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Archive for the ‘Game Recap’ Category

Indiana 80 – Michigan 67: Hoosiers overwhelm Michigan in Bielfeldt’s return

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016


Irvin vs IU(MGoBlue.com)

Michigan started strong, racing out to a 17-6 lead, but went ice cold over the final nine minutes of the first half. Indiana closed the half on a 25-0 run and added a three to start the second half. Michigan couldn’t stop the bleeding. The final score of 80-67 doesn’t reflect how wide a margin the game really was.

After cruising through the easy portion of the conference, Michigan clearly missed its star, Caris LeVert, against perhaps the best team in the conference. A celebrity cast in the crowd — on hand for Wednesday’s Signing of the Stars — wasn’t enough to will Michigan to victory and Max Bielfeldt got revenge over his former team.

Indiana shot 50 percent from the field despite making just 10 of 30 three-point attempts. Michigan had no answer for the Hoosiers’ offense as they made 23 of 36 from inside three-point range. Michigan, meanwhile, shot just 28.1 percent in the first half, digging a hole that was too deep to crawl out of.

Michigan looks to bounce back against rival Michigan State on Saturday.

Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
34 Mark Donnal* 1-1 0-0 0-1 1 2 3 3 2 1 1 1 0 30
10 Derrick Walton* 3-10 1-3 0-0 0 3 3 1 7 3 2 0 2 28
21 Zak Irvin* 6-16 3-6 1-3 1 3 4 1 16 4 3 0 0 37
22 Duncan Robinson* 6-11 1-5 1-1 0 4 4 3 14 0 3 0 0 31
12 Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman* 3-8 1-3 0-2 0 4 4 1 7 1 0 0 0 34
03 Kameron Chatman 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 2
05 D.J. Wilson 3-4 0-0 0-0 2 1 3 0 6 0 0 0 0 5
11 Andrew Dakich 0-0 0-0 2-2 0 1 1 1 2 2 1 0 0 4
13 Moritz Wagner 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
24 Aubrey Dawkins 2-7 1-5 0-0 0 3 3 1 5 0 0 0 0 19
32 Ricky Doyle 2-3 0-0 2-2 2 0 2 1 6 0 0 1 0 8
Totals 27-62 7-23 6-11 7 23 30 13 67 11 10 2 2 200
Indiana 33-66 10-30 4-8 14 30 44 17 80 18 12 5 6
200
Full Stats

Michigan 79 – Penn State 72: Season low six threes can’t stop Michigan in MSG

Saturday, January 30th, 2016


Robinson vs PSU(Julie Jacobson, AP)

John Beilein’s Michigan teams have always gotten the “live by the three, die by the three” saying tacked onto them – but sometimes mistakenly so. In today’s matchup with Penn State at Madison Square Garden, an uninformed observer would have been forgiven if he thought the saying applied more to the Nittany Lions, as Michigan attempted only 20 triples (versus 35 two-point attempts) and made just six of them.

That’s in stark contrast to the Wolverines’ normal trend of taking nearly half of their field goal tries from distance – at 46.9 percent, they attempt more threes per field goal attempt than all but seven other teams in the country.

The Wolverines, however, still managed to get the job done with a 79-72 victory to bring their conference record to 7-2 halfway through Big Ten play.

With Penn State selling out to guard the deep shot, Michigan was content to drive inside and take what was left to them, led by Zak Irvin and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman’s efforts, who combined to make 12 of their 19 (63.2%) attempts inside the arc. The duo paced Michigan with 35 total points on an array of hard takes to the rim while Derrick Walton and Mark Donnal added 13 and 10 points, respectively, and cleaned up the boards to the tune of 16 rebounds.

Four Factors
Michigan Penn State
51 eFG% 49
32 OReb% 36
11 TO% 17
56 FTR 24

Duncan Robinson was the odd man out as the only starter to not reach double figures, and the one Wolverine neutralized most by Penn State’s aggressive defensive tactics. The pure shooter only got one trey to fall – the first time he’s failed to make multiple threes since a late November loss to UConn – on a measly (for him) five attempts, which ties for his lowest triple tries in a single Big Ten game.

Throughout the first half, the two teams happily traded punch for punch as each seemingly scored at will after a couple quick steps into the lane. But an Irvin corner three at the buzzer put the “visiting” Wolverines up by 12.

Penn State would never get closer than five in the second half despite some beyond-NBA-range threes falling for sophomore Shep Garner late; Michigan pushed the lead to as many as 15.

As soon as it seemed that the Nittany Lions could threaten to take the lead following a 9-0 run late in the second half, Robinson made his biggest shot of the game on a beautiful drive and left-hand finish before Walton threaded a dime – one of his game-high seven assists – to Rahk on the fast break to bring the lead right back to nine points with just over four minutes remaining.

Penn State’s magic proceeded to run out and Michigan made nine of their 10 free throws over the final 1:49 to put the clamps on their third straight win.

The Wolverines continued to play without star senior Caris LeVert, as he was dressed in street clothes for the eighth straight game, but his left ankle is reportedly getting close to full strength.

His return over the next week would be a major boon for a Michigan team that has impressively navigated through the first half of their conference schedule but faces Indiana and Michigan State this coming Tuesday and Saturday, respectively.

Nonetheless, Beilein’s squad has held serve against the teams they’ve been expected to beat and has looked competitive in their two losses.

Today’s win in the first half of a basketball/hockey double-header in the heart of the Big Apple was another expected victory for Michigan, but perhaps a step in the right direction, complete with proof that Beilein doesn’t need to see his team drain everything from deep to remain in control.

Michigan’s Three Stars

***Zak Irvin***
20 points (5-of-8 2pt, 2-of-4 3pt, 4-of-7 FT), two rebounds, one assist, one turnover in 34 minutes

**Derrick Walton Jr.**
13 points (2-of-5 2pt, 1-of-4 3pt, 6-of-6 FT), 10 rebounds (one offensive), seven assists, three steals, zero turnovers in 39 minutes

*Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman*
13 points (7-of-11 2pt, 0-of-2 3pt, 1-of-2 FT), three rebounds (two offensive), one assist, one steal, two turnovers in 35 minutes

Season Three-Stars Standings

Derrick Walton Jr – 23
Duncan Robinson – 16
Caris LeVert – 15
Zak Irvin – 10
Aubrey Dawkins – 5
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman – 4
Mark Donnal – 1
Spike Albrecht – 1
Moritz Wagner – 1
Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
34 Mark Donnal* 2-4 0-0 6-8 4 2 6 3 10 1 1 1 0 25
10 Derrick Walton* 3-9 1-4 6-6 1 9 10 2 13 7 0 0 3 39
21 Zak Irvin* 7-12 2-4 4-7 0 2 2 1 20 1 1 0 0 34
22 Duncan Robinson* 2-6 1-5 4-4 1 1 2 3 9 2 0 0 1 27
12 Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman* 7-13 0-2 1-2 2 3 5 2 15 1 2 0 1 35
05 D.J. Wilson 0-2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 4
11 Andrew Dakich 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
13 Moritz Wagner 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
24 Aubrey Dawkins 2-5 2-4 1-2 1 1 2 2 7 1 1 0 2 19
32 Ricky Doyle 2-4 0-0 1-2 1 2 3 1 5 0 0 1 0 16
Totals 25-55 6-20 23-31 11 23 34 14 79 13 7 2 7 200
Penn State 26-62 9-29 11-15 13 23 36 23 72 13 11 4 3
200
Full Stats

Michigan 68 – Rutgers 57

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016


Irvin-Robinson vs Rutgers(MGoBlue.com)

Remember last week’s message from Richard Pitino to his own team that Michigan enacted by winning ugly? Well…Michigan did it again, this time against the cellar-dwelling Scarlet Knights of Rutgers in a 68-57 win.

