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.

Stats

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!

Nothing But ‘Net – Week #20 – 03/11/2024 – The Merciful End To The Regular Season

The University of Michigan men’s basketball team played one game this past week, and they lost it.  On Sunday (03/10/2024), they lost to Nebraska 85-70 in Crisler Arena.  The loss lowers Michigan’s record to 8-23 (3-17 in Big Ten).  Michigan has now lost 8 games in a row.

What Happened?

The regular season is now mercifully over, and it was a really bad season.  Michigan finished dead last in the Big Ten for the first time in over 40 years, and they’re in last place by a wide margin (4 games).  They played their typical lousy game against Nebraska, and never were really close after the first few minutes of the second half.  It was a dreary affair.  I’m just glad the regular season is over.

Game Flow

Michigan led in the early going, up 16-14 with 14:58 to go in the 1st half.  That was the last time Michigan led.  Nebraska went on a 7-0 run to go ahead 22-16 at the 13:29 mark, and they kept the lead in the 5-7 point range for the rest of the half, up 7 points (50-43) at halftime.  Michigan got a little closer, down 6 points (54-48) with 18:12 to go, before Nebraska pulled away.  They pushed the lead up to 20 points (70-50) at the 13:37 mark, and toyed with Michigan the rest of the way.  UM got as close as 12 points a couple times, but Nebraska always responded to keep the lead around 15-17 points, winning by 15.

Stats

The game stats for the Nebraska game were mediocre.  Michigan shot poorly overall (23-for-58 = 39.7%), they shot 3-pointers decently (9-for-28 = 32.1%), and they shot free throws well (15-for-18 = 83.3%).  They lost the rebounding battle (33-29) and the turnover battle (9-8).  They lost this game with poor shooting, especially in the 2nd half: 7-for-29 overall, 1-for-13 from deep.

Who Started?

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

Who Looked Good?

McDaniel was the leading scorer, with 17 points, all in the 1st half.  He was hot from 3-point range: 5-for-7.

Williams was the only other Michigan player in double figures, with 14 points.

Reed had a decent game, with 8 points.

Tschetter had a decent game, with 6 points.

Tray Jackson chipped in 8 points off the bench, along with 4 rebounds.

Jackson Selvala got to play in the last 2 minutes, and scored 2 points on free throws.  It was nice, since he was one of the four players honored on Senior Day.

Who Looked Not-So-Good?

Burnett had a lousy game, with 7 points on terrible shooting: 2-for-10 overall, 1-for-7 from deep.  He also had 3 turnovers.

Who Else Played?

Jaelin Llewellyn scored 5 points.

Youssef Khayat scored 3 points.

George Washington III played in the last 2 minutes, but didn’t attempt a shot.

Ian Burns played in the last 2 minutes, but missed his only shot attempt.

Who Didn’t Play?

Jace Howard was the only scholarship player who didn’t play.  He might be sick or injured.

Harrison Hochberg and Cooper Smith were the Scout Team players who didn’t play.

What Does It Mean?

On to the Big Ten Tournament.  With their record, Michigan needs to win the tournament to get the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.  This is EXTREMELY unlikely.  Since their record is so far below 0.500, they can’t get into the NIT if they lose in the Big Ten Tournament.  So, it’s win or go home.

What’s Next?

The Big Ten Tournament is in Minneapolis this year.  Michigan is the #14 seed, and they play the #11 seed (Penn State) at about 9:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday (03/13/2024), televised on Peacock.  If they manage to win that game, they play the #6 seed (Indiana) at about 9:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, televised on BTN.  If they win THAT game, their next game would be against the #3 seed (Nebraska) at about 9:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, televised on BTN.  If the miracle run continues, they would play again on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. EDT on CBS, and Sunday at 3:30 p.m. EDT on CBS.  I don’t expect them to win one game, much less five, but just in case, here’s the full bracket.

Penn State is currently 15-16 (9-11 in Big Ten).  Michigan played Penn State back on 01/07/2024 on a semi-neutral court, the Palestra in Philadelphia.  Penn State beat Michigan, 79-73, and I expect the same result in the tournament.  This Michigan team is reeling, their confidence is shot, and their roster is depleted.

Check back next week to find out what happened and why.

Go Blue!

