Moving on to MSU on Tuesday

Submitted by Ball Hawk on February 10th, 2013 at 8:51 AM
I would like to try to forget about yesterday's loss by talking about MSU game. We already know the big ten refs are gonna try to give Izzo his calls so we're gonna have to play through that if we want to win. In order to win, one of the things that has to happen is that Robinson is gonna have to show up and play. I have come to the conclusion that the road game environment totally shuts him down. Scoring 2 points against Indiana and 2 points against Wisky. At home he always scores double digits and we win. The chemistry isn't the same when Robinson is absent. The team looks like they dont know what to do. Another thing that needs to happen is that Burke is gonna have to distribute the ball more by creating ball movement. He's gonna have to drive to the hoop to be able to dish the ball off to get Robinson and the others going. Once those things happen, the threes will be open more and the chemistry will build again. Teams have done a decent job stopping our transition game. MSU runs a very good transition game also so we're gonna have to hustle to stop them from running on us. Make the easy layups and hang on to the ball when we rebound it. Our team is great at not fouling and we dont turn the ball over much. Ball movement is the key to win. Expect the refs to call everything MSU's way, its gonna happen. We need to win a critical road game and this is it. So nurse your hangover today and get ready for Tuesday. Go Blue!



February 10th, 2013 at 9:00 AM ^

I think GR3 has tired legs. He's trying but he just doesn't have the same lift he had earlier in the season. It was pretty apparent on a couple layups yesterday that would have been dunks a few weeks ago.

snarling wolverine

February 10th, 2013 at 12:32 PM ^

The game on Tuesday isn't life or death.  Even if we lose, we'll still have a pretty good shot at a share of the title if we win out.  This isn't like football where you have to basically go undefeated.  If we finish 14-4 we'll probably be Big Ten champs, a #1 seed in the BTT (due to overall record) and a #1 seed for sure in the NCAA tournament.



February 10th, 2013 at 12:04 PM ^

While GR3 might have tired legs, I think his lack of production is due to the pace at which Michigan plays.  He is at his best at this stage of his basketball career in the open court.  The majority of his buckets come from being set up by others.  His lack of production is because Michigan is playing tougher teams who take care of the basketball and play tough half court defense.  While I'd like to see Michigan press more and force the pace, that's like hoping Brady Hoke wakes up one day and sees the benefits of a no huddle offense.  Don't take that comment as saying that Hoke and Belein aren't excellent coaches, but rather that even the greats have imperfections in how they adapt to different personnel.


February 10th, 2013 at 9:14 AM ^

it just seems that at times he's a bit soft and passive. there's a reason he's on sports center for espn's number 1 play in their top 10. in that situation no matter what you foul. belein said that so as soon he the guy catches the ball wtf is levert doing??? i understand he's a freshman but the more i watch him i just see someone who lacks aggression and is a bit passive. i hate to say this bit he looks soft as charmin too.


February 10th, 2013 at 11:51 AM ^

I would probably guard the inbounder as well (depending on personelle), but there are reasons for not guarding him. It's not like Beilein broke an obvious coaching rule. There are reasons to leave McGary in the back:

It prevents the inbounder from really becoming part of the play since he could make a pass to a player coming back to the ball and immediately follow it - hook and ladder style - beating the defender that was guarding the inbounds pass.

Plus, McGary in the back is a safety valve in case another defender does get beat over the top - if that happens you've given them 2.4 seconds to get an unguarded look off.

Plus, the guy had the ability to run the baseline, thus an on-ball defender's effectiveness would have been limited.

snarling wolverine

February 10th, 2013 at 1:15 PM ^

If you are planning to foul immediately, it makes perfect sense.  Then you have five defenders to cover the four offensive players, so it's doubtful any one of them can get free.

The big issue I have with the play was that we put McGary under our basket when he could have been out double-teaming someone.



February 10th, 2013 at 7:37 PM ^

with 2.4 seconds remaining.  There's virtually no chance the opponent gets a 3 pt shot off, misses, gets the rebound and still has time to get another 3 pt shot off.  Instead of having a man advantage by not guarding the in-bounder, you take that advantage away by putting McGary in the paint.


February 10th, 2013 at 9:22 AM ^

With Robinson, he looks tired. What is taking Morgan so long? He needs to play effective for us to win. Burke seems to lack that explosive first step which prohibits him from getting past good defenders, thus limiting our penetration, we are a jump shooting team. In order for us to win, we are going to have to hit at least 10 three's and get out in transition. Our half court offensive sets have been brutal. We need this win but are going to have to play our best game all year to win.


