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Posts Tagged ‘Deshaun Thomas’

Michigan 76 – Ohio State 74 OT: Wolverines crack pesky Buckeyes

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013


Final 1st 2nd OT Total
#3 Michigan (21-2, 8-2) 30 42 4 76
#10 Ohio State (17-5, 7-3) 31 41 2 74

Tim Hardaway Jr hit five threes in the second half to propel Michigan (Gregory Shamus, Getty Images)

Trailing by five midway through the second half of a must-win battle with Ohio State, Tim Hardaway Jr. decided it was time to take over the game. The enigmatic junior drained four straight three-pointers as Ohio State matched him with twos on the other end. The fourth gave Michigan a 55-54 lead – its first lead since just before the half after leading for most of the first half.

But a 6-0 Buckeye spurt again put Michigan down by five, prompting John Beilein to call a timeout. Mitch McGary converted a put-back and Hardaway followed it up with yet another three. But Michigan couldn’t stop the Buckeyes on the other end of the court, and it wasn’t until a Nik Stauskas three at the 3:27 mark that Michigan regained the lead once again.

Following an Amir Williams free throw that tied the game, a pair of strange plays kept the momentums wings going. Hardway drove the lane looking for a dunk, but the ball was swatted away right into the arms of Trey Burke who nailed a three. On the other end, Deshaun Thomas missed a three and Stauskas grabbed the rebound, but as he tried to get it to Burke, a Buckeye defender tipped it right back to Thomas who drilled a three to tie the game once again.

The teams traded baskets and Michigan got the ball back with 21 seconds remaining with a chance to win the game. But Burke’s step-back three over Thomas at the buzzer was no good and overtime ensued.

Burke started the scoring in the extra stanza with a three, but Michigan was held scoreless until Glenn Robinson III hit the front end of two free throws with seven seconds remaining. Fortunately, Michigan’s defense turned up the intensity and got the good fortune of Thomas not even taking a shot in overtime, as the Wolverines limited the Buckeyes to just two points in the period. Aaron Craft’s last-second drive to the basket was swatted away by Hardaway and Michigan came away victorious.

It was a heavyweight bout in front of an electrified Crisler Center, and most importantly, the win kept Michigan well within reach of the Big Ten title.

Hardaway led all scorers with 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting (6-of-9 from three). Burke scored 16 and dished out eight assists compared to just two turnovers against Ohio State’s pesky defender Craft. Mitch McGary played perhaps the best game of his young career, scoring 14 points and grabbing six rebounds, while Stauskas added 11 and Robinson chipped in 10.

Michigan held Thomas to 17 points – three below his season average – on 6-of-15 shooting, and although Ohio State outshot Michigan from the field (51.7 percent to 46.7 percent), Michigan made twice as many threes (14 to seven). Michigan also outrebounded the Buckeyes 32-30, including a 13-9 advantage on the offensive glass.

The Wolverines head back out on the road for a pair of games with Wisconsin and Michigan State before getting a relative breather. The Wisconsin game is Saturday at noon on ESPN.

Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
01 Glenn Robinson III* 3-8 1-3 3-5 3 1 4 1 10 4 1 0 2 41
15 Jon Horford* 1-3 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 2 2 2 0 1 0 13
03 Trey Burke* 6-12 4-7 0-0 1 2 3 2 16 8 2 1 0 43
10 Tim Hardaway Jr.* 7-14 6-9 3-5 0 2 2 2 23 1 2 1 1 41
11 Nik Stauskas* 4-8 3-5 0-0 2 4 6 1 11 1 4 0 0 43
02 Spike Albrecht 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2
04 Mitch McGary 7-13 0-0 1-1 3 3 6 1 14 1 0 1 4 29
23 Caris LeVert 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9
52 Jordan Morgan 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 4
Totals 28-60 14-24 6-11 13 19 32 9 76 18 11 4 7 205
Ohio State 30-58 7-16 7-10 9 21 30 11 74 15 11 7 7 205

