Five takeaways from Michigan's 74-59 loss at Iowa

Great analysis. When and how does Michigan fix these offensive flaws to avoid further defeats?

At times on offense, this team feels like a Rubik’s Cube that cannot swivel at all, with the timing being off in many games.

Teske does a lot defensively, but doesn’t pose a post up threat or post up option on offense as a safety valve, and at times his finishing of basic plays is questionable. Simpson is not a shooter, like that of D Walton, to keep the defense honest. Matthews and Iggy are not great creators for others, and Matthews’ shooting is non existent. Poole has control issues. Livers is not comfortable with his passing game in ball screen sets, and aside from Livers, the bench does not contribute any points.

Michigan’s defense may have to become scrappier generating steals for points, but players have to run their lanes harder on fast breaks.

Would be interesting to see Matthews move to the 4 on offense every so often, and try to make a play off the ball, maybe for backdoor layups. He and the team need to find ways to get easier baskets at the rim.

Dylan, I agree. Poole will be the determining cog in the offensive flow. He can alleviate pressure on Simpson and diversify the offensive flow.

It’s easy to feel like the sky is falling, but the team has won 20 games already, and has experienced pedigree to pull through. But with expectations being so high, as fans we are all measuring how this squad can get back to the first Monday night in April.

A few shots going in can do wonders for confidence and then you just go from there. Confidence is a hell of a thing.

Great analysis Dylan. I was fiddling around with KenPom numbers this morning and confirmed that Michigan’s offensive output is almost entirely independent of the opponent’s defensive efficiency. Beilein’s offense gets the guys in position to score pretty much every game, but this year the guys are a lot hotter and colder than some years. Matthews has been mostly cold, Iggy is understandably variable - freshman, but it would be nice to see Jordan and Isiah get more consistent down the stretch

That sort of offensive performance against Iowa will definitely magnify that fact :slight_smile: Hawkeyes… not great at defense.

We talk a lot about 3-point volume defense and how an opponents’ 3-point shooting is sort of out of the control of the defense… Similar side of that effect where you never quite know how Michigan is going to shoot jump shots (and they aren’t a particularly good jump shooting team).

I Transition offense in Iowa game just seemed to never grab opportunities and go. Just real passive in forcing the action.

Zone offense just a disaster. Multiple late shot clock jacks with high degree of difficulty.

Just very little high post action or gap attack penetration. That was one ugly exhibition of offensive basketball.

Made shots cure all ills. But as expected in preseason, we just don’t have the jump shooters on this team.

Simpson’s futility just magnifies issues.

Perimeter patty cake presents few necessary movements by opponents defense.

Results have to prompt more Zone exploration by future opponents, one would think?

One of the biggest issues with our zone offense is we don’t really have any one player ideally suited to operate in the middle of the zone at the foul line. Who on the team can shoot, pass and attack out of the high post? Iggy might be the best option but passing isn’t his strong suit and he’s also their 2nd best three point shooter. Maybe Livers, but if he’s in that requires taking out Matthews who’s a big difference maker on defense.

I haven’t gone back and watched the whole game over (and it is harder to track how good or bad every possession is in person) but playing against a zone is always going to result in some longer possessions and late clock shots.

I also don’t think the only way to beat a zone is through the middle out of the high post. Generally the way Iowa was playing, they were kind of shading to that man in the middle which was creating pockets of space to shoot the three from the wings.


I’m not sure why any future opponent would want to play m-m vs this group.

Perimeter patty cake with a group of sub par jump shooters is not generally a recipe for offensive efficiency.

Per Synergy, Michigan scored on a greater percentage of its half court zone offensive possessions than man-to-man. Both numbers weren’t that far off, but worth noting.

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If Michigan can’t score in the 70s, chances are they won’t beat Duke, Gonzaga, or Tennessee in a March or April game. They can win in the 60s against MSU and get away with that type of production against UVA.

Don’t look at the raw points, those are very dependent on tempo. In the past, I’ve always said it is hard to win games without scoring a point per possession, but Michigan did that several times late in last season.

Teams like UNC, South Carolina, and Illinois were able to up that tempo on Michigan, but the Wolverines were able to score then, either in transition or in smoother execution.

But these days, that type of production seems fragile and futile for this team. Granted, the scouting and quality of opponents have improved.

Where do you see the main issue in transition offense? How is Simpson in transition? Are we missing baskets at the rim in transition or more from three? Do any players stand out as effiecient or inefficient? Thanks!

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Surprised no body has mentioned the IU ot win over Sparty with Purdue beating Minni making it a 3 way tie for first place right now.

Will have a Film Room on this today!


@Schattner Here you go: