Ohio State 71, Michigan 62

Submitted by Ace on December 4th, 2017 at 8:43 PM

Michigan blew a 20-point lead and scored only 19 points in the second half against a team giving Andrew Dakich extensive playing time. Let's all sleep on this one.

[Hit THE JUMP for the box score.]

First half:

Second half:




December 5th, 2017 at 2:10 AM ^

If Brooks has learned the zone.  One guy out of position in man-to-man leaves one guy open.  One guy out of position in zone can leave any (or all) of the five guys open.

As for Robinson -- I believe if Livers, or anyone else, outplays him, Robinson will sit on the bench.  I don't understand the assertions that Beilein would rather play a poorer player due to whatever random reason (loyalty, experience, etc.)  A coach who does that quickly loses his team -- nobody likes to lose, and the team knows who the best players are.  I don't see any evidence of that; it's hard for me to believe that he could be so successful, repeatedly, if he acted in a way where he'd lose the team.


December 5th, 2017 at 9:01 AM ^

"As for Robinson -- that's back to the cold hand fallacy.  There is a lot more evidence to his ability to shoot at a career 42% 3-point shooter than there is that he's suddenly forgotten how to shoot."


He's about a 34% 3pt shooter as a starter against B1G competition.

He's about a 37% 3pt shooter overall against B1G competition.




December 5th, 2017 at 3:30 AM ^

It wasn't just random.
Ohio State's defensive play looked entirely different in the second half.  They were more aggressive, occaisionall doubling- and Michigan's ball handlers weren't able to handle it. It was the opposite of the first half, were Michigan seemed much more aggressive on defense and on the boards, and that seemed to give them confidence at the offensive end.


December 5th, 2017 at 3:00 AM ^

Robinson played the first 7 minutes of the game, M won by 6 (14-8)

Livers played the next 5 minutes.  The score was even (22-16).

Robinson played the next 8. M won by 7 (43-30).

Robinson played the first 9 min of the second half.  M lost by 13 (49-49).

Livers played the next 5 min. The score was even (56-56).

Robinson played the last 6 min. M lost by 9 (71-62).

Duncan was -9, Livers was even on the night.

Obviously, there are a lot of factors in +/- but eye test said Duncan was bad on defense, he shot poorly and Livers played pretty well.  I don't recall him making any of the mistakes he'd been making, he played solid D, and had more rebounds in 10 min than Duncan had in 30.  He's should continue to see more time as those guys minutes should even out and I would expect Livers to end up playing more by the end of the year.


December 5th, 2017 at 3:36 PM ^

sports-reference.com?  I see they have them both at around +4 BPM.

Seems about right as Duncan is +3 offense and +1 defense and Livers is +1 offense and +3 defense.

It's just statistical evidence of what the eye can see: Livers is already as good and improving rapidly.  Time to get the guy who just turned 19 and has a bunch of upside more time instead of the guy that's almost 24 (!!!) and is the definition of "is who he is".


December 5th, 2017 at 12:53 AM ^

I agree about Poole. He had a couple nice drives tonight, I think he's really starting to gain a bit of confidence. Robinson should never have been anything more than a role player coming off the bench for 15 minutes a game and being counted on for 10 ppg average. I like Poole and Livers over him, though Livers still looks a bit lost at times.

UM Fan from Sydney

December 4th, 2017 at 8:54 PM ^

I need the bowl game to get here. Then it's going to be nice having time away from sports for a while, except the NBA, which I will watch. I'm also going to try to not get so excited for football season anymore. It's my favorite sport on Earth, but I'm just so sick of the constant let down.


December 4th, 2017 at 8:57 PM ^

I'm not disheartencourageallusioned.  Didn't have high hopes for the season and I wasn't sure what the freshman would bring, but I'm happy about their play. 


December 4th, 2017 at 11:48 PM ^

You've made my point.  That means, out of every 30 games in that situation, the underdog wins one -- just by luck!

96.8% is not 100%.  It's better than the odds of hitting a one-out draw on the river in Texas Hold'em, which is something that happens every single day.  It doesn't take some unimaginable qualty of terrible coaching to make that happen.

Michigan -- under John Beilein, your mortal enemy -- had a 0.9% chance to win against Kansas when it was 72-62 with under 3 minutes left.  How'd that work out?  Hell, they had a 3.3% chance to win that game at 74-69 with less than a minute left -- basically the same as OSU had today.

It stinks, but it doesn't need to be explained as inepitude, lack of "heart," or anything else.  Sometimes bad things happen.  I sincerely wish that it hadn't.  But it's not evidence of some endemic problem -- unless you think Kansas is terrible at basketball too.


