Michigan Fans: Current Attitude Towards Our 18-1 MBB Team

Submitted by Mike Damone on January 23rd, 2019 at 10:01 AM

Yes, I am aware we have looked mediocre at times over the past month and a half.  The offense the last couple games looks discombobulated.  Before his rainbow beauty at the buzzer last night, Matthews has been “not good” over the past few games.  Iggy had a poor offensive game at Wisconsin and for the 1st half yesterday, and Poole has had his issues offensively the last couple as well.  We are 8-40 from three point land the last two, a sweet 20%.  After watching the games – I am almost surprised it was that high.  In the meantime, Sparty is rolling and looks tough, without Langford playing, and we are going to have to listen all year about how Zion and the young Dookies are the "next coming".  I get it.

But people – we are 18-1.  No buts – we have played 19 games, many against very good Top 25 teams, and we have only lost one of them.  18-1 baby.  You get no fucking style points for wins at this time of the year.

Other bright points:  Teske is playing like a beast on both ends of the court.  We continue to play terrific D.  And knock on wood – we remain healthy.  I believe Beilein and Z will help get the offense running smoother over the next few games, Iggy and Poole will get rolling again, and the threes will start dropping.  And then there is Matthews.  We have such a short memory – up until the BIG tournament last year, everyone on this blog was wondering what has happened with Matthews.  And at the end – he was probably our best player in NCAA Tourney.  I believe he will be great in March again.  And I believe our overall team will be better than the one that pounded Villanova and Carolina earlier in the season.

I think we have learned with Beilein and our team – it is not how you play at the beginning or even in the middle of the season.  Those are parts of the journey, and time to learn and grow.  It is how you are playing at the end of February, heading into March, that matters.

Those of you who continue to be negative before, during and after “challenging” games on this blog call yourselves fans, but “realists”.  However – in my mind, some of you are just becoming whiny bitches.  And you know who you are.  You can choose to be negative, watching the games and expecting bad things to happen, and continue to be a whiny bitch.  But it would be great if we could be more positive on this blog, get behind the team, and have some fun.

Go Blue! 


Mike Damone

January 23rd, 2019 at 10:15 AM ^

You stated it well on my behalf.

Obviously, we are not going to make a run in March if we are playing like we have over the past two games.  But the BIG season is a grind, especially in January.  My point is we don't have to be so goddamn negative in mid-Jan, given what this coach and team have done and proven over the past two and a half years.

Go Blue!


January 23rd, 2019 at 10:08 AM ^

I love this team and they will be fine come tournament time.  I don't know if it's complacency or Iggy/Poole hitting a wall, but they will get their second wind and be fine come March.


January 23rd, 2019 at 2:39 PM ^

Yep!  Beilein will have them in peak form just in time for the B1G tourney.  The only thing I am wondering about is how many games do we drop between now and then and where will that leave us for seeding in the NCAA?  This team has shown it can be a legit 1/2 seed.  I hope we don't drop out of that as a result of a Jan-Feb slump.


January 23rd, 2019 at 10:09 AM ^

Can't argue much with 18-1. This team looks like they play up or down to their competition, and while it's worked out so far this season, I hope they put it all together and play to their fullest ability once February and March roll around.

This is a fun team to watch, keep it goin', boys! Go Blue!!


January 23rd, 2019 at 10:17 AM ^

I’m not upset that we are 18-1. I’m also not upset that I can see the writing on the wall that this team is no where near good enough on offense anymore to be a legitament national title threat. It is what it is. The team peaked way too early, and you can tell they have flatlined out because their last 7 or so games have all been about the same. I will say they looked very good for awhile in the home Northwestern game, but that’s about it. I’ll predict a 3rd place finish in the Big Ten regular season. Lose in the BTT semifinals. Then lose in the sweet 16. Not a bad year. But this team and fan base started running their mouths wayyyyy too early.


January 23rd, 2019 at 10:27 AM ^

It’s probably too early to count them out also. I mean did you expect us to make a title run last year? Obviously we had some luck but that’s the point that anything can happen when you’re at a certain level.

Michigan is a top-15 team even over the last couple of weeks. The team is capable of good offense it just needs to happen more consistently.

I believe they’ll be better when it matters the most. May not be enough but should be a fun ride.


January 23rd, 2019 at 10:36 AM ^

I look at last years team and I can see a title run much clearer. So many more true weapons. I really don’t see any on this team. A bunch of good to great defenders and no true offensive weapon. We could go to Wagner or MAAR last year and get a bucket. This year I thought Poole would be that guy, lotta “swag” but haven’t seen much “go to guy”. 