It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t all that encouraging. But it was a win. That’s the message the Wolverines seemed to be preaching in the aftermath of a sloppy victory that saw the home squad stumble, brick, and crawl its way to an 11-point win with only 20 made field goals (and only nine two-pointers) in a game they were favored to win by 25.

After the win, John Beilein did not hide his displeasure with the way things went, saying that he saw a big family hanging out by the main staircase and hoped that they had a good time, because Beilein “did not”.

“So somebody had to have a good time today,” he went on. “You have those games where we’re fortunate to get a win based on your performance, but we’ll just grow from it and learn from it and see where we go moving forward.”

Fortunate is a pretty apt word to use in this case, given that Michigan very well may have lost to any other team in the Big Ten with the way they played this evening. To say that Rutgers is bad this season would be putting it kindly. Eddie Jordan’s Scarlet Knights are undermanned, undersized, and in over their heads. They are now 6-15 on the season and 0-8 in conference play, with not much hope of pulling a win out of their hats before the end of the year. Rutgers sits at a woeful #274 on kenpom.com, flanked by the almighty New Hampshire Wildcats and Fairleigh Dickinson Knights, and a whopping 74 spots behind the next-worst team in the Big Ten in Minnesota (also winless in conference play). They shoot a lowly 45.6 percent from inside the three-point line and an even lowlier 30.9 percent outside the arc. You get the point – Rutgers is a poor excuse for a Big Ten basketball team this year.

Four Factors
Michigan Rutgers
52 eFG% 47
17 OReb% 17
15 TO% 22
41 FTR 28

And the Wolverines could not slam the door on them all night.

Duncan Robinson led the way in the scoring column with 18 points on 14 shots, but was just 1-of-5 from two-point range with a pair of ugly turnovers.

Derrick Walton added 14 on 10 shots while missing all four of his attempts inside the arc and also coughing it up twice.

Zak Irvin did well to tally eight assists and 12 rebounds, but he too struggled to knock down shots, going 1-of-6 from distance on his way to just eight total points and two turnovers.

Mark Donnal was the beneficiary of many of those assists, finishing with 10 points on six shots, but also gave it away twice.

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman rounded out the starting lineup and did not turn the ball over, but he remained quiet offensively, missing all three of his shot attempts (all triples) and collecting a single assist in 29 minutes.

Perhaps Aubrey Dawkins was the best overall performer for the Maize and Blue with an efficient 11 points (1-of-2 2pt, 3-of-4 3pt) in just 19 minutes. But even he missed a wide open, violent tomahawk jam attempt down the heart of the lane when he tried to finish with a one-handed flourish and instead sent the ball clanging off the heel all the way back to half court.

There’s good reason to believe that Michigan took this one lightly, and it’s hard to blame them for it given the competition level. A loss here, however, would have been absolutely devastating. And though tonight’s matchup had all the makings of a trap game, Rutgers is not quite good enough yet to win on the road versus a talented Michigan squad even when they are off.

Still, this one never felt in great doubt despite Michigan trailing for 14+ minutes of the first half and never leading by more than 14 throughout.

So the Wolverines will march on with another ‘W’ notched on their resume – no asterisk needed – for the third straight game to bring their conference mark to 6-2 and their overall record to 16-5, already reaching last year’s win total with 10 regular season games to play.

At the end of the night, a win, as they say, is a win. No matter how it comes.

Quick hitters

• Following the win, John Beilein said he got an ominous feeling when, before the game, he could not find his scouting report on Rutgers for one final pre-game read through, as he does so every game day. As of press time, he had yet to locate it, but he claims this was the first time it had ever happened to him (perhaps unsurprisingly, given the level of competition) in his many years of coaching.

• Speaking of bizarre and unique happenings tonight, Rutgers made a mental mistake that John Beilein also never remembers having seen in his career that started when, late in the game, Zak Irvin stepped to the free throw line for a one-and-one opportunity and bricked the first attempt off the rim. A Rutgers player nonchalantly caught the carom, glanced around briefly as everyone looked confused and sat still (including Irvin, it should be noted), and proceeded to toss the ball to a referee sitting out of bounds on the baseline, giving Michigan the ball back. Four seconds later, Derrick Walton drew a foul and made both his freebies.

Beilein felt it was a critical possession, given that Michigan was up just eight points with 45 seconds remaining when the gaffe occurred. It seems highly unlikely that Rutgers would have pulled off the miraculous last-minute comeback á la Virginia, but we’ll never know.

Michigan’s Three Stars

***Derrick Walton Jr.***
14 points (0-of-4 2pt, 3-of-6 3pt, 5-of-5 FT), three rebounds (two offensive), four assists, one steal, two turnovers in 38 minutes

**Aubrey Dawkins**
11 points (1-of-2 2pt, 3-of-4 3pt), one rebound, one assist, zero turnovers in 19 minutes

*Zak Irvin*
8 points (1-of-2 2pt, 1-of-6 3pt, 3-of-5 FT), 12 rebounds, eight assists, two turnovers in 38 minutes

Season Three-Stars Standings

Derrick Walton Jr – 21
Duncan Robinson – 16
Caris LeVert – 15
Zak Irvin – 7
Aubrey Dawkins – 5
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman – 3
Mark Donnal – 1
Spike Albrecht – 1
Moritz Wagner – 1
Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
34 Mark Donnal* 4-6 0-0 2-2 0 4 4 2 10 1 2 1 1 31
10 Derrick Walton* 3-10 3-6 5-5 2 1 3 1 14 4 2 0 1 38
21 Zak Irvin* 2-8 1-6 3-5 0 12 12 2 8 8 2 0 0 38
22 Duncan Robinson* 5-14 4-9 4-4 1 3 4 3 18 2 2 0 0 34
12 Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman* 0-3 0-3 3-4 0 2 2 1 3 1 0 1 1 29
03 Kameron Chatman 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2
11 Andrew Dakich 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0+
13 Moritz Wagner 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
24 Aubrey Dawkins 4-6 3-4 0-0 1 0 1 2 11 1 0 0 0 19
32 Ricky Doyle 2-2 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 1 4 0 0 0 0 7
Totals 20-49 11-28 17-20 5 24 29 13 68 17 10 2 3 200
Rutgers 22-50 3-18 10-14 5 25 30 18 57 11 14 0 6 200
Full Stats
Beilein tie watch
(Sam Sedlecky, M&GB)

(Sam Sedlecky, M&GB)

Michigan 81 – Nebraska 68

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016


Walton vs Nebraska(Nati Harnik, AP)

It might not look like much on paper, but Michigan added another impressive win to its resume Saturday afternoon, knocking off a red-hot Nebraska team in Lincoln.

Tim Miles’ team kicked off the season a mediocre 8-8, but kicked things into gear when Big Ten play began. Close losses to Indiana and Iowa, the lone conference undefeated teams, berthed a four-game winning streak that included two 25-plus point wins and road victories over Illinois and Michigan State.

Michigan, despite knocking off conference favorite Maryland, had lost two of three entering the contest. But it was the Wolverines who dominated the pace wire-to-wire and put an end to the Cornhuskers’ winning streak.

Four Factors
Michigan Nebraska
65 eFG% 53
33 OReb% 25
22 TO% 16
49 FTR 16

Derrick Walton led the way for Michigan, dropping 19 points and pitching in with six assists. He also grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds for his 3rd double-double (one was a triple-double) of the season. His backcourt-mate Zak Irvin didn’t light up the stat sheet, but he dished out five big assists and never turned it over.

