Michigan Basketball: Why the loss to Seton Hall isn’t concerning

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Ugh. That’s the only word that can describe the feeling Michigan fans and I had after watching Michigan basketball take on Seton Hall.

While the result was definitely disappointing- a two-point loss at home to an unranked team- the end result actually helps more than the scoreboard.

I guess we fans have gotten so used to not losing during basketball season that much over the past few years, that anytime we lose now it almost feels like the sky is falling (not really but you know what I mean).

It sucks that Michigan basketball lost to Seton Hall after Juwan Howard just signed a nice contract extension, but it’s only one game.

One game doesn’t define the team

While it is a little concerning that Michigan lost already to a Seton Hall team that isn’t even projected to finish at the top of its conference, this win could still end up being a good loss at the end of the season.

We all get so caught up in Michigan wanting to play perfect basketball every single game that we sometimes forget that this team is so much younger than last year.

Michigan has to rely on a freshman Caleb Houstan, a freshman Moussa Diabate, only a second-year Terrance Williams II, and freshman Kobe Bufkin, among other players.

This team is nowhere near a finished product, and I guess our expectations were a little too higher to begin the season. With all that being said, one game doesn’t define the season.

Some areas to improve on

It’s no secret that Michigan basketball doesn’t have nearly the same number of three-point shooters that they had last season. Last season, U-M was able to rely on Isaiah Livers, Franz Wagner, Chaundee Brown, and Eli Brooks to stretch the floor and make 3-pointers. This season, there are maybe two respected shooters on the entire roster, in Caleb Houstan and Eli Brooks.

That has had a big impact on Michigan’s offense because when the Wolverines aren’t able to feed the ball inside for easy baskets, they rely on three-point shooting, and if it isn’t falling, then the team goes on long scoring droughts.

That was definitely the reason why Michigan lost on Wednesday. The Wolverines started out the game 0-10 from three and only made a few 3s when it was all said and done.

Unfortunately, because Michigan still likes to shoot threes, if the Wolverines don’t make them, they could be in trouble in a lot of games this season. It causes the offense to get stagnant when shots aren’t falling.

Fouling is another thing that needs to improve as well. To be honest, the last 2-4 minutes of the game was just a foul fest.

The refs were inconsistent in their officiating and allowed Dickinson to get tackled on a rebound with no foul call, and, a few possessions later, Jones got called for his fifth foul reaching in and barely even grazing the defender’s hand.

All of these blown calls reminded me of the Michigan-MSU football game because if a few of these calls had gone Michigan’s way, the outcome would be different.

Overall though, Michigan has to know when to be aggressive and when not to be. Too many players fouled in critical moments in the game when it was unnecessary. It bailed Seton Hall out, and because they were in the double bonus, it gave them free points at the free-throw line.

Final Thoughts

All in all, it was probably foolish to think that Michigan would go like 20-0 to start the season. This team is a lot younger and has too many moving parts to be considered a championship contender right now.

Now, with that being said, as the season goes along, Michigan basketball will get better and better. But if this team was in the NCAA tournament right now, it wouldn’t make it to the second weekend in my opinion.

That’s ok though. You learn so much more in losses than wins. It’s not like college football where one loss can be detrimental to playoff hopes.

No, Michigan has the rest of the season to improve. And improve it will. This team will be angry about that loss and we’ll see a more focused Michigan squad.

Seton Hall can have its victory. Still doesn’t change the final score from the ‘89 championship game. This Michigan basketball team is learning and getting better on the fly.

Growing pains are to be expected.

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If this team suffers a few more losses along the way, so be it, as long as it makes the team better over the course of the season. This team is gonna be damn good when it’s a finished product, watch. All that matters is the results in March anyways.