GBMWolverine: Michigan Basketball — Minnesota vs. Michigan — UGLY Win — What to Think? Many Options Here
Well, here is another nice mess we got ourselves out of Ollie! Yes, Stanley, but I hope we get better quick. Boy, oh boy, that sentiment is not far off. Again, Michigan displayed some bad play but toughed it out at the end. This attribute is invaluable in tournament settings.
First off, Coaches Beilein and Smith both did a great job, Tubby more collectively throughout the game and Beilein at the right moments. With one day to prepare there are few surprises when the opponent is within the same league. Minnesota went small and Michigan went to a zone, and that was the extent of the surprises.
Michigan started off slow this time, not fast, and only Burke could get involved in the offense. The first half crawled along in ugly fashion saved only by the fact that a half in college ball is twenty minutes. Michigan again showed weaknesses: poor block-out, giving up numerous offensive rebounds, and again failing to stop the high pick and roll. Minnesota got down the court and obtained advantages that led to some scores (there were few scores).
In the second half, both teams played pretty decent ball. Minnesota could not contain Burke and Michigan had trouble with Hollins. The Wolverines got in a hole that looked too deep to dig out of, but the team collectively found a shovel and a couple a nice plays gave the Wolverines a chance. The key play was a brilliant inbounds where Minnesota chased the ball and left Smotzy open, whereby he canned it.
Some Wolverines did not play well and credit should go to the Minnesota defense. But frankly a couple of Michigan’s guys needed to show up at a higher level. Hardaway got hot and then missed a critical lay up and the front end of a one-and-one. Michigan was again horrible with the bigs on covering picks and supplying help defense. UM got a few charges but overall much was left to be desired on defense, too many uncontested shots, and on and on.
Trey Burke was magnificent and was the difference. It is rare that a team has a freshman guard that is such a difference maker. But young Mr. Burke is tough and shines the most under pressure. In short, he is a leader and does not mind the heavy burden.
Saturday could be tough, it has been a couple of weeks since Michigan put together an impressive effort and on the horizon is a team, Ohio State, with much more talent.
There is one factor not to be ignored: ugly wins can be beautiful.
Please comment on our GBMWolverine Message Board about this article and read what others comment.
You can contact us at our e-mail address: GBMWolverine
Written by GBMWolverine Staff
Go Blue — Wear Maize!