Michigan 97, Northern Michigan 50

Submitted by Tim on November 15th, 2009 at 1:04 PM


Michigan (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten)

When a college basketball player scores a triple-double, it's likely his team had a pretty good game. When he does it after 29 minutes of play, and is able to take to the bench for significant garbage time, it's guaranteed. Manny Harris did just that, recording only the second triple-double in Michigan basketball history last night in the Wolverines' 97-50 romp over D-2 Northern Michigan. He finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists. Just about the only thing that made Wolverine fans unhappy was Beilein's decision not to go for the century mark in the final minute.

For much of the game, it seemed like the offense wasn't running that smoothly, and the majority of Michigan's points were coming in fast break situations (or only shortly thereafter). There are a number of things that probably factor into this: freshmen getting used to the pace of an actual game in college, including one at point guard; overmatched opponent didn't require running too much of the offense; early season jitters. I think the jitters may have played a role, as the team started sketchy from the line, with Manny Harris missing one, and LLP and Anthony Wright each having a bad miss. They settled down from the stripe as the game went on, and the team missed just one freebie in the second half.


Freshman Matt Vogrich showed he can shoot the hell out of the ball, making all 5 of his shot attempts, each of them from behind the arc. Zack Novak, on the other hand, was unable to continue his hot streak from the last game, missing on both of his 3-balls. DeShawn Sims led all scorers with 22 points. Zack Gibson is still good for a couple really athletic plays per game and a couple awkward ones, including having a guard rip a rebound out of his hands. I still don't like Anthony Wright as a useful piece of this team. He misses 100% of the shots he doesn't take... and nearly all the ones that he does take. Sure, he can get hot at times (see: NCAA Tournament game against Oklahoma), but that's the exception, not the rule.

Other personnel notes: Laval Lucas-Perry didn't score a lot, but did a pretty good job running the point when he was asked to do so. A host of walkons got in at the end of the game (Akunne, Bartelstein, Puls, and Person), and they played with Ben Cronin. After the game, Beilein said that he would have liked Cronin to get a bit more time, but he has a hand injury (his right hand was heavily taped during the game) that limits him from shooting or catching the ball. That injury should be fine by Friday.

The defensive intensity looked really good to start the game, and the players were being really aggressive in the zone. I can see why it's so helpful to have a 6-4 guy at the top of the zone, rather than somebody who's generously listed at 6-0. There were instances where the team was able to trap Northern's players, but they didn't actually record too many turnovers. As the game wore on and it became apparent that the Wildcats wouldn't be posing a serious threat, the intensity cooled off a bit, and I think there might have even been more reliance on man defenses, though I haven't re-watched the game to confirm.

Postgame Quotes:

  • "They told me I had three assists to get [the triple double] and that's when I knew and I kinda counted from there." Manny Harris, on whether he knew he was approaching the triple-double.
  • "I think anybody could get 10 assists, because we shoot the ball so well." Manny Harris.
  • "He'll probably miss one or two [in practice], but we know he can shoot." Manny Harris on Matt Vogrich's shooting performance. "Class of 2013 right there. I was real happy for him. He's a shooter and I think he proved that out there today. I think you guys will be seeing a lot more of that from him." Darius Morris on Vogrich's performance.
  • "For Manny to go out there and make plays, that's what he does: he's a playmaker." Darius Morris on Manny Harris's triple-double.
  • "He trusts these shooters, and he relishes the assists as much as he does the points." John Beilein on Manny Harris's performance.
  • "I like Stu coming in at that 13-minutes mark, because he's got that arm warmed up and ready to roll." John Beilein on bringing Stu Douglass off the bench.
  • "I think he'll be fine by next weekend but he can't shoot right now and catch right now because his right hand still bothers him." John Beilein on Ben Cronin's injury.
  • "Our defense has to improve, and I thought this was a good start today. Tomorrow when we watch film, there will be 50 or 60 cuts, and we'll spend an hour in there telling them what we gotta do better." John Beilein on the team's defense.

Up Next:


Michigan takes on Houston Baptist (0-2) Friday at 7 in Crisler Arena, available online at BigTenNetwork.com. The Huskies have another game before they head to Ann Arbor, taking on Rice tonight. Full preview of the game as it approaches.



November 15th, 2009 at 2:09 PM ^

It was free to watch online games last year, and now they have upped it to 2.99? That's pretty lame and I'm not gonna pay. I would think about it if it was actually a good game, but I don't think I'll be paying to watch Houston Baptist. I'll just watch the gamecast on ESPN or the CBS one. I also heard that the Wayne State game on BTN.com had a terrible feed and was pretty laggy.


November 15th, 2009 at 2:18 PM ^

The offense didn't seem bogged down at all. Players were flashing to the middle and there wasn't excessive dribbling. The ball was moving side to side pretty well. 24 assists on 35 makes is pretty good.


November 15th, 2009 at 10:09 PM ^

the offense got early open looks but didn't knock them down as much as I anticipate they can and will once they get their feet under them. I was at the game and kept noticing how much thinner and faster everyone seemed. Novak, LLP, Gibson, and Wright all looked thinner and faster. Gibson actually had a run out off a long rebound and beat their pg down court. This team is going to be able to run this year, maybe not as much as sparty, but we will run in spots and be effective at it.