December 5th, 2017 at 10:19 AM ^

A couple times in this thread you have brought up this concept of "luck" as to why we lost.  Honestly, I think its nonsense.  And its just another long list of excuses to detract from the real problem.

At the beginning of the game, we had a 48% chance of winning the game.  How did it get to 96.8%?  Did we get lucky (or OSU unlucky)?  No. We played better for many of the reasons already stated in this thread.  And we lost the game because OSU figured out how to play better for many of the reasons already stated in this thread (i.e. bad rotations, lack of motivation, etc.). 

Luck as nothing to do with it.  This isn't Vegas where odds or more or less set.  Luck can explain a singular event, but does not explain an entire series of events.


December 5th, 2017 at 10:42 AM ^

I'm sorry, but you're mistaken.  The answer to your question is "yes" -- the main reason that Michigan got to a 96.8% chance of winning (94% per KenPom) was luck.  Michigan had 11 second-chance points in the first half.  Nine of them were on 3-point shots after a long rebound bounced more-or-less directly to a Michigan player.  If you've watched Michigan basketball over the years -- and I know you have -- offensive rebounding is not a priority in Beilein's system.  I mean, not at all.  Michigan got lucky.

Luck absolutely explains an entire series of events.  If you flip a coin often enough, you will eventually get heads ten times in a row.  That doesn't mean the coin is biased; it's just luck.  It's equally likely to be the first ten times that you flip it as it is times #1901-1910.*  In fact, luck is the absolute best explanation for a series of events that falls outside of historical norms, until and unless an alternative hypothesis is advanced which better fits the facts.  And "lack of motivation" isn't a hypothesis -- in fact, it's an excuse.  Why would OSU be more motivated by a seemingly-insurmountable defecit than Michigan was motivated by the chance to close out a Big Ten road win against a rival?  Was Michigan extra motivated in the first half, but then they got complacent when the foul was called on the made 3 and OSU got a five-point play?  If so, why didn't they get motivated again when the game was in doubt?

"Motivation" and "heart" and "energy" aren't predictive -- they're narratives that can be used to explain anything, because they can't be measured and can't be disproven.  I can't prove that you're wrong, becuase I can't measure motivation, nor do I know what its effect was on the outcome.  But I can tell you that when Michigan shoots ridiculously poorly on high-percentage shots, it is less likely that they are the worst team in all of Division I, and it is more likely that they got unlucky.

* Although it is clearly more likely to happen sometime in the first 1910 tosses than in tosses 1-10, the chances that it will happen in any ten tosses, selected a priori, is exactly the same.  As an aside, I read a good anecdote in my statistics / probability class.  The author ran an exercise with his students, where he told them they either had to go and flip a coin 100 times or make up the results.  He was able to identify who had actually done the experiement and who made up the results by looking for streaks.  People who made up the results almost never had a streak of four or more, because it doesn't "look" random.  People who actually flipped the coin almost invariably had a streak of four or more due to the law of large numbers.


December 5th, 2017 at 11:57 AM ^

Sorry, you cannot ligitimatley compare flipping a coin to playing basketball.  The odds of flipping a coin and getting heads (or tails) is always 50%.  That never changes, no matter how often you flip a coin.  And each flip is an indepedent event, in that each flip does not impact any other flip.  

Basketball does not work that way.  Odds are not static...they move a lot.  I can improve my odds of making a 3 pointer through several means (i.e. practice, better motions, etc.).  And each event is basketball DOES impact the next.  You can put in a different line-up, take a time out to re-group, bench someone, etc.  You have control over the situation for the most part.  Luck insinuates you have no control.  Surely you know this.

I'm not saying there was no bad luck in there, but to chalk this horrible loss simply to "bad luck" is horribly obtuse excuse.


December 5th, 2017 at 12:47 PM ^

I think we'll have to agree to disagree.  For the most part, basketball is a series of independent events -- just like baseball, where advanced stats have a longer pedigree.  Of course you can improve your true talent level, but that's a long-term process (e.g., practice, learning better shot selection).  Over the short-term, luck dominates.  That isn't to say that the results are exclusively due to luck -- talent matters a lot.  But Ohio State isn't as terrible as some people are suggesting, which is why they were a slight favorite to win in the first place.  The more closely matched the two teams, the more of a factor luck plays, and the more independent trials are necessary in order to determine the better team.

I disagree wholeheartedly with your implied degree of control.  Analytically, there's very little that you can do except put your best players on the court.  There is zero evidence, for example, of the effectiveness of taking a time-out to "regroup."  (The other team is regrouping too).  Michigan took timeouts while OSU was on its run; they didn't help.

Changing players is only really effective if there's a physical reason to do so -- e.g., if OSU can take advantage of a particular weakness from player A, or if player B is exhausted and not playing at his potential.  And it's not like Michigan never substituted in the second half.