Nothing But ‘Net – Week #19 – 03/04/2024 – Two More Blowout Losses

The University of Michigan men’s basketball team played two games this past week, and they lost both of them.  On Thursday (02/29/2024), they lost at Rutgers 82-52, then on Sunday (03/03/2024), they lost at Ohio State 84-61.  The two losses lower Michigan’s record to 8-22 (3-16 in Big Ten).  Michigan has now lost 7 games in a row.

What Happened?

Wow, these were terrible losses.  It was one thing last week when Michigan lost to Northwestern and (#3) Purdue, since they were in the top 4 of the league, but losing to Rutgers and OSU is a whole different level of bad.  Both Rutgers and OSU are in the bottom of the league standings, although certainly ahead of Michigan.  Both games this past week were blowout losses to some of the bottom teams in the league.  It was horrible, just horrible.

Game Flow

The Rutgers game couldn’t have started out much worse.  Rutgers scored right away to make it 2-0, then Michigan made a free throw to make it 2-1 with 19:24 left.  That was the last time it was close.  Rutgers went on a 12-0 run to make it 14-1, and the lead never got back into single digits after that.  Rutgers led by 14 points (30-16) at the 8:22 mark, when they went on an 11-0 run to put the game out of reach, 41-16, with 5:28 to go.  Michigan had one last push left in them, closing the half on a 10-0 run to close the gap to 15 points (41-26) at halftime, but that was as close as they could get.  Early in the 2nd half, Rutgers pushed the lead back up to 20 points, and kept it at or above 20 points for the rest of the game, winning by 30 points.  It was an embarrassing blowout.

The OSU game was a little more competitive.  Michigan never led, but they got within one point a couple times: 10-9 at the 10:53 mark, and 25-24 with 3:35 left in the half.  OSU led by 4-6 points for most of the 1st half, and were up by 5 points (32-27) at halftime.  Once again, the 2nd half was not kind to Michigan, and OSU started the half with a 10-0 run to push their lead up to 15 points (42-27) at the 17:05 mark.  Michigan fought back, and got within 6 points (46-40) with 12:20 left, but that was as close as they would get.  The final turning point came at the 6:58 mark, with OSU up 11 points, 62-51.  They went on a 20-2 run, giving them a 29 point lead (82-53) with 2:46 to go.  The scrubs played the last 2:46, allowing Michigan to get within 23 points at the end.  It was another embarrassing blowout.

Stats

The game stats for the Rutgers game were horrible, just horrible.  Michigan shot terribly overall (18-for-57 = 31.6%), they shot 3-pointers poorly (6-for-23 = 26.1%), and they shot free throws miserably (10-for-20 = 50.0%).  They tied in the rebounding battle (39-39), but they lost the turnover battle badly (14-5).  They lost this game with terrible shooting and WAY too many turnovers.

The game stats for the OSU game were less gruesome than the Rutgers stats.  Michigan shot very poorly overall (20-for-55 = 36.4%), they shot 3-pointers poorly (5-for-18 = 27.8%), and they shot free throws decently (16-for-22 = 72.7%).  They lost the rebounding battle (31-29) and the turnover battle (18-16).  They lost this game with poor shooting and too many turnovers.

Who Started?

The starters for both games were Nimari Burnett, Dug McDaniel, Tarris Reed, Jr., Will Tschetter, and Terrance Williams II.  McDaniel was finally done with his 6-game “road game suspension”.

Who Looked Good?

McDaniel was the leading scorer in both games, with 13 and 19 points.  He shot well vs. Rutgers (5-for-8 overall, 3-for-3 from deep), but he had a rough outing vs. OSU (7-for-21 overall, 1-for-6 from deep).

Williams hit double figures vs. OSU (13 points) and got close vs. Rutgers (9 points).

Reed had one good game (12 points vs. Rutgers) and one lousy game (4 points vs. OSU).  He shot terribly vs. OSU: 1-for-8 overall.  He also had 5 turnovers in the OSU game.  Ugh.

Tschetter had a decent week, with 7 points in each game.

Cooper Smith scored 2 and 5 points, including 2-for-2 shooting (1-for-1 from deep) vs. OSU.

Who Looked Not-So-Good?

Burnett had a mediocre week, with 5 and 8 points.  He shot really poorly in the Rutgers game: 1-for-8 overall, 1-for-7 from deep.

Tray Jackson was worthless this week, with 2 points in each game.  Michigan needs much more scoring from him.

Jaelin Llewellyn only played in one game this week (Rutgers), and he failed to score.  He missed the OSU game, probably with the team flu bug.

Jace Howard played in both games, and failed to score.

Who Else Played?

Ian Burns played in “garbage time” of both games, but failed to score.

Harrison Hochberg played in “garbage time” of both games, and scored 0 and 1 point.  This was his first career point.  Good for him!

Youssef Khayat played in the OSU game, and scored 2 points.  He missed the Rutgers game, probably with the team flu bug.

Jackson Selvala played in “garbage time” of both games, but failed to score.

George Washington III played in both games, and scored 2 and 0 points.

Who Didn’t Play?

Everyone played in at least one game this week.

What Does It Mean?

Michigan only has one regular season game left, along with at least one game in the Big Ten Tournament.  They need to win both of these games to get up to 10 wins.  It probably won’t happen.  Also, at 3-16 in the Big Ten, they are guaranteed to finish all alone in last place in the Big Ten.  Talk about a lost season.

What’s Next?

Yay!  The last week of the regular season!  This week, Michigan only plays one game.  On Sunday (03/10/2024, 12:00 p.m. EDT, BTN) they play Nebraska in Crisler Arena.  It’s Senior Day, and Michigan will be honoring 4 players: Burnett, Llewellyn, Selvala, and Williams.

Nebraska is currently 21-9 (11-8 in Big Ten).  Michigan played at Nebraska back on 02/10/2024, and Nebraska beat them easily, 79-59.  I expect a 15-20 point loss this time.

Check back next week to find out what happened and why.

Go Blue!

Nothing But ‘Net – Week #18 – 02/26/2024 – Two More Predictable Losses

The University of Michigan men’s basketball team played two games this past week, and they lost both of them.  On Thursday (02/22/2024), they lost at Northwestern 76-62, then on Sunday (02/25/2024), they lost to (#3) Purdue 84-76 in Crisler Arena.  The two losses lower Michigan’s record to 8-20 (3-14 in Big Ten).  Michigan has now lost 5 games in a row.

What Happened?

These were two very predictable losses.  Northwestern is having a very good year, especially for them, and Purdue has been in the top 5 all season, while Michigan is having one of their worst seasons in the last 50 years.  That’s a bad combination.

Game Flow

Once again, the Northwestern game was a tale of two halves.  In the 1st half, Michigan played well, controlled the tempo, and led for most of the half.  They got their lead as high as 11 points (16-5, at the 13:23 mark), and kept it around 7-9 points for most of the half.  They were still up 9 points (28-19) with 6:35 to go, when Northwestern went on an 11-2 run to tie the game up, 30-30, with 3:40 left.  It was still tied up (34-34) with 2 seconds left, but Northwestern hit a 3-pointer to lead 37-34 at halftime.  Bummer.  As I said above, this game was a tale of two halves, and Northwestern owned the 2nd half.  Michigan did put up a little fight early in the 2nd half, but once Northwestern got rolling, it was over.  Northwestern built their halftime lead of 3 points up to 7 points (41-34) with 17:48 to go, then let Michigan creep back into it.  UM got their only lead of the 2nd half, 44-43, at the 15:36 mark, then Northwestern went on a 14-3 run to go up 10 points (57-47) with 10:27 left.  Northwestern pushed their lead as high as 20 points, winning by 14.

Against Purdue, Michigan actually played pretty well for the first 14 minutes.  They led for the first 10 minutes, by as many as 7 points, and with 16:30 to go in the half, Michigan still led by one point, 30-29.  That was their last lead.  Purdue suddenly woke up, and pulled away with an 18-6 run to end the half, up 11 points (47-36).  In the 2nd half, Purdue kept the lead in the 9-11 point range the whole time, never letting Michigan get closer than 7 points, winning by 8 points.

Stats

The game stats for the Northwestern game were surprisingly good.  Michigan shot well overall (22-for-44 = 50.0%), they shot 3-pointers extremely well (8-for-11 = 72.7%), but they shot free throws poorly (10-for-18 = 55.6%).  They lost the rebounding battle (36-27) and the turnover battle (11-5).  They lost this game with poor rebounding and too many turnovers, with a dash of poor free-throw shooting thrown in.

