MBB Silver Linings - reasons to look on the bright side

Submitted by MikeCohodes on February 13th, 2013 at 9:12 AM

So last night sucked, we all know that.  But I am seeing a whole lot of negativity and despair from some people on here over one bad loss.  So I feel we should look for the positives on this team and focus on the good things that are coming up ahead, rather than dwell on negativity and hatred.

Here are my silver linings in the wake of last night's loss, what are yours?

  • We went 1-3 in a brutally tough stretch of the  schedule, a stretch many were expecting us to finish 2-2 at best.  In that stretch we faced 3 top 10 teams.
  • We are still undefeated at home.
  • We are still undefeated at neutral site games.
  • We are not eliminated from B1G title contention.
  • We can and will still win the conference tournament, because it is neutral site.
  • The rest of the month should allow the  team some time to rest, heal, and regroup with only 3 games in the next two weeks, two of which are against Penn State.
  • We won't have to worry about road games in the B1G tourney or NCAA tourney, they're all neutral site, where we are currently undefeated.
  • Last year's team lost on the road as well, and went 13-5 in conference.
  • The past few games probably guaranteed that GRIII will be back next year.
  • We won't have to deal with B1G refs after March 17th.
  • MSU still sucks as a school.
  • Both Duke and Florida, two other teams that may be one seeds, suffered embarrasing losses as well, to Miami and Arkansas respectively.

Cheer up people, it's just a bad loss, it's not the end of the world!



February 13th, 2013 at 9:13 AM ^

here at my office, I would've ended this with an embed of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" from Monty Python's Life of Brian.  If someone cares to embed it, that would sum up how we should feel today nicely.


February 13th, 2013 at 9:18 AM ^

What sucks is the Wisconsin game, which we should have won 60-57.  This would have been infinitely more bearable had we won that game and, in fact, went 2-2 through this stretch.

I know the losses suck, but we faced 3 Top 10 teams, two on the road.  Going 3-1 in that stretch would've been pretty miraculous, 2-2 a reasonable expectation, and 1-3 a disappointing one.  We do have the easiest schedule remaining, the two Penn State games, Illinois game, and Purdue game should be wins, and then we get a chance at revenge against both MSU and Indiana -- both of whom we are talented enough to beat -- at home.

Michigan basketball is 21-4, pretty different than any season this century, and we're definitely trending the right direction.

Naked Bootlegger

February 13th, 2013 at 11:40 AM ^

Wisconsin was more depressing to me, so I've already backed away from the ledge after last Saturday.  A "W' there would've wrapped a 2-2 record over a murderous stretch of basketball.   MSU was bad, but I wasn't expecting a "W" in E. Lansing this year on the tail end of the 4 game basketball journey from hell.

As Dakich mentioned many times last night, MSU played their best game of the year.   They were lights out on both ends of the court and deserved to win by 20+ points.   I still believe we can avenge this loss - as well as Indiana - at Crisler. 

Positives:   this team now understands how the intensity needs to be racheted up against the likes of Wisconsin and MSU.  The neutral court setting for the B1G and NCAA tourney should not hinder us as much as playing in hostile environs like Bloomington, E. Lansing, and Madison.  Going forward, I really hope these types of road games don't rattle us as severely as we've seen the past two weeks.



Wolverine Devotee

February 13th, 2013 at 9:19 AM ^

Things people don't seem to remember about the 1989 National Championship team-

  • Got blown out twice by rival illinois, once at home on senior day.
  • Lost to Division 3 Alaska-Anchorage.
  • Had 7 losses
  • Didn't win the Big Ten

This season is LONG from over.

Dutch Ferbert

February 13th, 2013 at 9:23 AM ^

Now, all we need is

1) Our coach to accept a job at Arizona State right before the tournament;

2) Dave Brandon to profess that only a Michigan Man will coach Michigan;

3) The players to rally around Bacari Alexander; and

4) Stauskas to remember that he can shoot like Glen Rice.

Seriously though, this team still has potential. However, they need good matchups in the tourney. Plus, as repeated ad nauseum yesterday, there will be neutral courts in the tourney and tourney refs don't let teams play as aggressively as a typical B1G game.

Go Blue!


February 13th, 2013 at 9:20 AM ^

It definitely got my head out of the oven.  Got me off of the ledge.  Got me in from out of the cold.  Got me out of the Bell tower.  Got me ... 

Well, it helped me feel better.  Much appreciated.

Can't wait to see the game in Crisler though. 


February 13th, 2013 at 9:22 AM ^

I think the rest factor is a really good point. That should be huge over next week or two.

I also think THJ rebounds to play well down the stretch. He had been lights out recently, and just had a really poor performance.

Between now and MSU return trip, we need to figure out how to defend their post feeds though. Even when Nix / Payne didn't score, they seemed to hurt us with their passing.


