Michigan Wolverine Football Podcast — Spring Practice, New Coaches, and Pro Day

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Phil @pcallihan and Clint @Clint_Derringer on the new coaching staff additions, news from spring practice, Wolverine pro day, and JJ McCarthy’s draft stock.

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Podcast Summary

  • Michigan Wolverines football coaching staff changes.0:00
    • Michigan football hires wink Martindale as defensive coordinator, keeping Ravens’ scheme continuity.
    • Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh aims to adapt NFL-experienced defensive coordinator’s schemes to fit college players.
  • NFL and college football coaching systems.3:45
    • Martindale highlights the success of Michigan’s defensive coordinators, including Mike and Jesse, and their unique coaching styles.
  • College football coaching and rivalries.4:48
    • Callihan and Martindale discuss their confidence in the team’s ability to execute and their aggressive strategy, with Callihan sharing a story about Rich Rodriguez’s caution as Michigan head coach.
    • Wink Martindale shares his excitement about coaching at Michigan, mentioning his history with the rivalry and his experience as a high school coach in Ohio.
  • Coaching style and adjusting to new environment.8:38
    • Callihan and Martindale discuss new coach’s NFL experience and ability to prepare players for the next level.
  • Michigan Wolverines’ defensive coordinator search and player injuries.10:34
    • Michigan football’s new defensive coordinator, Martindale, is focused on mixing coverages and pressures to keep opponents guessing.
    • Phil Callihan discusses Michigan football’s defense, highlighting the potential of Mason Graham and Kenneth Grant, as well as the impact of Rod Moore’s injury.
    • Callihan notes the changes made by new defensive staff, including a focus on player development and adaptability, but expresses concern over Moore’s ACL injury.
    • Rod Moore’s injury is a devastating loss for the team and could have impacted his NFL draft prospects.
    • Phil Callihan and Clint Derringer discuss Michigan’s new defensive line coach, Lou Esposito, and how he fits into Sean Morris’ coaching staff philosophy.
    • Donovan Edwards, a former Michigan player, shares his struggles during the previous season and how he’s working to improve.
  • Football, confidence, and adversity.21:00
    • Donovan Edwards discussed his growth as a man and Football player last year, including facing adversity and developing a fire in his heart to play the game.
    • He believes that his confidence and ability to endure challenges will continue to emerge, but he also acknowledges areas for improvement, such as proving his drive and balance in Football.
    • Donovan Edwards emphasizes the importance of self-confidence and not letting outside opinions affect his game.
    • He believes that the opinions of his teammates and coaches matter most, and he focuses on his own growth and development rather than external criticism.
  • Player’s growth and leadership.25:03
    • Phil Callihan reflects on his journey from younger player to leader, highlighting his growth and dedication to the team.
  • Donovan Edwards’ leadership role at Michigan.26:28
    • Donovan Edwards must demonstrate consistency and work ethic to lead Michigan football.
    • Donovan Edwards must lead by example and build consistency to be the prime guy for the team.
  • Football player’s recruitment and respect for opponents.30:06
    • Donovan Edwards discusses his relationship with former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and current Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, mentioning their shared respect despite being rivals.
    • Edwards also talks about how Alfred recruited him to Ohio State, and how their relationship has continued to grow despite his transfer to Michigan.
  • Tony Alford’s move from Ohio State to Michigan.33:13
    • Tony Alford’s coaching style and expertise in the Running Back room is a key addition to Michigan’s staff.
    • Tony Alford, Ohio State’s RB coach, left for Michigan, sparking intrigue about his motivations and the impact on the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry.
    • Phil Callihan is skeptical of coaches leaving Michigan for Ohio State, citing rivalry juice.
  • Michigan football’s NFL prospects and program strength.39:47
    • Clint Derringer and Phil Callihan discuss Michigan football, including a Pro Day with over 150 NFL types in attendance and Jim Harbaugh’s victory lap.
    • Clint Derringer recalls Jim Harbaugh’s previous claim that Michigan would break the record for number of players drafted, which often seems out of nowhere but has proven true in the past.
    • Clint Derringer highlights Michigan’s strong offensive line group, with 6 players potentially drafted in the 2024 NFL draft, showcasing the program’s focus on developing players with NFL aspirations.
    • Derringer also notes the positive impact of the upcoming draft weekend on Michigan’s recruiting messaging and brand, with replays of iconic plays and national title run receiving widespread attention and free publicity.
    • Clint Derringer and Phil Callihan discuss Trent A’s recovery from injury and his potential as a good NFL prospect.
    • Harbaugh’s comments about his team’s readiness for the NFL are taken seriously by Derringer and Callihan due to his successful background in the NFL and college football.
    • Phil Callihan notes that Michigan is in a unique position, having navigated the transfer portal well and developed players for the next level, despite initial concerns about being behind.
    • Mason Graham expresses his desire to stay at Michigan, citing the program’s good hands with Coach Moore and the comfort of playing with his teammates.
  • NFL draft prospect JJ McCarthy’s readiness and potential landing spots.50:22
    • Michigan football reshaping program to be more pro-ready, including new recruiting and personnel departments.
    • NFL teams are intensely vetting JJ, a top quarterback prospect, for the draft.
    • JJ McCarthy’s leadership and public speaking skills make him a promising pro prospect.
  • Michigan QB JJ McCarthy’s NFL draft prospects.57:36
    • Clint Derringer: JJ McCarthy’s ability to adapt and do what’s best for the team is a strength, despite criticism of his raw stats.
    • Phil Callihan: JJ McCarthy is a winner who won’t embarrass any team off the field, and could be the face of an organization.
    • Phil Callihan believes JJ McCarthy has NFL potential but doubts he’ll be drafted top 6, preferring a team close to Michigan for regular viewing.
    • Callihan finds it amusing that critics claim Michigan didn’t throw enough due to inability, highlighting JJ’s NFL upside despite potential limitations.
    • Michigan has multiple top-rated prospects across various position groups, including running back, linebacker, offensive line, and receiver.
    • Clint Derringer and Phil Callihan discuss the Michigan football team’s potential, with Derringer highlighting their NFL talent and Callihan emphasizing their physicality and camaraderie.
    • Donovan Edwards adds that the team has been through ups and downs together, and they must continue to build camaraderie and push each other to reach their full potential.

