March Madness Highlights: Michigan 64, Florida 49

Tag: Michigan basketball


3Apr 2018
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Villanova 79, Michigan 62

I just have some quick thoughts on the basketball game we all watched tonight. I know you don’t come here for basketball coverage, but this will be cathartic for me (and maybe for you).

  • Congratulations to Villanova. They were the better team, both in the tournament and in the regular season. They deserved to win, and the “experts” were correct to predict them to win the game.
  • It was a bad time for a bad game. I said before the game that Michigan needed to have a Texas A&M-like game, and obviously they didn’t. Charles Matthews had his worst game of the tournament, partly because of some mental mistakes, and partly because Villanova had the athletes to match him. This was not a good matchup for Duncan Robinson, and he played like it. The Wolverines needed to be firing on all cylinders and, well, a couple of those cylinders were misfiring.
  • This was a good matchup for Zavier Simpson. Simpson probably took some motivation from the way people were talking about him before this game, but I was confident all along that he would do just fine against National Player of the Year Jalen Brunson. Brunson had 9 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 turnovers. If you can hold any NPOY to those numbers, you’re doing a good job.
  • Donte DiVincenzo was the X-factor. The guy had 31 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocked shots. He was 5/7 on three-pointers. What can you do when a guy is in the zone like that? I thought Abdur-Rahkman did a good job on him defensively, but he was too quick for Simpson and Matthews; Matthews, in particular, looked to be surprised by DiVincenzo’s quickness and athleticism, both offensively and defensively.
  • The referees were not the reason ‘Nova won the game. Again, the referees were not the reason ‘Nova won the game. BUT. I was still frustrated by the way the game was called. People talk about Michigan being handsy and physical, but Brunson should have sat out the vast majority of the game with foul trouble. He flopped on defense and threw elbows on offense, and the refs didn’t do a thing early. I think somebody got in the referees’ ear and/or they just realized all the bulls*** emanating from Brunson, so they came to their senses, called him for 4 fouls, and eventually removed him from relevance.

Congratulations to John Beilein and the Wolverines on a great season. They set a school record for wins in a season, won the Big Ten Tournament, and won 14 games in a row leading up to the national championship game. I don’t know if Wagner will come back, and both Robinson and Abdur-Rahkman are finished, but the future is still bright for these guys. I’m excited to see Charles Matthews, Jordan Poole, Isaiah Livers, Zavier Simpson, and others mature in the coming years.

Go Blue!

30Mar 2016
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Michigan basketball looks good half the time

Derrick Walton 785x

Derrick Walton

I avoid posting much about basketball until after National Signing Day, because there’s too much football-related stuff going on for a part-time blogger to cover everything. However, it’s nice to sit back, relax, and enjoy some good college basketball when things settle down after NSD. In the aftermath of Michigan’s win over Tulsa and loss to Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament, here are some thoughts from a football coach on Michigan basketball.

G Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman
I was thoroughly impressed with Abdur-Rahkman down the stretch. He has been a pleasant surprise after not doing much in 2014-2015.  MAAR is the one guy on the team who can attack the basket in the half-court and make things happen. Add in the fact that he doesn’t mind getting dirty and making hustle plays, and I might even suggest that he was Michigan’s best player at the end of the year. If not the best, then he was at least the most consistent. He averaged 13.6 points/game in Michigan’s final nine contests after only topping that average once in the first fourteen games of the season. He’s not a future NBA star because he’s not particularly quick or explosive, but he’s on par with some of the guys who were the team’s stars in Michigan’s lean years.

G Spike Albrecht
Albrecht was one of two seniors for Michigan this season, but hip problems – for which he had surgery last summer – derailed his season. It was announced at one point that he wouldn’t continue his basketball career at Michigan, but others have suggested recently that he could use this season as a redshirt year to return in 2016-2017. If he does come back, he would be a great backup point guard to Derrick Walton, and Michigan’s offense has enough wiggle room to allow Walton, Albrecht, and incoming freshman Xavier Simpson all to get minutes. (It would also hopefully ensure that Andrew Dakich doesn’t have to play a crunch-time role, which would be great.)

F Kam Chatman
It was fun to see Chatman hit the three-pointer to win the Indiana game, and not only because it was a win for Michigan. Chatman was about the last person I would expect to hit a dagger like that, but he pulled it off. You can see his talent, but he needs to get stronger. He’s also one of those kids who would benefit from an influx of confidence, and maybe the finish to his season would help him get there. It would be excellent if he could develop as an option at the four, so Zak Irvin doesn’t have to play out of position. Michigan could use his presence in the frontcourt not only next year, but in 2017-2018 after Michigan has lost Albrecht, Irvin, Derrick Walton, and maybe Mark Donnal.

Hit the jump for a rundown of the rest of Michigan’s key players.

read more

20Mar 2016
Blog, homepage 25 comments

Michigan basketball looks good half the time

Derrick Walton 785x

Derrick Walton

I avoid posting much about basketball until after National Signing Day, because there’s too much football-related stuff going on for a part-time blogger to cover everything. However, it’s nice to sit back, relax, and enjoy some good college basketball when things settle down after NSD. In the aftermath of Michigan’s win over Tulsa and loss to Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament, here are some thoughts from a football coach on Michigan basketball.

G Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman
I was thoroughly impressed with Abdur-Rahkman down the stretch. He has been a pleasant surprise after not doing much in 2014-2015.  MAAR is the one guy on the team who can attack the basket in the half-court and make things happen. Add in the fact that he doesn’t mind getting dirty and making hustle plays, and I might even suggest that he was Michigan’s best player at the end of the year. If not the best, then he was at least the most consistent. He averaged 13.6 points/game in Michigan’s final nine contests after only topping that average once in the first fourteen games of the season. He’s not a future NBA star because he’s not particularly quick or explosive, but he’s on par with some of the guys who were the team’s stars in Michigan’s lean years.

G Spike Albrecht
Albrecht was one of two seniors for Michigan this season, but hip problems – for which he had surgery last summer – derailed his season. It was announced at one point that he wouldn’t continue his basketball career at Michigan, but others have suggested recently that he could use this season as a redshirt year to return in 2016-2017. If he does come back, he would be a great backup point guard to Derrick Walton, and Michigan’s offense has enough wiggle room to allow Walton, Albrecht, and incoming freshman Xavier Simpson all to get minutes. (It would also hopefully ensure that Andrew Dakich doesn’t have to play a crunch-time role, which would be great.)

F Kam Chatman
It was fun to see Chatman hit the three-pointer to win the Indiana game, and not only because it was a win for Michigan. Chatman was about the last person I would expect to hit a dagger like that, but he pulled it off. You can see his talent, but he needs to get stronger. He’s also one of those kids who would benefit from an influx of confidence, and maybe the finish to his season would help him get there. It would be excellent if he could develop as an option at the four, so Zak Irvin doesn’t have to play out of position. Michigan could use his presence in the frontcourt not only next year, but in 2017-2018 after Michigan has lost Albrecht, Irvin, Derrick Walton, and maybe Mark Donnal.

Hit the jump for a rundown of the rest of Michigan’s key players.

read more

12May 2015
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Tyus Battle, Wolverine

Tyus Battle (image via Scout)

I don’t cover much basketball here, because jack of all trades, master of none, right? But I am a big Michigan basketball fan, and I’m excited to see that Gladstone (NJ) Gill St. Bernards shooting guard/small forward Tyus Battle committed to Michigan yesterday. He’s a 247 Composite 5-star and #12 overall in the 2016 class. Nobody seemed to be expecting Battle to commit to the Wolverines, at least not yet. Take the following with a grain of salt because I don’t – I repeat, don’t! – mean these players are the same caliber, but the way Battle moves around the floor, handles the ball, etc. reminds me of a young Kobe Bryant.