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Posts Tagged ‘Iowa State’

Michigan’s College Football Playoff rooting guide: Nov. 14

Saturday, November 14th, 2015


Cardinals Stadium

Only four weekends separate us from when the College Football Playoff and bowl game selection committees will make their final decisions and determine the fate of teams that have earned the right to play in the postseason.

Through Week 10, more than 100 FBS teams have been realistically eliminated from playoff contention. Michigan, an enormous long shot to make the Final Four, is one of the teams still in the hunt. But since the Wolverines already lost two games, they need a ton of help over the next four weeks.

Yes, it would take a Hollywood movie-type finish to the season for Michigan to slip into the top four. But until that last glimmer of hope dies, Michigan fans should enjoy the team’s first meaningful home stretch in almost a decade.

We’ll stick with the movie theme as we break down the first of the final four Saturdays. If you’re a Michigan fan holding out hope, here’s what you should root for.

“I really, really need you”

In honor of Sanka Coffie from Cool Runnings, these teams completely hold Michigan’s fate in their hands. These are the teams that Michigan absolutely needs victories from on Saturday in order to keep the Wolverines’ CFP hopes alive. If even one of these teams falls, Michigan’s CFP dreams die.

No. 14 Michigan (away) against Indiana (3:30pm, ABC): The only absolutely essential game for Michigan this weekend is its own contest in Bloomington. Thanks to a pair of early losses, the Wolverines don’t have any room for error. As soon as they drop a third game, it’s all over.

Result: Michigan 48 – Indiana 41 (2OT)

“It could happen!”

In honor of JP from Angels in the Outfield, this is the “It could happen” group. These are the teams Michigan is rooting for that have a legitimate chance to win on Saturday. Wins by these teams either help the Wolverines move up in the rankings or improve their resume (in order of kickoff time).

South Carolina (home) against No. 11 Florida (12pm, ESPN): Florida will win the SEC East and play in the conference championship game, so there’s another loss in the future. But after a 9-7 win over Vanderbilt last week, a loss to 3-6 South Carolina would drop Florida well below Michigan.

Result: Florida 24 – South Carolina 14

No. 3 Ohio State (away) against Illinois (12pm, ABC): This one might be tough to understand, but Michigan actually needs the Buckeyes to be undefeated when they come to Ann Arbor. A win against a top two team in the country would prompt a big jump for the Wolverines.

Result: Ohio State 28 – Illinois 3

No. 13 Michigan State (home) against Maryland (12pm, ESPN2): Even more surprising than rooting for Ohio State? Michigan needs MSU to bounce back against Maryland. The Wolverines already need the Spartans to lose next weekend in Columbus to have a shot to win the Big Ten, so this week’s game is very important. If Michigan State loses to Maryland and makes it three straight against in Columbus, it’ll drop out of the top 25. That would make Michigan’s loss in October much less forgivable.

Result: Michigan State 24 – Maryland 7

No. 18 Northwestern (home) against Purdue (12pm, BTN): Northwestern is Michigan’s best win of the season. As long as Pat Fitzgerald’s team keeps winning, Michigan’s resume gets better and better. If the Wildcats lose to Purdue, everything they’ve worked for comes crashing down.

Result: Northwestern 21 – Purdue 14

No. 2 Alabama (away) against No. 17 Mississippi State (3:30pm, CBS): Here’s another strange one, but Michigan needs Alabama to lose for two reasons. First, the CFP committee has proven it WILL NOT penalize Alabama for losing, no matter the conditions. Nick Saban’s team lost at home to an unranked team and still sits ahead of five of the six unbeaten teams in the country. So since Alabama will stay ahead of Michigan no matter what happens, the Wolverines might as well avoid being jumped by Mississippi State in the process.

Result: Alabama 31 – Mississippi State 6

Iowa State (home) against No. 8 Oklahoma State (3:30pm, ESPN): Oklahoma State burst onto the scene when it stomped TCU by 20 last weekend. Now, with both Oklahoma and Baylor coming to town over the next two weeks, Michigan needs a team like Iowa State to do the dirty work and knock off the undefeated Cowboys. With no conference championship game, Big 12 teams will have a hard time bouncing back from losses like that.

Result: Oklahoma State 35 – Iowa State 31

No. 12 Oklahoma (away) against No. 6 Baylor (8pm, ABC): Since the Bears lost their starting quarterback to a neck injury, the entire country has been waiting for them to slip up. Once they do, their fall in the polls will be a long one. Without a quality victory to its name, Baylor would fall out of contention with a home loss to Oklahoma. As far as the Sooners, they’ve still got games against TCU and Oklahoma State on the horizon. Michigan can hope for a slip up in one of those contests.

