UNDER-16 TIME-OUT SUMMARY: pic.twitter.com/7iM2hDkC2M
— Bryan Mac (@Bry_Mac) November 30, 2017
Oh man, this is awesome. Like that one half of the UCLA game.
Oh, now I remember the other half of that UCLA game.
Dick Vitale is going to talk about the Fab Five?
[hits mute button]
[awaits final score]
[Hit THE JUMP for actual notes and the box score.]
Okay fine some actual notes:
This was close until a brutal exchange. With UNC holding onto a 34-32 lead after a scorching start by both teams, Duncan Robinson blew a fast break layup off an unlikely Zavier Simpson save. UNC made a remarkable save of their own, Theo Pinson converted a layup on the other end, and the Tar Heels closed the half on a 22-8 run.
Then it was not close. Once the shooting gallery period ended, Michigan couldn't hang with Carolina. The defense was brutal; UNC scored 1.5 points per possession in the first half, then opened the second-half on a tear fueled by offensive rebounds. The final score would've been way worse if Carolina hadn't called off the starters midway through the second half while Beilein sent out a combination of starters and players fighting for rotation spots (Brent Hibbitts excepted, but hey, he was 1/1!).
Moe Wagner dominated. Wagner posted an efficient 20-9-3 performance and dominated when he had the ball in the post, showing deft footwork and patience on several of his finishes. His passing was also a bright spot. Nobody exactly stood out on defense tonight, but Wagner at least contributed a couple steals and a block while only committing one foul, staying on the floor for 34 minutes.
Charles Matthews came down to earth. While he finished with a half-decent scoring line of 12 points on 5/10 shooting, he took a couple bad shots that rightfully earned him a trip to the bench and turned the ball over four times. In a game Michigan really needed it, he had almost no impact on the glass. While he wasn't awful, M needed more.
Duncan Robinson... oof. In addition to making the #narrative-turning play, Robinson was clearly the worst defender in a terrible all-around defensive performance. He didn't make up for it on the other end, making 1-of-6 shots. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman had a similarly brutal two-way performance, also going 1-for-6 with more than his fair share of defensive lapses.
Beilein gave Isaiah Livers an extended audition in the second half and the freshman did well with it, playing with energy and finishing off second-chance opportunities. Robinson is going to be a big part of this team, but Michigan needs a viable alternative for games in which the gap between his offense and defense renders him unplayable. Livers took a step in the right direction tonight.
Still no answer at point guard. Eli Brooks had clearly the best shift of the first half, hitting an early three and moving the ball well. By the time he got back in, the game was out of hand, and he couldn't find his shot. Zavier Simpson made an open three off a beautiful Wagner kickout and was otherwise his usual quiet self on offense. Jaaron Simmons had three points and two assists, failing to really assert himself even though Beilein clearly wants to get him going.