Game 28: Wisconsin at Michigan Recap

Well Johns and Livers were kind of abused when they got switched onto guards tonight.

Would be pretty stunned if Eli is not starting next year. I’m not sure what Johns future is yet. He’s still young but not sure he’s a starting Big 10 player or just an energy guy off the bench.

If they come back, Livers and Franz could be one do the best starting forward duos in the country. I think that’s where they should play more often that not. As Dylan said, they are better going up against bigger players than smaller ones.


The difference is that one is an uncontested, easy shot. Free points. As Rick Barry often says, “If you’re not shooting at least 80%, you’re not a good free throw shooter.”
Speaking of old Rick, can we give him a call and have him teach the granny shot to Austin and Zavier?



I don’t even begin to understand what Dejulius was doing on those two layups. Really not good.


Is it wrong to conclude that Wisconsin was just red hot and its hard to beat a team that makes 50% of its 3s… I don’t understand always blaming the defense to me we just ran into a hot shooting team… better nights ahead Go Blue


We also gave up a lot of easy looks at the rim.

You guys…it’s still February. We just lost to a historically hot shooting Wisconsin team at home while missing a fantastic perimeter defender, leader and great spot up shooter. Eli would have made a huge difference. Franz is figuring it out and looks to maybe be breaking out. We just had our senior leader/point guard go for a career high 32. Livers is going to get healthy and the rest of the team is settling into their roles. If I’m the rest of the country I’m a lot more worried about how this team is coming together than I am about our finish or seeding. We are going to be scary in the tournament!


Yeah, I think this is a great way to look at it. Realistically and positively as a fan.

I also don’t think tonight’s loss matters as much as people think. In terms of B1G tourney implications: with the way the teams at the top of the conference were playing (and their schedules), it was going to be very hard to get a double-bye anyway. And wherever we land from #5-#10, it doesn’t matter too much given how much of a toss up this year’s standings are; the #5 seed could easily draw MSU in the second round as a #4 seed, while #10 could draw Wisky/Illinois/PSU; which all are easier matchups. Point is it really doesn’t matter too much where we are from #5-10 (the only concern is the quality of the first matchup, which if we lose, we don’t deserve to go far anyway).

With regards to the NCAA tourney, this loss might actually help us. I think it’s pretty darn important to avoid the 4/5 seed in the tourney due to the disparity between the #1 seeds and the rest. This loss pushes us closer to 6/7, which again, would help us in terms of our Sweet 16 matchup (vs. either #2 or #3 or even a lower seed who may have pulled off an upset). Again, the only concerns are the slightly better quality teams in the first two rounds, but if we’re gonna go far, we gotta win those games anyway.

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Totally disagree with Coach Howard’s strategy of not starting DDJ and Simpson together because one of their ball handlers may foul out. If one of them is in foul trouble at the end of the game you deal with it then. By going big UM was at a disadvantage from the tip against a great 3 point shooting team.


I think it’s not just about foul trouble concerns but that DDJ isn’t used to playing a full game, and if you play both from the start, you don’t have much coming off the bench to sub for them.

Wisconsin plays four red shirt juniors, two juniors and a grad student. Those kids have played together forever and they looked it.


Simpson accounted for 14 of Michigan’s 31 shot attempts and assisted 6 of the other 17. He was 14-of-22, his teammates were 17 of 38 and had 2 assists.

It was a good defensive gameplan by Wisconsin but Simpson was good enough to win with a B defensive effort, not a D defensive effort.


… and yet, if DDJ hits 2 layups, or Davis doesn’t miss 2 bunnies he’s been hitting all year, the D defensive effort would have been enough. Just a Murphy’s Law type game. They happen.

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I don’t love that kind of logic about two possessions in the first half …

Ok, then take the last 2 minutes: if Trice doesn’t hit a contested 3 and Ruevers’ chuck off the glass doesn’t magically go in …

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Also, I’ll give Wisconsin a ton of credit: They played great. As well as anyone against us this year.


I do think a couple of layups that Wager made offsets these incredibly rare misses. I’m frustrated about those misses as well, but I think it helps to know that we made some tough ones too.

In close games though, what really bothers me is which teams’ shots bounce in and which teams shots go in and out. It bothers me now knowing that Wisconsin had a really lucky bounce on a 3 pointer in the first half, while a couple of Simpson’s shots rimmed out. Could’ve changed the outcome, if it went the other way of course.

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I get what you mean as a bunch of them Were early and things would play out differently but a missed layup is a missed layup.

I think a disagree with your last sentence (and I assume you were responding to my post in the recap thread). On the surface, it’s a good gameplan by Wisconsin defending Simpson; if you asked me before the game what the way to defend Simpson was, I would’ve given you an answer similar to what they did.

However, it didn’t work. Simpson was efficient and also distributed the ball well when he could (a lot in the second half), which was the one thing that their gameplan was set to avoid. So not only did they allow a very high PPP on Simpson shots, they also allowed Simpson to control the offense when he could. The one reason Wisconsin might be walking out of the gym claiming that it worked is because they got the W. If our defense was better/their offense wasn’t as hot, a lot of people would have been clamoring for Wisconsin to make adjustments because Simpson was eating them up offensively.

The guy on MGoBoard who blamed Simpson was basically saying that Wisconsin’s defensive strategy worked, and that Simpson took the bait and caused the loss. However, it’s not taking the bait when you play as efficiently as he did. To respond, I used the example that if you’re daring a non three point shooter to take threes the entire game, and instead he goes 5 for 5 for 15 points, you don’t laugh in his face and say the strategy worked; it didn’t. I think it’s the same thing here: it might have seemed like it was a good strategy but with the one-on-one defenders Wisconsin had, Simpson was getting VERY easy shots and made them accordingly.


I’m not exactly sure what I was referring to. I think it was a good gameplan by Wisconsin and well executed because Wisconsin did exactly what it wanted. If Michigan had played any defense, it would have had to try something different.

I was trying to illustrate how well Simpson played, so I’m not sure that you actually disagree with me.