Gut reactions to Michigan basketball loss to Michigan State

The Wolverines battled for a half, but Michigan basketball couldn't sustain it. Here are the gut reactions from the loss to Michigan State.

Jan 30, 2024; East Lansing, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines forward Olivier Nkamhoua (13) gets
Jan 30, 2024; East Lansing, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines forward Olivier Nkamhoua (13) gets / Dale Young-USA TODAY Sports
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SCORE . 81. 486. Final. 62. 485

Michigan basketball is a different team in the second half. It's been true most of the season and it was true on Tuesday night.

The Wolverines tend to play well in the first half of games, but fall apart in the second. They lead once again on Tuesday night, at the Breslin Center at the half, but Michigan State went on a 17-2 run to open the second half. That was that.

You can talk about coaching adjustments. That would be fair. Yet, roster contstruction and a lack of depth is a much bigger issue. Michigan State just has better players and nine times out of 10, they are going to win that game.

Michigan basketball could have done some things better. Its defensive rotations leave guys wide open too often. Their free throw shooting also failed to add some extra points on the board. But it probably still wouldn't be enough to win. Even if Dug McDaniel was there.

Michigan has some nice pieces and the Wolverines battled. Jaelin Llewellyn hit five 3-pointers. Terrance Williams was hitting shots and doing everything he could. But those guys need to be role players. They shouldn't be in starring roles.

The effort seemed better but the results were the same. We'll see that what means soon enough but here are the gut reactions to another loss to Michigan State on Tuesday.

Gut reactions to Michigan State loss

  • Tip your cap to T-Will and Llewellyn. Those dudes brought it.
  • This team has some players, but you can't make role players into stars. Doesn't work.
  • The issues for the second-half collapses are debatable. What's not is how predictable they are and hard it is to watch over and over again.
  • The missed free throws were disappointing. When you are the underdog, you can't give up free points.
  • Too many easy layups and open 3s on defense. Part of that is athleticism, part of is just poor fundamentals.
  • Michigan needs more talent more than another head coach. That's been the biggest failure of Juwan.
  • Love to see the fight (at times). But this was nine losses in 10 games and that's hard to stomach.
  • Can't win giving up 17-2 runs and having more turnovers than field goals for most of the second half.
  • Go Blue!