February 10th, 2013 at 10:11 AM ^

Beating Sparty on Tuesday comes down to two things, GRIII and Stauskas both playing good games or one of them playing a great game to go with the usual expected contributions of Burke, Hardaway, and now, McGary.  It is going to be rough though.  As much as I don't want to admit it, Sparty is playing the best ball in the conference right now.  It isn't always pretty.  They don't have many (or maybe any) 20 point victories but they have lots of guys that get it done for them.  They play good defense and the scoring can be picked up by the usual suspects (Appling, Harris) but can also be picked up by Dawson, Nix, and Payne.  Michigan must show the same type of balance with our main 5 guys (Burke, Hardaway, McGary, Stauskas, Robinson) to win this game.  I think Burke and Hardaway must each score 15-20 and the other three must each get 8-15 or it is going to be another agonizing road loss for us.  Go Blue!!! 


February 10th, 2013 at 10:46 AM ^

However the biggest reason GR3 has struggled is because other teams have dictated their pace of the game. GR3 struggles offensively in the half court set, he doesn't create much for himself, has no post game, so is relegated at this juncture to stand on the 3 point line. When he is effective, it is because we are scoring in transition, or hitting 3's. for us to beat state, we will have to be hitting 3's, about 10 of them. They are playing the best in the B1G right now because they have cut down on TO's and play real good defense. They have become very disciplined, we need a signature win for confidence, this is the biggest game of our season right now.


February 10th, 2013 at 7:52 PM ^

It's not though.  It's 80-90% true.  The sooner we all realize this (for road games in general) the sooner we can quit the bitching and focus on more reasons why this team is struggling; it ain't because of the guys in stripes (well, I guess except for the ones wearing the red and white striped pants).


February 10th, 2013 at 10:25 AM ^

I don't see any point in harping on Morgan's injury.  I think Michigan is a better team with him but Duke is a better team with Ryan Kelly, and I am sure Sparty believes they are a better team with Travis Trice.  The bottom line is that injuries are a part of the game.  I wish Michigan was at full-strength.  I am sure Sparty does too.  Michigan just needs Stauskas and Robinson to play well and we will have an excellent chance to win the game.  If they don't, it will be more of what we have seen in our other 3 losses.


February 10th, 2013 at 10:37 AM ^

"I have come to the conclusion that the road game environment totally shuts him down. Scoring 2 points against Indiana and 2 points against Wisky." - from the OP

I broke out Robinson's stats like this to test this:

Glenn Robinson III
FG% 62.30% 30.00% 65.38%
3FG% 46.40% 40.00% 33.33%
FT% 65.10% 0.00% 80.00%
Off. Rebounds 32 3 6
Def. Reounds 48 5 15
Avg. Rebounds 5.7 2.7 5.3
Assists 18 3 7
Turnovers 13 5 3
Blocks 1 0 0
Steals 10 3 6
Avg. Pts / Game 13.1 4.7 11.0

Consider also that the defensive efficiency of the teams to which we lost:

Ohio State, 18th overall in Div. I - 0.873

Indiana, 11th overall in Div. I - 0.866

Wisconsin, 23rd overall in Division I - 0.882

Compare this to the in-conference road  wins:

Northwestern, 157th in defensive efficiency - 0.970

Minnesota, 65th overall - 0.922

Illinois - 180th overall - 0.981

You can see the same trend to varied degrees in the stats of several players on our team. It's not the road per se, but highly efficient defenses that can disrupt the flow of the  game, which seem to be troublesome for us. I think part of that is experience and should moderate in time, or at least I would think so. 

rob f

February 10th, 2013 at 10:56 AM ^

All we need you to do now is somehow convince Robinson (and probably Stauskas, too) that they're not no longer "green" freshmen, but that they can play over the facts that 1) the season is long; 2) their legs are no longer fresh  3) Big Ten road arenas tend to be hostile and intimidating.

We most likely do need at least one of them to not only show up but to be a major contributor for us to find a way to win on Tuesday.  I, for one, believe that we will.

Go Blue!


February 10th, 2013 at 10:44 AM ^

Much has been made of GRII's disapperance over the past few games but what just as glarring has been almost the complete evaporation of Stauskas's 3 point shot.  Yesterday he  was 1-5 and with Michigan up four he had a wide, wide, WIDE open look from the top of the key that barely hit the front rim.  That's the dagger right there (we go up 7 with under 3 mintues to play) and he didn't get close to hitting it.

Also, I think Biefeldt has been outplaying Horford and seems to provide the same energy that McGary brings when he hits the floor.  Big fella might not be the most graceful oxen out there but man he is hustling for every loose  ball and contests every shot near him.  Can somebody please explain why he wasnt on the inbounder yesterday?  

