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What a game. It came down to the very last possession, but Michigan was able to pull out a much needed victory against rival MSU. This was an impressive win, regardless of your opinion on either team. The Wolverines went 0-12 outside the arch, but still came away with a victory. It's one thing to beat a team like Eastern Michigan or Western Michigan without shooting well outside the arch, but to beat a team like MSU (that prides itself on its interior game) without making a single 3 pt basket is impressive. If Michigan can play anywhere close to this on offense and defense in its remaining games, this is a team that is very dangerous.
The other general aspect of the game that was impressive was the fire and desire of the team. They did not take off possessions, refused to roll over, and challenged MSU on both sides of the court. Players looked focused in warmups, timeouts, and didn't have the frustrating effort plays that have been hurting Michigan. Of course they made mistakes, but not the mistakes that come as the result of a lack of effort. This team was motivated and if they can keep it up, watch out.
Player of the game was undoubtedly Trey Burke. He was great on both sides of the court and made the play of the game by stealing the ball from Keith Appling with just seconds remaining. He had 21 points and 8 assists as well. He led the team and found the open man. He was also tremendous at driving the lane and getting around multiple MSU defenders. He honestly looked like he was on a different level than the Spartan defenders. He has been playing well all season, but this very well could have been his best game of the year.
Despite not putting up a ton of stats, Hardaway and GR3 also had solid games. Both fought hard on the defensive end and GR3 came away with a huge rebound late in the game. He leaped over several defenders and it was the kind of play that shows his NBA potential. Hardaway had some good looks outside the arch as well, but nobody was hitting in this game. He also drove the basket very well. A couple of times it was just inches away from being an easy basket.
Stauskas of course, went out with an injury early. Hopefully he will be able to return on Wednesday against Purdue. LeVert did a solid job stepping in off the bench. He has great potential to be a player like Hardaway in a year or two. He got beat badly by Harris a few times in route to Harris' 16 points, but overall he was solid. One added dimension were his drives to the basket. If he can keep these up, he may start challenging Stauskas for a starting role due to his defensive ability. Stauskas was having trouble with Harris and although LeVert did as well, he did better defensively than Stauskas was doing at guarding Harris.
The big men did exactly what they needed to do: not lose the game. Overall, they were outscored (24-15) and they were outrebounded (21-11), but they didn't get as badly as in the first game and did well enough to let Michigan's backcourt win the game. Morgan had a good game. He ended up fouling out of the game, but he was good on the defensive end and had some great baskets. McGary had his defensive problems, but he was dynamite late in the game and really did well with his putback. Horford didn't look as great as either of these guys, but he only played 4 minutes. Spike did alright as well, but he (like everyone else) just couldn't hit outside the arch.
This was a great win for Michigan and hopefully gets them back on track to go on the road against Purdue. If this team can beat MSU without hitting a single 3 point shot, imagine the possibilities when they are shooting well. Keeping up this momentum and energy will be challenging, but if they can do it, they should be well set for late in March.
This post was edited by Thomas Beindit 13 months ago
Basketball Analyst For BTPowerhouse & Wolverine 247 - Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tbeindit
My postgame thought!!!!!!!
If Burke doesn't win POY, I'm losing all faith in everything.
Just got back. Holy crap what an atmosphere and what a game. MSU played very well.
I can't believe we let up 19 offensive rebounds, didn't hit a 3, lost Stauskas and Morgan, and won.
Also, Payne and Harris are very good players. But Burke is ridiculous.
I think LeVert needs to start taking some of the time away from Stauskas. Excellent defense today and I'll take that for a little bit of a loss on offense. Even from that aspect, Stauskas has really, really cooled off in the last month and LeVert has contributed in spots.
My favorite thing from the game today was when Burke and I think it was Hardaway and Robinson mocked the Spartan's slapping the floor. It was so choreagraphed when the Spartan's did it one player at a time. Michigan showed a lot of attitude, desire and heart today. Burke was amazing and a true leader out there today.
I laughed at that. Thought it was awesome.
I usually don't like it when one of my teams mocks the other team but this team needed to show some sort of attitude like that. You could tell Burke, Hardaway, etc... really wanted that game today. They were not going to be pushed around and not respond.
