Minnesota 83, Michigan 78 Comment Count

Ace February 19th, 2017 at 9:59 PM


Same. [Patrick Barron]

Michigan could've overcome it, either with better rebounding or free-throw shooting or Derrick Walton's overtime three going a quarter-inch the right way or any of the dozens of little moments that ultimately tilt a close basketball game one way or the other.

It, in this case, was as much officiating as Minnesota. This was one of those unfortunate games in which you can either sound like a bitterly sore loser or sound like you're ignoring the big story. In a game that started slow and never got much of a rhythm, the officials made their presence felt, as crews featuring TV Teddy Valentine are wont to do. It's difficult, after an overtime loss, to ignore such sequences as the phantom foul and ensuing phantom technical—called, apparently, on assistant Saddi Washington for getting into position to talk to his team—that resulted in a four-point Minnesota possession instead of a Gopher turnover.

Walton gutted out 16 points and five assists and DJ Wilson had two huge threes—including a bomb to send it to overtime—among his 16 points. Moe Wagner had an efficient 15 points before fouling out in overtime. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman had a strong 14-point game marred by a pair of missed free-throws in the extra session. Jordan Murphy led the way for Minnesota with 16 points and 15 rebounds; Michigan had a tough time keeping him and center Reggie Lynch off the offensive glass.

The loss drops Michigan to 7-7 in Big Ten play and leaves them squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble. More to come tomorrow when I'm less of a bitterly sore loser.

Comments

trueblueintexas

February 19th, 2017 at 10:57 PM ^

I was at the game, the refs were bad, but they were bad on both ends of the floor. Both teams had ten plus fouls in each half.
I'm not going to single out individuals because they are college kids playing a game, but you have to be able to stay in front of the guy you are defending, and Michigan was blown past repeatedly. You have to be able to locate a body to box out, that did not happen repeatedly. You can't completely turn your head while playing man defense and not expect to be caught off guard, that happened repeatedly. And finally, you have to hustle back on defense and not expect the other four guys to make up for you. That happened a couple times. Add all of that up, and it was still a close game on the road.

jmblue

February 19th, 2017 at 11:18 PM ^

I was at the game, the refs were bad, but they were bad on both ends of the floor. Both teams had ten plus fouls in each half.

This is specious reasoning. Michigan entered tonight having committed the fifth-fewest fouls in the country. Minnesota was ranked 56th. One would expect Minnesota to commit a lot of fouls, but not Michigan. And I don't recall any phantom technical fouls called on the Minnesota bench.

As I noted below, before tonight, the most free throws any opponent had ever shot against us in the Beilein era was 31. Minnesota shot 41 (!) tonight.  They shattered that record. Meanwhile, we shot 18.

trueblueintexas

February 20th, 2017 at 12:16 AM ^

Then there really is no reason to play the games since we have enough stats to tell us what's preordained to happen.
Here are a few more stats to model your win loss theory around:
Offensive rebounds: Minn 13, Mich 3.
Total rebounds: Minn 44, Mich 31.
3 point attempts: Minn 13, Mich 26
Michigan free throw makes/attempts: 9-18, including an 0-2 in the last minute of overtime.

Minnesota lived in the paint and supplemented that with strong dribble penetration that Michigan had real trouble with. At least twice #2 on Minnesota (Mason, I think) split a double team, yes, split a double team with dribble penetration in overtime. You simply can't allow that to happen. #2 and #1 repeatedly were able to dribble around the hedge to gain the baseline. You have to cut that off. There are plenty of other things to nit pick about including defensive rotation and recovery, but like I said, they are college kids playing a game.

CLord

February 20th, 2017 at 3:31 AM ^

This is some of the worst reasoning I've seen here in a while.  Anyone with eyeballs saw Michigan played 5 vs 8 tonight, as is usually the case with the pathetic state of home cooked refereeing in Big Ten play.  41 free throws?  Really?  Then for you to sit here trying to justify why Michigan couldn't beat the 8 men it faced on the court due to defense and rebounds etc., is almost as pathetic as the refereeing tonight.