Ken Pomeroy has a good record predicting the winner of games specifically because he treats basketball as a set of independent trials, each lasting one possession.   It would literally be impossible (computationally speaking) for him to produce this kind of analysis if in-game odds changed as much as you're saying.

BTW -- for perspective: per KenPom, OSU's comeback was not even the most unlikely of the night.  He had Michigan as a 94% in-game favorite; Quinnipiac's comeback over Columbia (5.4%), East Carolina's comeback over Campbell (5.1%), and Liberty's comeback over Georgia State (3.0%) were all (!) less likely, and that's just from yesterday.

"Luck" is an extremely unpleasant explanation -- I get it.  But I think it is a better explanation than any other than I've seen so far, all of which rely on essentially forgetting how to play the kind of basketball that got them the lead in the first place.  Humans are great at seeing patterns in randomness, and finding explanations where none exist; we're wired to do so.  But, sometimes, stuff happens, and there's not an explanation for it.  It's just life.


December 4th, 2017 at 9:05 PM ^

Listen.  I don't want to fire JB.  Unless, he does something boneheaded (i.e. NCAA violations), I think he should leave when he's ready, which I think will be in a couple years anyway.

With that said, we need to be honest about JB.  He's a good solid coach.  Nothing more, nothing less.  He's not a hall of fame coach.  He's not an elite coach,  In fact, he's not really a "great" coach.  He's just a good solid coach that will stumble onto success from time to time.  And for us, he was the perfect coach to get us to a respectable status.  But he won't get to where this program should be...and we should be preparing to find someone who will.

JB has been out-couched, out-classed, and out-talented by a good chunck of the Big Ten for many years.  The most disheartening thing about this, is that most of the fans are seemingly OK with this.  They hide behind excuses like:

1. "well at least we do it clean" As if we are the only clean program in nation (breaking news: the VAST majority of programs, including programs much better than ours, play clean)

2. "historically speaking, we are supposed to be a second rate big ten team"  Loser's mentality IMO.

Michigan basketball is an under-utilized asset.  We can do better than this, and I think we will with a new coach in a couple years.

L'Carpetron Do…

December 4th, 2017 at 9:11 PM ^

He;s a great coach but he sucks at recruiting and game management/motivation. What bothers me is that his teams have lost countless winnable games at Michigan just like tonight.  Takes them 3 months into the season to wake up and play hard. i don't want him fired ever, but I'll be damned if nights like these don't infuriate me.


December 4th, 2017 at 9:28 PM ^

Duncan should not be our starting 4 under any circumstances. Even with DJ leaving early that should not happen.

Of course we failed to bring in a guy like Kyle Young who we were in on but we appeared to prefer other guys at the 4 and/or we lost the recruiting battle to both Butler and OSU. How good would Young look as our starting 4 right now?


December 4th, 2017 at 11:06 PM ^

I had to check. Gee, maybe you're right.   But 2018's class is looking mighty sweet.

2018:  Big Ten Rank #1, National Rank #6

2017: Big Ten Rank #6, National Rank #43

2016: Big Ten Rank #6, National Rank #31

2015: Big Ten Rank #14, National Rank #107

2014: Big Ten Rank #4, National Rank #30

2013: Big Ten Rank #3, National Rank #14

2012: Big Ten Rank #2, National Rank #8

2011: Big Ten Rank #8, National Rank #42

2010: BIg Ten Rank #6, National Rank #82

2009: Big Ten Rank #5, National Rank #34

2008: Big Ten Rank #12, National Rank #283

2007: Big Ten Rank #9, National Rank #50



December 4th, 2017 at 11:50 PM ^

Class size plays a huge factor in recruiting, especially in basketball.  A small class size looks worse than it should in the rankings; a large class size looks better.  But, yes,there's really no question that Beilein can recruit.  He's not recruiting at the level of a Louisville, but, then, the FBI isn't knocking on his door either.


December 5th, 2017 at 10:26 AM ^

Is the FBI knocking on the doors of:

LSU, Alabama, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt, Miss. St., Providence, or Arkansas?

Contrary to what you seemingly believe, we are not the only clean program in the NCAA.   This excuse has to stop.  Being clean is not what is stopping us from having good recruiting classes.


December 5th, 2017 at 10:39 AM ^

5 SEC schools, Rick Pitino's old employer, and Virginia Tech?  Um... yes?  Probably?  I mean, maybe not Vanderbilt, but do you really want to hold up LSU, Alabama, and Mississippi State as paragons of virtue?  Just because it's not football doesn't mean they don't have the same mentality.


December 5th, 2017 at 12:37 PM ^

You are basically saying that these schools cheat based on baseless speculation.  Ok then.  If they were actually cheating, don't you think they would have much better recruiting classes?