Result: Oklahoma 44 – Baylor 34

No. 5 Iowa (home) against Minnesota (8pm, BTN): If you actually think Michigan has a chance to slip into the top four, you need Iowa to keep winning and head into the Big Ten Championship Game with a 12-0 record. That would mean another opportunity for a top five win.

Iowa 40 – Minnesota 35

“It’s just not believable, Cotton”

In honor of Pepper Brooks, from Dodgeball, these are the true underdog stories. These teams have almost no chance to win, but if they do, it would really help Michigan.

N.C. State (away) against No. 16 Florida State (12:30pm, ESPN3): Another incredible oversight by the CFP committee: Florida State lost a game last weekend and didn’t drop a single spot. Yes, it was to the No. 1 team in the country on the road, but a loss is a loss. If N.C. State pulls an unlikely upset, FSU becomes an afterthought.

Result: Florida State 34 – N.C. State 17

Wake Forest (away) against No. 4 Notre Dame (3:30pm, NBC): Wake Forest is really, really bad. As Notre Dame’s second loss, this would likely drop the Irish out of the top 15.

Result: Notre Dame 28 – Wake Forest 7

Arkansas (away) against No. 9 LSU (7:15pm, ESPN): LSU got pounded against Alabama last week and now faces a streaking Arkansas team. Another loss would devastate Leonard Fournette and Company.

Result: Arkansas 31 – LSU 14

Arizona (home) against No. 10 Utah (10pm, FS1): “How can you ask me to root for Rich Rod’s team!?” Because Arizona is irrelevant on the national scale and Utah is ranked ahead of Michigan. Yes, a Utes loss would diminish Michigan’s opening-week game, but Utah could still win the Pac-12 South and finish in the top 15 with two losses. As long as the Utes stay in the top 25, it’s more important for Michigan to jump them in the poll.

Result: Arizona 37 – Utah 30

Oregon (away) against No. 7 Stanford (7:30pm, FOX): Oregon is starting to play a bit better, but this game is still a long shot. If Stanford losses its second game of the season, Michigan will definitely jump ahead of the Cardinal because of a win against their only common opponent: Northwestern.

Result: Oregon 38 – Stanford 36

Michigan earns highest ranking since Feb. 3

Monday, March 3rd, 2014


Michigan vs Minnesota 3-1-14(MGoBlue.com)

Michigan’s win over Minnesota on Saturday afternoon combined with Michigan State’s loss to Illinois clinched at least a share of the Big Ten title for the Wolverines for the second time in three years. With two games remaining — at Illinois on Tuesday and home against a surging Indiana squad on Saturday — Michigan needs just one win to secure its first outright Big Ten title since 1986.

Saturday also saw losses by the number four, five, seven, nine, 10, 11, 15, 17, and 24 teams in the nation (in addition to the 18th-ranked Spartans). On Sunday, No. 22 Ohio State became the 11th top 25 team to fall over the weekend. March madness has truly arrived, which makes for plenty of movement in this week’s polls.

Michigan moved up four spots to 12th in both polls, the highest the Wolverines have been since the first week in February when they stood 10th. Wisconsin is still the highest ranked Big Ten team despite needing two wins and two Michigan losses this week to earn a share of the conference title. The Badgers are ninth in the AP Poll and 11th in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Michigan State dropped to 22nd in both, while Iowa remained just inside at 24th and 25th, respectively. Ohio State fell out of both after losing both games last week.

As far as Michigan’s non-conference opponents, Arizona remained third in both polls, while Duke moved up to fourth in both. Iowa State continues to hover in the middle, this week at 16th and 17th.

Nebraska’s loss to Illinois last week dropped the Cornhuskers out of the RPI and Kenpom top 50, which takes away two of Michigan’s victories over top 50 teams. The Wolverines now have seven instead of nine. If the ‘Huskers can top Indiana and Wisconsin this week they’ll likely move back in for the final revision of the regular season.

As far as individuals are concerned, Nik Stauskas’ was edged out for Big Ten Player of the Week by Indiana’s Will Sheehey despite another big week with 15 points against Purdue and 21 against Minnesota. The senior Hoosier forward, who averaged just around 10 points per game, scored 30 points against Iowa and 19 against Ohio State. Illinois guard Kendrick Nunn earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors with 13 points against Nebraska and eight against Michigan State. This is notable because Michigan plays both of these players this week, Nunn on Tuesday and Sheehey on Saturday.

The full national rankings are below.