To win at State (and I think we will) we need to accept the fact that the game will be as physical as the game we just played and adjust our play accordingly.  That means more minutes IMO for the bigs McGary, Biefeldt and Horford and maybe a few less for GRIII & Stauskas.

snarling wolverine

February 10th, 2013 at 11:10 AM ^

In Big Ten play, Stauskas is shooting 36.4% (20-55).  His excellent overall 47.6% figure is inflated by his red-hot non-conference shooting.

This isn't Gavin Groninger territory - 36% is still respectable - but I'm hoping we aren't seeing the "real" Stauskas in league play.  Given that he's struggling on defense, we probably need him to be above a 40% 3PT guy to be a net positive.  To his credit he did rebound well (7 boards) yesterday.


February 11th, 2013 at 7:50 AM ^

In the three road losses to OSU, IU, and Wisconsin, Stauskas played 96 minutes. He went 5-20 overall and 2-13 for the three. To have played that many minutes in critical games and have all of 12 points total ain't getting it done. I'm sure that Nik is going to be a nice player for UM in his career, and as a pure freshman it's only natural that he's going to struggle in road pressure environments, but all the Game Blouses hype is more than a bit premature. The fact that some fans earlier in the season were saying he is as good a pure shooter as Glen Rice, or better, is ridiculous. It's like seeing a freshman RB get 100 yds against a MAC team and then pronouncing him better than Tyrone Wheatley.


February 10th, 2013 at 11:04 AM ^

This team should have a chip on their shoulder come tuesday.  This is a brutal stretch that we have played through that no other team in the country has endured.  This team will steal one somehow and to come in the hands of State would make it that much SWEETER.  We are a due to play a very good road game.  The other three we've stunk it up something has to give eventually.  Keep in mind sparty has won 9 of their last ten only loss at IU. 




February 10th, 2013 at 2:13 PM ^

Every B1G team has or will have a stretch just as hard. We have played and lost to 3 of the 4 other best teams on the road. This is our last chance for a big road win. If we lose, we are probably not going to be champs. If we beat Sparty both meetings, we probably knock them out.

Go Blue.


February 10th, 2013 at 11:34 AM ^

I think we lose sight of the fact that this team has lost a total of 3 games on the road by a total of less than 15 points while starting 2 freshmen and relying almost exclusively on freshmen off the bench.  Two of these losses have come while the guy referred to as their defensive glue and one of the upperclassmen has been out.  And this says nothing about the brutality of this stretch of the schedule.

I really don't think the team has regressed but rather is struggling with defenses that are limiting their transition opportunities and preventing them to put together the mini-runs that had become their staple.  Is Robinson tired or is his play a consequence of being lost in a half-court grind it out offense that misses the action of their best pick and roll player and big defender (Morgan) opening up lanes and rebounding opportunities?  

Having said this, I'm concerned about Tuesday.  Give JB time to prepare and he is as good of a coach as any in the country but they don't have that luxury.  Instead they will take a mentally fatigued team (if not physically) to East Lansing and it seems likely without Morgan.  Michigan is a pretty team to watch when they can get out and run but Tuesday is going to require that they show that they they have some street-fight in them.  They need some hate in their game, some  bloody-faced Novak and some get-the-fuck-off-my-court Morris attitude.  



February 10th, 2013 at 2:33 PM ^

come from experience, and we have to get it through our heads that our freshmen from McGary to Stauskas to GRob3 to Van Wert are going to have to learn how to play college ball and are going to experience growing pains.  You lose two games by two three pointers that go in for them and not for you, one on a definite miracle 1 in 50 or more shot, and all the analysts come out and question their coaching, their work ethic, their mental attitude.....Get real, the top 5 teams all went 0 for whatever on the road this week....Home court refereeing advantage is huge....Beilein had it right in his post game comments, question is what did we learn as a team and as individual players from the last two games.  Either we get better and learn, or we keep pounding our heads into the wall and suffer more losses.


February 10th, 2013 at 11:46 AM ^

We are going to have to play a lot better to win on Tuesday.  In particular, that means we cannot have a 5 minutes scoreless stretch at the end of the game like we did against Wisco. 

I think if we play a beat it up physical game with low possessions we will lose by 5-10. 

If we can get the game up tempo a bit and turn it into a shooting contest then I'd say it's a toss up. 

If MSU is turnover prone and we can score 15-20 points on the fast break, I like our chances.


I'd give the above scenarios about a 40%, 40% and 20% chance respectively.