Submitted by L'Carpetron Do… on April 9th, 2013 at 9:25 AM

OK, so now it is the day after and we have had some time to digest this game and ruminate on what could have been.

First, congratulations to Coach Beilein and this team.  I'm really proud of these guys and they are one of my favorite Michigan teams of all time in any sport.

I'm not trying to second-guess Coach B but I wanted to get the board's opinion - was it weird Stauskas wasn't in the game down the stretch? I would have liked to see him in there as a threat and to stretch Louisville's D.  Was he hurt or have foul trouble?  Or did Beilein not like how he matched up against them? I was a little perplexed at that.

Also, did we get a little too reliant on Spike in the first half.  Admittedly he had the hot hand, but I think Burke should have come back at the end of the half, especially when Louisville went on that run and closed the gap.  Spike was fantastic as a third or fourth option and he made the best of his opportunities.  But, at the end of the half when he appeared to be the main option, L'ville was able to key in on him.


Once again, great effort, great run and I'm proud of our guys...

(I was going to mention the Burke block and overall officiating, but that's been covered.  Additionally, we're Michigan and we're smart and reasonable and don't blame the refs for a game we could have won.  But, that must be one of the worst calls in NCAA championship history - yeesh.  Also Hancock made NCAA history by being the first player with 11 personal fouls to not foul out of a game)



Mercury Hayes

April 9th, 2013 at 9:30 AM ^

Albrecht was on fire. Gotta go with the hot hand I suppose. And its not like Stauskus had been great on D this season. Albrecht certainly played his way into next year's starting lineup. Can't believe I'm saying that knowing about the recruits we have coming in, but damn. Kid can play and doesn't get rattled. Should be solid for us for three more years. 

Stauskus will be nice to have around too.


April 9th, 2013 at 9:35 AM ^

I understand Burke likes running the 2 PG lineup but down 5 or 6, you don't think the best 3 point shooter in the country who can close the gap would be better to have out there? A common theme among the announcers and morning radio was Spike isn't accustomed to these late minutes whereas Stauskas was. IDK I musta asked my friends that last night like 5 times.


April 9th, 2013 at 9:56 AM ^

Other than the one yakety sax 3pt shot, did you see what his shots looked like? They were hitting the outside of the rim. In the past, he hasn't recovered from that. Generally, he's either on or off and he was off last night. Honestly, though, they needed to try something different down the stretch and I thought they should have tried Stauskas in place of THJ since THJ wasn't hitting much either.


April 9th, 2013 at 10:02 AM ^

Stauskas shot it twice. One went in.


Honestly, I thought Caris should have been in there more minutes to check Siva. His length and quickness would have helped, and neither Spike nor Stauskas were doing anything offensively in the second half so it wouldn't have been a drag at that end of the court. I thought Spike played great but was just not big or quick enough on D.


April 9th, 2013 at 9:32 AM ^

I mentioned this in the blizzard thread. I am absolutely perplexed about stauskas not playing much in the second half. I think I remember reading something about him having migraines or something Saturday, maybe that's an explanation, but I'd like one.

I don't think trey needed to be in for louisville's end of the first half run. I do think, however, that timeout HAD to be called to disrupt that flow.

I also wonder if the spike and trey backcourt was a bad decision. I'm not sure, but other than using it for inbounds purposes and bring up the ball, they don't play great together in the half court. Spike is at his best when he's more of the floor general, and obviously so is Burke. Also, spike may have just been gassed after amassing a career high in minutes by halftime


April 9th, 2013 at 9:51 AM ^

The decision to go with them both was not a bad one at all. You go with what has worked for you throughout the tournament. Louisville was a pressing team and having those guys both in really helped in earlier games against the press.

Beilein could have made a couple key changes but overall he called a good game. He was dealt with some challenges that he is not accustomed to. First challenge was Trey Burke in foul trouble. I have watched just about every game this season and off the top of my head I don't remember any games that Trey fouled out.

Also, I don't remember a game where a team went on a run and Beilein attempted to stop the bleeding with timeouts. That stretch was not a long one. In less than 2 minutes off the clock Louisville came all the way back.


April 9th, 2013 at 10:56 AM ^

The group I was with talked about this last night.  None of us could remember a time when Belein called a timeout to stop a 6 or 8 point run.  As far as we could remember, he generally tries to save those TO's and let his players make a stop and/or bucket.  Pitino used his timeouts very well last night.  