The game stats for the Purdue game were better than expected.  Michigan shot well overall (29-for-60 = 48.3%), they shot 3-pointers very well (9-for-21 = 42.9%), and they shot free throws decently (9-for-13 = 69.2%).  They lost the rebounding battle badly (41-28) and the turnover battle (10-8).  They lost this game with terrible rebounding and too many fouls.  Actually, they lost this game because of too much Zach Edey, Purdue’s 7’4” center.  Michigan didn’t have anyone who could stop him, or really even slow him down.  He ended up with 35 points on 14-for-18 shooting, along with 15 rebounds.  He was awesome.

Who Started?

Here’s where things get interesting.  Remember last week when Terrance Williams II didn’t play in the MSU game?  It turns out that there has been some bug (flu?  Not COVID-19) running through the team, and that’s what he had.  Well, it struck again this week:  Will Tschetter didn’t travel with the team to Northwestern, due to the unspecified team bug.  No big deal, right?  Tschetter is an important sub, but Michigan can work around his absence, right?  Wrong.  Tschetter would have started and played a lot in the Northwestern game because (drumroll) Olivier Nkamhoua is out for the rest of the season with a wrist injury.  It turns out that Nkamhoua has been playing with an injured left (non-shooting) wrist injury he suffered in practice back in early January, before the Minnesota game on 01/04/2024.  It finally got to the point where he needed surgery, so now he’s done for the season.

The starters for the Northwestern game were Nimari Burnett, Tray Jackson, Jaelin Llewellyn, Tarris Reed, Jr., and Terrance Williams IIDug McDaniel didn’t travel with the team for the Northwestern game (indefinite “road suspension”), so Llewellyn started in his place.  Nkamhoua is out for the season, and Tschetter would have started in his place, but he didn’t travel to Northwestern due to the team flu bug.  So, Michigan was missing their two best players (McDaniel and Nkamhoua) and their best sub (Tschetter).  Great.

The starters for the Purdue game were Burnett, McDaniel, Reed, Tschetter, and Williams.

Who Looked Good?

Burnett had a good week, with 15 points (team high) vs. Northwestern, and 12 points vs. Purdue.  He shot well in both games: 6-for-8 overall (3-for-5 from deep) vs. Northwestern, and 5-for-9 overall (2-for-4 from deep) vs. Purdue.

Williams had a good week, with 13 and 11 points.  He was Michigan’s leading rebounder vs. Northwestern, with 7 boards.

Jackson also had a good week, with 10 points in each game, one as a starter (Northwestern) and one off the bench (Purdue).  Michigan had lots of foul trouble vs. Purdue, trying to guard Edey, so Jackson ended up playing some center.

Reed had one good game (13 points vs. Northwestern) and one lousy game (2 points vs. Purdue).  Edey smothered him, and he only played 18 minutes against him, due to early foul trouble.  He couldn’t contain Edey, and he couldn’t get a shot off against him.  He shot 1-for-2 vs. Purdue.

McDaniel was Michigan’s leading scorer in the one game he played in (Purdue), with 19 points.  On the downside, he shot poorly: 7-for-20 overall, 2-for-7 from deep.

Tschetter played pretty well in the one game he played in (Purdue), with 10 points.  With Nkamhoua out and Reed on the bench with early foul trouble, he played center vs. Edey.  What fun!

Jace Howard played well off the bench, with 5 and 8 points.

Who Looked Not-So-Good?

Llewellyn only played in one game this week (Northwestern), and he only scored 3 points.  He missed the Purdue game, probably with the team flu bug.

Who Else Played?

Ian Burns played the last minute of the Northwestern game, but didn’t attempt a shot.

Harrison Hochberg played the last minute of the Northwestern game, but didn’t attempt a shot.

Youssef Khayat played in both games, and scored 3 and 0 points.

Jackson Selvala played the last minute of the Northwestern game, but didn’t attempt a shot.

Cooper Smith played the last minute of the Northwestern game, but didn’t attempt a shot.

George Washington III played in both games, and scored 0 and 4 points.

Who Didn’t Play?

Everyone played in at least one game this week.

What Does It Mean?

Michigan has 3 regular season games left, along with at least one game in the Big Ten Tournament.  They need to win 2 of those 4 games to get up to 10 wins.  It probably won’t happen.  Also, at 3-14 in the Big Ten, they are guaranteed to finish last in the Big Ten, although they could end up tied with Ohio State (currently 6-11 in Big Ten) or Rutgers (currently 6-10 in Big Ten) if they win their last 3 and OSU loses their last 3 or Rutgers loses their last 4.  Also unlikely.  So, they probably won’t win 10 games this season, and they will probably finish all alone in last place in the Big Ten.  Sigh.