Nothing But ‘Net – Week #22 – 03/25/2024 – Season Wrap-Up, Final Grades, And Looking Ahead

The University of Michigan men’s basketball 2023-2024 season is over.  They finished the season with a record of 8-24 (3-17 in Big Ten).  They lost in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, and, for obvious reasons, didn’t play in a postseason tournament.

Season Wrap-Up

There’s no way to sugarcoat it: this was a terrible season for Michigan, possibly their worst ever.  It was certainly the worst season I’ve witnessed in my 50 years of following Michigan basketball.  That leads to a trivia question:

This season, Michigan’s football team won 15 games, and the men’s basketball team only won 8 games.  When was the last time the Michigan football team had more wins in their season than the men’s basketball team?  The answer is at the end of the article.

Michigan started the season with 3 wins, and it looked like they might be better than expected.  Then the losing started, and they never looked promising again.  They started out losing close games, within a couple points in the final 2 minutes.  Then they started a different trend: building up a nice double-digit lead, then blowing the game in the 2nd half.  Finally, they just got blown out and never stood a chance.  Here are the three trends:

  • Losing the close games: Long Beach State, Memphis, Oregon, Indiana, Florida.
  • Building up a decent lead, then blowing the game in the 2nd half: Minnesota, Penn State, Maryland (away), Iowa (away), Michigan State (away), Rutgers (home).
  • Getting blown out: Illinois (home and away), Purdue (home and away), Nebraska (home and away), Rutgers (away), Ohio State (away).

There were a few good games among the 8 wins:

There were too many “bad losses” to list them.

