Michigan Basketball: Michigan at Penn State — Make Our Year — Wolverines Grant Nittany Lion’s Wish
Michigan deserved to lose in a horrible display of smarts and defensive basketball at Penn State. Michigan did lose. If the intent of the reader is to consume sweet spin, another source would suit your need much better.
Nonsense to the thought of youth and playing on the road; nonsense to the thought this game was a fluke, and nonsense to the thought that Penn State played way over their game. Michigan gave up 84 points to a team that struggles to get into the 60’s against a top team.
The weaknesses pointed out all year on this site formed a toxic confluence that ended Michigan’s slim league championship hopes. This was not Minnesota hitting some shots and beating Indiana. This was an embarrassing upset.
Besides Nebraska and Northwestern, Michigan is probably the least competent defensive team in the Big Ten. And once again discount the spin about youth. This team does not appear to know how to play standard man-to man defense and continues to make middle school mistakes.
Average players took the ball from the wing and went straight to the hoop easily beating Michigan defenders. This resulted in the driver being chased by one or two other defensive players who then left Penn State shooters wide open for easy threes. Average guards took the ball down the middle and broke down Michigan’s defense, leading to many Michigan fouls. Again, the entry passes were ridiculously easy into the paint for easy points.Michigan was more aggressive on the perimeter, but after having good traps, the defenders let Penn State players split the traps to get away passes that resulted in easy three-pointers or inside buckets. There is no excuse for letting a player split a solid two-man trap from that position on the floor.
The first half resulted in numerous offensive rebounds for Penn State, compounding the defensive difficulties.
The Michigan offense looked just fine until Penn State took the late lead. Then at game’s end it was only Trey Burke that could supply any offense. Missed foul shots become apparent in close games and bite a team in the butt.
Michigan gave up many opportunities on charge calls that are not going to favor the visitor on the road. Michigan had trouble against a token Penn State press giving up too many turnovers going the other way. There was nothing special about this press, Michigan players simply had no idea how to attack it and were tentative. It should have caused no turnovers. Michigan players gave up the dribble and had no idea what to do, even after crossing half-court.
Yes, Penn State played hard, but that would be the ultimate spin on a dismal game. Michigan is a soft team and not all because of youth. This is a rough league where tender egos can be checked at the door.Coach Beilein may take the blame for this loss, and that would not be spin. This team was not prepared or willing to get it done against the cellar-dweller of the Big Ten.
The league title hopes are finished; Michigan is now playing for tournament seed position. Unless a big upset or two comes the Wolverines’ way, Michigan may play themselves down to a five or six seed in the NCAA tournament and out of a first-round bye in the Big Ten Tournament. Maybe the guys even get to see Penn State again.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff
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