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Takeaways from Michigan’s loss to Texas Tech in Battle 4 Atlantis

Well that was a depressing way to end feast week.

NCAA Basketball: Battle 4 Atlantis Fifth Place-Michigan at Texas Tech Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

It’s always frustrating to watch a basketball team give up in a game: the energy is non-existent, there’s an extreme lack of urgency, and body language-wise, it looks like players simply want to go home.

The Wolverines gave up in this one early, losing to Texas Tech in their final game — albeit a consolation one — in the Battle 4 Atlantis, 73-57.

Texas Tech was picked to finish eighth out of 14 teams in the Big 12 by the conference’s coaches in the preseason poll. They were 4-1 on the season entering this game, with their only loss on the year coming at the hands of Villanova in the opening round of the Battle 4 Atlantis. They came into this game ranked 135th in Adjusted Offense on KenPom, but their offense thrived against the Wolverines.

Michigan looked like a team that wanted to go home after spending the week in the Bahamas. Saying that it’s energy levels were low is an understatement.

Here are some takeaways from the loss.

Yet another slow start, and no energy whatsoever

It wasn’t as bad of a start as we saw last night in the win over Stanford. but the Wolverines got off to a poor start yet again in this one.

They only made three of their first eleven shots, while allowing Texas Tech to take a 17-9 lead after eight-and-a-half game minutes off 50 percent shooting. A 18-4 run by Texas Tech helped the Red Raiders take a 15-point lead, and it certainly didn’t help that. Dug McDaniel helped stop the bleeding with buckets on three consecutive possessions.

Michigan went almost ten game minutes (16:50 to 7:13) without a made field goal. I didn’t think Michigan’s defense was as bad as it’s been in previous games during that span, but an offensive dry spell that long is a recipe for disaster.

This was their third game in three days on the consolation side of the bracket, and the Wolverines played with no urgency to start off this one, which unfortunately carried over into the second half. That lack of energy and the offensive struggles led to the worst half of basketball for the Wolverines so far this season.

A few mini takeaways

-Olivier Nkamhoua had 16 points and Dug McDaniel scored 12. They were the lone bright spots in this one offensively. McDaniel in particular tried to play at a quick pace and did good in transition, but the lack of energy from pretty much everyone else didn’t help.

-The Wolverines were not good on the glass in this one AT ALL, giving up 13 offensive rebounds, including eleven in the first half, which in total led to 15 second-chance points for the Red Raiders. Boxing out and rebounding is an effort thing, and Michigan didn’t provide a whole lot of that.

-Seeing his first action in Bahamas, Youssef Khayat provided a little spark off the bench when Nimari Burnett got into foul trouble. Had a nice little sequence where he made his first three of the season and forced a Tech turnover the next time down. He came in and played with more effort than half of his teammates.

-In his third game watching from the bench, Juwan Howard got tossed towards the end of the first half. It was hard to tell what he was arguing about, but I think it was a combination of Texas Tech being initially called for a travel, a review to overturn that where they got the ball back, and then a HORRIBLE call where the refs counted a tip-in from Tech a full second after the shot clock went off. It’s still unclear when he’ll step back in as the head coach.

-Offense didn’t come easy for the Wolverines in this one, but it certainly didn’t help that they struggled from the free throw. They shot 50 percent (7-of-14) from the charity stripe.

Up Next

The Wolverines get a lengthy break before their next game, and they got a lot they need to work on.

They don’t play for eight days, with Michigan traveling to Eugene, Oregon, to take on the Ducks next Saturday, Dec. 2. An important thing to note on the injury front with that one: Jeff Goodman reported earlier today that both of the Ducks’ starting bigs had surgeries this week.

Next week’s game is set to tip-off at 3:30 p.m. EST on FS1.