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Nothing But 'Net - Week #21 - A Merciful End To A Long Season

Monday, March 17, 2008 - Drew Montag

 

03/17/2008 – Week #21 – A Merciful End To A Long Season

 

The Week In Review

The University of Michigan men’s basketball team played two games last week in the Big Ten Tournament, and they won one and lost one.  On Thursday (03/13/2008), they beat Iowa, 55-47, then on Friday (03/14/2008), they lost to (#8) Wisconsin, 51-34.  The win and the loss leave Michigan with a final record of 10-22, 5-13 in the Big Ten.  Since they finished well below 0.500, they aren’t eligible for the NIT, and they certainly don’t deserve an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament, so they’re done for this season.

 

Both games were low scoring, especially the Wisconsin mess.  Both games featured more long stretches where Michigan couldn’t buy a basket, or even a point.  Amazingly, Michigan went for more than 10 minutes without a point in the 2nd half of the Iowa game, yet their lead only went from 15 points (44-29) to 8 points (44-36), before they finally started scoring again.

 

Michigan had two shorter scoreless stretches (only about 4 minutes each) in the 2nd half of the Wisconsin game, but they were enough to put the game out of reach.  Michigan’s 34 points set a record for the fewest points scored by one team in Big Ten Tournament history.  It was a miserable game.

 

Game Statistics

First, let's look at the shooting statistics from the Iowa game:

 

Team

Field goals

3-Pointers

Free throws

Michigan

19-51 (37.3%)

8-24 (33.3%)

9-12 (75.0%)

Iowa

15-47 (31.9%)

2-17 (11.8%)

15-23 (65.2%)

Advantage

Michigan

Michigan

Michigan

 

Michigan dominated these stats, and that’s why they won the game.  Michigan didn’t shoot particularly well, but Iowa was just terrible, especially shooting 3-pointers.

 

Now, let’s look at the non-shooting statistics from the Iowa game:

 

Team

Rebounds

Assists

Turnovers

Blocks

Steals

Michigan

31

11

12

7

6

Iowa

38

4

15

2

5

Advantage

Iowa

Michigan

Michigan

Michigan

Michigan

 

Iowa won the rebounding battle by 7, but they away almost half of them with +3 turnovers.  The important stat in this game was 3-point shooting.

 

Next, let's look at the shooting statistics from the Wisconsin game:

 

Team

Field goals

3-Pointers

Free throws

Michigan

10-50 (20.0%)

6-24 (25.0%)

8-12 (66.7%)

Wisconsin

17-50 (34.0%)

3-11 (27.3%)

14-17 (82.4%)

Advantage

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

 

This is a no-brainer: Michigan shot poorly, and Wisconsin shot better across the board.

 

Finally, let's look at the non-shooting statistics from the Wisconsin game:

 

Team

Rebounds

Assists

Turnovers

Blocks

Steals

Michigan

35

8

14

4

4

Wisconsin

42

8

11

4

8

Advantage

Wisconsin

Even

Wisconsin

Even

Wisconsin

 

It was a clean sweep: Wisconsin either won or tied every stat.  No contest.

 

It’s embarrassing that Michigan had more rebounds than points, and more turnovers than baskets.

 

Season 3-Point Shooting

Here’s my theory: Michigan should win a game if they can shoot at least 20 3-pointers, and hit at least 40% of them.  Of course, they can still win the game when they shoot less than 20 3-pointers, or when they hit less than 40% of them.  I’m just saying that they should win the game if they do shoot 20 and make 40%.  Let’s see how they that works this season:

 

Date

Opponent

3-Point Shooting

Result

Fits Theory?

11/09/2007

Radford

7-23 (30.4%)

W

N/A

11/11/2007

Brown

12-24 (50.0%)

W

Yes

11/15/2007

At Georgetown

5-18 (27.8%)

L

Yes

11/21/2007

Butler (neutral site)

8-20 (40.0%)

L

No

11/23/2007

Eastern Washington (neutral site)

10-27 (37.0%)

W

N/A

11/24/2007

Western Kentucky (neutral site)

5-17 (29.4%)

L

Yes

11/28/2007

Boston College

9-25 (36.0%)

L

Yes

12/01/2007

At Harvard

5-20 (25.0%)

L

Yes

12/08/2007

At Duke

6-19 (31.6%)

L

Yes

12/12/2007

Oakland

7-17 (41.2%)

W

N/A

12/15/2007

Central Michigan

4-8 (50.0%)

L

Yes

12/22/2007

UCLA

6-31 (19.4%)

L

Yes

01/02/2008

Wisconsin

5-18 (27.8%)

L

Yes

01/05/2008

At Purdue

4-18 (22.2%)

L

Yes

01/08/2008

Indiana

8-28 (28.6%)

L

Yes

01/12/2008

At Northwestern

8-26 (30.8%)

W

N/A

01/16/2008

At Illinois

8-27 (29.6%)

