Submitted by Ace on March 15th, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Halftime stats on the left, final stats on the right, via scacchoops.com

If you're expecting a reasoned, informative recap of the game, I highly recommend stopping right now and looking elsewhere.

Still here? If so, you are either in search of schadenfreude or have a remarkably strong will to make your life miserable.

Michigan lost to Wisconsin 68-59 in a complete abomination of a "basketball" game. The halftime box score resembles something from a middle school junior varsity game in which all the players are blackout drunk. The Wolverines held a three-point lead at the break, courtesy of Wisconsin's inability to hit anything (5/29 from the field). The Badgers made it appear, momentarily, like Michigan had discovered how to play defense.

Then the second half began, and the Wolverines remained stagnant on offense while entirely forgetting how to guard the perimeter. After hitting 2/13 shots from beyond the arc in the first half, Wisconsin connected on 6/9 three-pointers in the second—most of their looks came without so much as a hand in the shooter's general vicinity, let alone a legitimate contest.

Trey Burke did his best to stop the bleeding, scoring 15 of his 19 points in the second half, and Tim Hardaway Jr. (14 points, 5/9 FGs) admirably returned from a sprained ankle to knock down a couple big shots. Nobody else cracked double digits, however, and any semblance of an offense rapidly devolved into the "Trey, go do something" strategy. Burke was forced to jack up 15 shots in the final 20 minutes; no other Wolverine attempted more than four.

Major culprits included, well, pretty much everyone. Ryan Evans scored nine of his 13 in the second half, abusing Glenn Robinson III and Hardaway down low—Robinson struggled so much that Spike Albrecht took his spot in the lineup down the stretch. Jordan Morgan started but played just eight horrible minutes, turning the ball over three times, completely unable to hold onto the basketball. Nik Stauskas went 1/8 from the field. Burke had an uncharacteristic four turnovers, though given the circumstances it's difficult to lay much blame on him.

A guy who shoots free-throw jump shots, a redheaded Art Garfunkel, and Ben "#@*#[email protected]" Brust combined for 28 second-half points, going 4/8 from two and a perfect 5/5 from three. If there's a College Hoops Fan Hell, it is watching that game on a continuous loop while Bo Ryan waves the last bottle of whiskey in existence in your face, refusing to let you drown your sorrows.

Michigan will still play in the NCAA tournament, of course, and there's even a chance that I'm willing to watch basketball by then. They won't play Wisconsin, mercifully.

F*** Wisconsin.



March 15th, 2013 at 5:24 PM ^

Beilin has done well given the state of the program he inherited, but he reminds me of the CEO who helped take a company from zero to $50M market cap, but is clueless as to how to grow it to $500M.  Or he’s like the World of Warcraft player who was great from level 1-70, but once the upper levels were added, and he has to start figuring out where to put even more new abilities on his macros and keybinds, it all unravels because there’s just too much to handle. 

In basketball, the next level means deep dives into the Big Ten tourney and NCAA tourney, and that isn’t going to happen until Beilin can figure out a way to keybind defense and rebounding to go along with our lovely 3 point shooting, assist/turnover rates, low foul rates, etc.

Stat of the day: Bo Ryan is 11-1 vs John Beilin.

Time for David Brandon to get involved here and work with Beilin to hire a better defensive/rebounding minded assistant coach or two.  This team plays timid, and constantly appears to leave bigs on islands where they get called for fouls.  There is almost zero team or help defense to show for, or at least it seems that way to my untrained eye.  GRIII is the worst case here.  He plays so far below his talent and skill level it truly is sad.  What's his cumulative free throw shooting the last 5 games?  I don't think I want to know.

If I were to think of the antithesis of the 80s Pistons who played with fire and hard defense and fucked people up, it’d be this timid bunch, all starting with Beilin.  Even that giant faerie Christian Laettner threw a hip check and played angry now and then.

Yeah, I'm happy with where we are relative to where we've been the last 15 years, but what a waste man.  Swept by Wisconsin?  Really?


March 15th, 2013 at 7:17 PM ^

Actually, Beilein is 55-53 overall in Big Ten play.  And while that might not sound all that great, either, look at the trajectory he's on:

2007-08: 5-13

2008-09: 9-9

2009-10: 7-11

2010-11: 9-9

2011-12: 13-5

2012-13: 12-6

Let's not get too worked up over a conference tournament (which a lot of coaches don't place much emphasis on).  Also, if you're stressing out over the record against UW this year, note that 1) we didn't play them in Crisler and 2) the game in Kohl was ours but for a halfcourt shot.  




