Game 29: Michigan at Ohio State Recap

The second clip was interesting. X pushed Livers into Davison’s space, as if X was forcing Livers to close out as tightly as possible. Then, Davison drove on the super-tight closeout.

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Could be wrong, but I thought that because Davison and Trice were stacked together there, Simpson was pushing Livers so Livers knew which man he was defending (Michigan was switching a lot 1-4). May have had the intended consequence you mentioned, though.

Yeah, that makes sense.

This is a great way to look at it. The expected value of Livers’ 7 shots was probably something like 12-15 points while Washington’s 7 was much more like 6-9 points. Instead that flipped. Livers missed mostly open, uncontested shots with his feet set while Washington hit some very tough unbalanced looks.

The frustrating thing as a Michigan fan is that it feels like we haven’t had one of those games where we hit some garbage/heat-check threes in two years but our opponents have done it to us a few times. I thought Wisconsin got more open looks than OSU, but even still their make-percentage was above expectation. For inexplicable reasons we can’t hit open shots. I’m hopeful that having a deeper bench full of talent will solve some of that next year…but the guys coming in aren’t known as shooters and it isn’t like the shots we are missing are bad shots. The number of 3s we took yesterday where I said “oh no…bad shot” was very small. Teske, Castleton, Simpson…so 3-4? Out of 26? Come on…hit some damn shots.


Getting to the point that every Teske 3 is a heat-check / lucky moment.

Yeah, unless Teske finds himself wide open from 3 with 5 seconds or less on the shot clock, he should not be shooting, and even that I wouldn’t want to see more than once a game. He does have success with the mid range jumpers, I’d be fine with him only popping for those looks.

Yeah, when a reporter asked Livers if he’s close to 100% a few days ago (I think), he chuckled (politely) at the question and said he’s nowhere close and won’t be until the offseason.

This wasn’t an excuse either, as this happened during our win streak.

It’s frustrating at first, but then you realized hitting those “garbage/heat-check” threes is kind of a skill, and our team doesn’t possess the skill to hit those garbage shots.

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Washington did have 17 points in the first game–most of them down the stretch. He wasn’t being lucky.

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No, he was inarguably being lucky. Anytime a player shoots above their talent level Ina given game they get lucky, and anytime a player shoots below their talent level they are unlucky. Washington was lucky, he’s not an elite shooter, and he’s not a guy that shoots anywhere near 71% from 3.

How is Washington not an elite shooter?

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Agree with this but the frustrating thing about it (and it cuts both ways M vs competition) is just how inconsistent it’s been. Call them all if you’re going to call them. We get away with a bunch of them every game as do our opponents.


Exactly! During our game on Sunday, consistency was my concern. There were several instances Sunday where the exact screen, at least to my eye and I was watching pretty closely, the exact screen was not called a foul. on both teams. And then it was. So, to me, consistency is the key, and, frankly, I think that’s any coach or any player really wants.

And no, Chatta, I don’t think being a B1G official is an easy job. It’s damned hard. Again, in most cases you are officiating a game played by pretty elite athletes who are much younger than you are as an official. They are faster and bigger than you are. They are almost always better athletes than the officials are, and most of those kids are in great shape at 17-22 years of age! The game moves very fast and the official must be incredibly decisive and confident. The official must also possess great judgement, and do his job in an arena with 10k to 20k fans screaming at him, and possibly a couple of coaches, too (Izzo!). If it was easy then many of us who criticize would just put on a striped shirt, grab a whistle, and apply for a job as a B1G official. As for me, I’m WAY too thin skinned to do what they do.

I DO complain, in the privacy of my own home, as much as anyone, but the job, while extremely important to players, and coaches, and fans, is a very difficult one. Just be consistent and be fair and impartial, which I’m sure all officials are taught and coached to do. I think that’s all we can ask.

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You have an interesting idea of luck. OSU threw in 2 lucky shots. Everything else they did was within their skill levels. So when Eli goes 3 for 6 from 3–where he normally shoots 30%–that’s luck?

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I don’t consider 40% on 85% assisted looks to be elite. He’s a very good shooter, not elite by my standards.

He also shot 30.6% last year on 134 attempts. We don’t even know if his performance this year is the level he’ll shoot at going forward. He may be a mid 30s shooter having a lucky season.

In sports, luck is simply based upon small sample size variation. When it benefits you, you’re lucky, when it doesn’t, you’re unlucky. Washington benefitted from small sample size variation last game, so he was lucky.

Consistency of foul decisions is an interesting topic. Officials often catch heat for not calling “the same play” the same way over the course of a game. In reality, when it comes to foul decisions, any two plays are rarely “the same play”, despite what coaches sometimes scream from the bench, or what Jay Bilas says on air. There are usually differences in the plays that can lead to different foul decisions. Screening is a good example. Two screens can look identical, but differences such as the distance between the screener’s feet, whether or not the screen is set in the defender’s field of vision, and whether or not a defender is displaced by the screen, among other considerations, will determine whether or not a given screen is illegal. Screening isn’t really the point of my post, though. It’s just one example of a typical play that can look identical to another play, but really is much different. So, consistency, when it comes to foul decisions, shouldn’t be nearly the concern it is to most people, because the idea is generally irrelevant. What officials should strive for is to be correct (ie.- something either is a foul, or it isn’t) as often as possible, and that’s what coaches, players, and anyone else invested in the game, should demand.

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I certainly respect your expertise on this. Thanks! As I tried to indicate, most of us (me) who complain simply couldn’t do it any better, or, in my case probably couldn’t do it at all. :wink:

You’re welcome. I hope that I, from time to time, lend a bit of useful insight to officiating topics.


To me, it’s an unbelievably difficult call – the difference between legal and illegal is very, very often extremely subtle, so getting it right, let alone consistency, is just really hard. Given that, to me, it should NOT be a point of emphasis for officials – sure, call the obvious ones, but scrutinizing the hip and exact posture of every big man to see if a slight advantage is gained is just begging to irritate players, coaches and fans.