above options.   



January 8th, 2013 at 9:38 AM ^

if we would think different of Manny and Deshawn if they had Trey Burke dealing to them. I think each of them had Darius for one year(?) and before that it was kind of mess. I bet we would think a lot more highly of them if they were on this years team because Trey would make them both look amazing


January 6th, 2013 at 10:46 PM ^

I agree that getting hot in March often determines it, but c'mon now. Theres no way I'm putting any non-NC team above the 1989 team. I get what you're saying about the luck involved in March but in the end I just feel like results matter.

Case in point:

What Kentucky fans would put last year's team below their John Wall team? Not many. But the John Wall team was MUCH better and MUCH more talented, just didn't get it done in March (lost to WVU in the elite 8 I believe).

For reference, the John Wall Team had FIVE first round draft picks that year, including their 6th man BACKUP center. That's just ridiculous.


January 6th, 2013 at 11:13 PM ^

That's actually not a great example. Last year's Kentucky team tied the record for most wins by a college basketball team and had the #1 and #2 overall picks in the draft.  It also ranked higher (1st vs 3rd) on KenPom than the John Wall unit.

To your larger point, if this team goes sometihng like 14-4 or 15-3 and wins the Big Ten, then it's the best Michigan team since at least the Fab Five. Heck I could argue it's better than that those squads if it accomplishes that.  Results do matter and you are judged by what you do in March, but a 30 game regular season is a better gauge of a team's talent level than a t one and done ourney in a semi filled pro arena. 


January 7th, 2013 at 12:37 AM ^

Definitely appreciate that you disagreed and backed it up with facts. I respect that. The one thing I would like to counter with is that last year was an extremely weak year for college basketball. Kentucky was the only great team in the entire country, every game they played they were huge favorites.

Granted this next statement is just opinion but I think 3-4 teams from the John Wall year would've been favored to beat 2011-2012 Kentucky on a Neutral floor, including that Kentucky team. KenPom can only really be used to measure within 1 year, not comparing year to year, so 1 vs 3 is sort've irrelevent if you are comparing different years.

Sac Fly

January 6th, 2013 at 9:03 PM ^

Watching Trey I would almost draw the Allen Iverson comparison, he just moves so much faster than everyone else. Bouncing around the floor until a crease opens isn't supposed to work, a regular player can't do that.


January 8th, 2013 at 7:34 PM ^

I don't know about that, Iverson had a better crossover, and when iverson took it to the hole he wouldn't throw a high looping bank shot in, he'd dunk over the opposing center.  Iverson was an athletic freak.  Burke's a better shooter though, and probably a better passer, definately better at tallying assists.


January 6th, 2013 at 10:00 PM ^

Some may be too young to remember, but I think he reminds me more of Isiah Thomas.  But when Iverson, CP3, and Zeke are the three guys in the conversation, you really can't lose.


January 6th, 2013 at 9:20 PM ^

13 minutes into the game, Michigan had 17 points.  That is just above 1 point per minute.

During the remaining 27 minutes, Michigan scored 78 points.  That is insane; that is almost 3 points per minute!


January 7th, 2013 at 9:58 AM ^

but its the depth outside of those guys that make this team so dangerous.  Hardaway can shoot the 3 and go inside, Stauskus shoots the 3 and has used that to set up a move off the dribble, McGary can penetrate, Morgan is a strong force underneath - which by the way, seems to be so much better at it this year than he was last year, not because he's a year older necessarily, but because he's got guys inside and outside taking pressure off him.  Defenses can't account for 5 solid players all the time like Michigan can field.  Its so much fun to watch.


January 6th, 2013 at 9:34 PM ^

Great game and great write-up.  I wasn't able to watch this game, and I sure wish I had, but it sure is nice to see a summary and highlights that help capture the excitement.


January 6th, 2013 at 9:34 PM ^

10 minutes into this game I thought we were back to grind it out Big Ten basketball. Then someone fliped a switch and we score 41 points in 11 minutes.

We should get one more game like this which will equal our best start ever, then a true challenge to beat it.


January 6th, 2013 at 9:55 PM ^

Mitch will be straight up scary by the end of the year. He's improving every game and his hands and agility are insane. This team is special. I don't think Columbus is ready for next Sunday.

Blue boy johnson

January 6th, 2013 at 10:09 PM ^

I ain't seen so many dunks since Webber and the boys drew East Tennessee State in the second round of the tourney back in '91 at the Omni in Atlanta

Edit: make that '92. Memory fading


January 6th, 2013 at 10:29 PM ^

The biggest thing that makes this team so great is that our best player is also our PG. in my opinion, PG is by far the most important position on the floor and we just happen to have the best player in the nation running the show for us.


January 6th, 2013 at 11:10 PM ^

The talent level this year is mind boggling.  I keep reminding myself that three of these kids are freshman....you can see the team starting to gel game by game.

I suspect they will have a few games along the way when they are off and will lose, but on a good night, with their 3-point shooting, I think they can play with anyone in the country.  We will know more in a couple of weeks.