Ehh I'm fine with it in a game like this. Same for the Darius Morris "get the f*** off my court" a couple years ago
This post was edited by Ducksworth 13 months ago
Just seeing this team play with a high level of emotion is an encouraging sign. I seriously really like what McGary and LeVert do for this team when they're on the floor. To beat MSU without anything from deep is a really, really good thing.
Oh i was fine with it today too. I absolutely loved the Darius Morris thing.
No joke. I can't believe we won this game without hitting a single 3 point basket.
Not to pick on Albrecht because I like the kid, but he is not a very good shooter right now. His three's aren't even close most of the time, hopefully he works on his shot in the future.
Levert is definitely nice on the defensive end, but you can tell how raw the kid is. I think his shot was off tonight, but Caris is going to be a very nice player in the future for Michigan.
J-Mo is the x-factor for this team. Everything is more organized on defence, and we seem like we rebound better when he is on the floor. McGary brings a lot to the table as well on offense, but his defence could use some fine tuning. I like Horford's effort and hustle, as well as his shot blocking at times, but he makes a lot of mental errors.
I agree on all counts. Albrecht started the year shooting well, but that was short lived. He will work on his shot though. I like him with the rock, he is smart and I rarely see him turn it over, which is really all we can ask for out of him.
Levert is going to be a great player for Michigan in his 4 years. Already a solid, athletic defender. Once he fixes his shot, he will be a strong asset for this team.
I am so happy Jordan Morgan will be back yet again next year. I hated him on this team last year, now he's one of my favorite players. He is going to do a ton for next years young team. Both on the court and off.
One of the greatest things about competitive sports imo is raw emotion. I loved seeing it today.
Anyone know why Hardaway had on different color shoes than the rest of the team this game? Just curious after seeing pictures of the game as I didn't notice it while watching
Great Victory! I knew they could do it! To think that some of you wrote these guys off after Penn State?!?!
This post was edited by RicoX19 13 months ago
I never wrote this team off....I know how good they can be. i think a lot of the younger guys hit a wall and maybe needed to get refocused. This game will help gain some momentum into the conference tourney where we desperately need a bye. Wisky losing and beating MSU helps, but we'll need to upset IU in the final game. We can do it...when this team decides to play some defense....we're the best team in the country IMO. Great Win and love the sparty tears. Doesn't matter what their fanbase says about the refs, they had every chance to win that game in the end and blew it with turnovers. Is it me or were there a sh*t load of dunks in this game?
"Those Who Stay...Will be Champions"
Hardaway will often change shoes before and after games. It's more of a mental thing I think. He changed to his maize shoes during the Wisconsin game because he was shooting poorly and really picked it up in the 2nd half.
I agree that Spike has his limits, but I think writing off his shot is not entirely accurate. His numbers have certainly went down, but I think it's important to also look at the wealth of data available. The truth is that he hasn't been shooting that well, but he also shoots very, very little. He has made 5 shots during Big Ten play, but he's only made 16 shot attempts as well. That averages out to 1 attempt per game and 25% of his Big Ten attempts came against MSU, which is probably not the best game to use to evaluate this team. Plus, 9 of the attempts were from outside the arch, typically a lower percentage shot. To me, more of the problem is that the sample size is just so small. When you have 6 conference games when you don't even attempt a shot, it's hard to get too critical of his shooting.
Whoops, double post
I agree with this. In general, I prefer watching Spike shoot a three to our bigs shooting free throws.
The last team to shoot worse against the Wolverines than MSU was Nebraska, and the only team so far that has shot substantially worse than MSU was Binghamton.
Was this more on MSU or more on Michigan's D?
More of a combination in my opinion. MSU is not necessarily a great shooting team, especially from long range. Michigan's bigs held up pretty well inside and didn't allow MSU to get easy attempts. For a team like the Spartans who base their entire offense around this, that really upsets the flow of their team. Michigan didn't have to completely collapse its defense on Sunday and wasn't leaving outside shooters wide open as a result (at least not that often). Of course, MSU missed their fair share and couldn't get much going from Appling and Dawson, but Michigan played a very good defensive game.
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