April 9th, 2013 at 9:35 AM ^

On the second point, yes, Albrecht was in for too long in the first half. He had the hot hand, so I don't blame Beilein for that but he was obviously tired and that tear Louisville went on in the last 3 minutes of the first half shows what happens when your team is tired - turnovers, bad shots, poor rebounding, and leaving their guys open on the outside.


April 9th, 2013 at 10:49 AM ^

The tear Louisville went on was a series of Hancock threes, and it wasn't Albrecht that was getting hung on the screens or was late on the closeouts. Blaming it on Albrecht's fatigue seems a miss; blaming it on other players' fatigue and blaming that fatigue on Albrecht's minutes doesn't make sense to me.


April 9th, 2013 at 11:47 AM ^

There was at least one TO in that stretch where Spike lost control of the ball and I thought there was bad pass he made around the same time. I am not saying it is his fault or all because of his fatigue but I think having him in for so long makes sense if Burke has 3 fouls, not 2. No knock on Spike as he had a great game and played well but when the NPOY has 26 minutes in the NCG, that strikes me as a bit odd.


April 9th, 2013 at 3:49 PM ^

  1. We used up all four of Burke's available fouls. We lost some floor time by not using five; we don't know how much. Might have been the whole 14 minutes, might have been five seconds. In return we had him on the floor at the end.
  2. Burke took a full game's worth of physical beating last night. I didn't have the feeling he left a lot on the floor, did you?
  3. We had a total of two turnovers in the last ten minutes of the first half, one by McGary, one on the next-to-last possession by Albrecht. That's below our season average for half a half, and the opponent was Louisville.
  4. Albrecht had three turnovers in 28 minutes, Burke had four turnovers in 26 minutes. If it's Spike's turnovers you're going to point the finger at, I'm not getting it.
  5. When Burke left we were up 20-17. When he returned we were up 38-37.


April 9th, 2013 at 9:35 AM ^

The mistake was giving spike so many minutes in the second half. The guy was overmatched and a liability. He made a couple mistakes early and coach should have realized his day was over. I think if we played that same game over again with the ability to make one different coaching decision, it would be to do just that, take the little guy out when he was an obvious mess in the second half.


April 9th, 2013 at 10:09 AM ^

This bothered me too. Seeing Trey sit so long in the first w/2 fouls was annoying but understandable -- Spike was playing out of his mind and I felt like Beilein was just rolling with it, knowing he was giving Trey rest that would help him play a big second half. But Spike getting such an extended run in the second half was a mistake. You could see he was gassed and wasn't used to playing those minutes, especially when he played so balls-to-the-wall in the first half -- at around 11:30 left in the 2nd, he barely grazed the front rim on a 3-pointer and you could see he didn't have the legs for his shot anymore. Then he committed a couple key turnovers down the stretch. I would've liked to see more LeVert in the second half and also give Stauskas a little more run. 

Willy Wonka

April 9th, 2013 at 9:40 AM ^

Until Timmy threw down that thunderdunk, I was clamoring for Nik to replace him, just so we could get an outside look.

I thought Coach B. played Spike a little too much down the stretch, especially when we needed some size for rebounding, but hey if you can catch lightning in a bottle twice, I guess you gotta take it.

The most telling play for Nik was when he pump-faked on a 3, drove the lane, saw Dieng coming over and decided to contort his body and throw an ill-advised pass out to the backcourt that got intercepted by Siva. After that, Nik was benched for the remainder of the game.

Mercury Hayes

April 9th, 2013 at 9:40 AM ^

I think it is easy to second guess, but if Spike knocks down his second half three pointer or that layup we'd be here talking about how this guy is the second coming of Rob Pelinka.

He was tired, would have liked to see Stauskus a bit more - but at the same time, Spike provided some good ball handling. Yes, had a turnover at the end of the half and threw a bad pass down low, but so did Burke. The other alternatives were Hardaway and Levert who hardly look comfortable with the ball.


April 9th, 2013 at 9:56 AM ^

I know he was dealing with some headaches/migraines during the Cuse game, any word on whether those problems persisted in last nights game?


April 9th, 2013 at 9:58 AM ^

THJ was AWOL again on offense. Had a couple of nice takes, including the dunk. He got beat on both back door back screen lobs, once as the primary defender and once as the help defender. Forced a ridiculous 3 from 30' and dribbled into trouble in successive possessions resulting in turnovers. I still think he's a good college player, not pro material, and could be a great Wolverine legend is he stays. He's a leader.

I hope he stays. (That reads weird after that 1st pp).

Spike was great in the 1st half and did his job spelling Burke, essentially giving a Burkian performance. I don't think he should have been in, either, at the end. Stauskas was a mismatch defensively and his poor decisions on two different half court plays buried him, as noted above.