November 15th, 2009 at 2:29 PM ^

It was an impressive showing, even for a weak opponent guys did what they were supposed to. The team looked great. Morris looks like he knows what he's doing. Good awareness and he looked like a good fit on D. Agree that LLP looked solid running the show. And Vogrich...looks like he's about 12 but the shooting was really impressive. One of the 3s was from way out.

One exception to the good showing though... Being this was the first time I've had a chance to watch Cronin, I was disappointed. While he may be way ahead of where he was he still looks very much like he's in recovery mode. From seeing him out there looking ineffective and slow against northern michigan I can't imagine many (any?) situations where he'd be used other than mop up time. Hopefully the kid is still healing and will improve but from just a few minutes of action things don't look very optimistic for him being a contributer. I'm not trying to be overly critical, just an honest assessment from someone who hasn't seen him before yesterday.

South Bend Wolverine

November 15th, 2009 at 5:56 PM ^

Bear in mind Cronin is nursing a hand injury at the moment that's inhibiting his ball handling. Hopefully we'll get a better picture in the coming weeks. Also on the big-man front, I only caught the first half & snippets of the second, but Gibson was certainly looking on form, with a jump shot for a mid-range 2 and a nice throw down or two. If Gibson can get rolling, as he's shown the ability to in flashes & spurts, that will bode VERY well for us.


November 15th, 2009 at 2:32 PM ^

The offense started a little slow, getting most of its production on fast break or secondary break situations. Later in the game, it was running a little more smoothly.


November 15th, 2009 at 2:33 PM ^

I do believe that Beilein has finally exorcised the evil that was Brian and Tommy from the program once and for all. Even though it was the first game and even though it was against a D-2 school, the team play and general 'tude was incredible to see.


November 15th, 2009 at 7:30 PM ^

WOW!!! This kid is amazing. He's going to be an amazing kick out option for Manny and Sims and Morris. He might be the purest 3 point shooter I've seen outside of Garrison Carr (see American University vs. Villanova round 1 of last year's tourney). He really reminds me of J.J. Redick minus the ass hole attitude. I really hope he can play defense so we can leave him out there in big games. I really think I'm going to be much calmer when U of M is losing a game late because they can just feed Vogrich the ball.

I have a bet with a friend of mine that he'll hit 10 3's one time this season.

I hate the BTN (wrong facts, slow replay, bad play by play, etc.) but I have to give them props for letting Jimmy King announce the game. He wasn't the smoothest but he was entertaining. I enjoyed hearing his stories for scrimmaging these kids during the summer.


November 16th, 2009 at 12:02 AM ^

Love that games that never would've seen broadcast are available, but how hard is it to spell Michigan? At least 2x during the game, there were graphics that spelled it Micihgan.

Couple that with the fball broadcast - Jonas Mouton hailing from Los AngelOs, Darryl Stonum from SugErland, TX, and a host of others.

It's just painful.

I Bleed Maize N Blue

November 15th, 2009 at 10:03 PM ^

*clap* *clap* *clap-clap-clap*

TRI-ple DOU-ble!

*clap* *clap* *clap-clap-clap*

WOO! Something to celebrate in an otherwise dismal U-M weekend.

Harris & Sims looking good. Pure PG in Morris, and pure shooter in Vogrich.

Looking forward to a good season.


November 16th, 2009 at 8:48 AM ^

I noticed the same thing on TV. Outside of the Maize Rage, it was very sparse. I would think this week's game will be more of the same, or worse. Guess we'll have to wait until they get home from the tournament over Thanksgiving to see how the fans respond via attendance.

Maize Rage

November 16th, 2009 at 10:30 AM ^

I was at the game this Saturday (in the Maize Rage of course) and the student section(s) were fantastic. There is a HUGE difference from last year.

I asked one of the players about this and he said he loved the support and only wished we could somehow get the students to the lower bowl area surrounding the court. He said other arenas are set up this way and it is a great advantage for the home team.


November 16th, 2009 at 9:30 AM ^

Morris is the real deal. Good point guard instincts. As advertised on D - he was all over his man. I was also surprised by his height; I'm not sure what his official height is, but he seems significantly taller than the average point.

Vogrich's shooting stats speak for themselves. I'm not sure how he can see the basket through that hair... maybe he locks in to the hoop using radar or sonar or some bat-like infrared shit.

The Squid

November 16th, 2009 at 3:19 PM ^

Yeah, that was brutal. His actual underlying analysis was generally OK, but the you-knowing was just horrendous. He had a couple of discussions where there were more you-knows that all other words put together. He even you-know'ed a you-know.

Anyway, he's clearly learning, so I cut him a lot of slack, particularly in a snoozer like Northern vs. UM. He's a really likeable guy, so I hope that he improves and does well.


November 17th, 2009 at 7:37 PM ^

I can't wait to see what Ben Cronin can do when he is healthy. Not that I expect greatness from him this year. I would just like to see him get enough quality minutes off the bench to allow zack gibson and DeShawn Simms to be on the floor together. It does not seem like we are going to get quality minutes from wright so we need Ben Cronin to be good!I think with Simms, Gibson and Novak on the floor at the same time we will be solid in the front court! There is certainly know worry's in the back court. I don't expect Lucas-Perry to see much time on the court this year. Morris and Vogrich appear to be pretty studly. I am pretty geeked about our potential this year!!