Michigan vs Ohio State quick thoughts

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013


#3 Michigan vs #10 Ohio State
Tuesday, Feb. 5 | 9pm ET | ESPN
20-2 (7-2) Record 17-4 (7-2)
Slippery Rock 100-62
IUPUI 91-54
Cleveland State 77-47
Pittsburgh 67-62
Kansas State 71-57
NC State 79-72
Bradley 74-66
W. Michigan 73-41
Arkansas 80-67
Binghamton 67-39
West Virginia 81-66
E. Michigan 93-54
C. Michigan 88-73
Northwestern 94-66
Iowa 95-67
Nebraska 62-47
#9 Minnesota 83-75
Purdue 68-53
Illinois 74-60
Northwestern 68-46
Wins Albany 82-60
Rhode Island 69-58
Washington 77-66
UMKC 91-45
N. Kentucky 70-43
Long Beach St. 89-55
Savannah State 85-45
UNC-Asheville 90-72
Winthrop 65-55
Chicago State 87-44
Nebraska 70-44
Purdue 74-64
#2 Michigan 56-53
Iowa 72-63
Penn State 65-51
Wisconsin 58-49
Nebraska 63-59
#15 Ohio State 56-53
#3 Indiana 73-81
Losses #2 Duke 68-73
#9 Kansas 66-74
#11 Illinois 55-74
#18 Michigan State 56-59
77.8 Points Per Game 71.7
59.6 Scoring Defense 57.3
639-for-1,265 (50.5%) Field Goal % 539-for-1,175 (45.9%)
499-for-1,225 (40.7%) Def. Field Goal % 427-for-1,129 (37.8%)
179-for-445 (40.2%) 3-point % 138-for-369 (37.4%)
140-for-451 (31.0%) Def. 3-point % 122-for-396 (30.8%)
254-for-359 (70.8%) Free Throw % 290-for-417 (69.5%)
11.5 FT Made/Game 13.8
36.4 Rebounds Per Game 37.0
29.5 Opp. Reb. Per Game 32.2
15.4 Assists Per Game 14.0
9.4 Turnovers Per Game 11.2
5.5 Steals Per Game 6.6
2.9 Blocks Per Game 4.5
G – Trey Burke (18.2)
G – Tim Hardaway Jr. (15.6)
Leading Scorer F – Deshaun Thomas (20.0)
G – Lenzelle Smith Jr. (10.5)
F – Mitch McGary (6.0)
F – Glenn Robinson III (5.7)
Leading Rebounder F – Deshaun Thomas (6.2)
G – Lenzelle Smith Jr. (5.4)

A little more than three weeks ago, Ohio State quashed Michigan’s hopes of an unprecedented undefeated season on their home floor in Columbus. Tonight (9pm on ESPN), the Wolverines have their chance at revenge against their hated rivals. In the five games since these two teams battled in mid-January, both teams have dropped just one game – Ohio State on the road against Michigan State the game after beating Michigan and Michigan on the road against Indiana in its last game.

As the season goes on, each game seems to matter more and more for the conference crown, and tonight’s matchup will be no different. The sold-out Crisler Center should be rocking in Maize Out form to help cheer on the hometown Wolverines against the Buckeyes. Here are three keys for Michigan to even up the season series:

1. Help Trey Burke: Michigan has the offensive firepower to beat any team in the country on any floor. Yes, Indiana was able to out-gun the Wolverines in Bloomington on Saturday, but no one would deny the fact that the Maize and Blue had a realistic shot of taking the game, and if they had played to the level they are capable of, could have won it outright.

The problem for Beilein’s squad was a lack of production from two key cogs on offense – freshmen Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III. Stauskas reached double digits against the Hoosiers but took 10 shots and three free throws to get there. He also struggled mightily in the loss to Ohio State, putting zero points on the board for still the only time in his career. Robinson III had been the steady yet quiet scorer for Michigan all season until he nearly went silent on Saturday, when he made just one of his six shots in 40 minutes.

