Purdue 92, Michigan 88

Submitted by Ace on January 25th, 2018 at 9:43 PM

Sometimes you face a normal foe. Sometimes you face a fleet of T-Rexes in F-15s firing with maximum precision. When facing the latter, especially in their territory, the margin for error is terrifyingly thin.

For the better part of 40 minutes, Michigan held their own with the Purdue T-Rexes in F-15s, with Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman playing the role of dinosaur hunter. A MAAR three-point strike, part of a scorching second-half start for both teams, even gave the road underdogs a lead with under ten minutes to play. It was the game's 23rd lead change.

Vince Edwards countered for the 24th and final lead change. T-Rexes in F-15s are unrelenting; Michigan's few mistakes finally exposed them late. Some turnovers from Jaaron Simmons or Charles Matthews here, some missed free throws from MAAR or Zavier Simpson there, and the T-Rexes successfully repelled the rebel forces.

I've very much enjoyed watching Michigan-Purdue basketball games. I'm also very much ready for all those dudes to graduate and Carsen Edwards to go pro.

[Hit THE JUMP for the box score.]



January 25th, 2018 at 9:46 PM ^

The good old Big Ten home cooking 23-9 free throw edge.  Big Ten hoops is so unwatchable thanks to awful home cooking at so many venues, especially Indiana and Purdue.


January 26th, 2018 at 2:44 AM ^

relative to everyone else. 4 TOs, with barely over 1 ppp in a game that the team had 1.35 and everyone else was 1.25 or better (except simmons in his 3 min)! Mo was literally the weak link tonight so your assertion for this game is insane that the others are the weak links.

He doesn't look up when driving so teams have figured out they can just come help and poke it away from him. Purdue did it 2-3 times tonight. And the post entry was as much on him as it was Matthews. Mathews threw it right to Wagner hand, but Wagner didn't put a body on his guy (didn't even know where his guy was) so he had more like 4.5 TOs.

His defense was bad but that's what we'd expect with him one-on-one on Haas and he actually made some decent plays at the end to get stops.

Simmons had 3 TOs in 3 min.  That was his statline.  Woooof.

Tough to complain about much though.  We played really well, they are insanely good and played better. Tip of the cap. Slightly bummed we made several mental mistakes at the end again, though.


January 26th, 2018 at 2:46 AM ^

You probably assumed he was bad because Edwards scored a lot, but you'd be wrong because we switched a lot. This is how it went down:

In the first half, Livers forced a miss by Edwards on his first attempt, blocked another one in the lane on great play (those were his only two misses!). Edwards four baskets in the first half were 1) a post up on MAAR after a switch, 2) a three after Livers had to help on a wide open Haas rolling after a pick and roll, 3) a three on Duncan because Duncan has to give guys so much space, 4) a dunk after Duncan gets switched onto C Edwards, gets burned and Poole has to help and it's an easy dish for the jam.

Livers left the game in the first half with Michigan up 3, came back in with them down 6 and we ended the half down 5.  He was plus 4 in the first half, Duncan was minus 9 despite hitting a three omg he is so bad but playing with Simmons didn't help either.

In the second half, V Edwards scored his first back door cut on a switch that MAAR fell down on.  Possible it was a slipped screen that Livers switched prematurely on. Second backdoor Livers turned his head a moment and got beat.  This was the only basket Livers gave up by anyone that he definitely could've played better. V Edwards next shot was a post up on MAAR after a switch. His next shot was a three in Matthews eye after a switch.

Then we took Livers out when the game was tied 68-68 and when we put Wagner and Robinson in at the same time, I figured the game was over.  And it was. Robinson immediately fouled V Edwards on a fast break.  2 FTs. Next basket V Edwards gets an Oreb on MAAR after a switch and puts it back in.

By the time Livers came back in we were down 7 (in Duncan's defense this was mostly Haas abusing Wagner). As you know we lost by 4 and Edwards made a bunch of FTs during intentional foul time.

