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Tommy Amaker Went to Duke Better Than Mike Brey Did

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It's been decided. They are both coaching legends, though. Still. I mean, they went to Duke. Just in case you weren't sure why they were such good coaches.

Michigan beat Notre Dame 87-84 in double overtime on Monday night. A few games notes:

  • With about two-and-a-half minutes left in regulation, Mike Brey took his final timeout as his team struggled to find a shot and the shot clock wound down. I don't understand this. AT ALL. And it's not just Brey. I don't understand any of the instances when teams waste timeouts as though they were in infinite supply. When a guy is falling out of bounds five minutes into a game? Not a good timeout. When a guy wants to avoid a five-second call with 12:57 left in the second half? Not a good timeout.

    Look, I can fully appreciate the desire to avoid turnovers and get your team set up. I get that. But why not save your timeouts for end-game situations when the chance to talk is of greater value than at some relatively inconsequential moment when the many variables that influence a basketball game's outcomes are still fully at work? Want to stop a run? Want to maximize a touch at the end of a half? Need to make some key substitutions? Call timeouts. Go ahead. But one timeout and something like five possessions left? I don't know about that.

  • In Brey's defense, though, he was coaching against Tommy Amaker. You know, the guy who never saw a busted offensive play he didn't like. Or, the guy who never found a confounding defensive strategy he couldn't employ. For instance, as regulation wound down on Monday night, Michigan had gotten itself back into the game and seized the momentum by pressing Notre Dame. Michigan was forcing turnovers and flustering the Irish. When Brey took his final timeout, Notre Dame was out of chances to save themselves from five-seconds violations, ten-seconds violations, and the host of other problems that can arise when another team presses and you are not especially deep or especially adept at handling the ball. But, of course, Amaker stopped pressing because, well, um, uh...? Pressing can be risky if your team is prone to surrendering the big play (something that the footballers at UM have perfected, and thus, the masterful use of benevolent zones), but it was working. So of course Michigan went away from it.
  • Can someone leave me a comment or send me an email explaining the offense that Michigan runs? straight.bangin@gmail.com. I see a team that actively seeks to play one-on-one basketball on most possessions, replete with few secondary and tertiary options and mostly absent off-ball motion.