December 6th, 2017 at 7:30 PM ^

Does it? One is the head of the ethics committee that Chicago high school coaches laughingly say will never get a kid from Chicago because he's not dirty. The other lamented his misses in recruiting (who got bought by other schools), said they needed to step up their recruiting, and magically (bagmen?) started getting a boatload of 5 stars.


December 5th, 2017 at 9:39 AM ^

He gets some good classes - but Michigan should be a perennial top 25 recruiting team.


Average rank last 5 years: #43.4

# of top 25 classes: 1


How about these basketball powerhouses?


Oregon - #15.2, 5 top 25 classes

Texas - #17, 4

LSU - #26, 3

Alabama - #37.8, 2

Virginia Tech - #38.2, 4

Vanderbilt - #39.4, 1

Miss. St. - #38.2, 3

Providence - #34.4, 3

Arkansas - #46.2, 3



We've recruited at about the level of Vanderbilt over the last 5 years.



L'Carpetron Do…

December 5th, 2017 at 9:48 AM ^

Not necessarily.  So, he's not a terrible recruiter but its certainly not his strength (esp. compared to other top programs). He is amazing at identifying undervalued talent that will fit well with his system, which is an aspect of his recruiting. Not to mention he appears to be impeccably clean in a dirty dirty game and that's not easy. Next year's crop is looking pretty good though and I'm excited about it.  

Beilein is a great coach because he is the best pure teacher in the game, as evidenced by individual player development over the course of a season and career. Overall team development from season's beginning to end is also great.

He's skilled at scheming and preparation as well (think of how ready they were to break Syracuse's zone in the Final 4 - that's great coaching).  

I shouldn't have said he sucks at game management necessarily. When it comes to the technical apsects of it he's just...OK. BUT, he has no idea how to handle and stop opponent runs or Michigan's offensive dryspells. And I think this has something to do with his ability to motivate. Sometimes a 'fuck it' hustle play and pure individual effort is the way to counter moments like this. And that starts with guys having the right mindset.

His players don't get up for games in November and December and it hurts their chances come March. Too often Michigan's opponent gets off the deck and hits 'em in the mouth. And Michigan just stands there, dumbstruck. Beilein has to do something about this. It's an unforgiving world out there - they have to get tough. If Beilein could add that to his repertoire he could be the best coach out there. 

[NOTE: Sorry for the marathon posts - I was psyched up for that game last night. I had a great annual evaluation at work and when they were rolling with a 20 point lead I was riding high. So the ensuing meltdown really pissed me off. Fucking ruined my Monday night.]


December 5th, 2017 at 11:09 AM ^

JB has had way more guys leave early than tom izzo.  so either JB is a much better recruiter or a much better teacher or coach.  which is it?

or maybe izzo has something on his players that makes them stay.

imagine if JB's bad recruits would have stayed 4 years.  hell, even just wilson this year. we would be sitting on just one loss right now if wilson stayed.  we would also have a national championship banner.

I Just Blue Myself

December 5th, 2017 at 9:39 AM ^

Game management and motivation are part of coaching, yes, but recruiting definitely is not. It's one of his responsibilities, but it absolutely is a seperate category from coaching. 

I'm a self proclaimed Beilein apologist. In my opinion, the guy is a fantastic coach, but he does struggle with recruiting, and often that is self imposed struggles. But to be honest, it would be tough for anyone to recruit at UM so long as Izzo is coaching at MSU. MSU is a much more local brand than Duke/Kentucky/UNC/Kansas, which hurts us in recruiting. So while MSU is often in the top 10 like those aformentioned schools, they do it with mostly Midwest and instate kids, whereas I dare you to find an instate kid on any of those other schools rosters.


December 5th, 2017 at 5:53 AM ^

"JB has been out-couched, out-classed, and out-talented by a good chunck of the Big Ten for many years."

What programs would you say have been better on average than Michigan's during his time here? Michigan State, Wisconsin, and...? I think that's it. And if Beilein sticks around a couple more years, I'm guessing he will have jumped Wisconsin too.


December 5th, 2017 at 10:14 AM ^

Arguably MSU, Wisconsin, OSU, and possibly Indiana.


1 conference title
3 Sweet Sixteen
2 Elite Eight
1 Final Four
1 Title Game
0 Titles

3 conference title
7 Sweet Sixteen
4 Elite Eight
3 Final Four
1 Title Game
0 Titles

3 conference title
4 Sweet Sixteen
2 Elite Eight
1 Final Four
0 Title Game
0 Titles

2 conference title
7 Sweet Sixteen
2 Elite Eight
2 Final Four
1 Title Game
0 Titles

2 conference title
3 Sweet Sixteen
0 Elite Eight
0 Final Four
0 Title Game
0 Titles