Michigan Basketball: N.C. State vs. Michigan — Big Ten/ACC Challenge — Wrap-Up
Michigan Holds On – Defeats North Carolina State.
North Carolina State has some unreal talent, but the mix is not there yet. Lucky for Michigan as the Wolverines collapsed on inside defense for most of the night and got little going on offense going down the stretch.
Michigan got off to another good start, in large part to the unconscious shooting of Stone Cold Nik Stauskas who hit several first half bombs.
What a super bunch of talent NC State has. As mentioned this would be a critical test for Michigan’s inside defense. Richard Howell and C. J. Leslie, absolutely abused Michigan’s inside defense most of the night. The only exception was Mitch McGary efforts on a minimum number of occasions.
NC State started off confused on offense and missed shots based on the regular offensive options. Then the option became simple, just get the ball to Leslie or Howell and let then attack.
Michigan got a nice early lead and Coach Beilein tinkered with some line-up changes. In the second half Trey Burke took over early and NC State did not cover the simple high post pick and Burke started hitting. Both teams were not exemplary in transition defense but as the game wore on NC State played better in getting back.
The last five minutes Michigan’s offense went into a shell and the Wolverines were helped by a couple of Wolfpack turnovers.
John Beilein had to be frustrated about the late breakdown and very frustrated about the non-existent inside defense. The ball got to the middle with no opposition and the result was easy score after easy score. Fortunately Leslie missed a few from short range.
About 90 days from now, NC State may have it together enough to crush some good teams. Michigan is holding serve and again needs to muster some toughness. Jordan Morgan cannot play as tentative as he did in turning down a layup and getting trapped underneath late in the game, forcing Coach Beilein to put in a freshman to finish the game defensively.
NC State has the talent of a top team, but Michigan caught the Wolfpack at a good time and at home. And that is what teams hope for: advantageous conditions.The bookends did not have a great night, but both had to go against very tough competition.
NC State did not handle the ball well and the result was too many turnovers to overcome. Michigan, until people started standing around late, took very good care of the basketball.
Defensively this team still has plenty of work to do, and the Wolverines were hurt on the offensive boards for easy points. That will not beat Indiana or Ohio State, perhaps not Michigan State or Minnesota either.
But the bottom line is Michigan is 3-0 against very good competition.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff
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