MBB vs. Minnesota Open Thread

Submitted by mgokev on January 22nd, 2011 at 6:15 PM

The game against Minnesota tips off in about 45 minutes.  Here's to hoping we end our 5-game skid with a win at home.

In the meantime, here are some pregame notes from USAToday:

 

NOTES, QUOTES

--The Wolverines shot just 28 percent from outside the arc (6-21) in their 14-point loss at Northwestern, a defeat that dropped Michigan to 1-5 in the Big Ten.

--Michigan continued its meticulous care of the basketball despite coming up on the losing end on the road at Northwestern. The Wolverines committed just seven turnovers. The Wolverines had only six turnovers in a recent road loss to Indiana.

--In Big Ten play, Michigan was on a tear through games played Jan. 15, shooting an impressive 89 percent from the foul line (33-of-37, and is at 73 percent overall on the season).

--Michigan's lack of a potent post presence was very evident in the Big Ten loss at Indiana as the Wolverines had a season-low of just 18 rebounds, and did not block a single shot. It marked the second Big Ten game this season where the Wolverines went without a block.

--Michigan has started a lineup of three freshmen, one sophomore and one junior in the majority of its games this season.

BY THE NUMBERS: 73 -- With 11 freshmen and sophomores, Michigan has 73 percent of its roster made up of underclassmen. The Wolverines have four juniors and no seniors.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It is part of playing on the road. It's a tough game on the road. When you get in to these situations and things don't go your way, it can just roll on you so quick and get you down by eight, 10, 12. I feel, we'll go in, we'll practice, and we have another road game on Tuesday. We will be as ready as we can be, given the travel, etc." -- Michigan coach John Beilein on the rigors of playing on the road in the Big Ten

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

THIS WEEK'S GAME:

--vs. Minnesota, Jan. 22

KEY MATCHUPS: Minnesota has the size, strength and athleticism to go head-to-head with many of the Big Ten's best, but when senior G Blake Hoffarber lights it up, the scales tip significantly in the Golden Gophers' favor. Hoffarber scored 26 points in a recent win over No. 8 Purdue, hitting 10-of-15 from the field. Michigan's junior G/F Zack Novak will likely be matched up with Hoffarber for periods of this game, and the Wolverines will need every bit of defense they can get from Novak to keep Hoffarber from deciding the outcome.

FUTURES MARKET: The growing pains would be many on this, the Big Ten's youngest team, but Michigan has been surprisingly mature in some aspects of the game, thanks in large part to the steady hand of sophomore PG Darius Morris. The Los Angeles product has been one of the Big Ten's leaders in assists, and has helped Michigan to be one of the leaders nationally in protecting the ball. The Wolverines average just 11 turnovers per game through Jan. 16. With Morris running the show for the next two-and-a-half seasons, things are looking much brighter, and sooner than expected, for Michigan.

PLAYER NOTES

--Junior G/F Zack Novak had 16 points in the narrow loss to No. 2 Ohio State, hitting double figures for the ninth time this season. Novak went 4-of-5 from outside the 3-point arc.

--Junior G Stu Douglass has played in every game in his Michigan career (85), and set a personal-best with 10 rebounds in the recent loss to Kansas.

--Sophomore PG Darius Morris is tied for the Big Ten lead with 7.3 assists per game, and is fourth nationally in assists. He had seven assists in the overtime loss to No. 3 Kansas, playing 43 minutes.

Comments

MadMagician48

January 22nd, 2011 at 6:49 PM ^

I am very confident
Michigan
pulls out a win tonight. After losing to the top 3 teams in the nation by a total of 14 points, I don't see them losing six in a row. It is hard to win games on the road when your inexperienced. Only bad game they've played at home was against Purdue. Plus Michigan has beat
Minnesota
the last 4 times they have met.

I'll say
Michigan
wins 61-55. Minnesota is 1-3 on the road. Also look for Stu to have a big night.