AP Poll Coaches Poll
Rank Team Rank Team
1 Florida (27-2) 1 Florida (27-2)
2 Wichita State (31-0) 2 Wichita State (31-0)
3 Arizona (27-2) 3 Arizona (27-2)
4 Duke (23-6) 4 Duke (23-6)
5 Virginia (25-5) 5 Virginia (25-5)
6 Villanova (26-3) 6 Villanova (26-3)
7 Syracuse (26-3) 7 Syracuse (26-3)
8 Kansas (22-7) 8 Kansas (22-7)
9 Wisconsin (24-5) 9 Louisville (24-5)
10 San Diego State (25-3) 10 San Diego State (25-3)
11 Louisville (24-5) 11 Wisconsin (24-5)
12 Michigan (21-7) 12 Michigan (21-7)
13 Creighton (23-5) 13 Creighton (23-5)
14 North Carolina (22-7) 14 North Carolina (22-7)
15 Cincinnati (24-5) 15 Cincinnati (24-5)
16 Iowa State (22-6) 16 Saint Louis (25-4)
17 Saint Louis (25-4) 17 Iowa State (22-6)
18 Southern Methodist (23-6) 18 Southern Methodist (23-6)
19 UConn (23-6) 19 UConn (23-6)
20 Memphis (22-7) 20 Memphis (22-7)
21 New Mexico (22-5) 21 New Mexico (22-5)
22 Michigan State (22-7) 22 Michigan State (22-7)
23 Oklahoma (21-8) 23 Oklahoma (21-8)
24 Iowa (20-9) 24 Kentucky (21-8)
25 Kentucky (21-8) 25 Iowa (20-9)

Michigan holds steady in national rankings

Monday, February 3rd, 2014


Michigan vs Purdue(MGoBlue.com)

Michigan split its games last week, topping Purdue 75-66 on Thursday night and falling at Indiana 63-52 on Sunday afternoon. While Indiana is struggling this season, a win at Assembly Hall never a given and that was reflected in Michigan’s standing in this week’s national rankings.

In the AP Poll, Michigan stayed at 10th, one spot behind Michigan State which lost a non-conference game to Georgetown on Saturday. In the USA Today Coaches Poll, Michigan dropped two spots to 16th, in between Saint Louis and non-conference opponent Iowa State.

Only two other Big Ten foes are still ranked in both polls. MSU is ninth and eighth, while Iowa 17th and 13th. Both Wisconsin and Ohio State dropped out of the AP Poll but are still holding on in the Coaches at 24th and 25th, respectively.

As far as non-conference opponents, Arizona suffered its first loss of the season on Saturday and dropped to second in the AP and third in the Coaches. Duke stands at 11th in both polls after an overtime loss to new No.1 Syracuse. Iowa State ranks 16th and 17th.

Michigan has a chance to get back in the win column on Wednesday when it hosts Nebraska, but the big game will be Saturday at Iowa in a game that will either knock the Hawkeyes out of the Big Ten title race or make Michigan State the frontrunner.

The full national rankings are below.

AP Poll Coaches Poll
Rank Team Rank Team
1 Syracuse (21-0) 1 Syracuse (21-0)
2 Arizona (21-1) 2 Wichita State (23-0)
3 Florida (19-2) 3 Arizona (21-1)
4 Wichita State (23-0) 4 Florida (19-2)
5 San Diego State (19-1) 5 San Diego State (19-1)
6 Villanova (19-2) 6 Villanova (19-2)
7 Cincinnati (21-2) 7 Cincinnati (21-2)
8 Kansas (16-5) 8 Michigan State (19-3)
9 Michigan State (19-3) 9 Kansas (16-5)
10 Michigan (16-5) 10 Louisville (18-4)
11 Duke (17-5) 11 Duke (17-5)
12 Creighton (18-3) 12 Creighton (18-3)
13 Saint Louis (20-2) 13 Iowa (17-5)
14 Louisville (18-4) 14 Kentucky (16-5)
15 Texas (17-4) 15 Saint Louis (20-2)
16 Iowa State (16-4) 16 Michigan (16-5)
17 Iowa (17-5) 17 Iowa State (16-4)
18 Kentucky (16-5) 18 Texas (17-4)
19 Oklahoma State (16-5) 19 Oklahoma State (16-5)
20 Virginia (17-5) 20 Gonzaga (20-3)
21 Oklahoma (17-5) 21 Virginia (17-5)
22 Connecticut (17-4) 22 Pittsburgh (18-4)
23 Gonzaga (20-3) 23 Oklahoma (17-5)
24 Memphis (16-5) 24 Wisconsin (17-5)
25 Pittsburgh (18-4) 25 Ohio State (17-5)

Michigan ascends back into AP Top 10

Monday, January 27th, 2014


Michigan dance team vs Iowa(MGoBlue.com)

A week after re-entering the national rankings for the first time since the beginning of December, Michigan has ascended back into the top ten. An eight day span that included wins against three top ten teams – perhaps the best eight day span in program history – has put Michigan in control of the Big Ten title race and back in the national picture.