January 23rd, 2019 at 10:46 AM ^

LOL.  You have got to be kidding me.

Nobody saw last year's title run clearly.  On January 23, Michigan was 17-5 and had just scuffled to a win over Rutgers in which they scored 62 points in 63 possessions.  They were the #27 team in KenPom, and their best non-conference wins were @ #36 Texas and vs. #56 UCLA at home, in overtime.  They were 2-4 in KenPom A games and 3-1 in KenPom B games.  They were a bubble team until they got hot.  They were basically 2019 Iowa.


January 23rd, 2019 at 11:27 AM ^

More on last year's team:

Jan. 15 - last-second win vs. Maryland when MAAR hits two FT at the buzzer

Jan. 18 - blowout loss at Nebraska

Jan. 21 - the aforementioned win vs. Rutgers

Jan. 25 - loss at Purdue (the crazy game where both teams shot the lights out)

Jan. 29 - ugly win vs. Northwestern that resembled the Rutgers game

Feb. 3 - overtime escape at home vs. Minnesota

Feb. 6 - loss at Northwestern

 We were not exactly looking like a national title contender at this point.  In the Northwestern postgame thread, there was a lot of BPONE to be found.


snarling wolverine

January 23rd, 2019 at 11:54 AM ^

From that thread:

This team's on the bubble. Thanks to awful scheduling, they only have 18 wins with a whole bunch of bad teams pulling their RPI down. OSU is pretty much a guaranteed loss. If they blow it against either Iowa or Wisconsin, then they will finish with 20-21 wins in the worst major conference in basketball this year. And that's if they don't lose to both Penn State and Maryland on the road, which is no guarantee. 

This seems like a team that peaked about a month ago and now can't figure out how to play offense anymore and that's concerning.  

At least the apologists are still working hard.

Yeah baby. Got to hand it to the apologists...they certainly are creative. Bad coaching folks. Very bad coaching...almost as bad as the ignorance and excuses.

They will be VERY lucky to get 2 more wins.   Wisky and Iowa are winnable, but not if they play like they did last night.   OSU, PSU and Maryland will all take very good games to win...

It was like watching 6th grade girls b-ball.

 I think we can go .500 the rest of the season and win a B1G tournament game. That may get us an 8th or 9th seed. I'd like them to win a game or two in the tournament but that will depend on match  ups.

Team is getting very unfun to watch. We play like shit against everyone except Purdue

We keep putting up 25-30 ish threes and making like 6 of them. Gross.

We've been trash for weeks barely beating other trash. When was the last time we played well against not Purdue? MSU?

This team is getting WORSE as the season goes along..Last Night was probably one of the worst performances Ive seen in a long long time. AND the problems dont get fixed..


January 23rd, 2019 at 10:34 AM ^

Last year's postseason KenPom efficiency rating was 114.7 on offense, 90.5 on defense, and a margin of +24.20.  This season, after that sludge-fest last night, they are 112.9 on offense, 96.9 on defense, and +25.95 overall.

The offense hasn't been quite as good as last year's; the defense has been better.  The overall result is a team that's slightly better than one that went to the National Championship game last season.

If you insist on only using recent data: Per BartTorvik.com, since January 1st, Michigan's 5-1 "flatline" performance is #9 in the country... and that includes particularly bad levels of three-point shooting, at 28.4% over that stretch.

Your narrative is entirely plausible -- even very good teams lose in the Sweet 16 -- but your abject pessimism is simply grating.  Being a Michigan fan seems to give you no enjoyment at all.  I wonder why you bother.


January 23rd, 2019 at 10:44 AM ^

What brings me no enjoyment is listening to Michigan fans continue to justify losses and bad performances. People can be happy they win and still have reason for concern. The way this fan base talks and teams talks to the media, they expect a national championship. I have watched every basketball and football game this year. Paid my own money to attend four (3 football, 1 basketball) in person. And I don’t live just down the road. Don’t question my fan hood. You can make statistics fit whatever narrative you want, this team also looked like the best team in the nation in November and early December. But now they don’t and people can question them.


January 23rd, 2019 at 10:52 AM ^

I don't question that you're a fan, just why, since it doesn't seem that you're getting anything out of it.

I'm not making statistics fit a narrative.  I'm using statistics to get a better understanding of the team than you get from results alone.  More data = more knowledge, assuming you know how to interpret it.