L

Yes

01/19/2008

Iowa

11-28 (39.3%)

L

Yes

01/22/2008

At Wisconsin

7-21 (33.3%)

L

Yes

01/27/2008

At Michigan State

8-31 (25.8%)

L

Yes

01/31/2008

Minnesota

6-25 (24.0%)

L

Yes

02/05/2008

At Ohio State

9-26 (34.6%)

L

Yes

02/09/2008

Penn State

6-18 (33.3%)

W

N/A

02/14/2008

At Iowa

7-19 (36.8%)

W

N/A

02/17/2008

Ohio State

10-24 (41.7%)

W

Yes

02/21/2008

At Minnesota

5-26 (19.2%)

L

Yes

02/23/2008

Illinois

5-21 (23.8%)

W

N/A

02/26/2008

Northwestern

7-21 (33.3%)

L

Yes

03/01/2008

At Penn State

9-31 (29.0%)

L

Yes

03/09/2008

Purdue

7-26 (26.9%)

L

Yes

03/13/2008

Iowa (neutral site)

8-24 (33.3%)

W

N/A

03/14/2008

Wisconsin (neutral site)

6-24 (25.0%)

L

Yes

Totals

 

228-731 (31.2%)

 

23-1

 

The theory held true for almost every game this season.  The loss to Butler in the Great Alaska Shootoutwas the only game where UM shot at least 20 3-pointers, and made at least 40%, yet still lost.

 

Individual Statistics

Coach Beileinwent with his latest starting lineup in both games.

 

Here’s how the starters did:

 

 

Player

Field Goals

3-Pointers

Free Throws

Points

Iowa

Wisc

Iowa

Wisc

Iowa

Wisc

Iowa

Wisc

Kelvin Grady

1-3

0-2

1-2

0-2

1-3

0-0

4

0

Manny Harris

6-15

1-12

2-4

1-5

5-6

1-2

19

4

DeShawn Sims

5-10

2-10

2-5

0-2

2-2

2-2

14

6

Ekpe Udoh

1-4

0-4

0-0

0-0

0-0

2-3

2

2

Anthony Wright

3-9

4-10

3-8

3-9

0-0

0-1

9

11

Totals

16-41

39.0%

7-38

18.4%

8-19

42.1%

4-18

22.2%

8-11

72.7%

5-8

62.5%

48

23

 

As a group, the starters had a lousy week.  Most of their percentages are mediocre, except 3-point shooting in the Iowa game, and they didn’t contribute many points, especially against Wisconsin.

 

Individually, none of the starters hit double figures in both games.  Harris and Sims both played well against Iowa, but they both had a rough time against Wisconsin.  Only Wright came close to double figures in both games.  Udoh and Grady were both worthless out there offensively.

 

Coach Beilein went 6-deep on the bench in the Wisconsin game, but only because he put freshman Adam Blockin during the last few minutes.

 

Here's how the bench players did:

 

 

Player

Field Goals

3-Pointers

Free Throws

Points

Iowa

Wisc

Iowa

Wisc

Iowa

Wisc

Iowa

Wisc

Adam Block

DNP

0-0

DNP

0-0

DNP

0-0

DNP

0

Ron Coleman

0-2

0-1

0-1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

Zack Gibson

2-5

3-7

0-2

2-4

1-1

1-2

5

9

C.J. Lee

1-2

0-3

0-1

0-2

0-0

0-0

2

0

David Merritt

0-1

0-1

0-1

0-0

0-0

2-2

0

2

Jevohn Shepherd

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

Totals

3-10

30.0%

3-12

25.0%

0-5

0.0%

2-6

33.3%

1-1

100.0%

3-4

75.0%

7

11

 

As a group, the bench players had a lousy week.  Their shooting percentages were lousy, and they didn’t chip in many points.

 

Individually, only Gibson contributed anything.  For the week, the bench players scored 18 points, and Gibson had 14 of them.

 

Coleman ended his Michigan career by taking 3 shots in 2 games, and missing them all.

 

It was nice to see Merritt back out there, even if he didn’t do much.

 

Big Ten Tournament

The Big Ten Tournamentwas held in Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis last week.  Wisconsin won it all, to go with their regular season championship.

 

Here are all the results, with the seeds in parentheses:

 

Thursday (03/13/2008)

Game 1: (#8) Iowa lost to (#9) Michigan, 55-47

Game 2: (#7) Penn State lost to (#10) Illinois, 64-63

Game 3: (#6) Minnesota beat (#11) Northwestern, 55-52

 

Friday (03/14/2008)

Game 4: (#1) Wisconsin beat (#9) Michigan, 51-34

Game 5: (#4) Michigan State beat (#5) Ohio State, 67-60

Game 6: (#2) Purdue lost to (#10) Illinois, 74-67 (ot)

Game 7: (#3) Indiana lost to (#6) Minnesota, 59-58

 

Saturday (03/15/2008)

Game 8: (#1) Wisconsin beat (#4) Michigan State, 65-63

Game 9: (#6) Minnesota lost to (#10) Illinois, 54-50

 

Sunday (03/16/2008)

Game 10: (#1) Wisconsin beat (#10) Illinois, 61-48

 

There were a few surprises, especially Illinois beating Purdue and Minnesota beating Indiana.