The Wolverines moved up 11 spots in each poll, from 21st to 10th in this week’s AP Poll and from 25th to 14th in the Coaches Poll. The team that Michigan beat on Saturday, Michigan State (18-2, 7-1), dropped from third in both polls to seventh in the AP and sixth in the Coaches. Iowa (16-4, 5-2) dropped to 15th and 12th, while Wisconsin (17-3, 4-3) fell out of the top ten to 14th and 13th. Ohio State (16-4, 3-4) had the Big Ten’s biggest free fall of the week, dropping to the bottom of the rankings at 24th and 23rd, respectively.

As far as Michigan’s non-conference opponents, Arizona (20-0) remains No.1 in both polls; Iowa State (15-3) stands at 16th and 18th; and Duke (16-4) is 17th and 16th.

In addition to shooting up the rankings, Michigan hauled in several weekly awards. Nik Stauskas was named Big Ten Player of the Week and also CBSSports.com’s Player of the Week after averaging 22.5 points 3.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and one steal per game. The Canadian sharpshooter shot 57.7 percent overall, 60 percent from three-point range (9-of-15), and made 6-of-7 free throws last week.

Freshman point guard Derrick Walton Jr. was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week after a 19-point, six-rebound, four-assist performance against Michigan State. He made 4-of-8 shots from the field, 2-of-2 three-pointers, and 9-of-10 free throws to help Michigan seal its fifth win in the past seven against its instate rival.

Michigan returns to action this Thursday at home against Purdue (13-7, 3-4) at 9 p.m. on ESPN.

The full national rankings are below.

AP Poll Coaches Poll
Rank Team Rank Team
1 Arizona (20-0) 1 Arizona (20-0)
2 Syracuse (19-0) 2 Syracuse (19-0)
3 Florida (17-2) 3 Wichita State (21-0)
4 Wichita State (21-0) 4 Florida (17-2)
5 San Diego State (18-1) 5 San Diego State (18-1)
6 Kansas (15-4) 6 Michigan State (18-2)
7 Michigan State (18-2) 7 Louisville (17-3)
8 Oklahoma State (16-3) 8 Kansas (15-4)
9 Villanova (17-3) 9 Villanova (17-2)
10 Michigan (15-4) 10 Oklahoma State (16-3)
11 Kentucky (15-4) 11 Kentucky (15-4)
12 Louisville (17-3) 12 Iowa (16-4)
13 Cincinnati (19-2) 13 Wisconsin (17-3)
14 Wisconsin (17-3) 14 Michigan (15-4)
15 Iowa (16-4) 15 Cincinnati (19-2)
16 Iowa State (15-3) 16 Duke (16-4)
17 Duke (16-4) 17 Pittsburgh (18-2)
18 Pittsburgh (18-2) 18 Iowa State (15-3)
19 Saint Louis (18-2) 19 Massachusetts (17-2)
20 Creighton (17-3) 20 Creighton (17-3)
21 Massachusetts (17-2) 21 Saint Louis (18-2)
22 Memphis (15-4) 22 Memphis (15-4)
23 Oklahoma (16-4) 23 Ohio State (16-4)
24 Ohio State (16-4) 24 Gonzaga (18-3)
25 Texas (16-4) 25 Oklahoma (16-4)

Johnny Orr passes away at age 86

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013


(via U-M Media Relations)

Michigan basketball’s all-time wins leader, Johnny Orr, passed away at the age of 86. Orr compiled a 209-113 record as Michigan’s head man from 1969-80, including a 120-72 conference record, and won the Big Ten title in 1977. He led the Wolverines to the 1976 NCAA Championship game where they fell to Indiana. He’s also a coaching legend at Iowa State. The Cyclone athletic department released the following statement.

AMES, Iowa – Johnny Orr, the man credited with resurrecting a once-dormant Iowa State men’s basketball program and energizing an entire fan base, passed away today. He was 86 years old.

Orr was one of the nation’s most successful basketball coaches during his 29-year head coaching career (1964-66, 1969-94). He compiled a 466-346 career coaching mark and led 10 teams to NCAA Championship berths while at Massachusetts, Michigan and Iowa State.

“He was my hero,” said Iowa State head basketball coach Fred Hoiberg, who played three years for Orr. “As a kid, just to see him walk out of that tunnel was what you waited for on game nights. Just to see his enthusiasm and passion. He was a father figure to so many of us. He impacted so many lives and made all of us better people. Not only was he a great basketball coach, he was even a better person.”

Orr inherited a downtrodden Iowa State program that had produced losing seasons in five of the last six years prior to his arrival in 1980-81. He spent 14 years roaming the sidelines at Hilton Coliseum, making steady improvement and leading the Cyclones to a school-record six NCAA Championship appearances and five 20-win seasons. Orr retired in 1994 as Iowa State’s all-time winningest coach with a 218-200 record.

Orr led Michigan to 209 wins from 1969-80 (via U-M Media Relations)

Orr was a winner at Iowa State, but his legacy in Ames was achieved by more than wins and losses. The ever-popular Orr was the perfect coach at the perfect time for Iowa State. His exciting, up-tempo style of play – combined with his infectious personality – created a tidal wave of excitement throughout the state of Iowa.

