WTKA Roundtable 3/22/2018: He Chose the Weird Guys Comment Count

Seth March 22nd, 2018 at 12:43 PM

Reminder that our Tourney Coverage is sponsored by HomeSure Lending. Are you Zillowing on your neighborhood walks? Might want to give Matt a call.


Things discussed:

  • Michigan did not play well and won.
  • What’s with the shooting? Was it the layoff? It did seem to just be one of those things: good looks. MAAR is 1/12 in the NCAA tournament, was an assassin in the B1G one.
  • No other Beilein team wins that Houston game. Defense!
  • Texas A&M: Matchup of contrasting styles. Another team with a four that doesn’t shoot.
  • No Michigan isn’t going two bigs—they want to force A&M to take a big off the court to defend five out.
  • Main takeaway for A&M-UNC: basketball is weird. Tar Heels got in a hole because of thruck, Craig: A&M was a physically superior team, UNC did the same to us.
  • A&M’s best offense is to throw it into the post and try to bully Duncan Robinson, get some bad whistles called on Moe Wagner.
  • Beilein does have a plan for zones even if Michigan tends to stare at them blankly. You can dribble into a zone if you’ve got a guy with quickness—you don’t have to just shoot over it (Tom!).
  • From the A&M side: a very talented team that’s been not healthy. Our take: they’re still without their Marquette transfer point guard and didn’t exactly roar into the tournament.
  • Tom Izzo is always a victim; Michigan State lost that game because of their coach.
  • Craig thinks Michigan will lose to A&M, and if they don’t they’ll lose to Florida State or Gonzaga because those teams are really good.
  • Final Four now? Brian: Nova, Duke, Michigan, Kentucky. Ed: Same except Gonzaga. Craig: Duke, Purdue, FSU, Loyola-Chicago.
  • No idea why a lottery pick would ever go to Michigan State: Izzo is going to play a walk-on for 25 minutes and you for 15 minutes so people will think he’s a genius.

You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Audioboom.

Segment two is here. Segment three is here.


Kentucky is coached in an Izzo-like fashion, so I’ll take Loyola.



March 22nd, 2018 at 1:00 PM ^

I know the guys on the panel are pretty knowledgeable about sports, but I don't understand how people can look at a single weekend of basketball and assume that teams like A&M and FSU, clubs that played like Penn St. for the vast majority of the year, are suddenly much better because UNC went 1-17 from 3 to start the game and Xavier inexplicably fell apart at the end of a game.

Gonzaga is a solid team and should be one of the favorites to win this tournament.  But both A&M and FSU are knock-off versions of teams Michigan has seen this year and put together pretty decent game-plans for already.  The assumption that Michigan is at some physical disadvantage against either of them because they are tall and (in FSU's case) jacked feels very "they aren't tougher than us" Miles Bridges BS.


March 22nd, 2018 at 5:46 PM ^

...this is not exactly what I said. At least I hope not. Over the course of the season UM has been a better team than TAM. No question. The season long data supports a UM win. I believe in KenPom's prediction that UM will win the game. As an abstraaction and I sure hope KP is correct. Better, I hope BC is correct that UM wins this one easily. 

My concern may well be "what have you done for me lately," i concede. I watched a terrific UM D weather two awful offensive games. I watched an athletic UNC team, one UM seemed overmatched by, get physically dominated by TAM. Now, certainly, UNC couldn't put the ball in the ocean and it may be a complete one-off. But it didn't feel that way to me.

Watching the games gave me pause and makes me somewhat pessimistic. Now, I hope to be wrong. I hope to be called out on an idiotic opinion. I hope to be a chump.

So, I think UM is a better team---looking to the work of the season. But the way boh teams played this last weekend, i dunno.  


March 22nd, 2018 at 1:17 PM ^

I said it before and I'll say it again. Izzo out-dumbed himself. I know the cliche is "he out-smarted himself," but there was nothing smart about playing Ben Carter 25 minutes. I had to ask myself who that was because he didn't play against us in the BTT and I don't remember him playing much, if at all, the first game against us. Why would anyone take a guy not in their 10 man rotation (with 5-6 centers already in it) and give him 25 minutes in a "win-or-go-home" game? It's the dumbest coaching decision since the last time he did that. The game has passed him by. Let's see if he is flexible like Beilein and can adapt, or if he is a one-trick pony (depend on out rebounding opponents by 10+). My money is on the latter.

Ohowihate Ohiostate

March 22nd, 2018 at 2:11 PM ^

the thinks Izzo is done.  Not that he's going to retire, but that he simply is not a good coach anymore.  Looking over the past few years, I think that he's right.

This particicular State fan then said to me, "Go Blue.  I'm chearing for you guys to win tonight."  I was very gratified to know that there is a least one decent Michigan State fan.  One.

Big Boutros

March 22nd, 2018 at 1:30 PM ^

Craig is way wrong about Florida State if nothing else. If they manage to beat Gonzaga that is a huge boost to Michigan. We would destroy Florida State. They had the worst defense in the ACC and their offense is pure isoball.

Robbie Moore

March 22nd, 2018 at 1:33 PM ^

Basketball coaches in their 60's change their formula? Hell, how many successful people in their 60's change? It just doesn't happen. In basketball I can only think of one. JB.


March 22nd, 2018 at 1:42 PM ^

I usually like Craig's takes however, this one gets an eye roll along with basketball teams should only play six players and that fatigue is not a thing when playing many games in a shorter than normal time span.


March 22nd, 2018 at 6:03 PM ^

I cocede, at times I may have overstated the 6 man thing. But I stand by the idea that teams with short benches tend to over achieve. This was true for UM's teams in the 70s and for all of Ray Meyer's DePaul teams. Maybe Syracuse this year.I haven't made any study and am aware of none. [I also concede, I mention the 6 man thing now and again since it drives Brian to distraction. Don't tell him I said this.]

Beilein's preference seems to be for a short-ish bench, as an aside. He seems to prefer a 7 man rotation, 8 at most. 

I am willing to be disabused of this but might not Izzo have been better with a short bench against Syracuse?

I just don't buy the "getting tired" thing. Just doesn't fit with my experience as a 20 year old. Though I am not sure I can recall that long ago.


March 22nd, 2018 at 2:30 PM ^

Let me help you out, dough-re-me.  Why do Michigan State's NBA prospects by and large STAY for all 4 years, even when it's obvious they will get drafted if they come out early?  Why do Michigan's players by and large turn pro when it looks like they might get drafted?  Opportunity co$t$.


March 22nd, 2018 at 2:49 PM ^

Izzo plays J.J. jr as much as he has becuase he doesn't want him considering the lottery.  Izzo is scared of losing his prizes and keeps them off the court on purpose.