"It was sort of confusing out there," said Sims, alluding to some questionable calls early on. "We didn't know how to approach the game. You had to adjust and we didn't do that well." - courtesy Eric Lacy, Detroit News
Oh no. The bad man in the other uniform is touching me. Oh no. Make him stop scoring on me.
Note to the Michigan front court: Basketball is a physical game. It was two stories for Courtney Sims on Saturday. The first story was about Sims watching the game from the bench because he'd already picked up too many fouls. The second story involved Sims spending the remainder of his evening bitching at the refs for not calling the fouls he felt he should be getting. Just so you know, both of those stories suck. For Michigan to have much of a chance to qualify for the NCAA's they have to beat teams like Purdue, and to do that they have to get more out of Courtney Sims than quotes that frustrate us almost as much as his play.
In yet another frustrating road debacle, Michigan was blown out by Purdue on Saturday. Faced by some form of pressure defense Michigan's offense completely unraveled (shocker). In what is becoming a nauseating habit, the Wolverines found themselves down by 15 at the intermission and by 19 late in the second half. You've got to give it to this team, when they trail, they trail big. What's the point of keeping it close when you can take yourself out of the game before it's even time to grab a waterbottle and head to the locker roon in feigned disgust?
Michigan turned the ball over 17 times and managed only 7 assists. At one point the Wolverines went through a seven minute stretch where they turned the ball over more often than they took shots from the floor. Despite starting the game hot with two treys in the opening minutes, Ron Coleman disappeared taking only one more shot the whole game. Lester Abram was tentative, going 3-9 and generally being bumped and disrupted all game. The only bright spot in Michigan's backcourt was Dion Harris finally finding a rhythm. Harris went 7-14 from the floor including 3-6 from beyond the arc.
Michigan had no answer for an undersized Purdue team. Without a single starter taller than 6'7" Purdue dominated Michigan in the paint. 6'7" Forward Carl Landry of Purdue had 22 points on 9-14 shooting, grabbed 7 boards, and only turned the ball over once. He also only recorded 2 fouls. On the other side, Michigan fielded Sims, Udoh and Petway against Landry. Together they had 13 points on 5-9 shooting, 8 boards and 7 turnovers. All three had 4 fouls.
As usual Michigan's defensive adjustments were a mystery to anyone watching. Down by ten Michigan inexplicably switched to zone coverage and ended up down 15 at the break. Offensively things were a mystery too. Michigan, and especially the seniors, handled Purdue's pressure defense worse than Michael Jackson handles lawsuits. Michigan had trouble guarding the backcourt too. Despite missing last season, David Teague torched Michigan's guards for 21.
Michigan's freshmen saw little action, with Sims, Udoh and Baker playing only 12 minutes a piece. Jarret Smith returned to floor for longer than usual, playing 16 minutes scoring no points and giving the other team the ball three times. It's getting to the point where I'm more likely to understand super-string theory than how he keeps getting on the floor for prolonged periods of time.
Harris summed up the game neatly.. "Some of the baskets they got, we weren't even challenging them,'' Harris said. "You can't do that with good players like that. They're going to capitalize every time." Michigan wasn't. Purdue did. Michigan lost.