The University of Michigan men’s basketball team played one game this past week, and they lost it. On Saturday (12/02/2023), they lost at Oregon 86-83 in overtime. The loss drops Michigan’s record to 4-4.
The Oregon Ducks are a pretty good basketball team, and they’re tough to beat on their weird home court. Michigan gave them all they could handle, and lost on a last second 3-pointer in overtime. It was a frustrating game, since Michigan played so well for some stretches, then looked lost for other stretches. UM had their chances to win this one, but they let it slip away.
The game was close for the first part of the 1st half, with the lead going back and forth and never getting over 3 points for either team. With 8:29 to go in the half, it was tied up 19-19. Oregon led for the rest of the half, but still couldn’t pull away. They got ahead by 5 points (30-25) at the 4:16 mark, but Michigan got back within 1 point (36-35) with 1:29 to go. Oregon made a basket with 1 second left in the half to make it a 3-point lead (38-35) at halftime. Early in the 2nd half, Michigan tied it up (41-41), then went ahead. They led by 5 points (52-47) at the 14:19 mark. Oregon fought back, and went back ahead by 3 points (55-52) with 12:43 left. It was UM’s turn for a run, and they went up by 4 points (59-55) with 9:55 to go. Back and forth they went, with neither team able to pull away. With 2:04 left in regulation (that’s called “foreshadowing”), Oregon led by 2 points, 71-69. Michigan hit a 3-pointer to go up by 1, 72-71, with 52 seconds left. They got the stop they needed, and had the ball with 32 seconds left. They had a chance to put the game away, but some lousy free throw shooting and a stupid foul allowed Oregon to tie it up, 73-73, and a miserable turnover gave Oregon the last shot, which they missed. Overtime.
Michigan never led in overtime, but they stayed close and tied the game up at 78-78, 81-81, and 83-83. With 24 seconds left, UM tied it up 83-83, Oregon held for the last shot, and made a 3-pointer with 6 seconds left. UM missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have tied it. Game.
The game stats were decent. Michigan shot fairly well overall (29-for-60 = 48.3%), they shot 3-pointers pretty well (13-for-31 = 41.9%), and they shot free throws decently (12-for-18 = 66.7%). They won the rebounding battle 38-31, but they lost the turnover battle badly, 16-9. They lost this game with untimely turnovers, missed key free throws, and lousy 3-point defense: Oregon shot 62.5% from 3-point range (10-for-16).
Who Looked Good?
McDaniel was the undisputed star of the game, with another new career high: 33 points, on 12-for-21 shooting (7-for-12 from deep). His string of made 3-pointers in the middle of the 2nd half brought Michigan from behind and got them their biggest lead. He did everything he could to get a win in this game, but it wasn’t quite enough. It was a real shame to waste such a gutty performance.
Burnett also had a good game, with 13 points on good shooting: 4-for-8 overall (3-for-5 from deep).
Nkamhoua was the only other UM player in double figures, with 12 points. Unfortunately, he didn’t shoot very well (4-for-12 overall, 1-for-6 from deep), and his 2 missed free throws in the last minute of regulation cost Michigan a chance to win the game, instead of going to overtime.
Williams had a pretty good game, with 8 points. Unfortunately, he also shot pretty poorly (2-for-7 overall, 1-for-3 from deep).
Will Tschetter came in off the bench and played pretty well. He scored 8 points on good shooting (3-for-4 overall, 1-for-1 from deep), and played some solid defense.
Tray Jackson also played pretty well off the bench, with 7 points.
Who Looked Not-So-Good?
Reed had a terrible game, with 0 points in 21 minutes. He didn’t attempt a shot, he missed both of his free throw attempts, and he had 3 fouls and 2 turnovers.
Who Else Played?
Jaelin Llewellyn played for the first time this season, off the bench. He played for 10 minutes, shot 1-for-2 for 2 points, and looked pretty good out there. Michigan could use another outside shooter, and another point guard to spell McDaniel.
Who Didn’t Play?
Jace Howard is still recovering from an injury, and not playing yet. He’s expected back “later in the season”.
What Does It Mean?
After a hot start (3-0), Michigan is now back to 0.500 (4-4). The frustrating part is, they could have won 3 of the 4 games they lost (Long Beach State, Memphis, and Oregon). There are much harder games ahead, so Michigan needs to start winning the winnable ones. At this point, they’re still looking like a 10-21 team.
This week, Michigan plays two games, both in the Big Ten. On Tuesday (12/05/2023, 9:00 p.m., Peacock), they play Indiana in Crisler Arena, then on Sunday (12/10/2023, 4:30 p.m. EST, BTN), they play at Iowa.
Indiana is currently 6-1 overall (1-0 in Big Ten). They beat Louisville and Maryland, and lost (by 20) to (#5) UConn. They don’t have any noteworthy players, but they do have some height: a 6’10” player and a 7-footer. They aren’t predicted to be in contention for the Big Ten title, but they are predicted to finish ahead of Michigan, so this will probably be a tough game.
Iowa is currently 5-2 overall (0-0 in Big Ten). They beat Seton Hall, and lost to (#8) Creighton and Oklahoma. They have one noteworthy player: Patrick McCaffery. His father is the head coach, and he manages to play way better than he should. They also have some height: a 6’10” player and a 6’11” player. Iowa always gives Michigan problems, especially at their place, and Michigan is going to have to play their best game so far to pull off a road upset.
Check back next week to find out what happened and why.