Even if Burke is his usual self, he’s going to need some help on both sides of the ball to avenge the first loss of the season. Unfortunately for Michigan, the chances Burke is his usual self are probably slim. Aaron Craft, Ohio State’s premier lockdown defender, has been remarkable against Michigan’s All-American in their four head-to-head matchups over the past two seasons, holding Trey to 12.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and five turnovers per game while forcing him into 32.6 percent field goal shooting, including a 26.3 percent mark from downtown. Certainly by this time one might hope that Burke has figured out Craft’s defensive play to some extent, but Tim Hardaway, Jr., Stauskas, Robinson III, and company better be ready to play.

2. Stop Deshaun Thomas: Michigan could play Ohio State 30 times in one season and this would be a key every single time. Deshaun Thomas is without question the offensive leader for the Buckeyes, pouring in 20 points per game, nearly double that of Lenzelle Smith, Jr., Ohio State’s second leading scorer, and he leads the team in rebounding as well with 6.2 a night. Thomas has scored 15 or more points in all but two of Ohio State’s games so far, and in both of those, he still managed double digits. His lowest output of the year, an 11-point showing at Penn State, came against the lowliest team in the Big Ten, which was never going to provide a challenge.

Aaron Craft wasn't able to slow down Trey Burke in Ann Arbor last season

Perhaps the scariest part of his game, however, is his ability to score from anywhere on the court. The junior can step out and hit the three-ball (40%), he regularly takes advantage of mismatches and scores in the paint (50.7% from inside the arc), and loves the mid-range jumper. He also makes 81.6 percent of his free throw attempts. Despite all this information, many think that the way to beat Ohio State is to let Thomas score his points and make the rest of the Buckeyes win the game, pointing most notably to Ohio State’s two Big Ten losses so far in which Thomas has averaged 26 points (scoring nearly half the team’s points himself) while his teammates have struggled to get it done themselves.

If I were Beilein, though, I’d still make priorities one, two, and three on defense stopping the dynamic scorer. Force him to work hard for his shots and you have accomplished two things – making it hard on Thomas while at the same time forcing his teammates to beat you. If Michigan can limit Thomas to five fewer points than the previous time they played (when he scored 20), they should have a very good chance of getting it done.

Good news for Michigan: two of Thomas’s three worst shooting nights on the season have come in the past three games, when he has shot just 41.7 percent from the floor. He has also failed to make a three-pointer in Ohio State’s last two outings, only the second and third times he has done that this year.

3. Feed off the Crowd: Ohio State’s secret to beating Michigan at home was no secret at all. They simply rode the energy provided by the home crowd to a huge first half lead and were able to save up enough gas to stymie the Wolverines’ late comeback attempt. Tonight, the Maize and Blue would be wise to reverse the tables with the home crowd in their court. The Wolverines are wearing special maize jerseys along with maize shoes and socks to match the crowd’s Maize Out efforts. The advantage of playing at home simply cannot be over-stated, and in a rivalry game like this, Michigan needs the crowd to provide the extra boost it sometimes takes. A little noise can go a long way toward creating some turnovers, which will lead to Michigan’s hyper-efficient fast-break, while also influencing the refs’ calls when they could go either way.

Most of all, however, the Wolverines need to play their game and control the pace. If Beilein thinks turning up the pace would help, that’s exactly what the Wolverines need to do. When the break isn’t there, Burke needs to pull the ball back and let his teammates help out.

Prediction: If Trey Burke’s woes continue against Aaron Craft and company, Michigan could be in for a long, grueling battle, but if the team as a whole comes together and no one struggles mightily, the Maize and Blue should be able to even up the score in the season series against their archrivals. With the home court advantage and a brutal stretch ahead, I think Michigan will have the focus and energy needed to run out to a nice lead and hold on throughout. Burke shakes Craft a few times while Nik Stauskas has a huge night to propel Michigan to a 69-58 win.