Duncan Robinson put an end to his brief shooting woes by hitting six of 12 shots for a game-high 21 points.

Mark Donnal benefitted from some great inside passing and finished with 14 points on six of eight shooting.

The Wolverines shut down a hot Nebraska offense, which was led by Andrew White’s 15 points on six of 14 shooting. Star forward Shavon Shields scored just 11 points on 11 shot attempts.

With the win, Michigan sits in a fourth-place tie with Purdue in the Big Ten. The Wolverines return home Wednesday to host the last-place Rutgers Scarlett Knights (0-7).

Michigan’s Three Stars

***Derrick Walton Jr.***
19 points (5-of-8 2pt, 4-of-6 3pt, 6-of-8 FT), 12 rebounds (two offensive), six assists, two steals, four turnovers in 37 minutes

**Duncan Robinson**
21 points (6-of-12 2pt, 3-of-7 3pt, 6-of-6 FT), two rebounds, three assists, two steals, one turnover in 39 minutes

*Mark Donnal*
14 points (4-of-8 2pt, 6-of-8 FT), four rebounds (all offensive), two blocks in 26 minutes

Season Three-Stars Standings

Derrick Walton Jr – 18
Duncan Robinson – 16
Caris LeVert – 15
Zak Irvin – 6
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman – 3
Aubrey Dawkins – 3
Mark Donnal – 1
Spike Albrecht – 1
Moritz Wagner – 1
Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
34 Mark Donnal* 4-8 0-0 6-8 4 0 4 1 14 0 0 2 0 26
10 Derrick Walton* 5-8 4-6 6-8 2 10 12 3 19 6 4 0 2 37
21 Zak Irvin* 3-7 2-4 0-0 0 4 4 1 8 5 0 0 1 37
22 Duncan Robinson* 6-12 3-7 6-6 0 2 2 2 21 3 1 0 2 39
12 Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman* 2-5 1-1 3-3 0 3 3 4 8 3 3 0 0 25
03 Kameron Chatman 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 3
11 Andrew Dakich 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0+
13 Moritz Wagner 2-2 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 2 4 0 2 0 0 8
24 Aubrey Dawkins 2-4 1-3 0-0 1 1 2 1 5 1 0 0 0 19
32 Ricky Doyle 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 1 2 0 1 0 0 6
Totals 25-47 11-21 20-23 8 24 32 15 81 18 14 2 6 200
Nebraska 28-58 6-22 6-9 8 16 24 18 68 11 10 3 9 200
Full Stats

Michigan 74 – Minnesota 69

Thursday, January 21st, 2016


Irvin vs Minnesota(MGoBlue.com)

After Wednesday night’s game that saw Minnesota visit Michigan, Golden Gopher coach Richard Pitino revealed that he’s been pleading with his hapless team to “win ugly”.

Unfortunately, his players only got the former half of that right.

The Wolverines, however, fully personified the phrase with a thank-goodness-that’s-over 74-69 victory to move to 4-2 in conference play and 14-5 overall. Minnesota left Ann Arbor still in search of their first Big Ten win after their seventh failed effort.

Once again without the services of senior leader Caris LeVert, whose fifth straight absence with a mysterious lower left leg injury continues to make fans increasingly nervous, Michigan’s juniors stepped up to the plate to lead the effort.

Zak Irvin, whose three-point shooting mark sat at a brutal 20 percent after non-conference play, continued to show off a more confident stroke – hitting three of his five triples – while mixing in a handful of comfortable drives, dishes, and finishes at the rim on his way to a 19-point, 11-rebound, three-assist performance. Since turning the calendar to Big Ten play, Irvin has flipped a switch, with a 46.4 percent mark from deep (13-of-28) and 23 assists in six games (3.8 per on a 21.2 assist rate – tops on the team since the New Year). And while his finishing inside the arc has actually been worse than from distance (40% in conference play), the Indiana native appears to be more aggressive driving to the rack without LeVert available.

He insists that it’s all simply part of the team’s “Next Man Up” mentality.

Derrick Walton, Irvin’s classmate, helped out with 22 points and six rebounds while playing nearly from tip to buzzer. Walton struggled from deep, converting on only one of his six triple tries, but he looked better finishing at the rim last night and made good from the charity stripe (11-of-12) despite coming into the game with an uncharacteristically low 73.8 percent conversion rate at the line (he made 79.3% and 83.3% in his freshman and sophomore campaigns, respectively).

Four Factors
Michigan Minnesota
44 eFG% 47
23 OReb% 19
8 TO% 17
37 FTR 29

No other Wolverine managed to reach double figures despite what seemed like a bevy of open looks, as the team finished with a rancid 29 percent rate from three and 43.8 percent rate from two for an effective FG% of just 43.7 percent.

Despite the shooting struggles, it never felt like Michigan was in serious danger of dropping the game – even if they did appear to be in hibernation for much of the contest. For what it’s worth, KenPom’s statistical win probability meter agreed, with the Maize and Blue never falling below a 90.8 percent likelihood of pulling it out – they were up by at least three points the entire second half.

Minnesota was paced by sophomore Nate Mason’s career high 25 points on 16 shots while Carlos Morris and Jordan Murphy combined for 27 points on 23 shots. As a team, the Gophers simply couldn’t hit anything from deep when it mattered – they didn’t make a three in the second half until there were 25 seconds left in the game – and finished with a poor 27.3 percent mark from distance. The visitors did, however, have some success driving and made 51.4 percent of their two-point looks, which Beilein attributed to a defensive focus on sticking with Minnesota’s perimeter shooters. And though Beilein said that strategy worked, citing the Golden Gophers’ shooting woes, Minnesota’s strength has always been getting to the hole and drawing fouls. Still, it was never going to be enough for Pitino’s squad, who also could not overcome then-leading scorer Joey King’s quiet three-point outing.

Fortunately, style points do not come into play in college basketball, and a lousy home win over Minnesota still goes into the proper column for Michigan, who has their sights set on competing for a conference title and jockeying for position in the Big Dance. It might sound a little far-fetched right now, and I’m certainly not arguing that the Wolverines are favorites in the Big Ten, but a 4-2 record with a slew of winnable games over the next few weeks is working just fine for now.

Michigan’s Three Stars

***Zak Irvin***
19 points (5-of-12 2pt, 3-of-5 3pt), 11 rebounds (one offensive), three assists, one steal, one turnover in 37 minutes

**Derrick Walton Jr.**
22 points (4-of-7 2pt, 1-of-6 3pt, 11-of-12 FT), six rebounds, one assist, one steal, one turnover in 39 minutes

*Duncan Robinson*
9 points (0-of-2 2pt, 3-of-10 3pt), five rebounds, one steal in 36 minutes

