Sunday, March 20, 2011

I like this team

What a great effort by the Michigan Basketball team today. They had a couple opportunities to fold, but held on and made Duke sweat until the final trip up the floor.

This was done without a single senior on the roster, with the majority of their starting line-up on the on bench for a large part of the first half with foul trouble.

This was done with huge size mismatches on defense. The 6'4" Novak, as he had all season, was generally guarding a playing 5-6" taller than he is.

This was done while getting out-rebounded 33-23, 10-4 on the offensive end.

Duke's coach may have gotten the victory and many more victories overall, but I think he was out-coached by John Beilein in this game. Switching to the 1-3-1 zone trap didn't produce many turnovers, but it changed the way Duke operated on the offensive end, slowed them down and allowed M to battle back.

In those final minutes, while Michigan was furiously fighting back, they got key plays from several players:

Darius Morris made Free Throw - 58-45
Zack Novak three point jumper - 58-48
Tim Hardaway Jr.made lay-up - 58-50
Jordan Morgan Dunk - 58-52

Then Duke pulled away again - but M fought back once more

Morris made jumper - 66-56
Morgan layup - 66-58
Morris jumper 66-60
Morgan dunk 66-62
Hardaway jumper 70-64
Hardaway jumper 70-66
Hardaway 3-pointer 70-69
This goes without adding the 13 points Evan Smotrycz chipped in early. Douglass was steady, if not his best effort. Jon Horford chipped in a 3-point play in limited minutes. Matt Vogrich was not a factor against Duke, but his late first half effort was key to the victory over Tennessee.

The future is bright for this team. It was supposed to be bright for the 09-10 team after a similar 08-09 season and they fell on their face. I would be surprised if the same fall occurred next season.

It's great to be a Michigan Wolverine - Go Blue!

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