The (#20) University of Michigan men’s basketball team played one game last week, and they won it, to improve their record to 7-2 on the season. On Saturday (12/10/2011) they beat Oakland University, 90-80, at The Palace Of Auburn Hills. Hence, the Oakland (Raiders)/Al Davis quote in the headline.
The game was nominally a “neutral site” game, but it sure felt like a true away game. The crowd was definitely an OU crowd, the PA announcer was definitely an OU announcer, and even the TV broadcast team was pulling for the big upset by OU. While Michigan won by a pretty comfortable margin, the game was close most of the time. UM built up a 14-point lead midway through the 1st half, then watched OU come back to tie the game at halftime. Oakland never led, but they managed to tie the game up several times, the last time with 11:53 left in the game. Fortunately, UM went on a nice 17-6 run over the next 3 minutes, and that gave them enough breathing room to win the game. It was an exciting game, and a quality win, on the road, against a team that has been in the NCAA Tournament the last few years.
The stats for the game are pretty amazing. Michigan shot very well overall (31-for-54 = 57.4%), and extremely well from 3-point range (15-for-28 = 53.6%). They didn’t shoot very well from the free-throw line (13-for-22 = 59.1%), and they need to work on that. They out-rebounded OU by a decent margin (36-28), but they also had more turnovers than Oakland (17-11). 17 turnovers is worrisome.
Individually, three starters scored at least 20 points! Tim Hardaway Jr. was the leading scorer for UM, with 21 points (18 in the 2nd half), and Trey Burke and Evan Smotrycz each had 20 points (career highs for both). Burke (9 assists) and Smotrycz (9 rebounds) almost had double-doubles. The other two starters did pretty well: Jordan Morgan had 9 points, and Zack Novak had 5.
The bench chipped in nicely, with 15 points, but 13 of those came from one player: Stu Douglass. Matt Vogrich had the other 2. The bad news was that Eso Akunne messed up his perfect season shooting percentage when he tried and missed a 3-pointer. That leaves only Blake McLimans with a perfect shooting percentage on the season.
The Nothing But ‘Net Expectation-O-Meter (NBNEOM) remains pointing at “Meets Expectations”.
Michigan plays two games this week. On Tuesday (12/13/2011, 7:00 p.m.), Michigan plays Arkansas-Pine Bluff, then on Saturday (12/17/2011, 12:00 p.m., Big Ten Network), Michigan plays Alabama A&M. Both games are in Crisler Arena. UM should win both games easily. Come on down to the new-and-improved Crisler Arena to check out the Wolverines.