Game 17: Michigan at Iowa Recap

“Recurring issues with foul trouble”…hm

Kudos to you on your professionalism


This was not a well officiated game, but Michigan players commit a lot of fouls that you just can’t commit.

If you have guys like Austin Davis, Brandon Johns and Franz Wagner giving away fouls on things that come down to technique, you are going to end up in foul trouble.


I liked the part of the presser where Juwan pretended to be looking at the stat sheet for the first time regarding free throws and just then noticing the disparity. A little transparent, but a fun touch.


Great and informative recap. Interesting that coming into the year, it seemed a given would be strong defensively and very questionable on offense but the reverse has happened.

Very impressed with the offense and the quality of stuff they run. They are just a bad defensive team at this point. They have definitely taken a major step back from the previous two years. Some of that is personnel but they have fallen off in some areas Beilein stressed like transition D and not fouling.

Agree about the questionable lineups. Playing Teske and Davis together is not tenable. Then, playing Davis over DeJulius late is just nuts. Johns wasn’t good tonight either and hasn’t shown much since he’s been a starter replacing Livers.

All in all, it was a solid performance on the road against a good team. Super impressed with Iowa’s offense. 0-5 on the road is just bad though. Hopefully, we can hold serve at home and find a way to win a few on the road.


0-5 on the road against the 7,10,15, 20, 30 and 31 ranked teams in the country, though.


That may be true, but when you also have guys like Teske and Simpson getting fouls called for things which did not have to do with technique, while Garza’s lack of technique in setting non-moving screens never gets called, that’s inexcusable. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of games in the last decade for which I’ve said that the officiating cost us a game–usually, when you look back, there are some bad calls each way, and even large would discrepancies are somewhat earned. Tonight, however, was a joke. Iowa is not in the top 75 nationally in defensive foul percentage per shots attempted. Tonight, we had 68 field goal attempts, many in the paint (we were even on points in the paint), and Iowa got called for one shooting foul. One.

I agree that Michigan has to foul less. The biggest takeaway from your comment though is the understatement that “this was not a well officiated game.”


Yeah, the schedule on the road has been very tough and at least the last two games, they played at a fairly high level. That’s progress. They had a chance in the both these games to win and they really got outplayed down the stretch. That’s the disappointing part. Would have been big to steal one of these games.

They just put a lot of pressure on their offense to continue scoring at a very high rate because they don’t get stops late. That’s a tough way to win.


The only thing I can really think is that Howard was frustrated DDJ blew the Fredrick three defensively, but still, you are down and need to space the floor and hit some shots.

I think U-M would be far better suited to go small with DDJ instead of playing two bigs. And that’s not to say that DDJ doesn’t have plenty to work on – on both ends.


Based on Torvik, Michigan’s FT defensive free throw rate is doubled in conference play (42% vs 21%), even accounting for a higher level of competition this seems absurd. Two straight road games where a moderately even whistle would have resulted in a win.


As I said in the recap, the complaint about officiating would be that Michigan didn’t get to the line more.

But Iowa also sat in a zone, only blocked two shots, recorded two steals, allowed Michigan to attempt 33 jump shots, and allowed Michigan to shoot 17-of-24 around the basket.

We are talking about a team which has the defensive philosophy to just allow you to shoot over them and hope for the best.

Michigan has an issue where it gives away four or five fouls every half. Bad fouls that it shouldn’t commit. When you do that, every bad call becomes magnified because you are closer to foul trouble and the bonus.

1 Like

I’m sorry, Dylan, that’s not the only complaint. In the last 2 games, Michigan has played teams ranked outside the top 130 per Torvik in free throw percentage per field goals attempted (Minnesota is outside the top 250). Neither team is in the top 50 in keeping other teams off the line even with the addition of the last 2 Michigan games. The number of foul shots in those 2 games is opponents 57, Michigan 11. I understand that you want to make your analysis about numbers and rational basketball analysis instead of incessant ref bashing, and I agree, but sometimes, numbers which are absurd in terms of the discrepancies need to be called out too. These 2 games rank 1 and 3 in the Big Ten this season in foul discrepancy.


The offense is better this year than the 2 previous Beilein iterations. That’s impressive.

On the defense, it’s a little baffling but I don’t think it should be a long term concern. I’d love to know what Beilein’s secret sauce was with fouling. I imagine it was a mindset thing more than anything. And as As Dylan said I think the biggest reason for the increase is the rotation more than anything. But at least the concepts and general goal on defense are very sound. If you can foul less and rebound better the defense improves ten fold.