An Iowa State game in Hilton Coliseum became the hottest ticket in the state, as Orr’s teams steamrolled over their opponents for a 76.7 percent winning percentage at home.

Fans came in droves to watch the Cyclones. Iowa State averaged 6,470 fans the year before Orr arrived. Six years later (1985-86), Hilton Coliseum swelled to 14,024 fans per game, selling out all 13 home games. The top eight single-season attendance marks in school history occurred in the Orr era.

Hilton Coliseum erupted when Orr made his entrance fist-pumping to the “Tonight Show” theme. It usually spelled doom to the opposing team, even if the Cyclones weren’t the favorites. Orr’s Cyclones defeated top-25 opponents 20 times at home and he owns 12 of Iowa State’s 29 all-time victories vs. top-10 opponents.

Iowa State’s home-court dominance in sold-out Hilton Coliseum under Orr created a frenzied atmosphere that was second to none. The local and national media picked up on it, and soon the term “Hilton Magic” was created when Des Moines Register writer Buck Turnbull used it in one of his stories after another huge Cyclone victory at home. The moniker still is prevalent today.

Orr’s 1983-84 team turned the corner with a National Invitation Tournament (NIT) appearance, followed by an NCAA Championship berth in 1985, Iowa State’s first NCAA bid in 41 years.

The 1985-86 Cyclone squad was possibly his best. Led by future NBA all-star Jeff Hornacek and Iowa State’s all-time leading scorer Jeff Grayer, the Cyclones finished with a then-school-record 22 wins and placed second in the Big Eight Conference at 9-5. After securing its second-straight NCAA berth, the Cyclones advanced to the Sweet Sixteen with a victory over No. 2 seed Michigan, Orr’s former school.

The win over the fifth-ranked Wolverines was, “the greatest of my career” Orr beamed afterwards and cemented his already enormous popularity among the Iowa State faithful.

Orr’s Cyclone teams would later make NCAA appearances in 1988, 1989, 1992 and 1993 and annually ranked in the top 25 nationally in scoring. Iowa State averaged over 80 points per season six times in the Orr era, including a school-record 90.2 ppg in 1987-88, which ranked ninth nationally. The top four scorers in Iowa State history were coached by Orr (Grayer, Barry Stevens, Hoiberg, Victor Alexander).

Orr took Michigan to the 1976 NCAA Championship game (via U-M Media Relations)

Orr coached six Cyclones who earned first-team all-Big Eight honors 10 times. He mentored a total of six Cyclones who went on to a career in the NBA (Grayer, Hornacek, Stevens, Alexander, Hoiberg, Loren Meyer). Grayer was an All-American and is the only Cyclone men’s hoopster to compete on a United States Olympic Basketball team, earning a Bronze Medal at the 1988 Olympics.

A native of Taylorville, Ill., Orr graduated from Beloit (Wisconsin) College in 1949, where he was a two-time All-American in basketball. He coached at the high school level throughout the 1950s, including a stop at Dubuque (Iowa) Senior High School from 1951-59.

His first move into collegiate coaching was as an assistant at Wisconsin for four seasons. Orr became a collegiate head coach in 1963, when he was handed the reins at Massachusetts for three seasons.

After UMass, Orr assisted Dave Strack at Michigan for one season before taking over head coaching duties at Michigan prior to the 1968-69 season.

Orr led the Wolverines to four NCAA Championship appearances in 12 seasons, amassing a school-record 209 victories. He is one of the few coaches to be the all-time leader in career wins at two high-major schools.

Orr’s Michigan squads finished second in the Big Ten Conference three times and captured the 1977 Big Ten title. In 1976, Michigan advanced to the NCAA Championship title game, falling to Indiana in the national final. He was named National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) National Coach of the Year in 1976 and was Big Ten Coach of the Year twice (1974, 1977).

Throughout his 29-year head coaching career, Orr tutored 18 players who were drafted by the NBA.

Orr remained an active supporter of Iowa State after his retirement in 1994. His immense popularity among Cyclone fans never waned, either. Orr always was the life of the party at Cyclone outings, pep rallies and reunions. He had a special ability to make people laugh.

Orr was inducted into the Iowa State Letterwinners Club Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2011, the Iowa State Athletics Department opened a large sports bar-themed gathering area in the east concourse of Hilton Coliseum, naming it “Johnny’s” as a tribute to the coaching legend.

Outside the entrance of “Johnny’s”, a larger-than-life statue of Orr with his trademark fist-pump is permanently on display, along with memorabilia of his coaching tenure at Iowa State. His legacy is preserved for future generations of Cyclone fans.