Yes, the team looked fantastic in November and early December -- and the statistics suggested they weren't as great as they looked.  Now, they don't look fantastic, and the statistics suggest they're better than they look.

Sure, some fans have been extremely optimistic, but so what?  You're extremely pessimistic.  The difference is, extreme optimism is generally less painful for everyone else.

Mike Damone

January 23rd, 2019 at 10:56 AM ^

Of course you get enjoyment from it - you sound like a Sparty troll, you smell like a Sparty troll - so I have a guess as to what you are.  But if not - you are just a negative, whiny bitch.  

To say we "peaked" early in the year is asinine at this stage.  Lot of basketball to be played, and this coach and team have proven they will work to get better.

Go Blue!

Bo Glue

January 23rd, 2019 at 11:22 AM ^

You badly mischaracterize the fan base to say anyone expects a national championship. Any such expectation is obviously ludicrous. Even as a one seed you'd be lucky to have a 20% chance on the first day of the tourney. Many here do hope we can make the one line. But no one I have seen says anything even remotely indicating we "expect a national championship".


January 24th, 2019 at 11:29 AM ^

At 17-0 and fighting for a number 1 spot you can brag a little. Honestly the last time a team started this hot they made a national championship.  Last year Livers, Teske, Simpson, Poole, Matthews, Brooks, Davis also made a national championship. I think your prediction seems more off than anything. We could do as you predict but it sounds like you wont take much joy from it. Seems like a waste of time to me.


January 23rd, 2019 at 10:19 AM ^

Just get hot in March. That's all really. MSU is playing fantastic and could streak to a big 10 title without a funk (and a continued offensive slump from us), but that's uncertain. Michigan can win the big 10.


But again.. get hot in March. Not January.


January 23rd, 2019 at 10:20 AM ^

A bit nervous to be honest.  I'm wondering if opposing teams havent scouted and figured out what we are doing and are game planning a bit more successfully because of it.

I fully expect Coach Beilein to make a counter move if that's it but my attitude right now is nervous.


January 23rd, 2019 at 10:41 AM ^

Perhaps, but I expect John Beilein to be able to figure out a few things offensively.  He's kind of made a career of it. ;)

On the other hand, so far this season, here is the complete list of teams that have scored >= 1.0 ppp: South Carolina and Indiana; South Carolina because they couldn't miss their garbage shots, and Indiana because Michigan cruised after opening up an early 19-point lead (and it was an exceptionally slow game -- 59 possessions).

For comparison's sake, here's last year's list: Central Michigan, LSU, North Carolina, Ohio State, Iowa, Purdue, Michigan State, Maryland, Nebraska, Purdue again, Minnesota, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Purdue a third time, Texas A&M, and Villanova.

This is a really good defensive team, and that can cover for a lot of issues on offense.


January 23rd, 2019 at 1:02 PM ^

This is why the majority of negativity is bullshit.  18-1 with numbers like that?  Team frankly cant play below that admittedly low bar.  Lots of upside - shots will start to fall and they will improve as a team through the gauntlet of the B10.  Michigan may have the most upside of any team in the top 10.....and are still firmly sitting at #5 as is. 


January 23rd, 2019 at 10:25 AM ^

They clearly have the chemistry to play as the best team in the country and they have an incredibly smart coach. Sky is the limit with this team and that will hold true for the rest of the season so long as everyone stays healthy. 


January 23rd, 2019 at 10:29 AM ^

The way I see it, this is exactly the script that Beilein and his teams have had in the past except this team has made it through the early rough part of the season with a great record which has increased expectations.  This team, just like previous teams, will find their stride offensively within the next few weeks and be hitting on all cylinders by mid to late February and into March.  Enjoy the ride! 


January 23rd, 2019 at 10:31 AM ^

Its like the market, nobody really knows what will happen.  But judging by past performance of Beilein's team, he does know how to build chemistry and momentum come March.  We seemingly have always gone past what our initial tourney ranking says we will do.

We also have great leadership on this team, and good experience  in high pressure games.

Just get a top 3 seed and DOMINATE the tourney!



January 23rd, 2019 at 10:35 AM ^

At this point in the Big Ten season, teams have been well scouted.  Points will be harder to come by -- not only for us, but for our opponents as well. 

There was way too much 1-on-1 last night -- note our low assist total.  We're at our best offensively when points flow through the offense.  Meanwhile, our D will continue to keep us in games (though there may be some more slogfests light last night).