So, what went wrong?  Several things, but the biggest problem was an undersized roster with not enough talent.  I don’t think John Wooden himself could have coached this roster to a 0.500 record.  When I evaluate a roster, I start at both ends: point guard and center.  The guards, wings, and forwards are all important, but without a solid point guard and center, they don’t matter that much.  Michigan had a solid point guard in Dug McDaniel, but the starting center (Tarris Reed, Jr.) was undersized and playing out of position.  Reed would be a good-but-not-great power forward, but he’s not a Big Ten center.  Worse news: Michigan didn’t really have a backup center this season.  Other Big Ten teams had a 7-footer or two, with a couple 6’10” or 6’11” guys to back them up.  Michigan had Reed and … crickets.  Will Tschetter tried his hand at center, but he’s not tall enough or big enough to play against the big boys.  Before he missed the last six games of the season with an injury, Olivier Nkamhoua also took a turn at center, but he’s also not tall enough for the role.  He is big enough to bang in there, but he routinely gave up 4-6 inches in height.  So, Michigan’s opponents saw that the middle wasn’t guarded very well, and they drove to the hoop more often than I’ve ever seen, and it worked.

What about guards/wings/forwards?  Once again, Michigan was constrained by a lack of talent.  There was no one on the roster that was the “go to” player.  There was no one who you could count on to make the clutch shot.  There was no one who was a consistent threat from 3-point range.  All of the starters had some good games, and when a couple of them had good games at the same time, Michigan got one of their rare wins, but it didn’t happen nearly often enough.

The final piece in the roster disaster was the bench.  Michigan got very little bench scoring in many of their games, and so the starters played lots of minutes, which got them tired out in the 2nd half of the games, and wore them down as the season droned on.

What about coaching?  Well, I’m sure coaching played a part in the dismal failure of the season, but I still think most of it was due to an undersized and undertalented roster.  Regardless, (now former) head coach Juwan Howard was fired on 03/15/2024.  Now, you can certainly blame part of the roster disaster on Howard, but only part of it.  When it came to roster construction, Howard was working with one hand tied behind his back.  With the way the infamous Transfer Portal works these days, recruiting has taken a back seat to building a team from the portal.  Unfortunately, Michigan isn’t in the top tier for NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) opportunities, and Michigan’s admission policies have led a few talented transfers to look elsewhere.

Howard was actually a pretty good recruiter, but his most talented recruits either left for the NBA Draft or transferred to another school after 1-2 years.  The recruiting class for this season was one incoming freshman (George Washington III), and he didn’t work out.  Howard brought in three players from the Transfer Portal for this season (Nimari Burnett, Olivier Nkamhoua, and Tray Jackson), and they were decent, but they weren’t enough.

Final Grades

Here are my final grades, with the mid-term grades listed first:

Freshman Eligibility

  • Harrison Hochberg (Inc./Inc.) – Harrison was on the Scout Team, and didn’t play much: 20 minutes in 10 games.  He missed his only shot attempt, but did score one point on 1-for-5 free throw shooting.
  • George Washington III (C-/C-) – George was a major disappointment.  He had his chances, and he didn’t take advantage of them.  He played 146 minutes in 22 games, and he scored 26 points on terrible shooting: 5-for-27 (18.5%) overall, 4-for-18 (22.2%) from deep.  He has entered the Transfer Portal.  He may be a valuable player somewhere else in the future, but he was worthless this year at Michigan.  He won’t be missed.