Orr is survived by his wife, Romie, and three daughters; Jennifer, Leslie and Rebecca. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Robin, who passed away in 2010. The Orrs have five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Current Michigan head coach John Beilein released the following statement regarding Orr.

“The Michigan Basketball program is saddened by the passing of Johnny Orr today,” said U-M head coach John Beilein. “Johnny was a tremendous person and basketball coach. We will always value the many positives he brought to both the University of Michigan and college basketball in general. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Orr family during this time.”

Cycloned: Iowa State 77 – Michigan 70

Sunday, November 17th, 2013


(Dustin Johnson, UMHoops)

In college football, it’s often accepted that home field advantage is worth about three points; in college basketball, home court is probably worth closer to 10 points.

Today in Ames, Iowa, Fred Hoiberg’s Iowa State team was the recipient of that advantage, as the “Hilton Magic”-backed Cyclones dominated Michigan inside on their way to a 77-70 win.

Both Michigan and Iowa State came into the game with 2-0 records, but Michigan had a #7 next to its name while Iowa State sat, perhaps undeservedly, unranked. Early on, however, it was clear that the game would be a hard-fought battle to the end between two high-quality teams, and the numerous loose-ball scrambles proved that point as both teams found themselves sliding on the floor and taking hard fouls throughout.

The Wolverines held strong in the first half, taking as big as a nine-point lead behind some strong outside shooting, but weren’t able to hold onto the edge and went into the locker room trailing 35-34.

Out of the gates in the second half, Michigan again jumped out to a small lead and maintained it until 7:20 remained in the game when Iowa State senior point guard DeAndre Kane made a wide open three on a poor defensive play to tie it up at 62. From there, it was the Cyclones who took over and did not relinquish the lead again.

Mitch McGary made his season debut but it wasn't enough to carry Michigan to victory (Dustin Johnson, UMHoops)

In what was already being called one of the biggest games ever to be played at the Hilton Coliseum, where Iowa State has been dominant for three years, a raucous crowd grew even louder early in the first half when senior Melvin Ejim entered the game alongside Michigan sophomore Mitch McGary after being listed as a questionable game-time decision. McGary himself was also highly questionable with a back injury that has hampered him for two months, but both big men proved to be key players from the second they stepped on the court.

Ejim, who hyperextended his knee in late October, was a monster inside all evening, backing down Glenn Robinson III on multiple occasions and scoring with a variety of quick post moves while clearly proving to be the best Cyclone today; he finished the game with 22 points and nine rebounds, including four on the offensive glass that often led to easy put-backs.

Michigan figured to find itself in a shootout against an Iowa State team that had attempted more threes than the Wolverines to date this season, but neither team shot particularly well. Nik Stauskas did his part for Michigan, making four of his 10 attempts from deep, but his teammates combined to make just four of 19 long tries. Iowa State was led in that department by sophomore Naz Long, who knocked down four of his team’s six made threes on a combined 20 attempts.

The loss is certainly one that will sting for a while in Ann Arbor, as Michigan was perfect in last season’s non-conference stretch, but it should prove to be a little bit of a wakeup call for the very young Wolverines. Mitch McGary will certainly be a welcome addition as Michigan looks ahead to a brutal upcoming stretch that features the Puerto Rico Tip-Off and games at Duke and versus Arizona, but he will take some time to get up to full speed and conditioning. His jump shot looked very rusty throughout the game today, but his six rebounds are a sign of what is to come.

In losing efforts, the first thought is always what could have been if one or two bounces went the other way, and this was certainly a game that could have swung in either team’s favor, but Iowa State was the better team down the stretch.

Following Robinson III’s only made three of the day, which gave Michigan a five-point lead nearly midway through the second half, Iowa State went on a blazing 32-17 game-closing run over the final 12:51 with a strong combined effort from Ejim, Long, Kane, Georges Niang, and Dustin Hogue, who all scored between five and eight points over that time period.

With a Thursday game coming up against Long Beach State to open up Michigan’s Puerto Rico Tip-Off bid, there is little time to dwell on the result tonight. Iowa State will beat plenty of teams at home this year and Michigan should have no problems scoring enough big wins of their own to land a high seed in March.

Preseason All-American McGary should also continue to improve to give Michigan a force in the paint and the worst three-point shooting night of the season should be in the rearview mirror.

Quick Hitters:

Derrick Walton Jr looked strong running the offense in his first road experience (Dustin Johnson, UMHoops)

*McGary was mostly his good old self on the glass and hustling all over the court for four steals, but he was also his ghastly old self at the free throw line, where he made just one of his four attempts. He will certainly need to improve from the charity stripe if he is to fulfill his scoring potential and make teams hesitant to foul him. McGary is also far from being a four-man in John Beilein’s offense, as he did not even consider taking any number of wide open threes Iowa State was daring him with and missed badly on a couple attempts from outside the paint. Expect Glenn Robinson III to continue to dominate the minutes at that spot while McGary’s re-entrance into the lineup likely whittles down on Jordan Morgan’s already few minutes.