WojoRisin

January 22nd, 2011 at 8:26 PM ^

The amount of fouls called on defenders that are playing straight up and have offensive players up into them are absurd. It goes both ways, but this year Michigan gets the bad end of these calls because they're so young.

ckersh74

January 22nd, 2011 at 8:56 PM ^

Sorry, guys, but this is a 9th place team in the Big Ten this season. We're staring 1-6 in the league squarely in the face, and we haven't dealt with Illinois or Michigan State yet. Our only Big Ten win was a struggle for the most part against Penn State. I sadly suspect that those close losses to Ohio State and Kansas were fool's gold.

ppudge

January 22nd, 2011 at 8:57 PM ^

Has Horford even played? I guess all the suggestions to play him with Morgan made JB so mad he decided not to play Horford at all! Could've apparently used some more size in this one.

Kennyvr1

January 22nd, 2011 at 9:00 PM ^

If Belien is still coaching this team after the season I won't be surprised, but it would be funny and more contradiction from our athletic director.

Section 1

January 22nd, 2011 at 9:04 PM ^

I mean I don't understand what it is that Beilein is trying to do with this team.  I don't understand what they are trying to run at either end of the floor.  Can somebody explain what the Beilein Offense is?  What is the Beilein Defense? 

I see that we have some guys with some talent, and I see that they are young and all.  But honestly, I don't see any evidence whatsoever of Beilein on the floor.  I see our guys playing up to the level of some good teams (KU, OSU) and down to the level of other teams (Minnesota, tonight), and always just good enough to stay close, but lose. 

The maturity and composure gap between us an OSU was massive, even though our guys really played hard that night.  Sure they had some upperclassmen like Diebler and Lighty, but they put some youth on the floor too.  And we've got guys like Douglass and Novak so we are not all underclassmen.

But yeah, for some reason Brandon really likes Beilein.  Maybe they need to have ther own review meeting after our last NIT game.

burtcomma

January 22nd, 2011 at 9:15 PM ^

No comparison btwn us and OSU on talent or experience level.  You are comparing us to the no. 1 ranked b-ball team in the land.  We start three freshmen and two juniors and have no experienced big men.  We are at least two years away from being a good big ten basketball team.  Need more talent, especially in terms of big men.

Section 1

January 22nd, 2011 at 9:43 PM ^

And I can't argue; OSU might just do MSU worse than they did us.  Of course, if we had lost to OSU but were .500 in the Conference, this thread might be a lot different.

And while Horford has to be an encouragement to everybody, you're right about our needing some good, big bodies. 

But having granted all of that, I still don't see what it is that Beilein is doing with this team.  Should we be losing to IU and Minnesota?  Should we struggle with with PSU?

If we have guys that are undersized next to whoever mans up with them on the floor, we don't seem to turn that to our advantage at all.  We don't run the floor except if by accident.  And if we are in a half-court game, I don't understand wht the guys are supposed to be doing on offense.  I just don't see anything other than some decent but not exceptional talent, with no real sign of having been coached to play any particular fundamental way.

BlueHeart

January 22nd, 2011 at 9:32 PM ^

When are we going to get rid of Adidas?  I mean this is the only thing holding us back from greatness right?  Can we start some kind of movement to get rid of this crap or what?  Can't Ross buy out our contract and get back on board with Nike? 

Section 1

January 22nd, 2011 at 10:35 PM ^

I don't think that there was any appreciable Pantone change by adidas.  We became more "neon" in the years up to and through the Nike contract.  The new, more neonish "maize" photographs better; it shows better on television, in my view.  It's evolutionary.  I don't mind it a bit.  If anybody can tell the difference between Nike maize and adidas maize, your eyes are sharper than mine.

Mid-70's (Rest in Peace, Rob Lytle):

 

Penultimate year of Michigan's Nike contract, 2006:

 

2010, and adidas:

sjs1984

January 22nd, 2011 at 9:41 PM ^

with more than RR.  He has had more time to bring in talent... and quite honestly his recruiting classes have given us little to be excited about.

Hopefully this very young, determined team keeps working hard, but it is becoming more and more evident that working hard is not the issue.  It is a lack of skill set, either from a coaching perspective or from poor recruiting that is hurting this team. 

How long are we supposed to wait?