Sophomore Eligibility

  • Nimari Burnett (B-/B-) – Nimari was the only player to play in all 32 of Michigan’s games.  He had some good games and some bad games, more bad than good.  He averaged 9.6 points/game on decent shooting: 105-for-263 (39.9%) overall, 52-for-150 (34.7%) from deep.  He has 2 years of eligibility remaining, but he has said that he hasn’t decided whether he will keep playing or where.  It would be nice if he came back for (at least) another year at Michigan, but that doesn’t look very likely.
  • Youssef Khayat (C+/C) – Youssef played 97 minutes in 17 games, and he scored 24 points on lousy shooting: 7-for-23 overall (30.4%), 2-for-9 from deep (22.2%).  He has entered the Transfer Portal.  He never really caught on at Michigan, but he has the potential to be a decent player somewhere else.  He won’t be missed.
  • Dug McDaniel (A/A-) – Here it is: the only “A” in this batch of grades.  Dug played his heart out every minute of every game.  He’s fast, he’s a great dribbler, he shot well, and he ran the offense pretty well.  He shot 41.0% overall (151-for-368) and 36.8% from deep (56-for-152).  He led the team in scoring (16.3 points/game), assists (121), and steals (29).  He was a warrior out there.  Unfortunately, we was suspended for 6 road games during the Big Ten portion of the schedule, due to academic shortcomings.  He has entered the Transfer Portal, and I expect him to be snapped up by a good program, and to do well there.  It’s a shame to lose him.
  • Tarris Reed, Jr. (B/B) – Tarris had some good games and just as many bad games.  When he was “on” he was a weapon, but there were other games when he was barely playable.  His shooting percentage was good (111-for-214 = 51.9%), but he didn’t take enough shots.  Michigan had trouble getting the ball in to him at the post, and when they did, he often turned it over (71 turnovers).  He averaged 9.0 points/game.  He led the team in rebounding, with 230 rebounds (7.2 per game).  He has entered the Transfer Portal, and I hope he ends up somewhere where he can play power forward instead of center.  He will be missed.
  • Jackson Selvala (Inc./Inc.) – Jackson was on the Scout Team, and didn’t play much: 29 minutes in 13 games.  He scored 6 points, on 1-for-4 shooting overall (0-for-3 from deep) and 4-for-4 shooting from the free throw line.
  • Cooper Smith (Inc./Inc.) – Cooper was on the Scout Team, and didn’t play much: 18 minutes in 10 games.  He has scored 9 points, on 4-for-6 shooting overall (1-for-3 from deep).
  • Will Tschetter (B+/B+) – Will was probably the most improved player on the team this season.  He didn’t do much his freshman season, but this season he averaged 6.8 points/game on good shooting: 78-for-134 overall (58.2%) and 24-for-58 from deep (51.9%).  He played small forward, power forward, and even (small) center, and he did pretty well.

Junior Eligibility

  • Ian Burns (Inc./Inc.) – Ian was on the Scout Team, and didn’t play much: 24 minutes in 11 games.  He scored 3 points on 3-for-5 free throw shooting.  He attempted 7 shots, all 3-pointers, and he missed them all.
  • Jace Howard (Inc./C) – Jace missed the first 16 games with a foot injury that took forever to heal, and he missed a few more games due to illness, so he only played in 10 games.  He was used mostly as a defensive player, only scoring 26 points on mediocre shooting: 8-for-27 overall (29.6%), 4-for-15 from deep (26.7%).  He announced that he was planning on coming back for another season, but that was before his father was fired as head coach.  He hasn’t made any comment since that happened.

Senior Eligibility

  • Jaelin Llewellyn (Inc./B-) – Jaelin missed the first 7 games with a knee injury, and he missed a few more games due to illness, so he only played in 20 games.  He started in place of McDaniel during McDaniel’s 6-game road suspension, and those were some of Llewellyn’s best games.  He averaged 5.2 points/game on pretty good shooting: 35-for-92 overall (38.0%) and 19-for-47 from deep (40.4%).  He had more turnovers (31) than assists (23), which is not good for a point guard.  He is out of eligibility.
  • Tray Jackson (B-/C+) – Tray provided some scoring and rebounding off the bench, but he only showed flashes of what he was capable of, then he disappeared.  He averaged 5.0 points/game on decent shooting: 45-for-113 overall (39.8%) and 9-for-37 from deep (24.3%).  He is out of eligibility.
  • Olivier Nkamhoua (A-/B+) – Olivier was the second most valuable player on the team, after McDaniel.  He played a lot of power forward and a bit of (small) center.  He played hard in every game, and he delivered.  Unfortunately, he injured his left (non-shooting) wrist in early January, and played hurt for the next 13 games, finally giving up and missing the last 6 games.  Still, he ended up second on the team in scoring average (14.8 points/game), and second in rebounding (7.1 rebounds/game).  He shot well: 154-for-301 (51.2%) overall, 27-for-81 (33.3%) from deep.  He did lead the team in turnovers, with 73.  He is out of eligibility.
  • Terrance Williams II (B+/B+) – Terrance saved his best season for last.  He ended up as the third leading scorer on the team (12.4 points/game) with nice shooting numbers: 125-for-289 (43.3%) overall, 52-for-131 (39.7%) from deep.  Most importantly, he cut his fouls and turnovers way down from his career averages.  He has announced that he won’t be back next season, although he does have one more year of eligibility, due to COVID.