 

Only the top four teams from the Big Ten made it to the NCAA Tournament: (#5) Wisconsin, (#18) Purdue, (#20) Michigan State, and (#24) Indiana.  Ohio State was a “bubble team”, but their bubble popped when they lost to Michigan State on Friday.

 

Of the 7 Big Ten teams that didn’t get into the NCAA Tournament, only 2 of them (Ohio State and Minnesota) had winning records.  They both got into the NIT.

 

The Big Picture

Well, the season is over, and it was quite a disappointment.  Michigan did win one game in the Big Ten Tournament, but they fell flat in the 2nd round against Wisconsin.

 

The bad news is that this season was a disaster.  The good news is that next season should be noticeably better.  Check back next week for a season wrap-up, final grades, and a look ahead to next season.

 

Here are the final 2007-2008 results:

 

Date

Opponent

Site

Result

Score

Record

11/01/2007 (Thu)

Ferris State (exhibition)

Ann Arbor

W

78-40

0-0

11/09/2007 (Fri)

Radford

Ann Arbor

W

82-55

1-0

11/11/2007 (Sun)

Brown

Ann Arbor

W

72-57

2-0

11/15/2007 (Thu)

Georgetown

Washington, D.C.

L

74-52

2-1

Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout

11/21/2007 (Wed)

Butler

Anchorage, Alaska

L

79-65

2-2

11/23/2007 (Fri)

Eastern Washington

Anchorage, Alaska

W

61-53

3-2

11/24/2007 (Sat)

Western Kentucky

Anchorage, Alaska

L

73-69

3-3

ACC/Big Ten Challenge

11/28/2007 (Wed)

Boston College

Ann Arbor

L

77-64

3-4

12/01/2007 (Sat)

Harvard

Boston, Mass.

L

62-51

3-5

12/08/2007 (Sat)

Duke

Durham, N.C.

L

95-67

3-6

12/12/2007 (Wed)

Oakland

Ann Arbor

W

103-87

4-6

12/15/2007 (Sat)

Central Michigan

Ann Arbor

L

78-67

4-7

12/22/2007 (Sat)

UCLA

Ann Arbor

L

69-54

4-8

01/02/2008 (Wed)

Wisconsin

Ann Arbor

L

70-54

4-9 (0-1)

01/05/2008 (Sat)

Purdue

West Lafayette, Ind.

L

65-58

4-10 (0-2)

01/08/2008 (Tue)

Indiana

Ann Arbor

L

78-64

4-11 (0-3)

01/12/2008 (Sat)

Northwestern

Evanston, Ill.

W

78-68

5-11 (1-3)

01/16/2008 (Wed)

Illinois

Champaign, Ill.

L

75-57

5-12 (1-4)

01/19/2008 (Sat)

Iowa

Ann Arbor

L

68-60

5-13 (1-5)

01/22/2008 (Tue)

Wisconsin

Madison, Wis.

L

64-61

5-14 (1-6)

01/27/2008 (Sun)

Michigan State

East Lansing, Mich.

L

77-62

5-15 (1-7)

01/31/2008 (Thu)

Minnesota

Ann Arbor

L

77-65

5-16 (1-8)

02/05/2008 (Tue)

Ohio State

Columbus, Ohio

L

65-55

5-17 (1-9)

02/09/2008 (Sat)

Penn State

Ann Arbor

W

68-63

6-17 (2-9)

02/14/2008 (Thu)

Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

W

60-52

7-17 (3-9)

02/17/2008 (Sun)

Ohio State

Ann Arbor

W

80-70

8-17 (4-9)

02/21/2008 (Thu)

Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minn.

L

69-60

8-18 (4-10)

02/23/2008 (Sat)

Illinois

Ann Arbor

W

49-43

9-18 (5-10)

02/26/2008 (Tue)

Northwestern

Ann Arbor

L

62-60

9-19 (5-11)

03/01/2008 (Sat)

Penn State

State College, Pa.

L

69-61

9-20 (5-12)

03/09/2008 (Sun)

Purdue

Ann Arbor

L

72-58

9-21 (5-13)

Big Ten Tournament

03/13/2008 (Thu)

Iowa

Indianapolis, Ind.

W

55-47

10-21 (5-13)

03/14/2008 (Fri)

Wisconsin

Indianapolis, Ind.

L

51-34

10-22 (5-13)

 

The Upcoming Week

Michigan’s season is over, but there’s still one more week of Nothing But ‘Net.  Check back next week for the season wrap-up, final grades, and a look ahead to next season.

 

Go Blue!


Drew Montag
Men's Basketball Editor, UMGoBlue.COM

 
 
 
 
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