Michigan v. Michigan State

Submitted by ijohnb on January 25th, 2010 at 6:15 PM

Michigan State is good. Very likely final four good by seasons end.

Michigan is, well, confusing as hell.

I have little doubt that we will see good Michigan on Tuesday, and probably average Sparty. At the start of this season, I would have said that combination is a Woverine win. Now I am really not so sure.

Thoughts on the Tuesdays tip in A2?

(And is this ESPN? If it is Musberger I might puke.)



January 25th, 2010 at 6:36 PM ^

Hopefully having to sit last game out lit a fire under Manny's ass and he brings this team together. Great teams usually have a turning point during the season where they go from good to great. Maybe it's just wishful thinking but I think this team can do it.

Kilgore Trout

January 25th, 2010 at 7:31 PM ^

Should be an interesting game. State has been its usual solid self this year, but haven't really been outstanding at any point. I think the matchups favor MSU, but we'll see.

PG - Lucas vs. Douglass/Morris - This is obviously bad. We saw what Trevon Hughes could do to our defense when he decided to take it to the rim, and Kalin Lucus is probably superior in most aspects of the game. Maybe Morris can slow him down a little and maybe Stu can catch fire and hit some threes, but I see UM losing this battle by 12-15 points.

SG - Allen/Summers/Lucious vs. LLP/Douglass - Another one I don't like. I don't get why Allen starts, but it seems like Summers is the real deal and clearly the best player among these five. LLP and Stu are underrated defensively, but again they don't provide anything on offense generally, so you have to see this as a net 5-8 point plus for MSU.

SF - Morgan vs. Harris - Finally a matchup I like. I think Manny has turned into the better overall player after Morgan has kind of fizzled throughout the last two years. BUT, State's defensive intensity will probably limit Manny. I'd say this is a +5 for Michigan.

PF - Green/Roe vs. Novak/Wright - I think not landing Green is one of the biggest killers in Beilein's tenure here. If they had gotten him, this is a whole different ball game. But they didn't and I think this one gets about as ugly as the PG matchup. Novak has some grit, and maybe he gets hot to hit somet threes, but State's talent smokes our grit. MSU +10

C - Sherman/Nix vs. Sims/Gibson - DeShawn has been a beast this year and he seems to play these games with a chip on his shoulder, so I think this one goes our way, pretty big time. I'd expect 23-25 from Sims, 4-6 from Gibson, and maybe 10 total from Sherman/Nix, giving UM a +20 or so.

So add up all of these "in depth" predictions, and you get about a 5 point MSU win.


January 25th, 2010 at 8:43 PM ^

while i will likely be negbombed for my opinion, i think it will be a lot to a little - MSU wins. i haven't seen anything over the past several games to suggest that UM can beat a highly talented MSU team. (cue: UM beat UCONN - see explanation below) i simply do not share the same optimism that pro-beilein fans do. the "live by the 3" philosophy gets destroyed by izzo-coached teams b/c MSU plays solid transition offense and pounds the boards. UM won't have second-chance opportunities, an unfortunate outcome of teams that rely on the three (read: low-probability shots). MSU is faster, more talented, has a better front-line, gets the ball down low, and gets to the free throw line. they go 8-deep and play a tempo defense that suffocates poor guard play, which UM regularly suffers from. unfortunately, until we get a coach that believes in physical play and high probability shots, i just don't think we will beat MSU.

Explanation: yes, UM beat a horribly overrated UCONN team that played out of their minds against a far superior Texas team on their home court. in an instance of irony, the UCONN win over Texas, and the UM win over UCONN are nearly mirror images of each other - both needed that win to salvage was has been to-date a pretty disappointing year.


January 25th, 2010 at 9:13 PM ^

that this is a reasoned argument. But almost everything you said about MSU (faster, more talented, better front-line, go 8-deep) could be said about UConn. And was UConn overrated or are they underperforming? I think you could argue MSU is overrated, playing in a Big 10 that is clearly not the caliber people thought it would be at the start of the year.

And the shot at Beilein ("until we get a coach that believes in physical play and high probability shots") is belied by his success at WVU. Combined with committed defense, they took down plenty of physical, inside-focused teams.

It's not that his system just doesn't work. It's that he doesn't have the pieces to make it work at the level it's supposed to (where have I heard this before).


January 25th, 2010 at 9:40 PM ^

i think UCONN is horribly overrated and relatively untalented (relative to the perennial basketball powers of college basketball). having said that, they played out of their mind against a very deep and very skilled UT team at home in a must-win game for them. while i do agree with you that the B10 is also very overrated, there are two solid teams in this league and MSU happens to be one of them (Purdue the other). yes, MSU had a few OOC blunders, but if i were a betting man, i would bet on them 95% of the time.

as far as the support of beilein, i'm just curious what success at WVU you are speaking of? can you point to a big east title or beat tourney championship he won? the elite 8s and final fours he led teams to?

as far as the "system" comment, comparing RR to beilein is like comparing apples to oranges. RR won conference titles; RR won BCS games. he is heralded as an innovator of the sport - a true genius of the game. beilein is not!!! roy williams and bill self aren't asking beilein how to guard against his three-point system. yet, meyer and others seem keen to understand the spread-and-shred. you are comparing a person that has had demonstrated success at the highest level against someone that has achieved average-to-okay success in his profession. the only thing that RR and beilen have in common (other than achieving fairly underwhelming success to-date) is their WVU ties. they do not share the same pedigree of professional success.


January 25th, 2010 at 9:50 PM ^

quick point of clarification: in the last paragraph, when i say, "the only thing that RR and beilein have in common (other than achieving fairly underwhelming success to-date) is their WVU ties. i'm only referring to their stint at UM. i think RR has achieved significant success; thus the reason for my last statement of them not sharing the same pedigree of professional success.

RR resume > beilein resume


January 26th, 2010 at 12:08 AM ^

the RR comp, because no one wants to have that discussion, Beilein did make the Elite 8 in 2005, and lost in OT to a very good Louisville team to miss out on the Final Four. He made the Sweet Sixteen in 2006 and lost out on another Elite 8 thanks to a buzzer-beater against 2-seed Texas. He also compiled a 104-60 record in his time there, including a 28-20 record in the toughest conference in the country over his final three years after taking over a team that went 1-15 in conference the year before he got there.

If your only barometer for whether a coach is successful is if he wins conference championships and goes to Final Fours, well then we've got different definitions of success. He's probably not the guy who's going to build a team that is year-in and year-out a top 10 team like Izzo's MSU, but quite frankly, that would be an unreasonable expectation given where this Michigan program stands in the landscape of college basketball these days.

I think most M fans would be ecstatic to have the same "lack of success" that Beilein had at WVU.


January 25th, 2010 at 9:27 PM ^

this is my first um hoops game

how many rows are in the upperbowl? and will i be by M fans or will the sparties be in full force up there? thanks

Maize Rage

January 25th, 2010 at 11:15 PM ^

I am so ridiculously pumped for this game; it will be extremely close and hard-fought. I have been to every game this year at Crisler and there have noticeably been empty seats. I have talked to a player about this and this is something they definitely notice. We better fill the place up tomorrow and show the team we support them.