Michigan Basketball: Penn State at Michigan — Wrap-Up

GBMWolverine Basketball TidbitsPosted at 6:00am — 1/15/2014

Michigan Basketball: Penn State at Michigan — Wrap-Up

Michigan Beats Penn State — Now The Gauntlet Begins

Michigan started off the game at Crisler Arena very well, aided by Penn State turnovers. Then throughout the game Michigan alternated between building and giving away good leads. The final result was an 80-67 Wolverine win.

Jan 14, 2014; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines forward Glenn Robinson III (1) shoots over Penn State Nittany Lions forward Ross Travis (43) in the first half at Crisler Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan’s half court offense executed well, as is usual at Crisler Arena. Only some impatience on a few shots served to blemish a nice effort. The defense played a little better in the half-court game, albeit Tim Frazier and others started going to the rim for easy layups off of simple picks.

Penn State hit some threes, but not enough to force the Wolverine defense to step out. The perimeter defense did however seem a little tighter than the past two or three games.

Robinson III had some tough luck and had trouble getting off the curb the first half; the second half saw better contribution from the athletic sophomore. The wing combination of Stauskas and Robinson eventually produced a lead that Penn State could not overcome. Both players did much more than simply stand at the three point line and wait for opportunity, they made opportunity, frequently helped by good team play.

Walton Junior got off to a hot start, as the Penn State defense did not seem to respect his ability to score. His overall game continues to show improvement. He is the type of freshman who has very good future upside, and the next three weeks will give an indication of how much he has truly improved.

Jan 14, 2014; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines forward Jordan Morgan (52) reacts as he makes a dunk in the first half against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Crisler Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan shooting was excellent, around 58%, but at one time Penn State was shooting well over 50% from the field, providing a stark difference between that stat and the previous 37% Lion league shooting. There probably is little else to say about the Michigan’s defense, except it is what it is. One can theorize why, but on this occasion the offensive talent erased the defensive liabilities once again. Penn State plays a good brand of defense, so the accomplishments of the Michigan offense should not be discounted.

The two-headed mini-dragon of Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford again did what was needed by providing scoring and rebounding contributions that can best be described as sufficient.

Jan 14, 2014; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Nik Stauskas (11) shoots in the first half against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Crisler Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Stauskas continues to love playing in Crisler Arena, scoring 21 points. He again turned down several mediocre shots for better team play. Nik picked up some important rebounds and held his own on defense.

Penn State’s potential microwave John Johnson, the Pitt transfer, fortunately fired some bricks before cooling off on the bench due to a third foul.

Michigan minimized turnovers and avoided fouls. Penn State had previously averaged about 20 foul shots a game. Michigan simply attempts not to foul, hence some of the defensive difficulties. The gambit pays off some nights.

Speaking of gambits, the trap of the Big Ten gauntlet starts for real for the Wolverines. The going is tough, and will the Wolverines keep going?

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Doc4Blu

Go Blue — Wear Maize!

Topics: #GoBlue, Basketball, Big Ten Conference, Coach John Beilein, Go Blue, Michigan Basketball, Michigan Wolverines, Penn State Nittany Lions

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