Before We Move On...

Photo courtesy of UM Photo Service

In-game thoughts from Tuesday here:

  • Michigan should NEVER have anything resembling gray in its uniforms. I think our players look 10 IQ points dumber in that stank-ass color.

    The frightening image of silver on a Michigan uniform still burns like something you'd catch from a Buckeye.

  • The students need more energy. For a group that takes itself so seriously, the Maize Rage should be a better presence.

    I don't know what to make of the students. Last night's crowd in Bloomington sounded fantastic, and a lot better than Michigan's, but Indiana doesn't have a fan base that wouldn't know its own basketball team if it (insert corny conventional-journalism basketball metaphor here:) dunked on the fans' heads. (That was sufficiently lame, right?) Most of the non-student fans (like the fat cats who sit by the court on the West side of Crisler) need to join a sorority and step their game up, to quote Phonte of Little Brother. I give the Maize Rage a lot of credit for its stalwart devotion, though.

  • We need to start paying our players again because Brent Petway needs some new clothes. I will assume that there is some sort of post-game bizarro prom.

    Another comment I'm sticking with. Brent, dunny, wear anything else next time.

  • Graham Brown had better be a good student because he has no future in basketball. That's not news, but I have never before seen a 6'8" player incapable of getting the ball to the rim. The dude gets his shit packed on every shot. My god!

    I wasn't wrong, but I'd also be remiss were I to neglect Brown's positive contributions. I mean, the guy's pictured above. Brown took four charges, grabbed eleven rebounds, and was emblematic of Michigan's inspired, disciplined, aggressive second-half play.

  • Courtney Sims would be a lot better if his arms existed in the same space-time continuum as every other part of his body and everything else around him. I can't recall a big man with slower arms. It takes him a good ten seconds to get the ball from his waist up to a position to shoot. And stop dropping your shoulder and releasing the ball so low after you make a drop step.

    I have been saying these things for years.

  • Michigan is playing really good defense--moving it's feet, holding its ground against defenders, slapping at passes.

    This point can't be stressed enough, because Michigan fueled its second-half beatdown with flummoxing defense that disrupted everything Miami wanted to do. Under Amaker, UM has been a better defensive team than offensive team, but on Tuesday, viewers could see the Wolverines gaining confidence and calm from their strong defense, and that helped improve the offense. So did...

  • This game has no rhythm, just like white people. Seriously, both teams have seemed pretty sloppy on the offensive end of the floor. What is Michigan's offensive identity, anyway? There isn't consistent dribble penetration; the big men seem lucky anytime they score with their backs to the basket; and relying on the three pointer isn't winning basketball when you don't have dead-eye shooters.

    ...Getting better penetration. At the beginning of the second half, when Michigan began to create open shots for itself, dribble penetration was the catalyst. Analysts say this all the time, but it can't be overstated: Dribble penetration destroys defense like nothing else. And it wasn't just UM getting to the basket for lay-ups. Michigan got into the high-post area and created space on the wings "off the bounce" as my man Bill Raftery would say. After a few easier shots, everyone on the floor seemed to trust that following instructions would yield positive results, and that gave Michigan offensive cohesion that is usually absent.

  • Why isn't Chris Hunter at all better today than he was as a freshman?

    It's not just injuries. Michigan as not developed strong post players, partially a product of poor coaching, partially a product of guard-oriented offense (if you think about it, Duke and the schemes its success have spawned really require smart guards who can initiate a number of plays), and partially a product of priorities. Michigan has never committed to primarily attacking from the paint.

  • What did you do with the regular Michigans? And, more importantly, can we keep these Michigans? You know, the ones that dribble penetrate and shoot with their feet set? I like.

    See above.
And below, a few lingering thoughts from Tuesday's W:
  • I can't believe that I'm writing this, but Michigan actually looked well coached during the second half of the Miami game.

  • Ronald Coleman, the entire class of 2008, is not a Division-I basketball player. Meanwhile, how's Al Hoford? Oh, what could have been...

  • Before the game, I said Michigan would win if Daniel Horton was under control, turnovers were under control, and rebounding was in control. The results? Daniel Horton was an efficient 5-9 with just two turnovers; Michigan's assist-to-turnover ratio was 14:12; and UM killed Miami on the glass, 42-27. And the score could have been worse. Michigan was terrible inefficient in the 1st half, forcing shots (and shooting 31%) and turning the ball over too often.
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