Nothing But ‘Net – Week #21 – 03/18/2024 – Big Changes

The University of Michigan men’s basketball team played one game this past week, and they lost it.  On Wednesday (03/13/2024), they lost to Penn State 66-57 in the Big Ten Tournament in Minneapolis.  Michigan was the 14-seed, and PSU was the 11-seed.  The loss lowers Michigan’s record to 8-24 (3-17 in Big Ten).  Michigan has now lost 9 games in a row, and their season is (mercifully) over.

What Happened?

Michigan’s loss in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament was certainly significant, since it ended Michigan’s dismal season, but that wasn’t the biggest news for Michigan basketball this week; on Friday (03/15/2024), head coach Juwan Howard was fired.  That’s a big change.

I like Juwan, and I think he’s a great guy, but he wasn’t getting things done as a head coach.  I wish him well in his future endeavors, but I look forward to a new head coach who can revitalize Michigan’s basketball program.  It’s a tough job, and it’s tougher at Michigan than at many other schools.  The combination of less-than-elite NIL opportunities and harder-than-average admissions policies makes it harder for Michigan to get the best players in the transfer portal, and that’s a crucial part of roster construction.  Much more about this in next week’s wrap-up article.  Now, back to this past week.

Game Flow

Michigan had an early lead, 3-2, before PSU pulled ahead and led for the rest of the game.  Michigan did manage to tie the score at 20-20 with 4:27 to go in the half, but PSU went on a 13-2 run to end the half, up 33-22.  Michigan went on a 7-0 run to start the 2nd half, and pulled within 4 points, 33-29, at the 18:07 mark, but PSU pulled away again.  They got their lead up into the 8-10 point range for a while, then Michigan crept back within 4 points again, 50-46, with 9:53 to go.  That was as close as they got, as PSU pushed the lead back up to the 10-12 point range, winning by 9 points.


The game stats were sad.  Michigan shot poorly overall (20-for-58 = 34.5%), they shot 3-pointers terribly (4-for-18 = 22.2%), and they shot free throws decently (13-for-18 = 72.2%).  They won the rebounding battle (42-32), but lost the turnover battle (15-10).  They lost this game with poor 3-point shooting and too many turnovers.

Who Started?

The starters were Nimari Burnett, Dug McDaniel, Tarris Reed, Jr., Will Tschetter, and Terrance Williams II.

Who Looked Good?

In his final game for Michigan, Williams was the leading scorer, with 15 points.

Reed had a pretty good game, with 12 points and 8 rebounds.

Burnett had a decent game, with 11 points.

Jackson Selvala got to play in the last minute, and scored 2 more points, on 1-for-1 shooting.

Who Looked Not-So-Good?

McDaniel was the biggest problem in this game.  He scored 7 points, but he shot terribly: 3-for-12 overall, 1-for-7 from deep.  He also had 4 turnovers.

Tschetter had a lousy game, with 2 points on terrible shooting: 1-for-4 overall, 0-for-2 from deep.  He also had 4 turnovers.

Jace Howard had a lousy game, with 2 points on terrible shooting: 0-for-5 overall, 0-for-2 from deep.  He played 22 minutes, and got his only points on free throws.

Tray Jackson played 9 minutes and scored 0 points on 0-for-2 shooting.

Jaelin Llewellyn played 7 minutes and scored 2 points.

Who Else Played?

George Washington III played in the last minute, and scored 4 points on free throws.

Ian Burns played in the last minute, but didn’t attempt a shot.

Harrison Hochberg played in the last minute, but missed his only shot attempt.

Cooper Smith played in the last minute, but didn’t attempt a shot.

Who Didn’t Play?

Youssef Khayat was the only scholarship player who didn’t play.

What Does It Mean?

It means that the season is over.

What’s Next?

Clean out the lockers, the season is over.

Check back next week for a season wrap-up, final grades, and a look ahead.

Go Blue!