The (#7) University of Michigan men’s basketball team played two games last week, and they won one and lost one. They won the home game on Tuesday (11/12/2013) against South Carolina State 93-59, but they lost the road game on Sunday (11/18/2013) at Iowa State 77-70. Michigan’s record is now 2-1.
First, let’s dispense with the SCSU game: Michigan was way better than SCSU, and the game was never in doubt. We didn’t learn anything new about this season’s team, but it was encouraging to see them put together 2 good halves.
The interesting game was the ISU game. It’s tough to win on the road, especially for a young team, and this is a young team. In particular, UM seems to have trouble with the first true road game of the season. They managed to hang on and win at Bradley last season in their first road game, but they weren’t as fortunate this season. ISU is a good, solid team, and they play in an arena that’s very hostile and intimidating for visiting teams. On a neutral court, Michigan would beat them handily, but it’s tougher on the road.
Time to look at the stats. First the fun game: SCSU. Overall, Michigan shot pretty well (31-for-61 = 50.8%), they shot very well from 3-point range (15-for-28 = 53.6%), and they shot very well from the free-throw line (16-for-19 = 84.2%). They won the rebounding battle easily (43-30), and they tied (9-9) in the turnover battle. Those 15 3-pointers were only one short of the school record.
Now for the stats from the un-fun game: ISU. Michigan shot poorly overall (29-for-69 = 42.0%), they shot really poorly from 3-point range (8-for-29 = 27.6%), and they shot free throws really poorly (4-for-9 = 44.4%). They (barely) won the rebounding battle (38-37), and they tied again (12-12) in the turnover battle. Poor shooting on the road is a formula for failure.
Individually, 3 players hit double figures in both games:
- Glenn Robinson III – 13 and 12. Glenn had to take a lot of shots (4-for-12 and 4-for-14) to get those points. He needs to be more efficient.
- Nik Stauskas – 23 and 20. Nik shot lights-out from 3-point range vs. SCSU (5-for-6), but the had a tougher time vs. ISU (4-for-10).
- Derrick Walton Jr. – 12 and 13. Derrick is having a tough time with his 3-point shot (1-for-4 and 1-for-5).
One player hit double figures in one game:
- Caris LeVert – 24 and 5. Caris had a great game vs. SCSU, and a mediocre game vs. ISU.
Only one other player scored in both games:
- Jon Horford – 9 and 4. Jon did have 15 rebounds in the SCSU game.
A couple players scored in one game:
- Spike Albrecht – 0 and 7.
- Max Bielfeldt – 3 and 0. Max finally hit a 3-pointer late in the SCSU game.
- Zak Irvin – 5 and 0.
- Mitch McGary – DNP and 9. Mitch played for the first time this season. He came off the bench and played 22 minutes. He looked OK, just rusty.
- Jordan Morgan – 4 and 0.
This week, Michigan plays 3 games, in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament: on Thursday (11/21/2013, 5:00 p.m. EST, ESPN2) they play Long Beach State, on Friday (11/22/2013, 5:00 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. EST, ESPN) they play either Florida State or Virginia Commonwealth, then on Sunday (11/24/2013, Time TBD, TV TBD) they play either a consolation game or the championship game. They should win the opener against Long Beach State, but the 2nd round game against either FSU or VCU is toss-up, and there are a couple good teams on the other side of the bracket: Georgetown and Kansas State. It’s a tournament that Michigan can win, but they’ll have to shoot much better than they did vs. Iowa State.
Check back next week to see what happened, and why.