March 15th, 2013 at 5:46 PM ^

They're a bunch of freshman.  Freshman usually can't play defense, and Michigan plays five of them...Remember when Michigan was an under-talented bunch of scrappy dudes who consistently overacheived?  Like, last year?  Those Stu and Novak teams were Beilein's teams too. 


March 15th, 2013 at 6:00 PM ^


I respect your opinion about as much as anybody who posts here but can you really use the "they're freshman" card?  I mean look at Kentucky last year and virtually any power team and their mostly led by freshman.  "One and done" means kids who would've gone pro are spending a year in college and it shows in the elite teams.

GRII & Stuaskas have wilted under the heat of B1G play and pressure, physical defense and another year may make them older but I'm not so sure it will make them any tougher.


March 15th, 2013 at 7:57 PM ^

I think that people lost track of the fact that this was a great class by Michigan's recent standards but not a great class by the standards of Kentucky, Kansas, UNC, Duke, etc.  I can tell you for sure that a Kansas fan wouldn't have seen McGary, Robinson, et al. coming and thought, "We're definitley going to win the league." 


March 16th, 2013 at 7:13 AM ^

Actually, it's both. I don't know why people find it so hard to understand. The vast, vast majority of freshmen are going to struggle, and if their talent level isn't absolutely elite, their performance will be especially problematic. The freshmen at Kentucky and the Fab Five were the exception, not the rule. All the mindless blather earlier in the season about GRIII maybe going pro and Stauskas being in the same league as Glen Rice as a pure shooter—or better—have been shown to be completely ridiculous. They'll have nice careers as Wolverines, but they're nowhere near the level of the FF or the 2011-12 Kentucky kids in terms of talent. Trey Burke is the only player on the team who has proven he has NBA-level talent on a game-by-game basis.

This isn't to say that John Beilein is beyond criticism or has no shortcomings. No coach is perfect — Bo Schembechler certainly wasn't.

This game is why I've been skeptical for a while now that we're capable of making any kind of run in the NCAAs. I know it's all about the matchups, but If we get to the round of 16, I'll be pleasantly surprised.


March 15th, 2013 at 6:28 PM ^

What JBE said, the Kentucky freshman were more talented than ours. Those guys would have survived in the NBA had they been allowed in, ours would not have.

I hate when people try to use Kentucky as "proof" against the fact that they're freshman. Just because some freshman (our guys) aren't as good as other freshman (Kentucky last year) doesn't mean we should ignore the fact that our guys are still freshman or think they can't get better in the future.

I mean, to use your logic, why isn't Spike Albrecht an All-American type of player? Trey Burke was, Austin Rivers was, Kyrie Irving was, why isn't Spike that good? They were all great as freshman, why can't he be?


March 15th, 2013 at 8:16 PM ^

So why are the freshmen getting worse, then?  Or why are almost ALL of the players getting worse?  Hardaway isn't where he was.  Morgan can't make layups.  Robinson looks terrified.  Burke is awesome, but even his game is less efficient than it was at the start of the year.  Shouldn't well-coached teams improve as they continue to play together?   




March 15th, 2013 at 8:18 PM ^

let's compare Michigan's freshman to the best group of freshmen since the fab 5 and critcize them for not being as good. Kentucky had MKG and Davis - name me a better freshman big than Davis (a historically good shot blocker) and a better freshman perimeter defender than MKG (Oladipo but better and 2.5 inches taller) in the last 20 years. Seriously.

I don't care what all of you guys think. Most freshman are poor at defense. They'll be better next year. Yea I know other teams play freshman - but name me another team in the top 25 that routinely plays 4 of them at the same time. Didn't think so. One of the 10 youngest teams in the country out of like 350.

Yea Beilein can't take the team to the next level my #[email protected]%#. Most of you were bitching that he couldn't recruit a year ago. He's proven you wrong. Now you're bitching that he can't develop elite talent. He'll prove you wrong again. You think he doesn't know that open 3 pointers are bad? My fking goodness. 

"he reminds me of the CEO who helped take a company from zero to $50M market cap, but is clueless as to how to grow it to $500M. "

Well, fk, we just got to $50M like this season. Can we give him more than part of a season to get to $500M?

Those that can - do. Those that can't - review.

Back to drinking. Peace the fk out.


March 16th, 2013 at 4:21 PM ^

Basketball players, like children, develop at different rates. Some are wunderkind but fizzle. The time frame has to be the 4 years of college eligibility. Freshmen in the BIG are going to get pushed around. Unfortunately the Dave Branden/UM publicity machine gets revved up for obvious reasons and it is difficult not to get swept up. I wish we were better and thus hold out hope for the NCAA tourney. In terms of Beilein, we are going to have to wait 3 years before slinging real arrows at him.