BassDude138

February 20th, 2017 at 9:41 AM ^

You are completely missing the point. Yes, some of the defensive lapses you mention did happen, and Michigan left a lot of points on the board by missing free throws. Those things happen in college basketball. What shouldn't happen, especially down the stretch of a tight game like this, is the offiacials completely taking control of the game instead of letting the players decide the outcome. I will give you the fact that the game was poorly called both ways from the start, but then there were 4-5 egregious calls down the stretch that all went against Michigan. They interrupted the flow of the game and changed the momentum.

trueblueintexas

February 20th, 2017 at 1:34 PM ^

I don't disagree the refs played a role they shouldn't have. Even the Minnesota fans started groaning after the whistle was blown yet again. 

What my coaches always preached about is managaing the things you can control and working around the things you can't. You can't control the refs.  They are something you have to work around and adjust to.  Most of the other things I have mentioned, you can control.

jmblue

February 20th, 2017 at 12:03 AM ^

I've never liked this either/or line of reasoning.  The fact that Michigan missed some free throws, box-outs and so on does not mean that the officials weren't atrocious and had a significant impact on the game.  It doesn't have to be one or the other.  

When John Beilein is coaching in his 339th game at Michigan and in this one, his opponent shoots 30% more free throws than any of his 338 previous opponents ever has, that's something that jumps out at you.  Especially when many of those attempts come on downright phantom calls.

You may not know this, if you were at the game, but even the TV commentators couldn't help being perplexed at many of the calls going Minnesota's way.  (Actually, I'd imagine that being in an environment that is 95% pro-Minnesota would probably sway your perception quite a bit the other way.)

 

 

trueblueintexas

February 20th, 2017 at 12:31 AM ^

I agree the officiating was poor overall, but what you can't see on TV that you can watching live is how easily Minnesota's dribble penetration got the defense out of position and reacting late. They also crashed the glass very hard and Michigan is a poor rebounding team. Add those two things together and that often leads to fouls. Minnesota kept working that formula all night.
There was also at least 7 points Michigan gave up because a certain player would periodically half ass it back on defense instead of sprinting back. It could have been more but Minnesota missed a couple of open shots. Those 7 points are huge in a close game and it's all because someone was lazy or tired, or both.
Those are things announcers typically don't talk about in the flow of a game. My point is, yes the refs sucked, but Michigan's play had a larger role in the loss. And yet it was still a close game so give them credit.

CWoodIsMyBoiii

February 20th, 2017 at 9:08 AM ^

And I'll match your 7 points "Michigan gave up because a certain player would half ass it back on defense..." with the terrible call on the 3 point shot on Duncan Robinson and the phantom block call when a Minnesota player fell over and subsequent tech leading to 4 points for a total of 7.  As stated above, it doesn't have to be horrible officiating OR poor play from Michigan. 

You continue to reference crashing the glass and driving to the hole as things Minnesota did to create contact an get foul calls, but there were at least half a dozen terrible calls last night that didn't come from either of those situations.  How about the call on MAAR on the sideline when the ball is going out of bounds?  Or the 3 or 4 calls when McBrayer simply throwing his head back and getting the foul call.

Hail-Storm

February 20th, 2017 at 10:06 AM ^

There were a lot of Minnesota plays where they were deep under the hoop (looked to have defensive player in circle) where the player drove their body into a Michigan player who was moving backwards to draw the foul.  Does the half circle only protect the offensive player when it comes to body to body forced contact? Each of the scenarios the Michigan player either had arms to side or up so it always was body to body interaction where the Michigan player was moving backwards. 

snarling wolverine

February 20th, 2017 at 9:54 AM ^

I was at the game

So you probably had a much worse view than the rest of us, who watched on TV, of plays like the Minnesota player fumbling the ball out of bounds and getting 2 FTs (despite no contact), or the Minny player slipping and falling down on his own and getting 2 FTs, or Duncan blocking a 3 cleanly and the guy getting 3 FTs (and Duncan getting his fourth personal), the Minny guy going over Irvin's back on a play ruled out of bounds, etc.  

You probably also didn't hear the explanation for the bogus technical foul (it wasn't even on Beilein but Saddi Washington, and it wasn't for arguing but because he walked along the bench area to talk to a player), either.

