The (#18) University of Michigan men’s basketball team played their first “real” game of the 2011-2012 season on Friday (11/11/2011) vs. Ferris State, and they won 59-33. So, they’re 1-0. Yay!
Yeah, they won by 26 points, but it was only 6 points (22-16) at halftime. They played another lethargic 1st half, and only shot 27.6%. FSU pulled within 1 point (22-21) early in the 2nd half, before Michigan finally woke up. Once they got going, Michigan played well, and won going away.
I wish I could just talk about the 2nd half stats, because they are wonderful, but the overall stats are just mediocre. Michigan didn’t shoot very well (22-for-56 = 39.3%), but they shot a lot better than FSU (14-for-50 = 28.0%). The 3-point shooting was just as bad: UM shot 9-for-28 (32.1%), while FSU was 3-for-18 (16.7%). Just to complete the trifecta, free-throw shooting was bad: UM was 6-for-10 (60.0%), which was much better than FSU (2-for-7 = 28.6%). Why do they call them “free” throws again?
The non-shooting stats were equally unimpressive. Both teams had 39 rebounds and 12 assists, but FSU had more turnovers (17-12).
Individually, three UM players hit double figures: Evan Smotrycz and Stu Douglass both had 14 points, and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 12 points. The other two starters, Zack Novak (5 points) and Jon Horford (0 points) didn’t help out much with the scoring.
The bench didn’t contribute much. Jordan Morgan had 7 points, Trey Burke had 3, and Matt Vogrich and Colton Christian each scored 2 points. Eso Akunne played 7 minutes, but didn’t attempt a shot. In the final 2 minutes, Coach Beilein put in Carlton Brundidge, Blake McLimans, and Josh Bartelstein, but they didn’t attempt a shot either.
Now that the real games have started, it’s time to bring back the famous Nothing But ‘Net Expectation-O-Meter (NBNEOM). Unfortunately, it starts the new season pointing at “Does Not Meet Expectations”. If Michigan had played the whole game the way they played the last 18 minutes, they would have won by 50 points, which is what everyone expected.
The Wolverines have two games coming up this week. On Monday (11/14/2011, 8:30 p.m.) they play Towson, then on Thursday (11/17/2011, 8:30 p.m.) they play Western Illinois. Both games are in Crisler Arena, and both are part of doubleheaders, following UM women’s basketball games. The Towson game is officially part of the EA Sports Maui Invitational tournament. It’s the “Mainland game” for UM, before they go to Maui for the “Island games”. It’s the only Maui Invitational game for Towson, since they aren’t invited to Maui, win or lose. It’s a strange way to run a tournament. Towson is pretty good, and Michigan will have to play 40 minutes of solid basketball to beat them. Western Illinois, not so much.
Anyway, come on down to the new, improved Crisler Arena and cheer on the Wolverines.