Big Ten Tournament: Michigan vs. Michigan State Preview

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Coach B has been excellent in preparation for almost every matchup the last 2 years, and clearly this year, with the exception of solving MSU defensively in 2019.

I cross my fingers that Yaklich and Beilein have the right elixir tomorrow.

IMO I thought Michigan had some good moments defending MSU in both games, but did not lock in for the full duration of the shot clock at times.

This is a tough cover when Winston has a floater game, mid range game, pull up 3 game, and a drive and kick game. What adds salt to the wounds is that Tillman, Goins, and McQuaid are excellent finishers.

Matthews should be the primary defender against Winston. I think he’d really disrupt what he’s able to do better than Simpson can.

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Agreed, his extra length allows him to recover faster and disrupts Winston’s passing lanes. Really think Matthews would completely shut Winston down.

Winston’s points haven’t really been on X. He’s getting screened every time down. That’s as much on the guy guarding the screener. But agreed that its worth giving that a shot considering nothing else has worked

We’ve had time to adjust and readjust to Winston’s tendencies.

Time to see a plan to defend him produce. End of story.

Winston has been struggling from 3 lately. 4-20 (20%) in his past 6 games, 8-35 (23%) in his past 8. He’s also 1-9 so far against Michigan. Clearly stopping him from 3 hasn’t equated in Michigan wins, but if he gets hot from downtown I don’t think Michigan has much of a chance.

I don’t think we have to completely shut Winston down, just limit his overall production by 5-7 points and play decently everywhere else on the court. I think Charles will help make that happen. The ‘tough to beat a good team three times’ onus is on MSU.

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As long as we allow Winston to rest on the defensive end, he & Tillman will run X through meat grinder screens on the other end all game long. And MSU will win.

I really think we need to move the ball around until we get Winston guarding, then play iso basketball and force him to guard/foul. We mix that up with a bunch of ball screens when Winston’s in off-ball coverage, and force him to guard Poole/Iggy. No way can Winston stay with them…and that opens up the offense as well.


I’m not sure that Matthews on Winston is the answer. However, a fully-capable Matthews is a bullet Michigan has basically not had in two games against MSU, and I am optimistic that he can make a difference.

It has been really hard for Michigan to stop Winston once he’s gotten rolling in the second half, and the frustration has been a combination platter with serious offensive struggles. We haven’t seen what a game would look like where Winston was playing well but Michigan was answering everything on the other end; two games we’ve seen Winston go off as Michigan’s offense runs dry.

Matthews is less of a solution there. Perhaps the solution is something like Livers at the 5, pulling Tillman of the lane. Or rescreening Tillman when he switches on to Simpson (it’s not that he keeps Simpson from driving, it’s that he swallows up passing lanes and remains close enough to block shots). I don’t know, I’m not the one paid the big money to win basketball games. But the guys who are paid that money are pretty good at it.


No offensive droughts this time. Something besides hedge and recover or at least make an adjustment on D.

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Who would X guard? McQuade?

That “hard to beat 3 times” thingy, didn’t work out too well for Minnesota yesterday.


They were going up against a March Beilein team, which is a whole different animal :slight_smile:

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As I recall, these BTT championship games are often a little ragged, as legs get weary and outside shooting suffers as a consequence. I could see this being like the game in Ann Arbor in terms of 3-point shooting. If so, can we win with 2s?

I love basketball and its the third year in a row watching UofM in the BTT championship game, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Is it too early for a green beer ?

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Wild card…it’s very hard to beat a Beilein team three times in one season. To me the MOJO will swing with Charles in the mix. I’m sure VEGAS has that covered but I’m curious if the Winston Ankle blew up overnight…time will tell. I just don’t recall a JB team ever losing 3 games to the same team in one season.


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I think we better drink some maize or blue beer today!


Unless I’m missing something, the spread on this game opened at MSU -1 and is up to MSU -7.5.