Season Three-Stars Standings

Caris LeVert – 15
Derrick Walton Jr – 15
Duncan Robinson – 14
Zak Irvin – 6
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman – 3
Aubrey Dawkins – 3
Spike Albrecht – 1
Moritz Wagner – 1
Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
34 Mark Donnal* 2-4 1-2 0-1 2 1 3 4 5 2 3 1 0 23
10 Derrick Walton* 5-13 1-6 11-12 0 6 6 2 22 1 1 0 1 39
21 Zak Irvin* 8-17 3-5 0-0 1 10 11 2 19 3 1 0 1 37
22 Duncan Robinson* 3-12 3-10 0-0 0 5 5 1 9 0 0 0 1 36
12 Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman* 0-3 0-2 6-8 0 4 4 4 6 2 0 1 0 29
05 D.J. Wilson 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
11 Andrew Dakich 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 5
13 Moritz Wagner 2-3 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 2 4 0 0 0 0 8
24 Aubrey Dawkins 3-7 1-4 0-0 1 2 3 2 7 0 0 0 0 15
32 Ricky Doyle 0-1 0-0 2-2 1 0 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 5
Totals 23-63 9-31 19-23 9 29 38 18 74 9 6 2 4 200
Minnesota 25-59 6-22 13-17 7 31 38 22 69 10 12 4 1 200
Full Stats
Beilein Tie Watch
(Sam Sedlecky, M&GB)

(Sam Sedlecky, M&GB)

#16 Iowa 82 – Michigan 71

Monday, January 18th, 2016


Darren Miller, hawkeyesports.com

Darren Miller, hawkeyesports.com

Today, Michigan played about as well as could be expected on the road without their leading scorer and their best player. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for the Wolverines in Iowa City, who will make the trip back to Ann Arbor with a 13-5 (3-2 Big Ten) record after an 82-71 loss.

Despite a ferocious comeback after falling into a quick 11-0 deficit and a couple more encouraging spurts along the way, Michigan simply couldn’t finish it off against an Iowa team that is firing on all offensive cylinders and is off to a 5-0 start – including two blowout victories over Michigan State and an epic comeback over #14 Purdue – in conference play.

Iowa came storming out of the gates this afternoon behind other-worldly shooting to take a double-digit lead within the first 2:11 of game time, making it look effortless and putting Michigan in danger of falling into the same pit as their in-state foes, who trailed by double digits for the entire second half last Thursday.

Instead, the Wolverines showed heart and fought back to eventually take a 21-20 lead less than 10 minutes after being down 11 with an array of wide open dunks and layups exploited by John Beilein’s coaching prowess.

Not to be outdone, the Hawkeyes followed that up with a 15-5 stretch of their own in just over six minutes of action, highlighted by a steal at midcourt that led to a one-man Adam Woodbury fast-break dunk.

The Wolverines cut the deficit to five by halftime and looked poised to steal a second statement game in as many tries when they regained the lead less than five minutes into the second stanza, but Iowa’s offensive barrage simply never slowed enough despite a respectful 46.3 percent mark from the floor for the visitors.

Four Factors
Michigan Iowa
56 eFG% 59
33 OReb% 23
20 TO% 6
26 FTR 18

Despite the pesky effort from the Wolverines, the Hawkeyes never lost flight, making more than half of their own attempts from the field and a ridiculous 45.5 percent of their threes.

Michigan was led by 16 points from point guard Derrick Walton Jr. and a nice 12-point outing from sophomore Aubrey Dawkins. Zak Irvin and Duncan Robinson poured in 11 apiece, but both were frequently disturbed by Iowa’s length on the perimeter. Irvin in particular struggled to penetrate a variety of defensive looks, turning it over three times, as he tried to reprise Caris LeVert’s role as best as he could.

Jared Uthoff paced the home squad with a (somehow) quiet 23 points on 20 shots while Peter Jok chipped in 16, including 14 in the second half that always seemed to come at the perfect moment for Iowa fans. Senior center Adam Woodbury also added 12 points on seven shots and the German, Dom Uhl, added a timely 10 points while senior floor general Mike Gesell only managed four points on as many shots.

We’ve heard time and again that there’s no such thing as a “moral victory” in college basketball, and that’s fine and good. But there’s also no denying that Michigan is starting to come into form despite missing a likely first round draft pick. Yes, they’ve “only” gone 1-2 over their last three, but a stretch of at Purdue, vs. Maryland, and at Iowa is going to be about as difficult as any team in the country faces this season. And the Wolverines escaped with one win, one closely contested loss, and one defeat that could have been a lot worse given the individual matchups.

If nothing else, John Beilein is finally getting productivity from every spot on the floor. Derrick Walton, still caught in a mini shooting rut, hit a couple big triples today despite a 5-of-14 mark from the floor and dished out six assists to just one turnover.

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, LeVert’s de facto replacement in the starting lineup, had an efficient seven points on five attempts, made his only three-point try, and recorded four assists for just the third time in his career – and the second time in a row.

Zak Irvin’s 11 points came on eight attempts and, though he sometimes tried to do too much on offense in LeVert’s stead, again battled defensively despite being three inches shorter than his counterpart and gathered eight total rebounds along with five assists.

Duncan Robinson had arguably his worst offensive game of the season, but he still scored 11 points on nine attempts (despite a 2-of-8 mark from downtown) and again showcased improved versatility with a nice take to the rack and a pair of assists.

Lastly, Mark Donnal rounded out the starting lineup and hustled his way to eight points on seven shots along with seven rebounds, including three on the offensive end. He’s still not an All-Conference type, but the strides he has made since the start of this season are remarkable. No longer is he timidly going after rebounds or asking for the ball; no, he is now hoping to see the rock come his way on offense, contesting shots on defense, and flying all over the floor for loose balls.

And that’s not even mentioning the sixth-man of the day. Aubrey Dawkins, who shone last year while Derrick Walton and LeVert sat through much of conference play, has gotten off to a slow start this season, but his game continues to develop. Today, he knocked down three of his five attempts from beyond the arc, made a very difficult entry pass look like an easy lay-in finish, and even assisted Moritz Wagner on a dunk on a beautiful roll midway through the first half, which earn him a big hug from Beilein.

In the end, it was 13 uncharacteristic turnovers that did Michigan in, and a remarkably low four turnovers from Iowa – including zero in the second half – that led to seven more shot attempts for the home team, that made the difference.

All in all, no Big Ten team ever wants to lose home or away. But it’s tough to look at the fight from Michigan today and say that hope is lost.

In fact, I’d say the season looks more hopeful than ever with the next four games coming versus Minnesota, at Nebraska, versus Rutgers, and at Penn State.

Michigan’s Three Stars

***Derrick Walton Jr.***
16 points (2-of-3 2pt, 3-of-11 3pt, 3-of-4 FT), six assists, five rebounds (one offensive), one turnover in 36 minutes

**Zak Irvin**
11 points (2-of-6 2pt, 1-of-2 3pt, 4-of-5 FT), eight rebounds (one offensive), five assists, one steal, three turnovers in 30 minutes

*Aubrey Dawkins*
12 points (1-of-1 2pt, 3-of-5 3pt, 1-of-2 FT), two rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block, one turnover in 18 minutes

Season Three-Stars Standings

Caris LeVert – 15
Duncan Robinson – 13
Derrick Walton – 13
Zak Irvin – 3
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman – 3
Aubrey Dawkins – 3
Spike Albrecht – 1
Moritz Wagner – 1
Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
34 Mark Donnal* 4-7 0-0 0-0 4 4 8 2 8 0 3 0 0 28
10 Derrick Walton* 5-14 3-11 3-4 1 3 4 2 16 6 1 0 0 36
21 Zak Irvin* 3-8 1-2 4-5 1 7 8 1 11 5 3 0 0 30
22 Duncan Robinson* 3-9 2-8 3-3 0 2 2 4 11 2 2 0 0 34
12 Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman* 3-5 1-1 0-0 1 2 3 0 7 4 3 2 0 33
05 D.J. Wilson 1-3 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 6
11 Andrew Dakich 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3
13 Moritz Wagner 2-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 2 4 0 0 0 0 10
24 Aubrey Dawkins 4-6 3-5 1-2 0 2 2 1 12 1 1 1 1 18
32 Ricky Doyle 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
Totals 25-54 10-28 11-14 10 23 33 14 71 18 13 3 1 200
Iowa 31-61 10-22 10-11 7 20 27 13 82 19 4 3 8 200
Full Stats

Michigan 70 – #3 Maryland 67

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016


Walton vs Maryland(MGoBlue.com)

With seven minutes and 33 seconds left on the clock last night, Michigan came face-to-face with its season. The Wolverines could see the opportunity right in front of them, they could taste it in the beads of sweat running down their faces, they could feel it in their thumping hearts and hear it in the deafening roars of the crowd.