AmayzNblue

February 19th, 2017 at 10:07 PM ^

Hard to feel this one out. You hit each issue in your post: Michigan couldn't hit free throws for some reason, couldn't rebound and gave way too many second chance points, but then there were some inexplicable calls by the refs. Robinson had a partial block on a 3 pt shot that the review shows he didn't even come close to even a pinky swear with the shooter, the phantom fouls and technical, and the missed over the back foul on Irvin by giving the possession back to Minny. Had UM hit free throws and rebounded just slightly more, the refs would not have been a factor in the outcome of the game. Michigan was in the game despite the poor defensive play and fails on blocking out all game long.

Srock

February 19th, 2017 at 10:16 PM ^

As you can tell I don't talk often here, but @AmayzNblue you're right. It's the same way I felt after the OSU Football game. Michigan should have / could have won both with a little better effort (no pick 6s in FB and mad FTs in BB) and the refs are non-issues. But boy, did it ever feel as if UM was playing 2 teams.

 

dieseljr32

February 19th, 2017 at 10:09 PM ^

one game Michigan is off the bubble, the very next game they're off, followed by another game when they're on the bubble, and then another game that gets them off the bubble. Maybe let's play it out and determine at the end of the year.

TrueBlue2003

February 19th, 2017 at 10:09 PM ^

FT shooting from our best shooters: inexplicably bad.  Rebounding not great. Reffing mind-boggling.

Gotta say that I figured it was over when we went down eight after the huge four point play by Mason so credit for fighting back.

When Irvin waved off Walton to run the pick and roll with about 2 1/2 minutes in OT, I almost tore my hair out.  He missed the three, of course.

jmerda12

February 19th, 2017 at 10:09 PM ^

I was impressed that we played thru the officiating as much as we did. We were right there until the tech and even survived 10 pts in 3 poss then.

The refs were a big story. That said, no one played particularly well. Mo was real quiet until the last few minutes, DJ didn't rebound well, Zak forced too many shots. Maar was fine. Derrick played hard but not smart I thought.

This kind of effort and a little better execution (and reffing) should be good for a 3-1 finish and 8-9 seed. After where we were a month ago, I'll take it.

Gustavo Fring

February 19th, 2017 at 10:33 PM ^

I feel a similar frustration with porzingis' role on the Knicks. Neither player is soft, both have shown an ability to rebound well, but their roles make it difficult (spending a lot of time on offense on perimeter, having so many help defense responsibilities). Very tough balance to strike. KG, Bosh might be good examples to learn from

Shop Smart Sho…

February 19th, 2017 at 10:51 PM ^

It's just how Beilein coaches them when it comes to rebounding.  He is determined to not give up easy transition opportunities, so 4 guys take off as soon as the shot goes up.  It's especially frustrating because the team obviously takes a lot of 3's, so long rebounds are there for them if even just the shooter stuck around and followed his shot.  I don't think it's anything that is going to change at this point.  Coach has gotten where he despite ignoring offensive rebounding, so I wouldn't imagine it's something he is going to be willing to change.

On the plus side, Michigan really doesn't seem to give up a lot of transition opportunities.

TrueBlue2003

February 20th, 2017 at 12:10 AM ^

and I don't think there is an easy answer.  You nailed it that DJ has a ton of help responsibilities, forces a lot of missed shots, but is then out of position to rebound.  In those cases it's rarely his fault.  Perfect example was the play in OT that he helped on the baseline, forced the missed shot, but got lost looking for his man to box out.  He probably shouldn't have tried to find his man there, but it can be a tough choice when you've helped. Do you 1) box out the guy you helped on, 2) try to get back your guy, 3) or go for the ball.  You have to have a good feel and he made the wrong call there. Someone should probably be rotating down onto his man when he helped anyway. 

The other problem is that our perimeter players aren't good at preventing the dribble drive so he has to help so often.  When the offense is able to force two guys to guard one, all kinds of problems happen, rebounding especially.

Overall, we aren't even horrible at defensive rebounding.  We're 9th in the conference at 68.5 percent of opponent misses rebounded (which is exactly what we got tonight) and the margins are small between teams.  Minnesota is the 5th best at 69.9 percent of opponent misses rebounded - that's only one more rebound every 66 opponent misses.