It’s awkward giving out awards to such an underachieving team, but here we go:

  • Most Valuable Player: Dug McDaniel
  • Most Improved Player: Will Tschetter
  • Best Defensive Player: Olivier Nkamhoua
  • Sixth Man: Will Tschetter

Looking Ahead

I wish I could be more optimistic, but the future of Michigan basketball is not looking very promising.  There is a lot of bad news:

  • Several players graduating/using up their eligibility: Nkamhoua, Williams, Llewellyn, and Jackson.
  • Several players entering the Transfer Portal: McDaniel, Reed, Khayat, and Washington.
  • A few players who haven’t announced their intentions: Burnett, Tschetter, and Howard.
  • One of the three incoming freshmen decommitting: Khani Rooths.
  • The head coach being fired

Now, the three players who haven’t announced their intentions could all come back for next season, but that isn’t likely.  Burnett has been very non-committal on the subject, and Howard is the son of the head coach who was just fired.  That leaves Tschetter.  Maybe he’ll return, but he’s hardly an elite player.

The loss of Rooths is a big deal.  He was the highest ranked prospect in Michigan’s recruiting class, and now he’s gone.

There is some good news:

There are still two promising incoming freshmen in the recruiting class:

  • Christian Anderson (5’11”, 155 pounds, G) – Christian is a point guard, and he might well be the starting point guard as a true freshman, since all the other point guards left.  He’s a 4-star recruit.
  • Durral Brooks (6’2”, 180 pounds, G) – Durral was named “Mr. Basketball” for the state of Michigan, and he should bring some much-needed outside firepower to Michigan.  He’s a 3-star recruit.

Hopefully, these two recruits will stick with Michigan.

The best news is that Michigan has hired a new head coach: Dusty May from Florida Atlantic University (FAU).  I think this is a good hire, and that Coach May will do his best to revive Michigan basketball, but I think it’s going to take a lot longer than most people expect.  I just hope that the Athletic Director and (more importantly) the public cut him some slack for the first couple seasons.  This is a “total rebuild”, from the ground up, not a “reload”.  The cupboard is bare.  I’m confident that Coach May will work hard to bring in the right mix of players from the Transfer Portal to at least be competitive “soon”.

What’s Next?

Check back in late October for the next season of Michigan basketball.

Go Blue!

Oh yeah, the trivia answer:

In 1981 the football team went 9-3, while the 1981-1982 basketball team went 7-20.

Nothing But ‘Net – Week #21 – 03/18/2024 – Big Changes

The University of Michigan men’s basketball team played one game this past week, and they lost it.  On Wednesday (03/13/2024), they lost to Penn State 66-57 in the Big Ten Tournament in Minneapolis.  Michigan was the 14-seed, and PSU was the 11-seed.  The loss lowers Michigan’s record to 8-24 (3-17 in Big Ten).  Michigan has now lost 9 games in a row, and their season is (mercifully) over.

What Happened?

Michigan’s loss in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament was certainly significant, since it ended Michigan’s dismal season, but that wasn’t the biggest news for Michigan basketball this week; on Friday (03/15/2024), head coach Juwan Howard was fired.  That’s a big change.

I like Juwan, and I think he’s a great guy, but he wasn’t getting things done as a head coach.  I wish him well in his future endeavors, but I look forward to a new head coach who can revitalize Michigan’s basketball program.  It’s a tough job, and it’s tougher at Michigan than at many other schools.  The combination of less-than-elite NIL opportunities and harder-than-average admissions policies makes it harder for Michigan to get the best players in the transfer portal, and that’s a crucial part of roster construction.  Much more about this in next week’s wrap-up article.  Now, back to this past week.

Game Flow

Michigan had an early lead, 3-2, before PSU pulled ahead and led for the rest of the game.  Michigan did manage to tie the score at 20-20 with 4:27 to go in the half, but PSU went on a 13-2 run to end the half, up 33-22.  Michigan went on a 7-0 run to start the 2nd half, and pulled within 4 points, 33-29, at the 18:07 mark, but PSU pulled away again.  They got their lead up into the 8-10 point range for a while, then Michigan crept back within 4 points again, 50-46, with 9:53 to go.  That was as close as they got, as PSU pushed the lead back up to the 10-12 point range, winning by 9 points.