*Derrick Walton, Jr. was easily the most impressive freshman on the floor today and did not seem to be phased in the wild environment, scoring 13 points on an array of nifty moves around the basket while dishing out a couple assists. His outside shot is still a bit off, as he made just one of his five three-point attempts, but he is not afraid to take it and continues to display a clean stroke that should start to fall. Mark Donnal looks to be on the redshirt route and Zak Irvin was quiet all game, missing both of his downtown looks and recording three fouls in just 13 minutes.

*Caris LeVert struggled a bit today after a very impressive two opening games at Crisler in which he averaged 20.5 points per game, as he scored just five today (all in the first half) on 2-of-9 shooting. He did grab six rebounds and record two assists, however, and seems to be a legitimate point guard threat. Stauskas, the other supremely improved sophomore, shone brightly today in Ames, with a monster stat line of 20 points, four rebounds (one offensive), and six assists to just one turnover. He continues to thrive when driving to the rack and gets open on the perimeter despite being one of the most dangerous snipers in the country. Stauskas’s impressive night was highlighted by a ridiculous one-handed throwdown in the second half to cap off a beautiful drive to the lane.

Three Stars:

1. Melvin Ejim – 22 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block, 1 assist
2. Nik Stauskas – 20 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists
3. Naz Long – 16 points, 2 rebounds, 4-of-6 three-point shooting

Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
01 Glenn Robinson III* 4-14 1-5 3-4 2 5 7 5 12 1 2 0 4 33
10 Derrick Walton Jr.* 6-10 1-5 0-0 0 1 1 1 13 2 3 0 0 21
11 Nik Stauskas* 8-18 4-10 0-1 1 3 4 1 20 6 1 0 0 38
15 Jon Horford* 2-4 0-0 0-0 2 3 5 1 4 0 1 0 0 14
23 Caris LeVert* 2-9 1-5 0-0 0 6 6 2 5 2 1 0 0 37
02 Spike Albrecht 3-5 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 1 7 3 0 0 0 18
04 Mitch McGary 4-7 0-0 1-4 2 4 6 4 9 0 2 0 4 22
21 Zak Irvin 0-2 0-2 0-0 1 2 3 3 0 0 1 0 0 13
52 Jordan Morgan 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 4
Totals 29-69 8-29 4-9 12 26 38 20 70 14 12 0 8 200
Iowa State 29-61 6-20 13-19 7 30 37 12 77 16 12 1 4 200
Full Stats

Michigan hoops preview: Iowa State

Sunday, November 17th, 2013


#7/8 Michigan (2-0) vs Iowa State (2-0) – Ames, Iowa – 5pm EST
Offense
81.0 Points/gm 87.5
(51-114) 44.7 Field Goal % 52.6 (61-116)
(20-46) 43.5 3-pt FG % 45.6 (26-57)
(40-51) 78.4 Free Throw % 67.5 (27-40)
20.0 FT Made/gm 13.5
41.0 Reb/gm 45.5
16.0 Assists/gm 19.5
8.0 Turnovers/gm 11.0
Defense
50.5 Points/gm 56.0
(35-108) 32.4 Field Goal % 29.1 (37-127)
(20-46) 32.3 3-pt FG % 28.9 (11-38)
31.5 Opp. Reb/gm 35.5
8.0 Steals/gm 3.0
3.5 Blocks/gm 4.5
Individual Leaders
Caris LeVert (20.5), Nik Stauskas (16.0) Points/gm Naz Long (15.5), DeAndre Kane (14.0)
Jon Horford (13.5), Glenn Robinson III (8.0) Reb/gm DeAndre Kane (9.0), Dustin Hoque (8.5)

______________________________________________________________________________________________

With two cupcake games now in the rearview mirror, the Michigan Wolverines take to the road for their first true test of the season in Ames, Iowa against the Iowa State Cyclones. Michigan has looked very good so far, but looks are best judged against good competition, and Fred Hoiberg’s squad is certainly that. Here are three quick thoughts before the mid-afternoon tip (5pm EST on ESPN).

1. Cyclone Michiganders: Looking up and down Iowa State’s roster, one thing may stick out to Michigan fans – Hoiberg’s penchant for recruiting Michigan-raised talent. Three Iowa State players in all hail from the state of Michigan – the same number as the three on John Beilein’s squad – and all figure to see some minutes today. Junior big man Percy Gibson and redshirt freshman Sherron Dorsey-Walker are native Detroiters while true freshman point guard and 2013 Michigan Mr. Basketball winner Monte Morris reigns from Flint’s Beecher High and is a former AAU teammate of Michigan freshman point guard Derrick Walton. It’s unlikely any of these three will start today’s game, but it’s a safe bet that they will all be playing their hardest when given the chance. Beilein did recruit Gibson, Dorsey-Walker, and Morris, so there should be no hard feelings between the two parties, but everybody wants to show the home school what they lost out on. Interestingly enough, it seems that Hoiberg and Beilein have a similar eye for young talent, as an unusually high percentage of Michigan prospects also list Iowa State as being interested.

