Basketball: What Happened?

Michigan seem to hit a peak when beating OSU. Then MSU lost to OSU giving Michigan its first Big Title since 1986. The team was different. Their edge was gone. The defense intensity seem to vanish. Our two seniors no showed in the last three games which is odd since Stu and Zack been pretty consistent players over the years. So what happened?

After so much promise and what seemed liked nothing but momentum has been building until the team has hit a rough skid. End the season losing two games and three transfers and Burke looking at the NBA(which he should). My take on this all goes back to winning a share of the B10 title. The goal of winning it was a tall order and they some how did it. I really think they became content. Stopped digging in on defense. They were a whole other team after the B10 trophy showed up at Crisler. The ball even stopped moving. The team was in a funk. No more where they the rag tag bunch of over achievers playing the under dog role. As the season moved along they were expected to win and now are the hunted. I think that all mounted on them, along with being champs. All new territory for this team and Michigan. They started flat and looked lifeless vs Minn,OSU and Ohio.

Seniors go M.I.A

Corner pocket!
Its strange, Stu and Zack were never stat stuffers but they were always good for some 3pt makes,rebounding and just making smart plays. It seemed they both hit a skid at the worst possible time. They hit it at the end. The end of of everything.

Zack Novak combined stats vs Minn,OSU and Ohio

FG: 9-20 3pt: 4-10 Reb: 11 Turnovers: 4

So not as bad as I thought but there is no doubt there was some thing missing from his game. Only 11 Rebs in three games when he avg almost 5 a game. May not seem like much of a drop off but how bad Michigan is at rebounding it doesn't take much to make an effect.

Stu Douglas combined stat vs Minn, OSU and Ohio
Aww Stu. I remember when you were a
pumpkin pie haircutted freak

FG: 6-18 3pt: 3-9 AST: 4 Steals: 0

Stu struggled big time in the last three. He avg almost a steal a game and got 0 in the last three. Ast down a bit as he only avg 2 and hit a shooting slump.

All these little drop offs add up in a game. When you got six or seven deep and can't go to another player on the bench  it matters a lot. Maybe they were just tired? I'll go back to the winning a B10 title. Being settled and happy have set in. It can be only human nature when you achieve such a tough goal.

The Trey Burke Offense

I think the team became watchers. Going from a team that has always moved the ball well to a team that dribbles out the shot clock and watches Trey Burke go 1 on 5 with a high pick roll is going to lead to drop off in the teams performance and team moral. I put this one on Beilein. I have never had any issues with his system or his coaching(ok maybe his 2 foul policy) but he became to dependent on Burke. Putting Burke in bad spots with the shot clock almost gone to score. Where did all the Hardaway plays go that Michigan ran earlier in the year? Where did the ball movement go? Teams figured out that they had to hedge on Burke's pick and rolls and push him out so he couldn't make the pass to Morgan or put him into a difficult shot.

As the season went on the four other players on the court became watchers. The last 4 positions of Michigan's season showed how dependent they became on Burke. IMO that was their undoing. Expecting that out of a 5'11 Frosh PG is asking for it.  It also doesn't keep people happy..

Transfers.. THEY GONE.

Just from my experince from playing my whole life on AAU and high school teams and coaching kids. You have to keep the players happy. I have no idea if this was a major factor in Evan leaving but I gotta think he wasn't crazy about how Burke Happy the offense was going. Standing around the 3pt line and watching will cause one to become pissed. Put that along with losing PT and having performance issues from time to time on the court.. Oh and maybe not being as mentally as strong as you would like and you have a kid who is out the door.

For Brundidge he wasn't ready to play major minutes but IMO he could have gave Michigan 2-3 a half to spell Burke a bit. Another thing I blame Beilein for. Of course I am not at practice don't see how he acts or how he works but from the small sample size I saw from Brundidge was that he was capable of giving you 4 to 5 mins off the bench. You don't want Burke to hit the wall which he sorta did. Brundidge should still stick around since Burke will leave sooner or later(lets hope not like in a few days) and I think with even Burke around he will play major back up role next year.

Colton he should leave if he wants to see the floor. Its no question that he will be stuck to the bench after this year.

The Game vs Ohio

I held off on posting about this game since I was pretty negeitive. So a week later. I am still negitive about it. I have covered how flat they were. Had that deer in head lights look about them all game but the final four positions had me pulling out my hair. Again we just let Burke dribbling the air out of the ball and jack a three with a bigger defender on him. It was like they forgot that 2pt shots count too. Down three and that many chances you try and get to the hoop to cut the lead and put pressure on them make free throws. Again how did Tim Hardaway not get a look at any of those last shots? Everyone went into watch Burke mode. I won't be saying anything bad about Evan's turnover since he was one of the few reasons we were in the game. I felt like John Beilein is one of the best X and O coaches around but on this night he failed. You have to use some logic in the final mins. Same for the players. Ending the game like that can leave a sour taste in players mouth. Enough for some to leave.

The Future

If Burke stays then everything is fine. The new kids will take some time to find their feet but by B10 we should be comepeting for a title again. The only thing that can hold this back is Burke jetting for the NBA which would be a mistake IMO and bad team chemistry with Zack and Stu gone. I expect Burke to stay since I can't see him going in the first round. This team will be very young next year but as talented as Michigan has been in years. I expect big things. Let this just be a learning experience and a bump in the road. It was fun watching this team all year. I look forward to the future.

1 Response to "Basketball: What Happened?"

  1. haha I used to ask myself that question, but if you think about the Michigan football team, you can understand a little bit about the NBA team

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