Michigan Basketball: Michigan vs. Florida State — Wrap-Up
Stauskas Likes to Win — Nick Removes Some Basketball Warts
It did not look good for Michigan in the semifinals of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The same old weaknesses popped up for Michigan that have been prevalent for years.First, as mentioned over and over, it is so easy to get the ball inside on Michigan. Yes, Florida State has some big bulk, but the inside positioning and the ability to hold position is similar to Michigan’s offensive line troubles on the football field. Second, Michigan, even with good athletes, was slow getting back to play transition defense letting Florida State gain easy points time after time. Third, Michigan again missed far too many free throws for such a talented group of shooters. Many times the ball went immediately up to the rim with little appearance of focus or rhythmic routine important to foul shooting. Even Nik Stauskas contributed to the bad haul. Fourth, Michigan remains soft at getting a loose ball, constantly getting 50-50 chances ripped from their possession. As mentioned the last few years, there are simply things that can be done to correct this problem, primarily hand strength exercises, anticipation, and moving the feet a little better.
The way the defense was playing in the first half, the failure of the Wolverines to work any inside game, instead taking impatient threes on offense and missing put the team in a big hole; coupled with the foul shooting the hole was almost too deep to escape. Caris had his hands get hot again, and as soon as the ball touched his hands, after minutes of absence, the ball went up to the rim, but not in enough to justify the shots. Irvin again lost his patience out of Crisler Arena and never got it going. Almost certainly he will sometime in the future. Point guard Walton has a chance to ice the game but misfired twice. At least Coach Beilein has an opportunity to set a defense with only three seconds left.Somewhere around the eight-minute mark Nik Stauskas looked to the casual observer as if he had had enough of the **-hum Saturday morning, have fun, shoot the ball, and don’t worry YMCA league intensity. He played his butt off and came up big. Inside and outside Nik got it going. And the lead, once close to insurmountable toward the end of the game, melted for Florida Sate. Florida State helped with a few late turnovers, but a part of the FSU problem was the cement mixer effect of Mitch McGary. Robinson finally got it going down the stretch and that certainly was also a major part of the comeback.
Mental toughness and leadership appear to be serious ventures for Stauskas. Hopefully others catch the lead, because it is clear Michigan played a different level of basketball going down the stretch.
Rebounding had mixed results, but again down the stretch the Wolverines had a little tougher nose than earlier in the game.
Some will say that Florida State lost the game more than Michigan won the game. This does not matter. Michigan won 82-80 in overtime and due to Stauskas’ play shed some of the baby soft image the team demonstrated at Iowa State. Up and down, up and down, sooner or later look for more up and less down.
Michigan plays for the championship, something that was unlikely with 10 minutes to go in the game.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Doc4Blu
Go Blue — Wear Maize!