Livers was +12 in 32 minutes!!

Robinson was -16 in 8 minutes!!

There is a reason Livers played 32 minutes.  He was very good.

San Diego Mick

January 26th, 2018 at 4:05 AM ^

I thought the same thing at the time when Simmons and Robinson were inserted into the game because Simpson and Livers needed a blow at some point.

Simmons is an awful player who is not a B1G level player by any means and we all know what DRob is, a supposed shooter who can't do hardly anything else but somehow Livers seems like a better shooter from the 3.

Simpson, even though I've really enjoyed much of his play lately, was just too careless in this game with too many drives to the basket attempts that ended up killing us in one form or another. He needs to be smarter about those types of plays.

Wagner didn't have a good game obviously but that was a really tough match up for him.

With all that being said I was really proud of the team and their effort, Purdue has been anhilating teams but barely beat us twice in very stressful fashions, this team is gritty and I love wathcing them play, unlike last season where that didn't happen for me till the B1G Tourney.


January 26th, 2018 at 3:44 PM ^

I think Simpson was dog tired after playing a really good first 32ish min.  He needed a break.  Simmons got the hook in about 30 seconds after he got the moving screen call and Simpson had to come back in without much rest.  Probably contributed to his struggles down the stretch.

I don't think I mind Simmons playing early with lineups that involve Teske because Simmons is a decent creator on offense but he does so with the cost of TOs.  Brooks is bit less flashy but makes fewer mistakes.  I'd like to see him in during higher leverage situations when Wagner is on the floor and he can defer more of the offense to Wagner, Matthews and MAAR.  No way we would have put Brooks into a tie game with under 10 minutes to go at Mackey arena for his first minutes of the game though. So I don't have any complaints with the PG substitutions.

I would have liked to see us stagger Wagner and Robinson.  They're a terrible defensive duo.  Should have given Livers a rest first while keeping Teske in the game (who was playing great) and then brought Wagner and Livers in together a couple minutes later.


January 26th, 2018 at 9:21 AM ^

Oh yes. And yet everyone worships Beilein. Ya sure gotta love the Simmons stat line. Y'all can down vote to your little hearts content but a major Beilein deficiency remains...he knows damn near nothing about PG play.

This is a very good roster with a very high ceiling. Jay Wright would have this team in the top 10-maybe top 5.


January 26th, 2018 at 11:02 AM ^

You point out the stat line of Simmons but don't mention the stat line of Simpson? One played 3 minutes and the other played 37...

Also, Beilein has put three PGs in the NBA, including one that was the national player of the year at Michigan. But he knows nothing about PG play.

L'Carpetron Do…

January 26th, 2018 at 9:14 AM ^

I Actually thought the officiating was not awful for once. When the refs step out of it you get incredible back and forth runs like we saw for most of the 2nd half.  There was a brutally bad call down the stretch though when Matthews was on a break and the Purdue dude just went straight for the ball with two arms and fouled the hell out of him.  Beilien was incensed - as he should be - it was a horrible call and would've put Michigan at the line (albeit Matthews) for 2 shots in a critical possession. They had the good sense to give Michigan the ball out of bounds at least this time but if I remember correctly Michigan ended up getting 0 points on that possession. Frustrating.  Overall I thought it was decent officiating.

Well there was a terrible call that went Michigan's way too - Rahkman just flat out fell down on a drive late in the 2nd half and was gifted 2 shots.  He missed both. By the way - WHAT THE FUCK? That blew my mind.


January 26th, 2018 at 9:28 AM ^

played by both teams and I thought the ref's had little to do with the final result.  Like you said, they got some calls in the first, and we got some in the second.  Both teams played very clean games and the refs did a great job of reffing the game.

Still impressed with this team.  If they play like that, they can beat anyone in the country... with the exception of Purdue when they play like that. 