Maybe more Morgan and McGary (or Horford) to help control the boards the last 8 minutes, where Louisville gained their advantage.

Definitely a time out during the Hancockapalooza.

Still, a great game, year and team to watch. I hate that Pitino wins this and all the other stuff that makes him look like a snake.


April 9th, 2013 at 11:11 AM ^

I feel the same way about THJ.  I feel like, with his ability, he could take over games at times.  However, he seems to force things a little too often.  

I think his draft stock would be much better after another year, but he's probably concerned about how his numbers will be affected by playing alongside Walton and/or Spike.  

It'll be a tough decision for him, I'm sure.  


April 9th, 2013 at 9:59 AM ^

When you've practiced all season but haven't taken the beating that the starters have, I really don't think fatigue was much of an issue for Albrecht.  He was on a great streak in the first half, and the defense started keying in on him at the end of the first half and through the second half. They weren't letting him stand out there alone anymore, and a 5'11" guy like him can't shoot over many people comfortably.  It was more a result of the defense than fatigue, in my opinion.

Stauskas didn't do much last night.  Louisville was closing out on him, and they were too quick for him to drive on.  The whole "just a shooter" thing is kind of right.  He can take advantage of you if you don't respect his ability to drive, but that's not a real strength of his game, especially against teams with quick feet and quick hands.


April 9th, 2013 at 12:36 PM ^

When he was the backup PG averaging less than 2 points a game, he found himself open.

When Spike was the 5' 11" guy who had scored 17 first half points, he didn't find himself open.  I think to his credit, he didn't try to force shots in the 2nd half, especially knowing that Burke was on the floor and should lead the offense.


April 9th, 2013 at 1:16 PM ^

Yep. The thing is, that should have opened up the floor for other guys to cut to the basket.  I thought Albrecht would get a few more assists than he did when they started coming out on him, but the other guys just weren't able to get free.

Mr. Yost

April 9th, 2013 at 10:00 AM ^

You needed to get the ball up court and into Burke's hands. Having Stauskas in does nothing because Burke was going to take all of the shots and if not him it was going to be THJ.

So you put Spike in on offense to get the ball up and LeVert in for defense (even though he was terrible on D last night).


I'm not saying it was the RIGHT move, I'm saying it was pretty clear what Coach B was doing (in response to the OP).

Naked Bootlegger

April 9th, 2013 at 10:47 AM ^

I'm sure this is homework assignment is prescribed every year.   Let's assume 30 days/month, 100 FT's per day.  That's 3,000 FT's per month.   From the May through September stretch, that's 15,000 FT's.   They have and will continue to shoot their FT's in the off-season.

EDIT:  We shot 72% from the FT line in the game.   The best FT shooting team in the NCAA this year (Davidson) shot  80%.   We shot 25 FT's, so 80% is only two more makes than 72%.  I don't think FT's alone decided this game. 


April 9th, 2013 at 10:07 AM ^

We lost because at some point in the second half, Louisville had 11 offensive rebounds, and we had zero.  As long as I have been watching college basketball, I have never seen a complete slaughter like that. 


April 9th, 2013 at 10:23 AM ^

I am frustrated at what our foul trouble did (Burke & McGary.) But no way should Burke have come back in the first half, I totally support that call. I hate the foul call on him in the first half, but that's life.

McGary's loss was more signficant. He has eliminated many of the stupid fouls, but at least two fouls of his were unwise.

I really don't know what to say . . . I love the team, and I think Beilein is a great coach. I am looking forward to the future.

Naked Bootlegger

April 9th, 2013 at 10:39 AM ^

Completely agree that Burke should have sat in the 1st half.   Siva and Smith are attacking guards, among the best we've seen all year (except for maybe Penn St...seriously, their guards mauled us attacking the rim in our first two matchups!).    It would've been game over if Trey picked up his 3rd in the waning minutes of the 1st half.   Instead, we rode a hot Albrecht and went into halftime with a 1 point lead.   And Burke came back strong in the 2nd half to keep us in the game.

Burke not playing in the 1st half didn't kill was our complete inability to identify Hancock during his crazy 3 point barrage.   Defensive rebounding and defensive communication lapses killed us.   I don't think Burke not being on the floor had anything to do with that.


April 9th, 2013 at 10:39 AM ^

Burke had two fouls.  Spike was burning down the house.  People would have killed Beilein if he took Spike out.  You can't have it both ways...Also, it wasn't Spike's fault that Hancock got hot. 