It’s a bit perplexing that a coach’s Weakness is rotations. I was looking forward to having players play more with 2 fouls in a post-Beilein world and somehow it didn’t change. What were Martelli’s teams like in this area? Just curious cause it’s baffling to me that Juwan kept Beilein’s strategy there. Juwan is clearly smart and he knows which of our lineups are best. That’s evidenced by him trying to close with the small lineup in other games, cutting Nunez minutes in the 2H. But it’s clear he has a philosophy of playing a certain amount of guys no matter what. Going 2 bigs against Kreiner was tough. On one hand we were probably going to get murdered if Johns or Wagner were out there. On the other hand we got murdered anyway because Davis is a terrible defender. Did he play Johns at all against Kreiner in the 2H? I think he would’ve rolled with that had Johns not fouled out. DDJ really didn’t play well in the 2H but I’d still rather him be out there.

And all the rotation stuff has to be with the caveat that this Livers is what makes the team versatile. Without him we have 3 Cs, 3 PGs, and a couple wings. Moving forward when we have the roster that’s Joward wants maybe the rotation thing will be less of an issue.


The fouling is absolutely infuriating and definitely feels like officiating has been a big part of the problem, but so is the youth and inexperience/lack of Belein fundamentals drilling that would be occurring for guys like Johns, Wagner and Castleton. Austin Davis fouling the way he is makes no sense after all his years in the Belein and Yaklich system.

One positive/hopeful note for our long-term hopes in the conference. When I break down the standings it is essentially a result of what your Road/Home balance has been thus far (excluding road games at Northwestern or Nebraska).
MSU has played exactly TWO road games (@ Northwestern and @Purdue).
Illinois snuck a road win at Wisconsin (otherwise they’re 1-2 on the road and 3-0 at home)
Rutgers got a road win at Nebraska (otherwise they are 1-2 on the road and 3-0 at home).
The only teams to make any REAL noise on the road have been Wisconsin (2-2 on the road with wins at OSU and Penn State) and Illinois (whose win over Wisconsin was by 1 point). So this next stretch of 5 of 8 games at home is SUPER critical for us in the league overall. Hope we have Livers back and at full strength.

1 Like

Sorry, I just can’t stop laughing out loud at the lack of subtlety in “This was not a well officiated game…”

But, can you find us a well officiated UM game which involved Terry Wymer in a true road game?


Without first reading everyone else’s opinion, I wanna say I definitely feel like this wasn’t all bad. Went on the road against a legitimately good team (that has always given UM problems on the road), and lost by 7 without Isaiah Livers.

Nice performance from Eli and a generally solid offensive effort. Lot of guys putting in good minutes because others were in foul trouble. I felt that this team played super hard the whole way and showed a lot of toughness, just went cold at the wrong time towards the end.

While I do think it was poorly officiated, UM players did deserve a lot of those fouls and some of those fouls can’t happen. Ultimately Iowa shot 25 more free throws and that made all the difference.

Still though, think about all the other road Iowa games in the last 5 years… this looked better than a LOT of those if not all of them, and this is one of the better recent Iowa teams.

The fouls seem like a “yes, and” situation. Yes, there were bad whistles tonight, but Wagner, Johns, Teske, and Simpson all have a bit of a tendency to commit an utterly brain-shattering stupid foul a game. So if you commit 6-7 dumb ones (we do) AND the refs are screwing the pooch, you’re going to produce an utterly insane FT disparity like this.

Playing style matters too - Garza lives under the basket, he’s going to produce more foul shots than us taking half our shots from 3 just as a matter of course.

Wieskamp is a little weasel and clearly knows how to work the refs.


Dylan you are always more diplomatic than I could possibly be. I will concede that Michigan having to give so many minutes to young guys and bench players contributes to their fouls. I also totally expect the home team to get a couple of 50/50 calls. But even if Iowa out shot us 20-10 at the line we win comfortably. Getting called for one shooting foul is total BS.

Garza moved on multiple screens and shuffled his feet when trapped in the post twice. Brooks takes an elbow to the face and one official was still going to give him the foul. Weiscamp was locking arms all game and never got called. John’s is a bull in a China shop and earned his fouls…it isn’t as much about the ones they called as the ones they don’t. Iowa has no bench…a foul or two changes the game like it did when we had to go so deep.


I hadn’t thought about the move to Davis late…good point. We should have had DDJ in there. Davis has been doing well above expectations, and there’s no much you can do when Iowa has their two bigs out there and Johns/Livers are out. But might as well try to out score them.

Great job by Eli, but collectively we still need our wings (DDJ, Brooks, Wagner, Nunez) to hit about 40% from three to win without Livers. Wagner had some GREAT looks. The fact that he isn’t approaching 40% yet is limiting us…and I hope remains one of the things we can unlock down the stretch.