With 7:33 left against No.3 ranked Maryland, Michigan was tied up at 54 on their home floor. They had let the Terrapins chip away at a 13-point second half lead, but the victory could still be wrested from the hands of their foes.

They almost let it slip away. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman would re-take the lead 33 seconds later before Maryland’s freshman sensation Diamond Stone muscled his way to an and-1 – and Maryland’s first lead of the second half – on the other side of the floor.

Down their star senior, Caris LeVert, and struggling to keep their legs under them after a comfortable cushion was so quickly removed, the Wolverines had every reason to give up.

Instead, juniors Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton embraced their squad’s “Next Man Up” mantra, put the team on their shoulders, and led the Maize and Blue to a nerve-racking, season-defining 70-67 win.

When the going got rough, Irvin and Walton stepped up like John Beilein hadn’t seen before to ensure that this game would not fall through the cracks and be another “so close” in the loss column.

A few minutes after Stone’s three-point play, Walton swished a gutsy step-back triple from the right wing to give his team a five point edge, then Irvin took matters into his own hands on the following possession with a no-no-no-YES triple off the bounce from the top of the key to bring the lead to eight. Rasheed Sulaimon quickly nailed a three for Maryland before Walton hit another difficult jumper – this time a two – to go up seven with 2:11 to play.

Another three from Sulaimon would start the serious jitters in the crowd at Crisler, and a missed front-end of a one-and-one from Irvin felt like pandemonium waiting to break out.

Four Factors
Michigan Maryland
58 eFG% 50
22 OReb% 35
13 TO% 19
25 FTR 19

Mark Donnal wouldn’t allow it. After getting called for a questionable shooting foul on Stone, who hit two free throws to make it a two-point game, Donnal secured a crucial offensive rebound off a missed layup from Walton with fewer than 20 seconds to play. Walton corrected his mistake by calling a heads-up timeout to secure an inbounds play, which went to Donnal, who immediately was sent to the line for a one-and-one opportunity of his own. For all those free throws stood for, Donnal remained calm.

“Basically I just gotta focus on making it. You shoot free throws every day in practice and I basically just shut everything out.”

He hit the all-important first free throw and missed the second, but was able to play good enough defense on Sulaimon in the closing seconds off a defensive switch that the Duke transfer couldn’t hit a tying three.

Michigan held on and breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Irvin, who finished with a game-high 22 points on 14 shots and made three of his seven triples, was the star of the night, while Walton’s 12 points all seemed to come at the perfect time despite a poor shooting night inside. Duncan Robinson chipped in with what’s becoming a routine game of five triples to help him pour in 17.

Without LeVert, taking down Maryland seemed like a very tall task. But the defense and distance shooting were just good enough to slay the giant.

That defense, which struggled against an array of bigs from Mark Turgeon’s team, limited star Maryland point guard Melo Trimble to two points on seven shots and forced four turnovers from the First Team All-Big Ten lead man. Perhaps more impressive, however, was the Wolverines’ ability to keep Trimble off the free throw line, where he does plenty of damage. It was just the fifth time in his career that the sophomore did not get a single freebie attempt. Equally impressive was Michigan’s defense on Sulaimon, who needed 10 shots to reach eight points despite being one of the best shooters in the country.

Irvin in particular came up huge offensively with an array of mid-range jumpers, threes, and a few assists as well, prompting Maryland coach Mark Turgeon to call him “unguardable”, and helping him continue to forget about his shooting struggles in the non-conference season.

Asked about where his confidence stands now, Irvin admitted, “I had a little rough patch at the beginning of the season, but I definitely think it’s coming back, especially beating Maryland tonight was huge for us,” as he cracked a smile.

It’s hard to understate the importance of just how huge it indeed was. The Wolverines had a handful of decent wins before turning the calendar to the New Year, but none was of the hat-hanger variety.

Now, they have one locked up in their back pockets.

Another opportunity is right around the corner with a difficult road trip to Iowa City coming this weekend. For now, though, the Wolverines can take a breath and smile. The season has begun.

Quick Hitters

• I thought this was the best Michigan has played as a team in any real game this season. Without LeVert, multiple players needed to step up – and they did just that. In addition to the three stars, I thought that Rahk played within his game despite only posting five points, Donnal had another solid, if unspectacular, performance, and Aubrey Dawkins played spot minutes and got a couple momentous buckets in 12 minutes of action.

Rahk was also tremendous on defense, and his four assists tied a career high. On one fast break, he did an excellent job of cutting to the middle of the floor as soon as he saw Duncan Robinson wide open on the wing, which served to give him a better passing angle that he used perfectly to record a beautiful dime. In a similar fast-break opportunity, Derrick Walton could have found a slasher or Robinson open on the wing and instead bumbled his way right into the defense to give the Terps a fast break the other way.

Additionally, Donnal kept up his solid play. He’s clearly the best option at the five on both ends of the floor right now, and he’s finishing inside better than he ever has before. I was surprised to see him miss two open threes (that was really his forte in high school), but his effort on the glass was spectacular against a ferocious frontline. At the end of the first half, he had a sequence in which he blocked two sure-thing Maryland layups that erased four points and then got his fingers on a tip-in at the buzzer to give Michigan an eight-point lead at the break.

• Against Maryland’s tall and big front line, Beilein said he inserted three different double-down packages into the game plan to help Irvin, Robinson, and Donnal deal with their matchups, but the Wolverines got confused as to who to double-down on at different times, so they eventually scrapped the plan and went all man-to-man down low.

Michigan’s Three Stars

***Zak Irvin***
22 points (5-of-7 2pt, 3-of-7 3pt, 3-of-6 FT), three assists, two rebounds, two steals, one turnover in 37 minutes

**Derrick Walton Jr.**
12 points (1-of-6 2pt, 3-of-7 3pt, 1-of-2 FT), 10 rebounds (one offensive), four assists, one steal, two turnovers in 38 minutes

*Duncan Robinson*
17 points (1-of-1 2pt, 5-of-9 3pt), one rebound, one assist, one steal, one turnover in 35 minutes

Season Three-Stars Standings

Caris LeVert – 15
Duncan Robinson – 13
Derrick Walton – 10
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman – 3
Zak Irvin – 3
Aubrey Dawkins – 2
Spike Albrecht – 1
Moritz Wagner – 1
Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
34 Mark Donnal* 3-7 0-3 2-3 3 6 9 4 8 0 0 2 2 33
10 Derrick Walton* 4-13 3-7 1-2 1 9 10 1 12 4 2 0 1 38
21 Zak Irvin* 8-14 3-7 3-6 0 2 2 1 22 3 1 0 2 37
22 Duncan Robinson* 6-10 5-9 0-0 0 1 1 3 17 1 1 0 1 35
12 Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman* 2-3 1-1 0-0 1 2 3 1 5 4 1 0 0 34
03 Kam Chatman 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
05 D.J. Wilson 0-2 0-2 2-2 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 2 0 5
11 Andrew Dakich 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
24 Aubrey Dawkins 2-4 0-0 0-0 2 0 2 0 4 0 0 0 1 12
32 Ricky Doyle 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
Totals 25-53 12-29 8-13 7 20 27 12 70 12 8 4 7 200
Maryland 26-58 6-24 9-11 11 25 36 16 67 8 12 2 3 200
Full Stats
Beilein Tie Watch
Beilein vs Maryland

(Sam Sedlecky, M&GB)

#20 Purdue 87 – Michigan 70

Thursday, January 7th, 2016


MAAR vs Purdue(Dustin Johnson, UM Hoops)

Tonight started with bad news for the visiting Michigan Wolverines when Caris LeVert was deemed unable to play for the second straight game.

Unfortunately, the news never got much better, as the senior-less Wolverines dropped their first Big Ten road game this season by an 87-70 mark to Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana. And while the final score is a bit deceiving, given that the Maize and Blue never trailed by more than 11 points before the 4:13 mark of the second half, and cut the deficit to as little as five points thrice in the second half, it never fully felt like they had much of a chance in a matchup against the stifling Boilermaker different.

One of the few bright spots for Michigan would prove to be sophomore Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, who ducked, drove, shot, and weaved his way to an impressive and career best 25-point showing. But the majority of his teammates never got it going from the floor versus the statistically best defensive team in the country when it comes to opponents’ field goal percentage, and Purdue’s size and timely shooting were too much to overcome for the short-handed visitors.

A.J. Hammons, the behemoth star senior Boilermaker, was a terror all night on both ends of the floor. Michigan players tried time and again to find their way into the paint, but they either quickly thought better of it and turned around, put up an altered prayer of a shot, or had it swatted right back in their faces. Offensively, Hammons was able to use his wide frame to get and maintain great post position, helping him to make six of his nine two-point attempts from close range while also putting a cherry on top of his performance with a three from the top of the key (putting him at a perfect 4-of-4 from deep on the season). When Michigan double- or triple-teamed him, he remained calm and found open shooters on the perimeter. Hammons final line – 17 points, five rebounds, four blocks, and three assists – looks unspectacular, but showcases his efficiency and supremely improved all-around game.

Senior Raphael Davis also joined the party for Purdue with 16 points on nine shots, six assists, five rebounds, and a block of his own while locking down Duncan Robinson, Zak Irvin, and Derrick Walton intermittently throughout the evening. Davis dished out a game-high six assists as well to help his squad record dimes on a mind-blowing 86.7 percent of their made field goals (26-of-30).

The loss is certainly not unexpected for the Maize and Blue, but it is an opportunity unseized after starting conference play with two convincing wins (albeit against lesser opponents) and having a fighter’s chance for most of tonight. At the same time, this will likely go down as one of their toughest games all year, and with LeVert watching from the bench, it was going to require a mammoth effort and a pristine shooting night – and at 37.7 percent from the field for John Beilein’s vaunted offense, it was anything but that.

Michigan entered the night as the best effective field goal percentage (calculated by (FGM + 0.5 * 3PM) / FGA to account for the added value of triples) offense in the country, but struggled to penetrate or shoot over the strong Purdue defense. Rahk emerged as one of the few brave enough to drive into Hammons and fellow seven-footer Isaac Haas, and was the only one to make more than half of his field goal attempts (10-of-16 total), while the only two others to reach double figures – Derrick Walton Jr. and Duncan Robinson – needed nine and eight shots to score 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Mark Donnal, coming off two breakout showings to kick off conference play, managed seven points, but did so by making his two triple tries and one free throw while going 0-of-4 from two-point range. He also grabbed three offensive rebounds and five total to help the Wolverines mitigate Purdue’s advantage on the glass, for what it was worth.

Zak Irvin also managed only seven points on a miserable 2-of-10 shooting night (0-of-3 from deep) riddled with poor shot selection and led the team with both four turnovers and three assists.

Luckily for Michigan, tonight’s loss was of the house money variety. Purdue’s size and defensive prowess were bound to give a more finesse Wolverine team problems and only the least knowledgeable or most demanding of fans can be too disappointed in the outcome. Beilein will likely watch the tape once, glean any small bits of positive information out of it (perhaps a bit more isolation play for Rahk), and then chalk it up to a brutally difficult matchup.

But some quality wins will be needed in the not-so-distant future if Michigan is to be watching comfortably on Selection Sunday. There will be more chances on that front – the Wolverines welcome Maryland to Ann Arbor next Tuesday before traveling to Iowa City the following Sunday – but it’s going to take a battle.

Enter Caris LeVert and a bit of a softer defensive opponent and those chances look a lot more obtainable.

Michigan’s Three Stars

***Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman***
25 points (8-of-11 2pt, 2-of-5 3pt, 3-of-3 FT), two assists, four rebounds (one offensive), two steals, zero turnovers in 39 minutes

**Duncan Robinson**
10 points (1-of-3 2pt, 2-of-5 3pt, 2-of-2 FT), five rebounds, one assist, one steal, zero turnovers in 30 minutes

*Derrick Walton Jr.*
12 points (1-of-6 2pt, 2-of-3 3pt, 4-of-6 FT), six rebounds (one offensive), one assist, one turnover in 33 minutes

Season Three-Stars Standings

Caris LeVert – 15
Duncan Robinson – 12
Derrick Walton – 8
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman – 3
Aubrey Dawkins – 2
Spike Albrecht – 1
Moritz Wagner – 1
Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
34 Mark Donnal* 2-6 2-2 1-2 3 2 5 1 7 0 1 0 1 13
10 Derrick Walton* 3-9 2-3 4-6 1 5 6 3 12 1 1 0 0 33
21 Zak Irvin* 2-10 0-3 3-3 1 1 2 1 7 3 4 0 1 38
22 Duncan Robinson* 3-8 2-5 2-2 0 5 5 3 10 1 0 0 1 30
12 Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman* 10-16 2-5 3-3 1 3 4 4 25 2 0 0 2 39
05 D.J. Wilson 1-5 1-5 0-0 0 0 0 3 3 2 0 1 1 15
11 Andrew Dakich 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 8
13 Moritz Wagner 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 4
24 Aubrey Dawkins 2-5 2-4 0-0 1 0 1 0 6 0 0 0 1 12
32 Ricky Doyle 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 8
Totals 23-61 11-27 13-16 9 19 28 21 70 10 8 2 7 200
Purdue 30-54 9-18 18-21 6 30 36 13 87 26 9 7 5 200
Full Stats

Michigan 41 – Florida 7: Wolverines smoke Gators for 10th win

Monday, January 4th, 2016


Michigan vs Florida(MGoBlue.com)

Prior to Friday’s Citrus Bowl, Michigan’s offense had surpassed 500 yards just once all season, in a 48-41 double-overitme win at Indiana. Prior to Friday’s Citrus Bowl, Florida’s defense, which ranked sixth nationally, allowing 295.4 yards per game, hadn’t surrendered 500 yards to anyone. On Friday, Michigan’s offense racked up 503 yards, scoring on seven of nine possessions, en route to a 41-7 blowout of the SEC East champion Gators.