February 13th, 2013 at 9:24 AM ^

It's one game... It's one loss. They were clearly the better team. Good news is Michigan plays state again. At home. Chill out, yes we will all be teased and annoyed by little brother just Ignore them and ask if you can have just the fry large and not the drink.


February 13th, 2013 at 9:29 AM ^

Morgan coming back healthy will be key for a deep run. That way the first sub off the bench can be Mcgary for Gr3 and we can avoid offensive challenged lineups for prolonged periods of the game like last night.


February 13th, 2013 at 10:17 AM ^

Adversity makes you stronger and this team has had plenty of it the last couple of weeks.  They will have to grow up as players very quickly and gain some confidence and as I mentioned in one of the other 24 basketball threads. We have Penn State twice in the next three games which sounds like some good medicine for our ailing freshman.


February 13th, 2013 at 9:30 AM ^

GR III being back next year has been my real bright-spot.  I just hope he gets a little confidence back in the next few games and doesn't disappear again come tourney time.


February 13th, 2013 at 9:33 AM ^

This loss was bad but you could see the writing on the walls.  Morgan was not 100% and Horfod is isn't either.  McGary had to have a huge game and played like you would expect a freshman to play.  WE all have to remember that we have 6 freshman playing (counting Max) and contributing a lot of minutes.  Games like these are hard to overcome as upper classman and State was playing lights out.  This next stretch will allow us to get healthy and have a few confidence booster games under our belt before the grind begins again.


February 13th, 2013 at 10:41 AM ^

That doesn't explain our junior guard having his third awful game in a row at Breslin.  Sometimes I question whether the staff is capable of getting these guys in the right mindset for tough road games, State in particular.  I don't blame the kids cuz they're kids and most of them are young but Beilein has to realize that when Michigan walks into Breslin, MSU is out for blood.   The main reasons we won 2 yrs ago were (a) we snuck up on them because were were terrible at the time, and (b) we had a player who was not afraid to scream his head off to wake up his teammates.

Thank goodness for some rest and some Nittany Lion, this team is running on fumes. 


February 13th, 2013 at 9:33 AM ^

With 3 games in the next 2 weeks that will give the team time to rest their legs, regroup and get some quality practice time in AA. Hopefully the games vs PSU are blow outs so the starters can get some rest and the freshman non starters & sophomores can get some extended quality minutes. Also I think this will give J Morgan time to further heal giving M the ability to use both he & McGary at the same time vs IU & MSU and that will in turn keep GR3 & Stauskas minutes down a bit to not wear them back out


February 13th, 2013 at 9:36 AM ^

- the guys who need to step up have the talent to do so
- We're getting healthy in time for March
- Better to get kicked now and give Beilein time to fix it
- GRIII has played himself out of the draft
- We have a fantastic recruiting class (MSU has 0 commitments)


February 13th, 2013 at 10:44 AM ^

Actually, I think you're underselling Irvin. It is strange to say, but I think comparing him to THJ isn't doing him justice. He will be Indiana's Mr basketball and they were saying last night that he was better than Gary Harris and GR3. He is going to be really special. I also see Walton stepping in like Ferrel did this year at Indiana. Next year's team has a real chance to be special


February 13th, 2013 at 9:53 AM ^

This just boils down to grit and determination.  You simply have to take pride in playing D. 

GR3 is lost in the wilderness and (imo) sulking because his offensive production blows.  He's not breaking HARD to the basket and therefore gets no passes thrown his way.  Then he mopes around the rest of the offensive possession, followed up by a half-assed, mailed in effort on D.

Stauskas gets lost on D.  It's like watching a child navigate a subway station at rush hour. 

I think it's time for Coach B to go all "Izzo" on the players and let them know in no uncertain terms that the effort sucks ass and won't be tolerated.


February 13th, 2013 at 10:09 AM ^

Defense is effort.

If you look at Beilein's West Virginia teams that made runs in the NCAA tournament they were not maligned for playing bad defense. If anything, Beilein was seen as a 1-3-1 system coach. 

The talent level is high on this Michigan team; the defensive effort and intensity needs to match it. It's not like some failure of scheme (I also acknowledge that Stauskas, for one, is young and defensive awareness will increase as he matures as a player).


February 13th, 2013 at 9:54 AM ^

The season's hardly over, but this run of games against all of the conference contenders has not been a good sign. I don't find any silver lining in getting embarrassed by one of our bitterest rivals, least of all the obvious comparison: as State rounds into typical late season form, we seem to be losing falling apart.

GRIII playing himself out of the draft seems more like a double-edged sword than a silver lining.


February 13th, 2013 at 9:55 AM ^

- I chose to go to Michigan over State

- I did not literally get kicked in the balls

- Kate Upton + gifs both exist

- My current head football coach has never told a story about a turtle biting a past legendary football coaches balls


February 13th, 2013 at 10:04 AM ^

Spin this mess any way you like but the one "excuse" I think is hilarious is the "remember...we're STARTING FRESHMAN.  LOTS AND LOTS OF FRESHMAN!"