The game stats were sad.  Michigan shot poorly overall (20-for-58 = 34.5%), they shot 3-pointers terribly (4-for-18 = 22.2%), and they shot free throws decently (13-for-18 = 72.2%).  They won the rebounding battle (42-32), but lost the turnover battle (15-10).  They lost this game with poor 3-point shooting and too many turnovers.

Who Started?

The starters were Nimari Burnett, Dug McDaniel, Tarris Reed, Jr., Will Tschetter, and Terrance Williams II.

Who Looked Good?

In his final game for Michigan, Williams was the leading scorer, with 15 points.

Reed had a pretty good game, with 12 points and 8 rebounds.

Burnett had a decent game, with 11 points.

Jackson Selvala got to play in the last minute, and scored 2 more points, on 1-for-1 shooting.

Who Looked Not-So-Good?

McDaniel was the biggest problem in this game.  He scored 7 points, but he shot terribly: 3-for-12 overall, 1-for-7 from deep.  He also had 4 turnovers.

Tschetter had a lousy game, with 2 points on terrible shooting: 1-for-4 overall, 0-for-2 from deep.  He also had 4 turnovers.

Jace Howard had a lousy game, with 2 points on terrible shooting: 0-for-5 overall, 0-for-2 from deep.  He played 22 minutes, and got his only points on free throws.

Tray Jackson played 9 minutes and scored 0 points on 0-for-2 shooting.

Jaelin Llewellyn played 7 minutes and scored 2 points.

Who Else Played?

George Washington III played in the last minute, and scored 4 points on free throws.

Ian Burns played in the last minute, but didn’t attempt a shot.

Harrison Hochberg played in the last minute, but missed his only shot attempt.

Cooper Smith played in the last minute, but didn’t attempt a shot.

Who Didn’t Play?

Youssef Khayat was the only scholarship player who didn’t play.

What Does It Mean?

It means that the season is over.

What’s Next?

Clean out the lockers, the season is over.

Check back next week for a season wrap-up, final grades, and a look ahead.

Go Blue!

Nothing But ‘Net – Week #20 – 03/11/2024 – The Merciful End To The Regular Season

The University of Michigan men’s basketball team played one game this past week, and they lost it.  On Sunday (03/10/2024), they lost to Nebraska 85-70 in Crisler Arena.  The loss lowers Michigan’s record to 8-23 (3-17 in Big Ten).  Michigan has now lost 8 games in a row.

What Happened?

The regular season is now mercifully over, and it was a really bad season.  Michigan finished dead last in the Big Ten for the first time in over 40 years, and they’re in last place by a wide margin (4 games).  They played their typical lousy game against Nebraska, and never were really close after the first few minutes of the second half.  It was a dreary affair.  I’m just glad the regular season is over.

Game Flow

Michigan led in the early going, up 16-14 with 14:58 to go in the 1st half.  That was the last time Michigan led.  Nebraska went on a 7-0 run to go ahead 22-16 at the 13:29 mark, and they kept the lead in the 5-7 point range for the rest of the half, up 7 points (50-43) at halftime.  Michigan got a little closer, down 6 points (54-48) with 18:12 to go, before Nebraska pulled away.  They pushed the lead up to 20 points (70-50) at the 13:37 mark, and toyed with Michigan the rest of the way.  UM got as close as 12 points a couple times, but Nebraska always responded to keep the lead around 15-17 points, winning by 15.


The game stats for the Nebraska game were mediocre.  Michigan shot poorly overall (23-for-58 = 39.7%), they shot 3-pointers decently (9-for-28 = 32.1%), and they shot free throws well (15-for-18 = 83.3%).  They lost the rebounding battle (33-29) and the turnover battle (9-8).  They lost this game with poor shooting, especially in the 2nd half: 7-for-29 overall, 1-for-13 from deep.

Who Started?

The starters were Nimari Burnett, Dug McDaniel, Tarris Reed, Jr., Will Tschetter, and Terrance Williams II.

Who Looked Good?