Ohio State 56 – Michigan 53: Horrid start results in first loss

Sunday, January 13th, 2013


Final 1st 2nd Total
#2 Michigan (16-1, 3-1) 22 31 53
#15 Ohio State (13-3, 3-1) 34 22 56

A number one ranking for the first time in 20 years, the best start in program history, and the first victory in Columbus in nine years was all on the line when Michigan met 15th-ranked Ohio State on Sunday afternoon. But the moment was too big for the young Wolverines who rely on several true freshmen, and despite a furious comeback, Michigan fell for the first time this season, 56-53.

Trey Burke got the scoring started with an open three on Michigan’s first possession, but the high-pressure Buckeye defense and tense Michigan play caused things to quickly go south for the Wolverines. It was 9-3 Ohio State by the time of the first official TV timeout, and back-to-back Aaron Craft buckets prompted a Michigan timeout. After a Jordan Morgan turnover, Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas hit a three to give the Buckeyes a 16-3 lead before Michigan finally got back on the board with a Glenn Robinson III triple. But Ohio State wasn’t finished with the onslaught. An 8-0 run pushed the lead to 24-6, drawing another Michigan timeout.

Nik Stauskas was held scoreless by OSU's stingy defense (Jamie Sabau, Getty Images)

It was 29-8 with six minutes remaining in the first half when Michigan got a lift from an unlikely source. Freshman backup point guard Spike Albrecht came in to give Burke a breather and drew a foul, hitting both free throws. It sparked a 13-5 Michigan run to close the half – a run that included two more free throws and a three-pointer by Albrecht. At the half, Michigan trailed 34-22.

Morgan scored the first points of the second half to bring Michigan within 10, but Ohio State answered right back with a three-point play by Amir Williams. Michigan cut the deficit to eight with 11:36 remaining, but Thomas responded with a three to put the Buckeyes back up by 11 heading into the under-12 timeout.

Over the next three minutes of play, Michigan went on a 7-2 run to pull within four, prompting a Buckeye timeout. When play resumed, Tim Hardaway Jr. hit a three to pull Michigan within one at 44-43. An Ohio State dunk followed, but Robinson hit a three to tie the game at 46 with 5:58 to play.

A 6-0 Ohio State run put the ‘Bucks back up by six heading into the final TV timeout, and after a four-minute scoring drought, Michigan finally got back on the board with a pair of free throws by Burke. Robinson then stole the ball near midcourt and flushed home a fastbreak dunk to pull Michigan within two with 1:16 to play. Thomas missed a jumper and Michigan got the ball back with a chance to tie or take the lead. After a timeout, the Wolverines opted to let Burke pop a three for the lead, but it went halfway down and rattled out and Ohio State grabbed the rebound with 13 seconds left. Lenzelle Smith Jr., a 56 percent free throw shooter, hit both of his free throws to seal the deal and hand Michigan its first loss of the season.

Michigan shot just 38.3 percent from the field, while Ohio State shot 44 percent, and the Wolverines made just 6-of-20 three-point attempts. Burke led the way for Michigan with 15 points, despite shooting just 4-of-13. Hardaway was the only other in double figures with 12, though he made just 1-of-6 three-point attempts. Robinson added eight points and Nik Stauskas was held scoreless, missing all three attempts from downtown. Thomas scored 20 for the Buckeyes.

The 22 points Michigan scored in the first half were a season low for a half, but they did respond by holding Ohio State to 22 in the second half, and outscored the Buckeyes 47-32 in the final 30 minutes. But the first 10 minutes were ultimately too much to overtime.

With the weight of being the nation’s only unbeaten team lifted, Michigan heads to Minneapolis on Thursday to face a Gopher team that will be just as tough as Ohio State. How the Wolverines respond will set the tone for the remainder of the Big Ten season.

Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
01 Glenn Robinson III* 3-8 2-4 0-0 0 1 1 1 8 2 2 0 8 38
52 Jordan Morgan* 2-2 0-0 1-2 1 5 6 0 5 0 2 0 0 22
10 Tim Hardaway Jr.* 5-15 1-6 1-2 0 5 5 0 12 1 1 1 1 40
03 Trey Burke* 4-13 2-5 5-5 0 4 3 3 15 4 4 2 1 37
11 Nik Stauskas* 0-3 0-3 0-0 1 3 4 3 0 0 2 0 0 23
02 Spike Albrecht 1-2 1-2 4-4 0 1 1 1 7 0 0 0 1 11
04 Mitch McGary 3-3 0-0 0-0 2 1 3 3 6 1 1 2 0 18
15 Jon Horford 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
23 Caris LeVert 0-1 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 9
Totals 18-47 6-20 11-15 7 23 30 13 53 8 13 5 4 200
Ohio State 22-50 5-15 7-8 6 24 30 14 56 11 12 4 5 200

Michigan vs Ohio State preview

Friday, January 11th, 2013


#2 Michigan at #15 Ohio State
Sunday, Jan. 13 | 1:30pm ET | CBS
16-0 (3-0) Record 12-3 (2-1)
Slippery Rock 100-62
IUPUI 91-54
Cleveland State 77-47
Pittsburgh 67-62
Kansas State 71-57
NC State 79-72
Bradley 74-66
W. Michigan 73-41
Arkansas 80-67
Binghamton 67-39
West Virginia 81-66
E. Michigan 93-54
C. Michigan 88-73
Northwestern 94-66
Iowa 95-67
Nebraska 62-47
Wins Albany 82-60
Rhode Island 69-58
Washington 77-66
UMKC 91-45
N. Kentucky 70-43
Long Beach St. 89-55
Savannah St. 85-45
UNCA 90-72
Winthrop 65-55
Chicago State 87-44
Nebraska 70-44
Purdue 74-64
Losses #2 Duke 68-73
#9 Kansas 66-74
#11 Illinois 55-74
80.8 Points Per Game 75.7
58.8 Scoring Defense 58.1
480-for-934 (51.4%) Field Goal % 409-for-887 (46.1%)
363-for-906 (40.1%) Def. Field Goal % 306-for-809 (37.8%)
138-for-336 (41.1%) 3-point % 108-for-293 (36.9%)
103-for-335 (30.7%) Def. 3-point % 86-for-274 (31.4%)
194-for-271 (71.6%) Free Throw % 210-for-314 (66.9%)
12.1 FT Made/Game 14.0
38.4 Rebounds Per Game 38.9
28.5 Opp. Reb. Per Game 32.2
16.3 Assists Per Game 15.2
9.3 Turnovers Per Game 10.9
5.1 Steals Per Game 7.2
2.6 Blocks Per Game 4.4
G – Trey Burke (18.2)
G – Tim Hardaway Jr. (16.3)
Leading Scorer F – Deshaun Thomas (20.3)
G – Lenzelle Smith Jr. (10.7)
F – Glenn Robinson (6.1)
F – Mitch McGary (6.1)
Leading Rebounder F – Deshaun Thomas (6.8)
G – Lenzelle Smith Jr. (5.5)

Sixteen games into the season, and heading into a Big Ten gauntlet that starts on Sunday, Michigan finds itself one of two remaining unbeaten teams in the entire country. The other is Duke who already passed the test that Michigan faces on Sunday afternoon. Michigan will be looking to achieve the best start to a season in program history, but the school’s biggest rival, the Ohio State Buckeyes, stand in the way as the toughest challenge the team has faced to date. It will be a game of great interest for the rest of college basketball as we will learn just how good this Wolverine team is.

Ohio State ranked as high as fourth early in the season until the Buckeyes fell 73-68 at then-No.2 Duke. In that game, Ohio State was within two with 28 seconds remaining, despite shooting just 34 percent from the field. The Buckeyes also out-rebounded the Blue Devils 40-37, and if not for the poor shooting night may have won.

A month later, Ohio State hosted No. 9 Kansas and again fell, this time 74-66. Once again, it was cold shooting that doomed the Bucks as they hit just 9-of-36 shots in the second half.