UM-Florida-small-FINAL
Final Stats
Michigan Florida
Score 41 7
Record 10-3 (6-2) 10-4 (7-1)
Total Yards 503 273
Net Rushing Yards 225 118
Net Passing Yards 278 155
First Downs 28 14
Turnovers 0 2
Penalties-Yards 4-30 7-66
Punts-Yards 1-57 4-216
Time of Possession 38:38 21:22
Third Down Conversions 9-of-12 7-of-13
Fourth Down Conversions 0-of-0 0-of-2
Sacks By-Yards 2-24 0-0
Field Goals 2-for-2 0-for-0
PATs 5-for-5 1-for-1
Red Zone Scores-Chances 6-of-7 1-of-3
Red Zone Scores-TDs 4-of-7 1-of-3
Full Box Score

After a month to prepare, Michigan turned in its most complete performance of the season, thoroughly dominating Florida to achieve the 27th 10-plus win season in the program’s 136 year history.

Both teams entered the contest boasting top-10 defenses, leading most to believe the game would be a low-scoring affair. But it was Michigan’s defense that lived up to its billing, holding Florida to just 273 total yards and seven points. The Gators managed 118 rushing yards on 27 carries, and Florida quarterback Treon Harris completed just eight of 21 passes for 146 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception.

Florida opened its whole bag of tricks, trying a fake field goal, a fake punt, a flea flicker, and a play that included a direct snap to the running back, reverse to the receiver, pass to the quarterback. Only the latter produced a positive result for the Gators, resulting in their only touchdown of the game.

Michigan, meanwhile, didn’t need trick plays; simply a sound, fundamental football. Jake Rudock completed 20 of 31 pass attempts for 278 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. Even with the game well in hand in the fourth quarter, Harbaugh left him in to the end, a fitting tribute to the grad-year senior who transferred from Iowa and improved his chances of being drafted this April from none to, well, a chance.

Jehu Chesson continued his rise from seldom-used contributor to star in the making. The redshirt junior caught five passes for 118 yards and a touchdown, torching Vernon Hargreaves, who most believe to be a first-round draft pick in a few months.

De’Veon Smith eclipsed 100 yards for the first time since a Week 4 win over BYU, rushing for 109 yards on 25 carries. Drake Johnson and Sione Houma also ran well, notching a touchdown apiece. Johnson added a receiving score as well.

It was a fitting end to Harbaugh’s first season at the helm, sending off a small but important senior group, and setting up great expectations entering the offseason, with a thorough beatdown of a good SEC team.

Michigan and Florida entered in very similar positions — better than expected seasons under first-year head coaches. But Friday’s Citrus Bowl left the two on divergent paths nine months before they step on the field again and shows which coach has his team in better position.

Michigan has some holes to fill next season — namely at quarterback, center, and linebacker — but with nearly everyone returning, and a likely Top 10 preseason ranking, expectations should be through the roof. But before we get there, we get a 41-7 win over the SEC East champion to hang our hat on all offseason.

Game Ball – Offense

Jake Rudock (20 of 31 for 278 yards, 3 TDs, 4 carries for 29 yards)
In his final game as a collegiate athlete, Jake Rudock went out the same way he did in his final game of high school: a champion in Citrus Bowl Stadium. The St. Thomas Aquinas product and Iowa transfer capped his career with a remarkable performance against the nation’s 11th-best pass defense with at least two future NFL draft picks in the secondary. He looked night and day different from the beginning of the season when many Michigan fans questioned whether or not he was the right man for the job. By the end of the game, one would be hard pressed to find a single Michigan fan who didn’t wish Rudock had one more year of eligibility. He moved into second place in school history in single season passing yards with 3,017 and became the first Michigan quarterback to pass for more than 250 yards in five consecutive games.

Previous:
Week 1 – Jake Butt (8 receptions for 93 yards and 1 TD)
Week 2 – De’Veon Smith (23 carries for 126 yards, 3 TDs)
Week 3 – Ty Isaac (8 carries for 114 yards, 1 TD)
Week 4 — De’Veon Smith (16 carries for 125 yards and 1 TD)
Week 5 — Drake Johnson (13 carries for 68 yards, 1 TD, 1 rec for 31 yards, 1 TD)
Week 6 — Mason Cole, Ben Braden, Graham Glasgow, Kyle Kalis, Erik Magnuson
Week 7 — Kenny Allen (3-for-3 field goals, 2-2 PATs)
Week 8 — Jabrill Peppers (4 carries for 16 yards, 1 TD, 1 punt return for 41 yards, 1 kick return for 43 yards)
Week 9 — Jake Rudock (18 of 25 for 337 yards, 2 TDs, 1 carry for 4 yards, 1 TD)
Week 10 — Jake Rudock (33 of 46 for 440 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT, 7 carries for 64 yards)
Week 11 — Jake Rudock (25 of 38 for 256 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT)
Week 12 — Jehu Chesson (8 receptions for 111 yards, 1 TD)

Game Ball – Defense

Chris Wormley (4 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack)
This was a tough one as the entire defense played well and essentially shut down Florida’s offense. Joe Bolden said after the game when asked if he was surprised that Florida only scored seven points, that he was surprised that the did score seven points. That’s the mentality of a great defense, and it started with the defensive front. Chris Wormley was unblockable for the Florida offensive line and recorded four tackles, two-and-a-half tackles for loss, and a sack.

Previous:
Week 1 – Chris Wormley (5 tackles, 3 TFL)
Week 2 – Chris Wormley (6 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack)
Week 3 – Jourdan Lewis (3 tackles, 4 PBU)
Week 4 — Ryan Glasgow (3 tackles, 2 TFL)
Week 5 — Desmond Morgan (9 tackles, 1 INT, 2 PBU)
Week 6 — Jourdan Lewis (4 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 1 touchdown, 1 PBU)
Week 7 — Willie Henry (5 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 PBU)
Week 8 — James Ross (9 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack)
Week 9 — Chris Wormley (4 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks)
Week 10 — Delano Hill (10 tackles, 8 solo, 1 PBU)
Week 11 — Taco Charlton (4 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks)
Week 12 — Jourdan Lewis (6 tackles, 5 solo, 1 TFL, 1 sack)

Final Individual Stats
Passing Comp-Att Yds Avg. TD INT Long Sack
Jake Rudock 20-31 278 9.0 3 0 45 0
Treon Harris 8-21 146 7.0 0 1 27 2
Josh Grady 1-2 7 3.5 0 0 7 0
Antonio Callaway (WR) 1-1 2 2.0 1 0 2 0
Johnny Townsend (P) 0-1 1 0.0 0 0 1 0
Rushing Car. Yards Avg. TD Long
De’Veon Smith 25 109 4.4 0 24
Drake Johnson 6 58 9.7 1 17
Treon Harris (QB) 11 55 5.0 0 22
Kelvin Taylor 11 50 4.5 0 21
Seone Houma 9 32 3.6 1 8
Jake Rudock (QB) 4 29 7.3 0 14
Jordan Conkrite 3 17 5.7 0 8
Taven Bryan (DL) 1 -1 -1.0 0 -1
Josh Grady (QB) 1 -3 -3.0 0 -3
Receiving Rec Yds Avg. TD Long
Jehu Chesson 5 118 23.6 1 45
Antonio Callaway 5 75 26.0 0 26
Grant Perry 5 51 10.2 1 24
Jake Butt (TE) 3 34 11.3 0 12
Brandon Powell 1 26 26.0 0 26
Khalid Hill 1 24 24.0 0 24
Amara Darboh 2 24 12.0 0 17
Chris Thompson 1 20 20.0 0 20
Ian Bunting (TE) 1 17 17.0 0 17
Demarcus Robinson 1 17 17.0 0 17
Jordan Cronkrite (RB) 1 15 15.0 0 15
Drake Johnson (RB) 2 10 5.0 1 8
Treon Harris (QB) 1 2 2.0 1 2
De’Veon Smith (RB) 1 0 0.0 0 0
Kicking FG Pct Long XP Pts
Kenny Allen 2/2 100.0 25 5/5 11
Neil MacInnes 0/0 0.0 0 1/1 1
Punting No Yds Avg TB In 20 Long
Johnny Townsend 4 216 54.0 0 0 61
Kenny Allen 1 57 57.0 1 0 57
Kick Returns No Yds Avg Long TD
Antonio Callaway 3 79 26.3 37 0
Vernon Hargreaves 2 38 19.0 25 0
Brandon Powell 2 36 18.0 19 0
Jehu Chesson 1 28 28.0 28 0
Punt Returns No Yds Avg Long TD
Amara Darboh 1 11 11.0 11 0

Michigan 105 – Youngstown State 46

Sunday, December 20th, 2015


Derrick Walton vs YSU(MGoBlue.com)

Last night’s Michigan matching with the Youngstown State Penguins was the third of four straight “guarantee” games before Big Ten season arrives.

