Michigan Basketball: Iowa vs. Michigan — Wrap-up — Dunkville!
Every contender must hold serve at home. That is not new to conventional wisdom, but is still important. Sunday, Michigan did just that with a convincing 95-67 victory at Crisler Center.
Fran McCaffery can flat out coach, and he prepared his Hawkeye team well going after some of Michigan’s weaknesses, getting some transition baskets and getting the ball inside either by dribble drive penetration or a nice pass after Michigan left the paint unguarded. Devyn Marble, also known as Roy Junior, played Trey Burke very tight and effectively cut down Burke’s usual fast start. Iowa played with intensity, getting just a little physical with Michigan and the Hawkeyes were doing just fine, that is, until three minutes were left in the first half.Then, Michigan just took off on a quick streak that had to impress friends and foes alike. The result was a quick 11-point lead at halftime, 46-35.
Below are some first half comments. Iowa started off strong hitting a few shots and playing Michigan tough enough to force a few less than ideal efforts. Michigan clawed back gradually and the game went back and forth a few points each way until the big spurt.
Iowa came out and applied full court pressure early. Michigan did not necessarily enjoy this strategy but nonetheless successfully broke the press. Iowa out scrapped the Wolverines for loose balls and 50-50 rebounds. This is an area Michigan has improved on greatly since last year, likely due to faster, better athletes, and moving the feet a little better. Some additional strength never hurts as well. Michigan did get muscled a little early, an obvious Iowa strategy, but that changed when Mitch McGary came into the game.
There was some bad rotation that gave up a couple of easy threes and Michigan again did not put a body on opposing players to keep them from running straight to the offensive boards. Take away those defensive mistakes and the game could have been a 40-point victory, that is how dominant Michigan’s offense was once the guys were in the groove.
The second half was like watching a favorite movie with a favorite beverage and a first class easy chair. It was that enjoyable.There were no streaks or ups and downs, Michigan simply continued to pour on the offensive heat and build the score. Iowa looked like a team that wore down some because of the intense effort in the first half and Michigan’s continued offensive barrage. And Iowa looked like a team that knew playing Michigan’s game on the road was fatal, but did this anyway as the score differential increase slowly but surely. Michigan went inside, shot well outside, and turned the table on Iowa hitting several three-pointers set up by quick transition and slower second half Iowa perimeter rotation.
McGary was a major part of Michigan’s success. The announcers kept speaking of energy, and that just may be the best way to describe what he brought to the team on Sunday. In nature a catalyst can speed up a reaction and turn up the heat. McGary ruled the underworld with rebounds and blocks. Michigan this year does not need Mitch to score 20 points, although some day he will. A few blocked shots and critical rebounds got the running game going. There was a clear difference in how Michigan played when Mitch was in the game. As indicated the difference was positive. There are not many freshmen that can snap an overhead pass to an outlet man like McGary. The best at this skill ever in the Big Ten was Jerry Lucas, who could rebound in the air, spin 180 degrees and throw an outlet pass before his feet hit the floor. But Mitch will do just fine.Jordan Morgan has been committing less bonehead fouls this year, but the Big Ten officials continue to call fouls on him that make one scratch a head. He is getting frustrated and his frustration is showing.
The game turned into Dunkville, a true highlight reel of jams. Glenn Robinson III needs to share any lottery game winnings with Trey Burke. His dunks on great baseline cuts and equally great feeds from Burke provide some super stats for young Robinson.
Michigan did not let up in the second half, but instead played very business-like and in a very consistent manner. All in all it was a superior day for the Maize and Blue. Once again it is easy to support the position that Michigan is one of the premium offensive teams in the nation.
The team is 15-0 and up next is Nebraska. One game at a time.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff
Go Blue — Wear Maize!