As for Stuaskas, what Magnus says above is right.  I love the guy, but he's pretty easy to guard right now.  Also, LeVert is the better defender and hit two threes of his own in the last game.  I think people under-estimate LeVert. 

the Glove

April 9th, 2013 at 10:42 AM ^

I still can't believe they didn't put spike in at the beginning of the second half. He didn't come in until six minutes had passed. Also, while Trey was in spike never really got a chance to ever shoot. They were a completely different team when Trey was in the game productivity wise then when he wasn't.


April 9th, 2013 at 10:42 AM ^

I felt that Stauskas had a tendency to disappear and play too fast against quick physical teams. Thus the results against Louisville and Syracuse. (Although, he apparently was suffering from a migrane early against Syracuse)


That being said, he is a freshman and there are not many freshmen that don't need to mature both physically and mentally.

Very good season overall from him.




April 9th, 2013 at 11:23 AM ^

I would have liked to see a bit more spike in the second half because he was shooting well and his defense wasnt a liability.  Maybe in place of THJ, but what do we know?

Great season, and Go Blue!

Drunk Uncle

April 9th, 2013 at 11:28 AM ^

The best Tweet last night came from a WSG reporter "It's cool until Spike turns into a werewolf".

There were a couple bad calls, and yes Beilein probably left some players in too long, we missed too many free throws...

None of this matters because we played a great game but they just had too much experience.


death by trident

April 9th, 2013 at 11:44 AM ^

I think it is easy to lose sight of this when contrasted with the success they had -



Experience: 0.73 yrs 342


It has been mentioned here before but while I was cruising through the KenPom ratings it is the one stat that really sticks out at you.


Der Alte

April 9th, 2013 at 12:06 PM ^

One of the standout stats was the rebounding difference between the first and second halves. Accoring to UMHoops, In the first half M swept the defensive boards at an 83% clip. In the second half they managed only half that. After the first half Pittino packed in his bigs who rebounded most of UL's misses and put back many of them for scores.

I understand Beilein has recruited a 6-9 kid from Toledo in next year's class. That should provide some rebounding help.


April 9th, 2013 at 12:11 PM ^

THJ - He has the passion and energy when we are playing well, otherwise, not so much. I love the kid, but at this point, he is what he is. Inconsistent. People need to stop believing he's still going to get better in college. At this point, I think he should head to the NBA and focus on his game full-time without worrying about school and other committments. He definitely has some upside and potential left to reach, I just don't believe it will be accessed while he's in college. When it's in his mind to get to the hole and not settle for jumpshots, he can get there whenever he wants. That dunk last night was ridiculous. I think he has a bright future ahead in the NBA, maybe as a star, but definitely as a role player. 


April 9th, 2013 at 12:34 PM ^

A player like Stauskas needs to come off screens.  Anyone is easy to gaurd when they stand in the corner and wait for the ball to come to them.  I wish we would do a little more to get other guys open, double screens and a little more movement would be nice, but when you have the best player in the country, the ball screens isn't a bad play.  What killed us last night was easy shots and second chances for Louisville.  They rarely had to take contested shots, too many layups.  I though our strategy was good at the end of the game, until Levert got that rebound out of bounds.  From 50 sec on, I was not impressed with our clock management, and lack of fouling.  Overall, I am very proud of these guys, and I think we will be good for some time now.

It is easy to blame the refs, as they were horribly inconsistant last night for both teams.  The early goaltend on Deng that was so blatant, how do you miss that.  The Burke block that was sooooo clean, and the should have been 3 point opportunity where McGary should have fouled out. 


April 9th, 2013 at 4:03 PM ^

...because I made similar comments earlier in the year. I wanted to see more sets and less ball-screen, and I suspect Beilein felt the same way because in the first three rounds that's what happened, and the outside shooting got back into form.

But I thought there were two games where the ball screens were the way to go: Kansas, where it was the only way to get Withey out of the lane, and last night. The continuity sets, when we tried to run them, were very creaky--the ball kept stopping because of all the ball pressure. Albrecht and Burke were the only players really comfortable handling against it. Stauskas was definitely uncomfortable with Louisville's pressure, a trait he shares with probably 99% of D1 players. We're lucky to have a couple of players in that 1%; most teams don't have anybody.

They're a very, very hard to team to run a set offense against. Wisconsin lets you run your offense but they don't let you get anything out of it. Louisville doesn't let you run it.


April 9th, 2013 at 1:23 PM ^

Was a ghost for the final four.  3 pts total?  I thought to myself in the final ten minutes that he should posibly get a look but ony based on previous games and not what he did last night or against Syracuse.