Five takeaways from Michigan's Big Ten Tournament run

This is the thing: we could have beaten them. I’m convinced of that. First game–hats off; their determination won the day. Second two: we folded. Beilein’s right (of course) that we don’t match up great. But we had more talented players on the floor throughout much of the game. Secretariat was a thoroughbred through and through. That’s not how I see MSU.

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Well true enough but if M plays smarter basketball they win yesterday imo; that’s not overly complicated.
I am fairly confident the M team of the last couple weeks will be a very tough out and is capable of playing multiple weekends. I hope they get Nevada this Saturday. It’s an outstanding matchup.

I’m excited because I (rightly or wrongly) don’t expect a natty or even a final four, be nice if it happens but odds are not very good.

How about moving X off ball after the switch to get Tillman far away from the paint and trying to run action away from him?

I think we tried this at the end of the game. It was the possession when X had the corner 3 that he missed pretty badly.

We lost four contributors off of last year’s team. We were picked–what–nineteenth (?) in the AP preseason polls. We’ll finish the season with one less loss than we had last year. And–fascinating–our offensive numbers are not much off of last year’s. According to this article we averaged 1.147 points per possession, shot 55.2 percent on 2-pointers and 35.7 percent on 3-pointers. This year we’re averaging 1.155 points per possession while shooting 51.8 percent on 2-pointers and 35 percent on 3-pointers.

We’re getting spoiled, but maybe a little silly, too. Obviously, losing several games we shouldn’t have lost to a gritty MSU squad leaves a bad taste, but the widespread pessimistic tone. . . undeserved, I think. I honestly don’t even think that the offense gets stagnant as much as it did last year.

MAAR did become money down the stretch last year (so did Charles). But you guys forget how much you complained about them last year, too. Too much then, too.


It works for State, but because you don’t want Winston shooting a 3 there, but they’ll give that to Simpson to can contain him in the corner.

Believe it or not, Simpson was 5/6 on right corner threes before missing that one so based on the (admittedly small) numbers, it was a pretty good look.


Yeah, I was familiar with that number and was actually wondering if Beilein specifically drew that up to get Simpson the open look from there. I’d guess he probably did.

I can believe it. I’ve seen the improvement, and think he’ll come back next year with a good enough jumper that you have to go over screens on him. But, still – you’re fine to let him have the ball over in the corner instead of right in the middle of the court.

I’d have liked to have seen Beilein draw up something else. I don’t know if the numbers back this, but it seems to me that the playbook is thinner this year. If true that only makes sense given it’s a younger team that isn’t as good at passing, but the discrepancy seems huge. Beilein seemingly had more plays he felt willing to call last year.

As for all the good discussion of our offensive issues, I’m still confused as to why after McQuaid was clearly demonstrating the ability to hit open 3’s that we didn’t change up and essentially let them have the 2’s on the paint? Teske only had 1 or 2 fouls with under 10min to go. Why not stick to McQuaid like glue and let Teske challenge hard? Was it an issue of sticking to what got us that far or inability of the team/coaches to change up mid-game? Take a away 3 of his threes and replace them with 2’s and the game is a win.


On the topic of offensive sets, I’ve noticed over the past month that Michigan has rarely (never?) run “the set that always works”…

Granted, I’ve missed one game, so maybe it was run then. But, I’m thinking that Beilein has intentionally left that set to the side, and we will see it at the most opportune time(s) during the tourney.

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It comes down to that if we’re going to run our hedge and recover, then we might get put into a situation where McQuaid’s defender has to be the help that gives Teske time to recover. Looking through some of the highlights, a couple of the threes simply came down to Iggy/Poole messing up. They didn’t properly recognize when to recover and messed up the timing, and gave McQuaid an open 3. IMO, the answer was try and keep Matthews on McQuaid because he was much more likely to properly recover back to his man. But, we chose not to do that.

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I agree with this 100%, especially after McQuaid hit a few. I get the athleticism matchup of Matthews on Henry, but McQuaid was obviously way more likely to beat us than Henry with his abysmal usage. Matthews athleticism and defensive IQ could’ve shut down that corner action

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That’s what it looks like to me too – they elected not to use Matthews, and maybe wanted him on a guy he could help off of, but that risked McQuaid in precisely the way it happened and could have been anticipated. I haven’t gone back and looked either, and give MSU credit for knowing that this was their next wrinkle, but they had a reasonable expectation that putting pressure on Poole to rotate properly within the defense was the right move.

I love our coach and still feel that 0-3 is primarily a reflection of players and how much they as a group value possessions – Izzo knows what to do when he has a group like this – but it looks to me like Beilein’s done a much better job in the past pressing the right buttons at the right time.

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From my memory, Michigan has run it once in its simplest form and was well-defended so the possession continued without a shot. I believe they ran two variations of it since I published the article – led to a basket once and I can’t recall what happened the other time.

When I say variations, I am referring to setting up the back screen, the primary element of the play, in different ways.

I know that when teams watch film of upcoming opponents, particularly for ones they are unfamiliar with or are not in their conference, they will watch the prior 3-5 games in great detail.

You could be onto something with regard to breaking the play out more in the tournament, since they have hardly run it, if at all, very recently.

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