McDaniel was the leading scorer, with 17 points, all in the 1st half.  He was hot from 3-point range: 5-for-7.

Williams was the only other Michigan player in double figures, with 14 points.

Reed had a decent game, with 8 points.

Tschetter had a decent game, with 6 points.

Tray Jackson chipped in 8 points off the bench, along with 4 rebounds.

Jackson Selvala got to play in the last 2 minutes, and scored 2 points on free throws.  It was nice, since he was one of the four players honored on Senior Day.

Who Looked Not-So-Good?

Burnett had a lousy game, with 7 points on terrible shooting: 2-for-10 overall, 1-for-7 from deep.  He also had 3 turnovers.

Who Else Played?

Jaelin Llewellyn scored 5 points.

Youssef Khayat scored 3 points.

George Washington III played in the last 2 minutes, but didn’t attempt a shot.

Ian Burns played in the last 2 minutes, but missed his only shot attempt.

Who Didn’t Play?

Jace Howard was the only scholarship player who didn’t play.  He might be sick or injured.

Harrison Hochberg and Cooper Smith were the Scout Team players who didn’t play.

What Does It Mean?

On to the Big Ten Tournament.  With their record, Michigan needs to win the tournament to get the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.  This is EXTREMELY unlikely.  Since their record is so far below 0.500, they can’t get into the NIT if they lose in the Big Ten Tournament.  So, it’s win or go home.

What’s Next?

The Big Ten Tournament is in Minneapolis this year.  Michigan is the #14 seed, and they play the #11 seed (Penn State) at about 9:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday (03/13/2024), televised on Peacock.  If they manage to win that game, they play the #6 seed (Indiana) at about 9:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, televised on BTN.  If they win THAT game, their next game would be against the #3 seed (Nebraska) at about 9:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, televised on BTN.  If the miracle run continues, they would play again on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. EDT on CBS, and Sunday at 3:30 p.m. EDT on CBS.  I don’t expect them to win one game, much less five, but just in case, here’s the full bracket.

Penn State is currently 15-16 (9-11 in Big Ten).  Michigan played Penn State back on 01/07/2024 on a semi-neutral court, the Palestra in Philadelphia.  Penn State beat Michigan, 79-73, and I expect the same result in the tournament.  This Michigan team is reeling, their confidence is shot, and their roster is depleted.

Check back next week to find out what happened and why.

Go Blue!

Nothing But ‘Net – Week #19 – 03/04/2024 – Two More Blowout Losses

The University of Michigan men’s basketball team played two games this past week, and they lost both of them.  On Thursday (02/29/2024), they lost at Rutgers 82-52, then on Sunday (03/03/2024), they lost at Ohio State 84-61.  The two losses lower Michigan’s record to 8-22 (3-16 in Big Ten).  Michigan has now lost 7 games in a row.

What Happened?

Wow, these were terrible losses.  It was one thing last week when Michigan lost to Northwestern and (#3) Purdue, since they were in the top 4 of the league, but losing to Rutgers and OSU is a whole different level of bad.  Both Rutgers and OSU are in the bottom of the league standings, although certainly ahead of Michigan.  Both games this past week were blowout losses to some of the bottom teams in the league.  It was horrible, just horrible.

Game Flow

The Rutgers game couldn’t have started out much worse.  Rutgers scored right away to make it 2-0, then Michigan made a free throw to make it 2-1 with 19:24 left.  That was the last time it was close.  Rutgers went on a 12-0 run to make it 14-1, and the lead never got back into single digits after that.  Rutgers led by 14 points (30-16) at the 8:22 mark, when they went on an 11-0 run to put the game out of reach, 41-16, with 5:28 to go.  Michigan had one last push left in them, closing the half on a 10-0 run to close the gap to 15 points (41-26) at halftime, but that was as close as they could get.  Early in the 2nd half, Rutgers pushed the lead back up to 20 points, and kept it at or above 20 points for the rest of the game, winning by 30 points.  It was an embarrassing blowout.

The OSU game was a little more competitive.  Michigan never led, but they got within one point a couple times: 10-9 at the 10:53 mark, and 25-24 with 3:35 left in the half.  OSU led by 4-6 points for most of the 1st half, and were up by 5 points (32-27) at halftime.  Once again, the 2nd half was not kind to Michigan, and OSU started the half with a 10-0 run to push their lead up to 15 points (42-27) at the 17:05 mark.  Michigan fought back, and got within 6 points (46-40) with 12:20 left, but that was as close as they would get.  The final turning point came at the 6:58 mark, with OSU up 11 points, 62-51.  They went on a 20-2 run, giving them a 29 point lead (82-53) with 2:46 to go.  The scrubs played the last 2:46, allowing Michigan to get within 23 points at the end.  It was another embarrassing blowout.


The game stats for the Rutgers game were horrible, just horrible.  Michigan shot terribly overall (18-for-57 = 31.6%), they shot 3-pointers poorly (6-for-23 = 26.1%), and they shot free throws miserably (10-for-20 = 50.0%).  They tied in the rebounding battle (39-39), but they lost the turnover battle badly (14-5).  They lost this game with terrible shooting and WAY too many turnovers.

The game stats for the OSU game were less gruesome than the Rutgers stats.  Michigan shot very poorly overall (20-for-55 = 36.4%), they shot 3-pointers poorly (5-for-18 = 27.8%), and they shot free throws decently (16-for-22 = 72.7%).  They lost the rebounding battle (31-29) and the turnover battle (18-16).  They lost this game with poor shooting and too many turnovers.

Who Started?

The starters for both games were Nimari Burnett, Dug McDaniel, Tarris Reed, Jr., Will Tschetter, and Terrance Williams II.  McDaniel was finally done with his 6-game “road game suspension”.

Who Looked Good?

McDaniel was the leading scorer in both games, with 13 and 19 points.  He shot well vs. Rutgers (5-for-8 overall, 3-for-3 from deep), but he had a rough outing vs. OSU (7-for-21 overall, 1-for-6 from deep).

Williams hit double figures vs. OSU (13 points) and got close vs. Rutgers (9 points).

Reed had one good game (12 points vs. Rutgers) and one lousy game (4 points vs. OSU).  He shot terribly vs. OSU: 1-for-8 overall.  He also had 5 turnovers in the OSU game.  Ugh.

Tschetter had a decent week, with 7 points in each game.

Cooper Smith scored 2 and 5 points, including 2-for-2 shooting (1-for-1 from deep) vs. OSU.

Who Looked Not-So-Good?

Burnett had a mediocre week, with 5 and 8 points.  He shot really poorly in the Rutgers game: 1-for-8 overall, 1-for-7 from deep.

Tray Jackson was worthless this week, with 2 points in each game.  Michigan needs much more scoring from him.

Jaelin Llewellyn only played in one game this week (Rutgers), and he failed to score.  He missed the OSU game, probably with the team flu bug.

Jace Howard played in both games, and failed to score.

Who Else Played?

Ian Burns played in “garbage time” of both games, but failed to score.

Harrison Hochberg played in “garbage time” of both games, and scored 0 and 1 point.  This was his first career point.  Good for him!

Youssef Khayat played in the OSU game, and scored 2 points.  He missed the Rutgers game, probably with the team flu bug.

Jackson Selvala played in “garbage time” of both games, but failed to score.

George Washington III played in both games, and scored 2 and 0 points.

Who Didn’t Play?

Everyone played in at least one game this week.

What Does It Mean?

Michigan only has one regular season game left, along with at least one game in the Big Ten Tournament.  They need to win both of these games to get up to 10 wins.  It probably won’t happen.  Also, at 3-16 in the Big Ten, they are guaranteed to finish all alone in last place in the Big Ten.  Talk about a lost season.

What’s Next?

Yay!  The last week of the regular season!  This week, Michigan only plays one game.  On Sunday (03/10/2024, 12:00 p.m. EDT, BTN) they play Nebraska in Crisler Arena.  It’s Senior Day, and Michigan will be honoring 4 players: Burnett, Llewellyn, Selvala, and Williams.

Nebraska is currently 21-9 (11-8 in Big Ten).  Michigan played at Nebraska back on 02/10/2024, and Nebraska beat them easily, 79-59.  I expect a 15-20 point loss this time.

Check back next week to find out what happened and why.

Go Blue!