Wisconsin 62, Michigan 44

Submitted by Tim on February 8th, 2010 at 3:31 PM

simswisc.JPG

Michigan 11-12 (4-7 Big Ten). And the FAIL train chugs along.

In the first half of Saturday's game Michigan's offense was out of sync, but it seemed like the defense was playing pretty darn well. Michigan forced a couple shot clock violations by the Badgers, and mostly prevented them from getting very good looks at the hoop.

Of course, despite the decent defense, Wisconsin managed to shoot 69% from three-point range and 68% overall from the field. Sometimes, it's just not your day. Sometimes, the opposition nails a half-court shot at the buzzer, and it doesn't even surprise you. On days like that, there's no way to win.

Once Wisconsin gets a lead, they're masters at choking the life out of the game, slowing it down enough that it looks like everyone is trudging through mud. Michigan's offense was completely lost in the second half. Stu Douglass and Zack Novak were too tentative to take shots, DeShawn Sims was getting double- and triple-teamed every time he got the ball, and Manny Harris couldn't to get a good look at the basket—not that it prevented him from shooting.

As much as it looked like this Michigan team had turned a corner around the time of the UConn game or during the near-miss against Michigan State, these last two games are the final word: this is a lost season. All that's left is to salvage a bit of respectability by finishing with a winning record and scraping into the NIT. Even that looks like a difficult task at this point.

BULLETS

  • Seriously, Stu Douglass, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. Dishing it to Manny when you have a clear shot in the lane is something a point guard really shouldn't do. A "point guard mentality" is not about dishing to teammates all the time, but giving the team the best opportunity to score on a given play.
  • Darius Morris continues to impress. 3/4 shooting with 3 assists and only 1 turnover is very good, and his defense was good as well. Once he gets some off-season work on his shot, he could become a star over the next couple years.
  • The Wolverines had five players go more than 30 minutes, and six others less than 10. Quality bench depth :(.
  • This Michigan team isn't good, that much is obvious. I still wonder how different things would be if a couple of the close calls had gone the other way. Confidence has become a huge issue at this point.

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Up Next

Michigan travels to Minnesota for a game that looked winnable a few days ago, but not so much anymore. The Thursday (7PM/6PM Central) contest is now looking more like a cripplefight, with Michigan reeling and Minnesota coping with the loss of Royce White.

John Beilein is one of the better coaches in gameplanning with a long layoff between games, and Michigan's bench situation means a bit of rest could be helpful as well .

Comments

desmondintherough

February 8th, 2010 at 5:28 PM ^

I turned this game on for most of the first half, and good Lord I have never seen an entire team be so unconscious from 3-pt range in my life. After the 8th three pointer jacked up as the shot-clock ran out with a hand in the face went in I just couldn't watch anymore. The only good thing I can say about this season is how much work my punching bag has gotten...

lablue

February 9th, 2010 at 1:30 AM ^

to seeing Darius Morris get extended playing time. The one thing the best teams in the country all seem to have in common is a guy who can slash and be a one man fast break.

He can be that guy for Michigan next year. Sure, Manny Harris does it, but he's not a 1. His decision-making with the ball has been atrocious this year. Morris has shown flashes this year where he finds guys on the break for easy finishes. Whenever Manny is on a run out, he almost always takes the shot instead of dishing. Usually the right decision, but this team has such a hard time scoring that it has to maximize every single fast break opportunity.

I'm in no way saying the team is better off without Manny Harris, though. In fact, I'm terrified of how tentative the team will be without him and Deshawn Sims. So here's hoping Beilein will give more extended time the rest of the season so he'll be ready to run this team next year.

Coldwater

February 8th, 2010 at 5:50 PM ^

agree on the bullet point on Stu passing up a wide up shot in the lane and passing it off to Sims..who missed.

Just a terrible decision by Stu. It looked like he didn't have the balls to take the shot.

The team just lacks any real offensive threat other than Sims and Harris. It was sad to watch that game.

mattbern

February 8th, 2010 at 6:07 PM ^

It would have been foolish for anybody in attendance for that game to think that the half court buzzer beater wasn't going to go in. There was just no way that he was gonna miss.

umchicago

February 8th, 2010 at 8:37 PM ^

I said this very early in the season and I will repeat: Stu's playing time should be minimal until he proves he can consistently knock down the 3. LLP is even a better shooter; last year and this year. And please don't say our D is much better with Stu on the court. He doesn't make TOs but he sacrifices every ounce of aggressiveness to prevent those TOs.

I would play Morris upwards of 30 min per game going forward so he can develop. I will live with his 2-4 turnovers per game this would cost. What gets lost though is the fact that he isn't afraid to push the ball on the break. Stu is always looking BEHIND him on a break. I've never seen anything like. Morris will create more easy buckets on the break which will offset his extra TOs.

MGoPacquiao

February 8th, 2010 at 9:06 PM ^

I know it's been discussed before, but why is LLP not getting any PT? He's our best 3pt shooter and has a quick release. You'd think that'd be valuable against a team like UW that closes out well. And he actually has some shot-creating ability.

matty blue

February 9th, 2010 at 8:29 AM ^

...re: confidence. a couple of breaks here and there (boston college, alabama, msu) and i think things are different. put a team with a fragile mental state and against a team that is shooting just crazy ridiculous lights-out, and you're going to get blown out, no matter how good the defense is playing. and let's not forget that, either - the first half was really quite good defensively, but wisconsin was as hot as i've ever seen a team.

i still don't think this is a "bad" team, however - it's crazy to suggest that a team this fragile (or that shoots this inconsistently) could run the table, or anything, but it wouldn't completely surprise me if we had one more upset left in us.

Blue boy johnson

February 9th, 2010 at 8:48 PM ^

Stu Douglass is not a point guard. Stu should not be playing point guard in the Big Ten. Maybe it is baptism by fire but as a soph at the point he is over matched.
I guess Belien feels Stu is the best option, I don't. Put Stu in a position to succeed, the kid needs a confidence boost. We have our best shooter looking to distribute and it ain't working