March 15th, 2013 at 7:45 PM ^

The "freshmen" argument fails given the current state of CBB where the good players bolt no later than sophomore year, or at worse junior year.  Every team is rotating in a ton of freshmen every year.  Exhibit A of thousands: Somehow Sparty's best player had no problem with the fact that he was a freshman.

The problem isn't the players, it's the coaching.  Beilin gets an A- for recruiting.  A for how he's brought the team from where it eas, but A - overall for his lack of attention to bigs who might actually have a low post game.  I mean holy shit, even that PSU dude Sasha Barovicwhatever was lighting up the half court set on us yesterday, and what about that putz Purdue put out there that had a career high playing the low post on us before twisting his ankle?

Beilin MUST reassess his scheme, and focus a ton more on boards and D unless he thinks he can pull a Trey Burke out of Columbus every year, and even then he's still getting swept by Wisconsin even with the BIG player of the year on his team.


March 15th, 2013 at 8:10 PM ^

We rank 338th out of 347 teams in the country in total experience so no, we aren't a typical team.  MSU has one freshman starter and two freshmen in the rotation altogether.  We have five freshmen who play in every game (Robinson, Stauskas, McGary, LeVert, Albrecht), and sometimes we play a sixth (Bielfeldt).  Bit of a difference there.

Also, you really should learn how to spell the coach's name - it's John Beilein.



March 16th, 2013 at 2:40 AM ^

Are Horford and Morgan freshmen?  Yet they get abused by no-name Purdue and Penn State post players with inferior talent.  Who was the last decent low post presence Beilein had on his Michigan teams?   Come up with all the excuses you want, but it is obvious that Beilein and staff are deficient re recruiting/coaching to D, rebounding and low post play.

I love Beilein and want him as my coach.  He has done remarkable things.  But he, just as we, want to get better, and all I'm doing is, after the last 5 games, is pointing to the areas of most concern.

Will GR3 make a leap in the offseason and blossom into some semblance of a rebounder?  God I hope so, but not holding my breath. 

snarling wolverine

March 15th, 2013 at 7:10 PM ^

Stat of the day: Bo Ryan is 11-1 vs John Beilin.

He's also 10-0 against Crean. Ryan's a good coach. He has 12 straight top-four finishes in the Big Ten and counting. You're making it sound like Wisconsin is a lousy program, when they've actually been very good (much better than us) over the past dozen years.  Only in the last two years have we been at their level, and in those two years we're 1-2 against them, with the halfcourt prayer being the difference.



March 15th, 2013 at 7:29 PM ^

So Ryan's a good coach.  But I thought we had one too?  We do.  Is it recruiting?  Wisconsin doesn't dazzle there, so what is it?  This isn't a Beilin v Ryan thing, it's a Beilin v boards/defense focus thing.  The stat was just added for emphasis that Beilin appears to have a coaching ceiling he is rubbing up against now.

Of course there's hope for the future, and he may surprise and adjust next year or two, who knows, but if it's status quo, I for one will be disappointed because last I remembered, THIS IS MICHIGAN FERGODSAKES, and my days on campus were the Glen Rice and Fab Five years, so my expectation level is different.

snarling wolverine

March 15th, 2013 at 7:55 PM ^

Again - since it sounds like you didn't pay much attention to Michigan basketball during the long dark period - Wisconsin's program was stronger than ours until the last two seasons.  They have finished in the top four of the B1G for 12 straight years.    Only in the last two years have we been comparable to them.  Again, during those two seasons, our record is 1-2 against them.  The difference is one halfcourt buzzer-beater.  If Brust misses that shot, Beilein (not "Beilin")  has the edge over the last two years.





March 15th, 2013 at 8:02 PM ^

but if it's status quo, I for one will be disappointed because last I remembered, THIS IS MICHIGAN FERGODSAKES, and my days on campus were the Glen Rice and Fab Five years, so my expectation level is different.

You may want to keep this in mind: Michigan hasn't been to the Sweet 16 since four of the Fab Five were on campus. And before last year, we hadn't won the Big Ten since Glen Rice's freshman year.

If you see my post above, you'll note that Beilein has steadily improved our performance in his tenure. He had a long way to go - this program was in terrible shape when he arrived. He has losing records against all the long-tenured coaches in the league, because of those difficult first few seasons. But the last two years, he has gone 5-0 at Crisler against MSU, OSU and Wisconsin.


March 16th, 2013 at 1:40 AM ^

That's great man, but I see fundamental flaws in Beilein's schemes.  It's been like this since he got here.  Would I trade him for other coaches? No, overall I'm happy with Beilein, but that doesn't mean the man is above criticism from us, the people paying his bills.


