Game 9: Michigan at Northwestern Recap

Coach Beilein was pleased to have a game like that. Best way to learn “winning basketball”
Seems a loss would not have bothered Coach Beilein…still a win is much sweeter. He seems resigned to the fact, almost philosophical, regarding losing a couple close games to teams M is better than.

Nice response to adversity down the stretch for the boys in blue

But those percentages are for shots that are by and large guarded. While they do reflect his shooting ability, they don’t exactly apply to unguarded situations.

I’m expecting Simpson is going to start getting the Tum Tum Nairn treatment. Basically ignored while they’re on the perimeter and considered a "self check, " as we used to call it.

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That’s fair, although I don’t think Simpson has ever really taken many tough threes…he isn’t shooting them off the dribble and can’t create separation, and I feel like the majority of his shots have been off relatively open catch and shoots. I’ll be shocked if they start to go in at a clip higher than 30% though, even wide wide open. I mean this is a career 54% free throw shooter.

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He doesn’t miss shots like he’s a sub 20% shooter.

Seriously? His jump shot is ugly and broken.

Simpson has to shoot wide-open threes. Unless maybe the percentage goes up significantly if he dribbles in a few feet and takes a wide-open two? See how far he can dribble in until Law starts guarding him. Have three guys on the perimeter and try to run some type of really tight action with Teske or someone.

Simpson seems to shoot 3’s worse when he’s wide open. It’s like the broadway lights are on him and he knows it.

So, in other words, you don’t have a better solution.

I agree. Generally, Simpson knows his limitations so the only threes that he takes are wide open ones. That’s what makes the shooting percentage all the more troublesome. And it also means it isn’t likely to significantly improve by taking better shots. He is what he is. The sample size is large enough between 3pt% and FT% to know it isn’t getting better.

I love Simpson. I think he’s a huge asset to the team and needs to be on the floor as much as possible. But I also think that unless he hits his first three of the game, he probably shouldn’t continue taking them unless it’s late in the shot clock. 0/5 should never happen because he shouldn’t attempt 5 if he isn’t hitting. I would rather Iggy or Poole take forced shots or try to create something on their own. Simpson can be effective in other ways if he isn’t hitting shots.


Simpson’s last two threes weren’t all that early in the shot clock. Which ones were? Haven’t watched a replay of the game yet or anything.

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I never claimed to. My solution was JB’s - bench him. I’m surprised JB’s answer in the press conference was keep shooting them and I bet that changes. Didn’t realize it was such a contentious issue that a 22% three point shooter shouldn’t have a green light from three.

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I think Z needs to shoot if the other team is not guarding him and if the shot clock is below 8. I would like him to practice slowing his shot way down for this specific situation and toe the line. He only needs to hit 3 of every 10 for opposing coaches to question whether or not leaving him unguarded is smart. I believe he can do it.

I think you’re right. Just looking at ESPN’s play by play, only two of his five three point attempts appear to have been taken with 10+ seconds left on the shot clock. And only one of those was during the three consecutive possession stretch.

In the moment they felt quicker than they actually were. Would love to see the game tape to see those possessions in detail…5 key plays???

A road win against a pretty good, pretty desperate Big Ten team when you shoot 25% from 3 and have a couple questionable calls go against you is a good thing.

For all the talk about Eli’s limitations, he was absolutely huge. He come off the bench, cold, and hit a huge, no hesitation, absolutely pure 3 and made the extra pass to Iggy quickly and on the money. Northwestern went right after him on defense too and I think got 1 2pt basket in 3 tries.

Poole played great down the stretch, stayed within himself, very impressive.

Iggy is good.

Matthews I thought was maybe pressing a bit in front of the semi-hometown crowd. I’d like to see a replay of that travel late in the game. That was beautiful action and he had a clear lane. Seemed like a questionable call in real time.

Simpson’s worst play might actually have been the TO on the attempted alley-oop in transition that led to an and-1 going the other way. As for his 3s, he has one game with 4 and 1 in all the others. I do think he needs to shoot wide open 3s - and 0-5 is very different than even 29%, where he was last year - but I think JB will come up with other ways to take advantage if teams ignore him, including spreading the floor and letting him get downhill into the lane.

Northwestern plays good defense. Pardon and Law are really good. Could be 2-0 with wins at Assembly Hall and over Michigan but are 0-2 instead. They’ll win a bunch of games though and I could see them making the tourney. .


I do think that Matthews’s travel was legit (this is kind of a common theme for him where he starts to move before dribbling) but it also came immediately after a “questionable”-ish offensive foul on Northwestern so it may have been a bit of a makeup call.

(For the record I thought both the offensive foul on NU and the travel on Matthews were the correct calls but Collins freaked out right in the ref’s face so I think they were looking for anything and Charles unfortunately didn’t have a clean first step.)


After watching the replay of the second half, this is my thought. He isn’t a good shooter but I bet in practice he does better. Just like with free throws, when hes wide open for threes all eyes are on him and the combo of nerves and him being a below average shooter are compounded together and hes just off. He actually does better on tougher threes with guys running at him. Its almost like he knows it won’t look bad if he misses like a wide open should would and he just shoots without thinking. There is no fear of being embarrassed if he clunks it.

His constant misses at open threes and free throws over the last two years have made a below avg shooter into a terrible one and its started to get into his head imo.

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Could have been legit and certainly could’ve been a quasi-makeup call. Seems to be an inconsistently called violation that could be whistled often, but if you’re not going to do that, then that call in that spot is kind of bogus. But better not to give the refs the opportunity.

Eli showed himself to be a very capable down-the-stretch replacement for Z. Quite a few doubted that he could do this.

Eli seems to be gaining some confidence in his three point shot. But he’s still chicken to attack the hoop. But he has the athleticism and skill set to do just that. Just wait, he’ll figure it out. Of course, I still see him as more of a 2 than a point guard. But Eli is a very acceptable point guard when the need arises.

Iggy is the man. Only a freshman and already our #1 offensive threat.


I don’t think anyone doubts Eli’s ability to initiate the offense or hit some shots - it’s his handle and decision making while being pressured (presses and traps) that scare me. I’d rather have Poole with the ball facing those types of situations.

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