Wednesday, January 20, 2010

UW-Michigan thoughts

Wow. What just happened there? I hate to say it, but the only way we won that game is because Michigan is a flawed team. They have two really good players, and ... what else? Nothing. And they're short. They're really a lot like Northwestern -- they'll play well and beat some good teams, but they're too shallow and short to finish in the top three in the Big Ten.

Stilll, they just beat UConn convincingly and we'll have a tough time beating them in Ann Arbor. If we play anything like we did tonight we'll get blown out there.

No sense dwelling on that, though, so how about giving out game balls:

-Rob Wilson, well done! With Jordan Taylor and Jason Bohannon looking completely lost out there tonight (1-for-14 from the field combined? Are you kidding me? Those weren't bad looks.), someone had to make perimeter shots. This was one of those deals where usually someone, anyone from our top seven is going to make some shots, but tonight we needed points to come from #8.

We've always expected a clutch performance in a critical situation was something Wilson had in him. Ever since he tried dunking over Hasheem Thabeet in last year's loss to UConn I liked his aggressiveness, but it seems like it's been in hiding ever since. It was back tonight. Trevon Hughes joked after the game that Wilson brought his scout team game tonight. Thank god he did.

-Other game ball goes to Tim Jarmusz. We haven't exactly been complimentary of his play lately, and after his two shots from the corner early on Wednesday -- a bank of the side and an airball that fell about three feet short -- I was working on some snotty comments. But he played Manny Harris very well, moved his feet, stayed in front of him, and didn't give him many good looks. I'm not sure anyone else on the roster could have done that tonight, so nice job Tim.

-My only criticism of Pop tonight was that he didn't exploit his defender early enough. Really, who on Michigan could check him? No one. Their guards match up well with our other guards, but not Trevon.

-Keaton Nankivil didn't shoot well tonight, but I'm glad he shot. He needs to. Of course, had we lost I'd be saying "Set more picks, Keaton!!"

-I thought we scrapped well on the offensive boards tonight, kept possessions alive. It didn't pay off until we made a few shots at the end, but it's a good sign -- even when the shots aren't falling, our kids are still trying.

-DeShawn Sims is awesome, or at least he was tonight. I've always been an admirer of his game, but he's disappeared during our games in the past. He should touch the ball in the post on every one of their possessions.

On the other hand, Harris was a non-factor tonight. Shon Morris praised him for not forcing things, which I guess is praiseworthy. But Michigan lost the game in the first half when they couldn't get real separation. They missed a ton of close shots that, had they fallen, could have pushed their lead to 15 or 17 points, and I'm not sure we can come back from that. Maybe he should have forced things rather than letting Zack Novak jack up bricks.

Happy to get a win, but I'd like us to play better. That home winning streak against unranked opponents is pretty impressive, indicative of a top-notch program that wins games it should. Keeping that streak going tonight, when we didn't have our fastball, was a great sign for the program.

How about shooting better than 34% against Penn State?

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