And much like the previous two, this game quickly turned into a highlight show for the Wolverines, capped with yet another triple-double, this time from junior point guard Derrick Walton Jr.

Michigan stormed out of the gates yet again to a 9-0 lead behind a commonplace triple by Duncan Robinson and a pair of two-pointers from Zak Irvin, who has gone from shooter extraordinaire his freshman year to a guy who can do a bit of everything inside the arc but is broken from deep.

Moritz Wagner’s free throw at the 14:32 mark of the first half gave Michigan a double-digit lead, which they would never relinquish. By the time halftime graciously arrived, the Wolverines held a 55-22 advantage. Still, the Penguins chose to continue playing and ended up buried at the buzzer by a 105-46 final score to bring Michigan to 9-3 on the year.

Four Factors
Michigan YSU
71 eFG% 36
33 OReb% 12
9 TO% 17
28 FTR 23

Irvin, who pitched in eight points on a perfect 4-of-4 mark from two-point range, missed all three of his triple attempts to bring his three-point shooting average to a miserable 17.1 percent (7-of-41) on the season. Coach John Beilein just thinks Irvin needs to see a couple deep shots drop to give his junior some confidence, but Irvin seems hesitant to even attempt them at this point.

The story of the night, however, was Derrick Walton’s 10-point, 13-assist, 11-rebound triple-double, which came just one game after Caris LeVert accomplished the same feat four days before. Walton’s triple-double is the fifth on record for the Michigan basketball team and the fourth to happen under the tutelage of Beilein after Manny Harris, Darius Morris, and LeVert previously reached the milestone.

It is also the first time on record that two different players on the same college team recorded triple-doubles in back-to-back games.

Walton, in his normally soft-spoken tone, praised his teammates for making shots and boxing out for him as he inched closer and closer to his personal highlight.

Second to the triple-double was the re-emergence of sophomore Aubrey Dawkins, who had fallen into partial obscurity after starring in conference play a season ago. His shooting numbers had remained pretty consistent with last year’s, but Dawkins had not quite made as much noise as was expected out of him after being the most efficient scorer in Big Ten play last year and being pegged as Michigan’s most improved player over the offseason by Beilein.

That changed against Youngstown State when Dawkins, who was the last bench player to check into the game (despite being a starter to begin the year) in the first half, showed off his potential with fireworks all over the place. In the span of just more than seven minutes, Dawkins hit a two-pointer from inside the paint, knocked down a pair of triples, converted an awe-inspiring, one-handed, and-one alley-oop, and threw down a crazy 360 dunk on the fast break. All five buckets were assisted by Walton.

Dawkins would go on to finish with 19 points on 11 shots, tying for the team lead along with LeVert, whose somehow quiet 19-point, six-rebound, five-assist, zero-turnover night was largely overshadowed by Walton.

Lastly, Wolverines fans breathed one more sigh of relief in an exciting non-contest of a game when redshirt freshman D.J. Wilson checked into the game with six minutes left in the night after missing two straight games with an ankle injury. Wilson proceeded to score a career-high 12 points on just six shots while grabbing two rebounds and dishing an assist to Kameron Chatman, who finished with eight himself. Wilson knocked down two straight threes from the right wing to close the night out – a very encouraging sign for a player that I believe has loads of potential at the 4 or 5 position.

The Sacramento native’s first trey put the home team over the century mark, much to the pleasure of a sparse holiday crowd, and his second three gave his team its highest scoring mark of the season and the second highest margin of victory in Michigan history for good measure.

Now, Michigan will have to get up for one more should-be cakewalk against Bryant this Wednesday (7:00pm on BTN) before Big Ten play kicks off on the road in Champaign, Illinois a week later.

If these Wolverines continue to put up these eye-popping numbers behind its high-powered offense and make strides on defense, it could be quite an interesting conference season.

Let’s hope Santa brings just that.

Michigan’s Three Stars

***Derrick Walton***
10 points (3-of-6 2pt, 1-of-4 3pt, 1-of-2 FT), 11 rebounds, 13 assists, four steals, one block, two turnovers in 29 minutes

**Caris LeVert**
19 points (4-of-4 2pt, 3-of-4 3pt, 2-of-2 FT), six rebounds (one offensive), five assists, one steal, zero turnovers in 26 minutes

*Aubrey Dawkins*
19 points (6-of-6 2pt, 2-of-5 3pt, 1-of-1 FT), two rebounds, one block, zero turnovers in 16 minutes

Season Three-Stars Standings

Caris LeVert – 15
Duncan Robinson – 10
Derrick Walton – 7
Aubrey Dawkins – 2
Spike Albrecht – 1
Moritz Wagner – 1
Beilein CoachSpeakometer

John Beilein is always quick to praise Michigan’s opponent – whether playing against the worst team in the country or one of the best. Here’s a look at a Beilein quote from this game’s press conference followed by a rating from Completely Objective and Fair (1) to Pure and Utter Coachspeak (10) on the John Beilein CoachSpeakometer

Beilein did not comment directly on Youngstown State’s strength other than that he thought they ran similar stuff to Northern Kentucky, which is not exactly high praise considering the beating the Norse also took at Crisler, but Beilein praised Northern Kentucky extensively. The Coachspeakometer takes another game off.

Beilein Tie Watch
(Sam Sedlecky, M&GB)

(Sam Sedlecky, M&GB)

Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
32 Ricky Doyle* 3-3 0-0 2-3 1 0 1 2 8 0 1 0 0 13
10 Derrick Walton* 4-10 1-4 1-2 0 11 11 0 10 13 2 1 4 29
21 Zak Irvin* 4-7 0-3 0-0 0 5 5 0 8 1 1 0 1 26
22 Duncan Robinson* 5-10 4-7 0-0 2 4 6 0 14 3 1 1 1 28
23 Caris LeVert* 7-8 3-4 2-2 1 5 6 2 19 5 0 0 1 26
03 Kameron Chatman 2-6 0-3 4-4 1 0 1 2 8 2 0 0 0 10
05 D.J. Wilson 5-6 2-3 0-0 0 2 2 0 12 1 0 0 0 6
11 Andrew Dakich 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 1 0 2 1 0 0 8
12 Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 3 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 13
13 Moritz Wagner 2-3 0-1 3-6 3 2 5 3 7 1 0 0 0 16
24 Aubrey Dawkins 8-11 2-5 1-1 0 2 2 1 19 0 0 1 0 16
34 Mark Donnal 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9
Totals 40-65 12-30 13-18 9 37 46 11 105 29 6 3 7 200
Youngstown State 17-57 7-23 5-13 5 18 23 15 46 9 12 1 3 200
Full Stats