Last week. it was then-No. 11 Illinois that beat the Buckeyes, and this one wasn’t even close. The Illini led 37-25 at halftime and opened the second half on a 13-2 run to open up a 50-27 lead that Ohio State could never come back from. Once again, cold shooting was the culprit as Ohio State shot just 33 percent for the game.

In each of those three losses, aside from poor shooting, there was a common theme: the opposing teams each got big games from a guard and a big man. For Duke, it was Rasheed Sulaimon who scored 17 points, all in the second half, to go along with Mason Plumlee’s 21-point, 17-rebound performance. For Kansas, Ben McLemore went for 22 points and six rebounds, while big man Jeff Whitney recorded 14 and 10. For Illinois, Brandon Paul score 19 points and seven rebounds, and center Nnanna Egwu scored a career high 16 points. It seems that the recipe for beating the Buckeyes is an offense that gets big production from both inside and out.

But that’s easier said than done. Ohio State is a very talented team in and of itself and is led by junior forward Deshaun Thomas. He leads the team with 20.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. He’s extremely long and athletic and is shooting 47.2 percent from the field and just over 40 percent from three-point range so far. He has a season high of 31 points against Washington and a low of 14 against Northern Kentucky. He scored 16 against both Duke and Kentucky, shooting a combined 10-of-25, though he did hit 6-of-13 three-point attempts. In Big Ten play, Thomas is averaging nearly 23 points per game so far.

Deshaun Thomas leads the Big Ten in scoring (Joe Robbins, Getty Images)

The only other Buckeye averaging double figures is junior guard Lenzelle Smith, Jr. at 10.7. He also ranks second on the team in rebounding with 5.5 per game. His season high is 18 points against Albany, but he has been held below ten six times, including a goose egg against Washington and two points against Purdue on Tuesday. He shoots 44.8 percent overall and 43.5 percent from three-point – the team’s best three-point shooter.

Point guard Aaron Craft ranks third on the team in scoring at 8.9 points per game and ranks third in the Big Ten with 4.7 assists per game. He’s not a great shooter, averaging 39.8 percent overall and 33.3 percent from downtown, but he does have the ability to hit shots when he’s on. Against Albany in the season opener, he hit 5-of-7 threes en route to a season high 20 points. In the three losses, he made just 4-of-13. He’s more of a set-up man that has the ability to finish around the rim, but he’s best known for his relentless defense. He tends to get away with a lot of hand checking, so the way the officials call the game could very well determine how Michigan’s day goes offensively. In last year’s three meetings, he largely held his own with Trey Burke, but Burke’s progression this season has made him nearly unstoppable. It will be a great matchup to watch.

Sophomore forward LaQuinton Ross averages 8.7 points off the bench, but most of his production has been against the weaker teams on the schedule. He scored nine against Duke, four against Kansas, and two against Illinois while averaging just under 12 minutes per game.

Sam Thompson averages 7.1 points per game, although in the last six games he’s averaging just five points. The 6’7″ sophomore from Chicago is a decent shooter (44.3 percent), but not a good three-point shooter, having hit just 6-of-25 attempts this season.

Senior forward Evan Ravenel has been the fifth starter most of the season and averages 6.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. He’s coming off his best performance of the season, a 6-of-8 shooting night against Purdue.

Amir Williams started the four games that Ravenel didn’t and has a season-high of eight points against Nebraska. Shannon Scott is the backup point guard who plays 21 minutes a game. He averages 6.1 points, 4.6 assists, and 2.1 steals per game and had his best game of the season against Kansas when he scored 15 points.

As a team, Ohio State ranks fifth in the Big Ten with a 46.1 shooting percentage and fourth with a 36.9 three-point percentage.

Michigan can – and should – beat the Buckeyes, but it will take a better shooting performance than the Wolverines displayed against Nebraska on Wednesday. I don’t see Michigan putting up two bad performances in a row, so the Wolverines should win a close one in Columbus.

Check back on Saturday afternoon for Sam’s quick thoughts to find out specifically what Michigan needs to do to win.