We are bad at offensive rebounding but that is more a result of the fact that we just don't go for them.  We prefer to prevent fast breaks so it's just the tradeoff we're willing to make.

bronxblue

February 19th, 2017 at 10:23 PM ^

It was a tough loss, but I thought the team played pretty well. Irvin shooting in OT was just bad, and while he played well defensively in spurts his offensive game is just not there regardless of the Wisconsin blip. But give this team a regular number of foul calls and they win by 4-5 points in regulation. They now have to beat at least 2 more teams before the BTT, and preferably 3 of 4. Luckily, Rutgers and Nebraska are not juggernauts, and NW is going to have a fair number of UM fans in the stands. 10-8 is still in play, and I am still confident they have a chance.

kehnonymous

February 19th, 2017 at 10:26 PM ^

It is, as they say, what it is.

As was the case with that payola job in The Toilet Seat last November, we made too many mistakes to overcome the other team's plays and spotty refereeing and that's on us.  At the same time, while the other team - to their credit - made enough plays to win and did, their play alone wasn't enough - they did need refereeing to put them in a position to win.  These things are not mutually exclusive statements.

Gustavo Fring

February 19th, 2017 at 10:29 PM ^

DJ Wilson is a very unique player given his history, development, and unique skillset. Even a Gregg popovich would find it challenging to tap all his potential.
But the guy can do thing most other players simply cannot. He simply has to be involved more. He had two points against Wisconsin and tonight could have done a lot more. It's no easy task and this is, again, not a knock on Beilein's coaching ability, but empowering him to dictate the game more has so much upside that it has to be explored, not least because he has the passing ability to ignite all the shooters around him as well as creating shots for himself.

Gustavo Fring

February 19th, 2017 at 10:29 PM ^

DJ Wilson is a very unique player given his history, development, and unique skillset. Even a Gregg popovich would find it challenging to tap all his potential.
But the guy can do thing most other players simply cannot. He simply has to be involved more. He had two points against Wisconsin and tonight could have done a lot more. It's no easy task and this is, again, not a knock on Beilein's coaching ability, but empowering him to dictate the game more has so much upside that it has to be explored, not least because he has the passing ability to ignite all the shooters around him as well as creating shots for himself.

Gustavo Fring

February 19th, 2017 at 10:29 PM ^

DJ Wilson is a very unique player given his history, development, and unique skillset. Even a Gregg popovich would find it challenging to tap all his potential.
But the guy can do thing most other players simply cannot. He simply has to be involved more. He had two points against Wisconsin and tonight could have done a lot more. It's no easy task and this is, again, not a knock on Beilein's coaching ability, but empowering him to dictate the game more has so much upside that it has to be explored, not least because he has the passing ability to ignite all the shooters around him as well as creating shots for himself.

TrueBlue2003

February 19th, 2017 at 10:35 PM ^

but I don't disagree with you.  He should be third fiddle to Walton and Wagner but Irvin is still, painfully, in that role.  And it's been evident from listening to the coaches that they want Irvin in that role and they're encouraging him to stay aggressive.  

For the first few games of this slump it seemed like good advice, like to tell a hitter to just keep swinging and dont change approach, all that.  It's clear DJ should be getting more of those possessions, but he might not get them until next year, when he should definitely be the second option after the pick and roll.

Yinka Double Dare

February 19th, 2017 at 10:32 PM ^

We certainly got more of the ref garbage, but they also took Lynch out of the game for Minny and one or two of the calls on him were also garbage. One was a classic makeup call on an inbounds before they even threw it in.

But the call on MAAR when the guy flopped out of bounds, the foul/tech horse crap, the Robinson block called a foul, and a whole lot more. And the refs refused to talk to the press at all after the game because of course.

L'Carpetron Do…

February 19th, 2017 at 10:53 PM ^

I agree - some of it swung back the other way. They got some bad calls too but they seemed to be on out of bounds plays and things like that. The incompetence helped Michigan too but I really feel like it was one-sided.

I said it in the other thread - HARBAUGH'S TECHNICAL FOUL WAS WORSE THAN THAT.  And he coaches football .  Seriosuly what the hell was that?

ST3

February 19th, 2017 at 10:39 PM ^

Our game-by-game foul totals are found on the last page of this:

http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/mich/sports/m-baskbl/auto_pdf/2016-…

28 fouls against us is 6 more than any other game this season. Yes, this game went to OT and we were playing from behind, but we weren't fouling extensively to lengthen the game. We just got hosed by these refs. When something so uncharacteristic happens, one has to wonder what's going on.