As did Kentucky last year.....

As did a certain team we all know and (mostly) love from years gone by.....


February 13th, 2013 at 10:21 AM ^

I'm getting tired of the "Haven't faced an environment like this" cliche.  Does that mean playing at the Schott, Assembly, and Kohl, along with being #1 for two games and having that bullseye on your back, couldn't help prepare us for Breslin?

As for silver linings: We get to watch the best player in the country.  Even the Sparty fans I was watching with were giving Trey his due.  Unfortunately I think he got a little frustrated with how the game was going and it resulted in foul trouble like the charge off the inbound.

Blue Mike

February 13th, 2013 at 10:22 AM ^

I think it's funny how people react to the "starting freshmen" excuse by bringing up Kentucky or the Fab Five.  Kentucky played in a terrible league last year, as evidenced by Florida this year.  If the B1G was as bad as the SEC, Michigan would probably be undefeated at this point.

And everyone loves the Fab Five, but don't forget they went 11-7 in the Big Ten as freshmen, and 25-9 overall.  We tend to forget that because they went to the title game, but it isn't like they dominated the Big Ten or anything.


February 13th, 2013 at 11:18 AM ^

Anybody who thought for one minute that the freshmen on this team are comparable to Webber, Howard, Rose, King, and Jackson is simply a dope. The Fab Five, whatever their off-court issues, were a singular phenomenon without equal in college basketball history.

Anybody who thought for 5 seconds that Stauskas has proven he's as good a pure shooter as Glen Rice is an idiot. Rice still holds the NCAA tournament record for most points for a reason.

Anybody who thought for 1 second that this team is better than the '89 team—and there were numbskulls who actually were trying to assert that when we were undefeated—is beyond help.

The phenomenon of so many people being ready to jump off the bridge or slit their wrists or advocate firing Beilein over this loss is largely due to the completely unrealistic expectations that so many have had for this squad. There is absolutely nothing wrong with hope and desire, and disappointment after a tough loss is entirely natural. It's when fans buy into the hype and start assuming without question that Michigan will of course get a #1 seed and a spot in the final four—after 15 years of being in the basketball wilderness and having a very inexperienced roster overall—that you get the doom and gloom. There's a good percentage of fans here who are like meth addicts: crazy, wild-eyed exhiliration over a run of victories, and then the inevitable black-hole suicidal crash when the high wears off after a run of losses.


February 13th, 2013 at 10:43 AM ^

Not all Freshman are the same. Chris Webber was a 5 time NBA All-Star and had almost a 15 year NBA career, Jalen had almost a 10 year career, and Juwan Howard spent 20 years in the league, all 3 were first round picks too.

Same with Kentucky. Davis was the No. 1 pick, and Kidd-Gilchrist was the No. 2 pick. Teague and Jones were also 1st rounders.

Do you really think our Freshman are 1st round picks? Or are so good they're going to be starters in the NBA next year?


February 13th, 2013 at 11:14 AM ^

"Not all Freshman are the same"

I 100% agree with you.  Then the people claiming that for the reason behind our loss and recent poor play should say that instead.  That our Freshman, despite the hype WE built around them, simply arent as good as we had thought and hoped.  I'm OK with that one.  It's true.  And that's not to say that in a couple of weeks they might be playing a whole lot better again too.

I just reject the notion that an acceptable excuse for our recent swoon is the youth of our team.  Virtually ALL elite teams these days are young - that's they nature of the "one and done" rule in action IMO.


February 13th, 2013 at 11:27 AM ^

Yup.There's also the phenomenon of UM fans dismissing our opponents' talent. Plenty of fans, here and on the radio, were simply waving off the Spartans as having the talent to stay with us prior to the game.

Then we get our asses kicked, and the reality comes home: as Sam Webb pointed out this morning, Izzo has three 5-star players and two Mr. Basketball recipients on his roster, and they're big and physical. For a fan base that is as obsessed with recruiting rankings as Michigan's, we're remarkably prone to disregard high rankings when they're for players on the opposing teams.


February 13th, 2013 at 11:16 AM ^

There was a caller on the local radio yesterday who compared Nik Stauskas to Michael Jordan, and she was making a positive comparison. It's complete lunacy, and I don't think it helps Nik to have had so much smoke blown up his butt as a pure freshman. The expectations that have been laid on him are ludicrous right now. He'll be a nice player at UM, and maybe he'll be part of a championship team before he's done, but when UM fans are likening him to Glen Rice and Jordan it's really gotten out of control.


February 13th, 2013 at 10:06 AM ^

The body language and the apparent attitude of the team during last night's game.  I understand that we're young and building a toughness is going to take some time, but there appears to be no leadership from any of the players.  That is really concerning me and making me feel like we may be lucky to make the round of 32.

The other huge concern is the lack of a third offensive option when shots aren't falling and teams are shutting down the pick and roll.  If those two things get taken away from us we do not seem to have a thrid option.  To me, that is coaching.