January 25th, 2018 at 9:53 PM ^

But 10 of those Purdue free throws came in the final minute meaning before that Purdue had only a 13-9 advantage which is meaningless. Michigan gets screwed by the refs far more than any other B1G team and there were questionable calls tonight. But free throw advantage isn't a legitimate complaint for this game.


January 25th, 2018 at 10:10 PM ^

With 1:17 left Purdue had 11 FT attempts to UMs 7. The gap came due to intentional fouls (Purdue shot 12 FT in intentional fouls in the last 77 seconds). No chance this was on the refs. UM also benefited from a few dubious calls. Get the officiating was pretty even.


January 25th, 2018 at 10:17 PM ^

Nah, Purdue was just very aggressive. Sure there was some home cooking on a couple of those fouls, but overall these were just good teams playing lights on out. Plus, a decent number of those Purdue foul shots were at the end of the game when Michigan was purposefully fouling.


January 25th, 2018 at 10:34 PM ^

and a huge opportunity missed was the turnover by Mathias at mid-court that would have turnover into a quick layup to cut the lead to 2. Instead Mo was whistled.

UM missed out on a few home cookings, but the squad had their chances and just couldn’t convert offensively. Purdue is very good and it was fun to watch.


January 26th, 2018 at 10:00 AM ^

Not usually one for moral victories, but going on the road to face the #3 team in the country, having that team shoot 62% for the game including over 80% for most of the second half, and the difference in the game was only a few sloppy plays in the last few minutes. That is pretty impressive.  Oh, and probably their best player, Wagner, struggled for most of the game.

A loss is a loss, but not many expected a win here. I'm looking forward to March and hoping that Beilein can find a way to get this team to take another step forward over the next month.

A Lot of Milk

January 25th, 2018 at 10:04 PM ^

All Purdue teams do. I hate schools that call themselves "basketball powers" and don't even have a title. You're so special Sparty? You have fewer titles than Oklahoma State and University of San Francisco


January 25th, 2018 at 9:55 PM ^

This one was there for the taking. Missed Z layup. Missed Livers layup. Two 0-2 free throw trips from MAAR and Z. Terrible Matthews turnovers. The team is on the right track, just need to clean up the silly stuff. The hard part of the schedule is over. Rack up some wins and gain confidence going into March


January 25th, 2018 at 11:03 PM ^

Big negatives for me:  Matthews' handle is consistently bad.  He is unable to drive and when he does get to the rim his scoring ability is inconsistent at best.  There are no other options for him though.  FT shooting continues to plague this team. Simmons may have played himself back to the bench.  He was turrible....

If we continue to shoot as well as we did tonight, we can beat anyone.


January 26th, 2018 at 8:54 AM ^

Maybe Matthews is great on defense but the guy just can't shoot.  I know he has a high two point conversion rate but I'd like to see a shot chart on that as most of those have to be at the rim.  I would rather see Poole getting a lot more minutes - he can really shoot and has some swagger that can help pick up a team.

L'Carpetron Do…

January 26th, 2018 at 9:24 AM ^

100% right. When Livers missed that layup I was like 'ughhh, that was it'.  There was still time left but they needed that bucket big time- he was coming in just a little too hot to lay it in.  And the free throw line - yeesh.

They also couldn't get much needed buckets down the stretch, again, like they did in the first game against Purdue.  With about 3:30 left, the O went cold. Off a timeout they had a few critical possessions that yielded no points.  That phantom foul they gave MAAR was the result of a harried drive late in the shot clock.  Michigan got bailed out but couldn't convert at the line. Right before he made that move I thought to myself 'Oh God they're not running the offense'. 

This team could be really good, especially if they address those things.  I hope the Beilien curve really takes off in the next 6 weeks.

Stringer Bell

January 25th, 2018 at 9:56 PM ^

What are you gonna do?  A team that has a dominant post presence surrounded by 4 dead eye shooters on the court at all times is unguardable.  Michigan played about as well as they could, save for that stretch at the end where we were able to actually string a few stops together but kept turning it over.  Hope we see them in the BTT, would like another shot at them.