Michigan Basketball: Purdue at Michigan — Game Wrap-up
Patience Paid Off As Michigan Played Purdue’s Game
Michigan had a long lay-off and for the first part of the game played with some rust and a lack of intensity. Then things just continued to improve as Michigan first narrowed the lead, then took the lead, and finally controlled the game going down the stretch.
Purdue for the last several decades has been known for blue-collar offense and bluer collar defense. The Boilers could be suffocating defensively and beat a team hard on the boards. Purdue was on a three game win streak after taking some tough, early hits in the season.Michigan started off by letting Purdue out hustle the Maize and Blue to the ball and like so many other teams Michigan let Purdue feast on three-point shooting. A couple of lucky connections and a few really hard and strange offensive boards provided Purdue with an early lead. In addition Michigan served up a few turnovers on weak one-handed passes as per common routine.
The switches on defense were again a little late and a little soft. Donnie Hale was left open many times for an easy 15-foot horse shot. Stauskas dropped his hands against a good shooter (Byrd) that can shoot three feet from the dressing room, and, bang, a 26 -footer was drained.
By design Purdue slowed the game down knowing a fast back and forth venture on the court was Dunkirk.Michigan, on occasions in the first half, and very intentionally to start the second half, attempted to get some points inside. The results were limited as Morgan only hit one of four attempts. In his defense, Purdue’s seven-foot freshman center, AJ Hammons, is tough to get shots over, under, or around.
As the game wore on, Purdue wore down: the threes did not go, and many times neither did the routine two point shots. Michigan got the inside rebounds that did not clank 15 feet outward. As Purdue missed and missed, Michigan had a few opportunities to run and made the most of the opportunities.
Michigan showed very good poise and did not become frustrated as the game was played at a reduced rate of speed. Michigan was thwarted on offense by good Purdue pressure and toughness. But Michigan just kept running the offense and slowly but surely the lead expanded. As the header states, patience paid off with a win.
Then with about eight minutes to go, Michigan just quit playing defense again. This was in part due to different player combinations on the floor before the final stretch run.
Things settled down and Nik Stauskas hit a clutch three-pointer. Purdue paid the price for shutting down Trey Burke inside with several open three-pointers, as Purdue defenders could not get to the shooter after Burke’s passes.At the end of the game Burke and Hardaway isolated for lay-ups to keep the lead safe and eat the clock.
Once again, Mitch McGary made a big difference on both ends of the floor. He contributed enough points to keep the Purdue inside defense at least a little on the honest side. He is a catalyst, plain and simple. This Michigan team is 5-10 points a game better with Mitch than if Mitch donned another uniform.
There is again talk of number one and again Michigan must go on the road against a suddenly unpredictable (like last year) Illini group. Illinois crushed Ohio State and was crushed by a talent-challenged Northwestern bunch that has caught fire of late with smart play and better shooting.
Take nothing for granted in this league. John Groce is a coach that emphasizes pressure on the perimeter; something UM has a little trouble with at times. Illinois is a team that can be brutal if allowed to get into a zone, as against Ohio State. Like every game in the league, play hard and play well is a good motto.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff
Go Blue — Wear Maize!