Nothing But ‘Net – Week #03 – 11/11/2019 – Disaster Averted

UMGOBLUE.COM

The University of Michigan men’s basketball team played one game this week, and they won it.  On Tuesday (11/05/2019), they beat Appalachian State 79-71 in Crisler Arena.  Michigan’s record is now 1-0.

What Happened?

As the title says, a disaster was (barely) averted.  Michigan almost blew a 30-point lead in the 2nd half against an obviously inferior opponent.  Almost.  The 1st half went smoothly, with UM opening up a nice 20-point lead (41-21) with 3:54 left, and pushing it up to 23 points (46-25) at halftime.  The first 5 minutes of the 2nd half were fine as well, with UM building up a nice, safe, solid 30-point lead, 63-33.  The lead was still 30 points (67-37) with 12:59 left in the game, when the bottom fell out.  Michigan went to sleep on both ends of the court, and allowed ASU to go on a miserable 27-3 run over the next 10:36, which made the score 70-64 with 2:23 left.  During that stretch, Michigan went 1-for-12, with 9 turnovers.  Fortunately, UM woke up in the last 2:23 to seal the victory that almost got away.

Stats

Michigan shot reasonably well overall (29-for-61 = 37.5%), they shot 3-pointers reasonably well (9-for-25 = 36.0%), and they shot free throws pretty well (12-for-19 = 63.2%).  They (barely) won the rebounding battle (34-33) and the turnover battle (17-19).

Who Started?

The starters were Zavier Simpson, Eli Brooks, Adrien Nuñez, Isaiah Livers, and Jon Teske.

Who Looked Good?

Brooks was the leading scorer, with a career-high 24 points.  He shot a decent percentage overall (7-for-15) and from 3-poiht range (5-for-11).

Teske had a double-double (17 points, 13 rebounds), but was only a factor in the 1st half, when he had 15 points and 11 rebounds, which means he only scored 2 points and grabbed 2 rebounds in the 2nd half.

Livers was the only other Michigan player in double figures, with 14 points.  He played hard, but just wasn’t very hot.

Colin Castleton almost hit double figures, with 8 points.  He looked pretty comfortable out there.

Nuñez had 5 points, including a 3-pointer that was the only points UM got in the 27-3 ASU run.

Brandon Johns, Jr. had 5 points, and looked OK out there.

Who Looked Not-So-Good?

David DeJulius played 28 minutes, and scored 0 points on 0-for-3 shooting.

Who Else Played?

When Michigan got ahead by 30 points with 13 minutes left in the game, I expected to see a bunch of subs, but then UM frittered away almost all of that lead, and Coach Howard had to keep his starters in the game until the very end.  So, this game featured a “short bench”.

Who Didn’t Play?

Franz Wagner still has a broken wrist, and didn’t suit up.  He’s out for at least another month.

Cole Bajema and Austin Davis were the only 2 “regular” players who didn’t get in.

The practice squad (C.J. Baird, Jaron Faulds, Rico Ozuna-Harrison, and Luke Wilson) didn’t get in.

What Does It Mean?

The good news: Michigan is good/talented/poised enough to dominate a lesser opponent and open up a 30 point lead in 27 minutes.

The bad news: Michigan is young/inexperienced/fragile enough to lose most of a 30-point lead in 13 minutes.

The games are going to start getting tougher very soon, and the “good” Michigan team better show up.  The “young” Michigan team will get spanked.

What’s Next?

This week, Michigan plays 2 games, both in Crisler Arena.  On Tuesday (11/12/2019, 6:30 p.m., FS1), they play Creighton, then on Friday (11/15/2019, 7:00 p.m., BTN), they play Elon.  The Creighton game is part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, which is essentially the Big East/Big Ten Challenge.  The Elon game is associated with the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament that Michigan is playing in over the Thanksgiving break.  Elon is in what they call the “Mainland Bracket”, which means that they play one game “on the mainland” (as opposed to the Bahamas, where the “Championship Bracket” is played) against one of the “Championship Bracket” teams, in this case Michigan, and then they play 2 other teams in the “Mainland Bracket” at home.

Creighton was 20-15 last season, and went to the NIT.  They have some height (2 players at 6’11”), they have 5 of their top 6 scorers from last season returning, and they shoot a lot of 3-pointers.  This will be a good test for Michigan.

Elon was 11-21 last season, and they don’t look to be much better this season.  They don’t have much height (2 players at 6’8”), and they’ve got a pretty young team.  Michigan should handle them pretty easily, but that’s what I said about Appalachian State.

Come on down to Crisler to check out this season’s team, and stop by Sections 209-210 to say hi.

Go Blue!