March 15th, 2013 at 11:22 PM ^

a Big Ten that was miles tougher than last year's. He's just STARTING to have a team full of good players he recruited. His last TWO teams won because of great D, so you can't say he can't coach D. 

Yours would be a fine analysis two years from now if we underachieved. But in truth it's even stretching to say we underachieved this year. Yes--Stauskas and GRIII have just failed to play good enough D for us. But GRIII is out of position, a freshman, and Stauskas is a freshman, too. And his offensive game has grown even if he's had his lapses on D.

Today's game sticks in my craw more than any loss this year because I didn't see any fire. But we beat MSU and OSU and played Indiana within 1. If Walton can run the point we will be much better next year.  

EDIT: We have lost two games at Crisler in two years. Sense of proportion, por favor. 


March 16th, 2013 at 7:23 PM ^

problem is with this team. Bottom line is this team lacks the killer instinct and has assumed the personalty of its coach. Beilein job is safe (Brandon has built a shrine of Beilein in his back yard) but with the regularity of losses to stiff competition it will be inevitable that recruiting will begin to suffer. Word will get around that Michigan is a paper tiger.

I like the idea of bringing in new assistant coaches that will help with defense and defense rebounding but I would add that the offensive needs help. Many good teams use schemes to score. Michigan seems to be built on individual ability. Let the player decide if he can score given his position on the court. No plays or strategy to allow them to get open.Good defenses will shut down individual based offensives.

Championship teams excel on defense. Michigan up to now and going forward cannot play at that level unless things change.



March 15th, 2013 at 5:18 PM ^

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck Wisconsin!

I hate those bastards....too pissed off for any utterances which might be construed as coherent or cogent.

Fuck Wisconsin.


March 15th, 2013 at 5:43 PM ^

I love to hate Crean and IU basketball.  I want to watch Michigan play IU b/c I want to see the Wolverines beat them...Wisconsin basketball (and the complicity of the refs), on the other hand, makes me feel stupid for watching the game at all.  "Hey, let's have Bo over for dinner.  He'll shit on our table.  It will be great."


March 15th, 2013 at 6:10 PM ^

ESPN guys are really on Michigan right now and it's hard to dispute.

2-6 vs the top 4 teams in B1G w both wins coming by 1 at home. The OP in one of the snowflakes threads stated, "Maybe UM really is the 5th best team"

Hard to argue against that.


March 15th, 2013 at 8:06 PM ^

Was calling into question the execution or lack thereof. He said that UM is in a state of decline (he wasn't referring to the program but this team) and as a result are a team limping into the tourney without any identity except, oh hey Trey Burke. POY.

Also pointed out too much standing around, and the cuts players are making are just to get to the next place on the floor, nothing that stretches a defense or puts pressure on them to actually defend as legit cuts.

Kind of a stinging rebuke

Spontaneous Co…

March 15th, 2013 at 11:14 PM ^

And it sucks. We are the team I love because we are Michigan and the team I hate and use an example for the kids I coach to demonstrate how not to play basketball. And that is perhaps the most painful season long experience I have ever gone through.

We are so easy to gameplan against it is pathetic. And I really don't blame Beilein unless you think he should have recruited other kids. The gameplan is, "Hey guys, this Mivhigan team is talented, but they don't like to be defended, they won't put a body on you, their version of good defense is to desperately hope to fake 6 charges a game and we can blow by their perimeter defenders at will. And, oh yeah, you can ignore their post players because they have zero offensive skill. Remember boys, you are playing talented marshmallows. Can we beat marshmallows?"

French West Indian

March 15th, 2013 at 6:29 PM ^

...like this team has just run out of steam.  Hey, it was (mostly) a great year.  Time for the kids to dig deep, work hard over the summer and hopefully better days are ahead.  And hopefully better uniforms too.  A return to dressing like Team Michigan rather than Team Adidas.


Of course, having said all of that...with the big tournament kicking off next week maybe they'll get their shit together once they get outside the grind of the B1G and can play an inferior team or two to start the tourney.  Not to get all nostalgic but things can look worse, remember '89 when we didn't even have a coach on the eve of the tournament because he got his ass fired?  That turned out all right.  And the season is not quite over yet.



March 15th, 2013 at 6:53 PM ^

What helped me take my mind off the game a little was watching the espn highlight reel from the game recap and hearing over and over how the badgers beat michigan three times this year, then bruce pearl announcing that wisconsin has beat  michigan "twelve out of the last three games". it was funny and reminded me that we are not the only ones who sucked today.