What’s Next?

The season drones on.  This week, Michigan plays two games.  On Thursday (02/29/2024, 8:30 p.m., FS1), they play at Rutgers, then on Sunday (03/03/2024, 4:00 p.m., CBS) they play at Ohio State.

Rutgers is currently 14-13 (6-10 in Big Ten).  Michigan played Rutgers in Ann Arbor back on 02/03/2024, and Rutgers beat them easily, 69-59.  If Michigan can’t beat Rutgers in Ann Arbor with Nkamhoua, they probably won’t be able to beat them on the road without him.  I expect a 15-20 point loss.

Ohio State is currently 16-12 (6-11 in Big Ten).  Michigan played OSU in Ann Arbor back on 01/15/2024, and Michigan won 73-65.  Since then, OSU has fired their head coach (Chris Holtmann) on 02/14/2024, and won 2 out of 3 games since then for interim coach Jake Diebler, beating (#2) Purdue and Michigan State (in East Lansing).  Even though Michigan won the first meeting, I expect them to have a much harder time down in Columbus.  I’m expecting a 10-15 point OSU win.

Check back next week to find out what happened and why.

Go Blue!

Nothing But ‘Net – Week #17 – 02/19/2024 – Another Lost Week In A Lost Season

The University of Michigan men’s basketball team played two games this past week, and they lost both of them.  On Tuesday (02/13/2024), they lost at (#14) Illinois 97-68, then on Saturday (02/17/2024), they lost to Michigan State 73-63 in Crisler Arena.  The two losses lower Michigan’s record to 8-18 (3-12 in Big Ten).

What Happened?

It was another lost week in a lost season for the basketball team.  They were crushed in the Illinois game, but they put up a good fight in the MSU game, until the last 7 minutes.  More about that below.

Game Flow

The first few minutes of the Illinois game were OK.  The game was tied at 2-2, and Michigan actually led 5-4 with 16:20 left in the 1st half.  That was Michigan’s only lead of the game.  The score was tied 7-7, and Michigan was only down one point (10-9) with 14:22 to go.  That was the last time it was close.  Illinois went on a 12-2 run to make the score 22-11, and they kept the lead in the 7-9 point range for most of the half.  Michigan snuck back within 3 points (28-25) at the 4:48 mark, but that seemed to wake Illinois up, and they went on a 19-4 run to end the half, up 18 points, 47-29.  The 2nd half was a disaster.  Illinois quickly pushed their lead up to 30 points (67-37) with 14:51 to go.  It got as high as 37 points, before Illinois put in their subs and scrubs for the last 5 minutes.  That allowed Michigan to get as close as 28 points, losing by 29.  It was a good old-fashioned butt-whipping.

The 1st half of the MSU game was a close, seesaw affair, with both teams building up small leads.  The game should have been tied 37-37 at halftime, but the refs made a terrible call and gave MSU 2 free throws with 0.4 seconds left, so MSU led 39-37 at halftime.  Michigan has had a terrible time with the first few minutes of the 2nd half all season, but not in this game.  With 16:45 to go, Michigan was ahead, 48-43.  Instead of wilting, Michigan kept the lead, and actually increased it a little: 53-47 at the 13:13 mark.  MSU tied it (56-56) with 11:28 to go, then went ahead.  In many games this season, once Michigan fell behind in the 2nd half, they were done.  Not this time: they tied it up 61-61, then 63-63, at the 7:01 mark.  Let’s take a minute to look at that score, then remember the final score (73-63).  Yes, that means that Michigan didn’t score a single point in the last 7:01 of the game.  In that stretch, they missed 2 2-point attempts, they missed 2 3-point attempts, they committed 5 turnovers, and they committed 4 fouls.  That’s some miserable basketball.

Stats

The game stats for the Illinois game were horrible, just horrible.  Michigan shot decently overall (24-for-57 = 42.1%), they shot 3-pointers horribly (1-for-10 = 10.0%), and they shot free throws poorly (19-for-28 = 67.9%).  They lost the rebounding battle (38-29) and the turnover battle (11-9).  They lost this game with horrible 3-point shooting and poor rebounding.

