The University of Michigan men’s basketball team played two games last week, and they lost one and won one. On Tuesday (02/17/2015), they lost to Michigan State 80-67 in Crisler Arena, then on Sunday (02/22/2015), they beat (#24) Ohio State 64-57, also in Crisler Arena. The loss and the win leave Michigan with a record of 14-13 (7-8 in the Big Ten).
The two games were as different as night and day. In the MSU game, UM started out slow, fell behind early, and never got close for the rest of the game. In the OSU game, UM started out hot, opened a comfortable lead early, and never trailed. Michigan didn’t show much spark in the MSU game, but they were hustling and diving all over the floor in the OSU game. The loss was depressing, but the win was encouraging. This is a hard team to figure out.
Surprisingly, the stats for both games are pretty similar. In the MSU game, UM didn’t shoot very well overall (19-for-48 = 39.6%), they didn’t shoot 3-pointers very well (8-for-22 = 36.4%), but they did shoot free throws pretty well (21-for-28 = 75.0%). They lost the rebounding battle (33-25), but won the turnover battle (6-8). They lost this game on defense, allowing MSU to shoot 62.0% (31-for-50) overall.
The stats for the OSU game are a little better. Michigan shot decently overall (26-for-55 = 47.3%), they shot 3-pointers pretty poorly (7-for-19 = 36.8%), and they shot free throws pretty poorly (5-for-8 = 62.5%). As usual, they lost the rebounding battle (36-28), but they won the turnover battle (9-14). They won this game because OSU shot 3-pointers even worse than UM: 5-for-19 = 26.3%.
Individually, only Spike Albrecht and Zak Irvin hit double figures in both games. Spike had 12 points in the MSU game, and 16 points vs. OSU. Zak had 16 and 15. Two of the other three starters hit double figures in the MSU game: Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman had 12 points in the MSU game, but only 2 in the OSU game, and Aubrey Dawkins had 12 and 5. The fifth starter, Ricky Doyle, had 4 and 8 points.
The bench contributed more than usual this week. Max Bielfeldt had 5 and 7, Kameron Chatman scored 2 and 6, Andrew Dakich had 0 and 3 (yes, he hit attempted one shot, a 3-pointer, and he hit it!), and Mark Donnal scored 4 and 2. Sean Lonergan played in both games, but didn’t attempt a shot in either game.
The regular season is almost over. Michigan has three games left; two on the road, and one at home. This week, Michigan only has one game, but it’s a tough one. On Saturday (02/28/2015, Noon, ESPN), they play at (#16) Maryland. This will be the first time Michigan has played Maryland in men’s basketball since they joined the Big Ten. It’s always tough to win on the road in the Big Ten (just ask OSU), and it will be especially difficult against a ranked team fighting for position in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. It would be quite the upset if Michigan managed to win this one. Oh yeah, we get to see our old buddy, Evan Smotrycz again. He’s playing for Maryland, not starting, but averaging 19.6 minutes and 4.9 points a game.
Check back here next week to see what happened, and why.