Game 22: Michigan at Iowa Recap

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If I were Castleton, Johns, and DDJ, I would be salivating to improve ASAP in practice. The oppirtunity for playing time is there. Davis’ game offers little upside and Brooks looks like a lost puppy. Brooks especially is a disappointment, because he doesn’t show a hunger to prove he should be on the floor. He could learn a lot from Albrecht, freshman yr Levert, and freshman yr MAAR. Eli is a weak ball handler, doesn’t really beat anybody off the dribble, has a slow shot release, and seems ready to make a big mistake. Neither Brooks nor Davis look talented enough to play in the B1G or in Division 1, for that matter.

Too bad Matthews doesn’t have a post up game on the low block. Right now that would be the easiest shot for him to make, where he could drop step inward against a smaller defender for a hard take, non-fade away layup. I mention a hard take to the hoop, because he could draw a foul and get to the line. He seems to be shooting better on FTs lately.

Iggy’s next step is to develop as a passer. Would be great to see him create out of the ball screen like sophomore year Caris and sophomore year Stauskas.

It will be interesting to see how they finish against the upper B1G. UM has only two wins against teams over .500 in league play (Purdue and Minnesota at home).


Well yeah. You don’t think every player on that team isn’t trying to improve? You make it sound like all they have to do is flip a switch and BOOM. It takes time.


What I am saying is there is light at the end of the tunnel and the opportunity is showing more and more for them to get playing time. Of course it’s a process in developing, but the chance is there to move up in the pecking order and make a difference. I’m sure all those guys are proud enough players to not want to be riding the pine.

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Three point shooting, Simpson and Brooks combined:

ALL GAMES - 28-103 27%
B1G GAMES - 12-57 21%

Hard to fathom 5 of the B1G makes came in one game.

I’m not sure what Eli has to offer this team if he can’t take/make a shot?

He’s now 20-76 for his career. Duane Washington-esque 26%. Ouch.


I hate to say it, but give Iowa a lot of credit. They scouted well, used their depth well, were aggressive on both sides of the ball, executed, and did not implode, as they are known to do.

No excuses, but these refs were really quick with the whistle in the first three minutes on both sides. They never allowed for the game to develop a rhythm.

Beilein has a unique challenge these days to make the offense fluid. Will be interesting to see how he maneuvers these Xs and Os this month.

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Foul trouble was fatal in a game that was going to be difficult to win from the onset. Playing without Teske and Livers for 80% of the first half was never going to go well.


Not to be “that guy,” but this is kinda the exact same game that started the win streak last year.


No, no. Be that guy. I was peering over the cliff and trying to rationalize it all.


In the presser JB said, “There’s your answer, we have to find a back up five.” I’m hoping with his showing last night in limited minutes that Castleton is just “chomping at the bit,” “lickin’ his chops” and can’t wait to get to practice on Sunday to prove that HE is the answer at the back up five. I thought in his short time on the floor (4 minutes), he acquitted himself better than any of the other backup fives.

I KNOW Colin came to Michigan expecting to play. I KNOW he thought that if Moe stayed he’d be a serious contender with JT to be the backup, but if Moe left, he’d be a serious contender to be the starter. I know this is what he thought and I know that’s what his coaches and his “people” back home thought.

So, I hope he is working in VERY HARD in practice, because that’s where you EARN playing time, except for unforeseen circumstances like last night where JT got in serious foul trouble, as did Isaiah, and there was simply no adequate backup available.

In four minutes Colin played good defense, took a charge, had two rebounds and a block. Colin, the opportunity is there. Seize it…in practice. Your coach is looking for a back up five. Show you belong.


Like you and Dylan, I was impressed with Castleton, not only last night, but all year long. He is a center and is used to playing the position. He has been aggressive rebounding and shot blocking right from the get go. He is also taller and has as good of or better jumping ability as Davis or Johns. He can also give us more scoring from the 5 as the other two.

I mentioned over a month ago, that I thought it was a mistake to slot Johns at the 5. I still think that, and I wouldn’t be against switching him to the 4 even now. I think he is more comfortable as a 4 and would have likely picked up the offense and defense quicker. He could have been giving us back up minutes at the 4 and freeing up Livers for more minutes elsewhere.


I thought Castleton played well in his limited time, especially on defense. Him at back-up center right now could mean Livers and Johns both have the opportunity to play four.

A post on MGoBlog notes that we’ve lost a game at the beginning of February every season since 2011. It’s seemed to have lit a fire under us in years past.

I shouldn’t, but I keep forgetting that Johns is playing out of position. It has been frustrating to see how slowly our freshmen are developing outside of Brazdeikis. We are used to seeing freshmen PGs struggle under JB, so DDJ isn’t a big surprise. But Johns and Castleton not earning 5 to 7 minutes a game at this point of the season is a surprise to me. Perhaps Yaklich’s defense is almost as complicated to learn as JB’s offense and becoming good enough at both to earn court time is more difficult than I thought.

It’s not rare for a true freshman big to come along slowly. These guys are still pretty thin. I was surprised we didn’t redshirt Castleton.

I agree. We were way too aggressive on closeouts. You have to close out under control and all too often we didn’t, and they hurt us as a result. We also left our feet too much. AND, we swatted, and we tried to reach around for steals too much. I thought we played hard on defense, but we were too aggressive and just didn’t play smart. LOTS of coaching points! I mean A LOT!

I was at work and missed the game, would love to watch it if I could.

Someone pointed out in the open thread or maybe here about iggy and Mathews assist percentages and that’s what I echoed following the Ohio st win.

This is a poor passing team outside of z, livers, brooks and Poole at times. This team although not deep in numbers is very balanced and capable among the 6 guys who play a lot. They all can score 15-20 in a game. With this type of balance it’s essential they swing the ball, hit the open guy and look to get it to the guy with the best matchup or overall chance to score.

Iggy and Mathews in particular hold the ball often and don’t create for others well or often take/ force tough shots. Being the top two guys this is not good. Yes we need both ( iggy in particular) to be aggressive but when you have so many capable guys it’s foolish to just put your head down and force it to the rim or just hunt for your shot constantly.

Too often it gets swung to them when we have the ball moving or a d off balance and they immediately swing the ball through and put their head down and try and go baseline and teams are ready for it now ( Wisconsin I’m particular) and we lose are advantage. They don’t close out as hard now and are ready for the drive.

They also have been culprits along with Poole in failed fast break chances. Our shooting is poor but the decision making and lack of vision/ creating for others is a much larger issue.

The offense looked much better earlier in the year versus unc and nova ect. because we finished easy chances and took advantages of turnovers. There’s no reason our transition offense should be this poor. With this d we just have to be a slightly above average offense to win it all be with this roster they should be at the very least that if not more. The talents there to have a good offense.

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Brooks can be a boost too we just need him to get out of his own head and be agressive.

One more thing is Mathews can be effective in other ways on offense besides being a go to guy. He showed especially early that he can manufacture a lot of garbage points off put backs. I’d like to see most of his shots coming off open threes on kick out, transition buckets, posting up smaller players or on those put backs.

If we’re running offense through him I’d prefer it be ISO’s on the block here and there as opposed to him coming off screens. He’s very tough to guard for smaller sf on the block with his array of pivots. He also has to embrace those hustle points that he showed he can create as opposed to looking to be a creator from the perimeter.

Terrific point! I mentioned something to the extent of this earlier, and a commenter shredded me for the same sentiment.

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