The game stats for the MSU game were mediocre.  Michigan shot fairly well overall (24-for-53 = 45.3%), they shot 3-pointers decently (7-for-20 = 35.0%), and they shot free throws poorly (8-for-12 = 66.7%).  They actually won the rebounding battle (35-31), but they lost the turnover battle spectacularly (22-10).  They lost this game with WAY too many turnovers.

Who Started?

The starters for the Illinois game were Nimari Burnett, Jaelin Llewellyn, Olivier Nkamhoua, Tarris Reed, Jr., and Terrance Williams IIDug McDaniel didn’t travel with the team for the Illinois game (indefinite “road suspension”), so Llewellyn started in his place.

The starters for the MSU game were Burnett, Llewellyn, McDaniel, Nkamhoua, and Reed.  Williams didn’t play, due to an undisclosed injury or illness.

Who Looked Good?

Reed had a good week, with double figures in both games: 13 vs. Illinois and 15 vs. MSU.  He also had 7 and 11 rebounds, giving him a double-double vs. MSU.

Nkamhoua hit double figures in both games, with 13 and 11 points.  Unfortunately, he was a turnover machine vs. MSU, with 8!

Williams had a good game in his only game this week, with 17 points vs. Illinois.

McDaniel hit double figures in the one game he played in (MSU), with 13 points.  On the downside, he shot poorly (4-for-13 overall), and he had 5 turnovers.

Burnett had one good game (10 points vs. MSU) and one mediocre game (6 points vs. Illinois).

Llewellyn had one good game (12 points vs. MSU) and one mediocre game (4 points vs. Illinois).  He shot poorly: 1-for-7 (0-for-3 from deep) vs. Illinois, and 4-for-11 (2-for-6 from deep) vs. MSU.

Will Tschetter had a mixed week off the bench, with 8 points vs. Illinois and 2 points vs. MSU.  He shot well vs. Illinois (3-for-4 overall, 1-for-1 from deep) and terribly vs. MSU (1-for-6 overall, 0-for-3 from deep).  His 2 points vs. MSU were all the bench points for that game.  Ugh.

Tray Jackson also had a mixed week off the bench, with 6 points vs. Illinois and 0 points vs. MSU.  Michigan needs a lot more production from him.

Who Looked Not-So-Good?

George Washington III played in both games, but didn’t score.  He played for 18 minutes vs. Illinois, and shot terribly: 0-for-4 overall, 0-for-3 from deep.  He played for 2 minutes vs. MSU, and didn’t attempt a shot.

Who Else Played?

Ian Burns played the last 2 minutes of the Illinois game, and went 1-for-2 from the free throw line.

Jackson Selvala played the last 3 minutes of the Illinois game, but didn’t attempt a shot.

Cooper Smith played the last minute of the Illinois game, but didn’t attempt a shot.

Who Didn’t Play?

Jace Howard and Youssef Khayat were the scholarship players who didn’t play this week.  They are both reported to be injured.

Harrison Hochberg was the only Scout Team player who didn’t play this week.

What Does It Mean?

With 18 losses, Michigan is now officially eliminated from the NIT.  The only way they can make it to a postseason tournament is to win the Big Ten Tournament, guaranteeing them a spot in the Big Dance, but that’s extremely unlikely.

What’s Next?

The season drones on.  This week, Michigan plays two games.  On Thursday (02/22/2024, 9:00 p.m. EST, FS1), they play at Northwestern, then on Sunday (02/25/2024, 2:00 p.m., CBS) they play (#2) Purdue in Crisler Arena.

Northwestern is currently 18-8 (9-6 in Big Ten), with impressive wins over (#1) Purdue, Michigan State, and (#10) Illinois, and puzzling losses to Mississippi State, Chicago State, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Rutgers.  They have one noteworthy player: Boo Buie.  He always gives Michigan problems.  They also have some height: a 6’10” player and a 7-footer.  As a side note, they also have 3 players named Blake (Barkley, Preston, and Smith).  This is not your grandfather’s Northwestern team – they’re talented and they’re winning.  They stand a good chance at making the Big Dance.  It would be quite a surprise if Michigan managed to beat them, especially on the road.  I expect a 10-15 point loss.

Purdue is currently 23-3 (12-3 in Big Ten).  Michigan played at Purdue back on 01/23/2024, and they got their butts kicked, 99-67.  I expect more of the same in Ann Arbor, probably a 20-25 point loss.

Check back next week to find out what happened and why.

Go Blue!