Fred Hoiberg's Cyclones will be a great early season test for Michigan (Nick Krug)

2. Bombs Away: Michigan’s defense seems to be improved in the early going this season, but this game certainly looks to be an offensive shootout on paper. Iowa State has attempted a whopping 57 three-pointers in just two games and has made 26 of them for an outstanding 45.6 percent clip. Similarly, the Wolverines are not afraid to hoist from deep, making 20 of their 46 bombs (43.5%), and will continue to shoot with an array of snipers led by Nik Stauskas and Caris LeVert, who combined to make 11 of 13 threes against South Carolina State in what would end up being career high point nights for both sophomores. Iowa State likes to spread the wealth on the perimeter, but sophomore Naz Long and freshman Matt Thomas are the main suspects with 14 threes made on a combined 27 attempts to date.

3. Mitch McGary Watch: Michigan’s prized sophomore big man has had a nagging back injury since September; John Beilein and staff remain mum on McGary’s status, suggesting recently that he could be held out until conference season or even beyond, but Beilein’s concise comments on Friday at the press roundtable lead me to believe that McGary may be closer to the playing court than most think. Beilein mentioned then that he would not give an update on McGary’s status, who as far as anyone knows has not practiced fully this preseason, but did say that McGary will play if he is suited up (in a jersey, not the suit he’s been accustomed to wearing so far). If that is the case today, expect to see McGary come off the bench to play 15-18 minutes, as his conditioning will take some time. All is not healthy in Ames either, however, as senior forward Melvin Ejim has a hyperextended left knee injury that has caused him to miss both of Iowa State’s game this season. Ejim is reportedly recovering quicker than his original four- to six-week timeline from late October, but is unlikely to play today. Ejim averaged 11.3 points and 9.3 rebounds last season and was a major reason the Cyclones nearly upended Ohio State to get to the Sweet Sixteen in March.

Prediction: Neither of these teams has been battle-tested yet, but both possess the talent to make it deep into March. Vegas favors Iowa State right now by the slightest of margins, undoubtedly because Hoiberg’s teams have lost only three games at the Hilton Coliseum since the beginning of the 2009-10 season, but Michigan is poised to prove that last year’s success was legit. If both teams are shooting as well as they have been, Iowa State could edge the Wolverines with the home court advantage, but I expect Michigan’s offense to be a bit too much for Iowa State to handle. McGary will make his first appearance of the season as LeVert continues to turn heads with 20 points and Michigan pulls off an 84-76 win.

#15 Michigan 76 – Iowa State 66

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011


Final 1st 2nd Total
#15 Michigan (6-2) 34 42 76
Iowa State (5-3) 25 41 66

Tim Hardaway Jr bounced back from a rough Virginia outing to lead the Wolverines with 19 points (photo by John T. Greilick, AP)

Michigan rebounded from its loss to Virginia with a 76-66 win over Iowa State in Crisler Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Iowa State controlled the first five minutes and the last five minutes, but Michigan dominated the middle portion. After falling behind 10-4 in the first five minutes, Michigan got eight straight points from point guard Trey Burke. The freshman made a layup and two threes to put Michigan ahead. The two teams traded baskets before an Eso Akunne three sparked a 10-0 Michigan run right before the half.

Michigan took a 34-25 lead into the half and then began the second with a 21-8 run to blow the game open. Iowa State made it a ballgame in the last few minutes, cutting a 22-point Michigan lead down to six with 22 seconds remaining, but Michigan hit its free throws to seal the win.

Tim Hardaway Jr. led the way with 19 points and six rebounds, while Jordan Morgan turned in his best performance of the season with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Zack Novak added eight points and 11 rebounds, while Burke had 13 points.

Michigan now has a week off before returning to action next Saturday against Oakland in the Palace at Auburn Hills in Detroit. Oakland is also 6-2, with losses to then-#15 Alabama and Arkansas but beat Tennessee last week, so they won’t be an easy win.

Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
23 Evan Smotrycz* 3-7 0-3 2-3 2 5 7 5 8 3 2 0 0 22
52 Jordan Morgan* 7-10 0-0 2-3 0 2 2 1 16 0 1 0 0 23
00 Zack Novak* 1-4 0-2 6-6 2 9 11 0 8 2 0 0 0 33
03 Trey Burke* 5-14 3-11 0-0 0 2 2 0 13 3 3 0 0 34
10 Tim Hardaway Jr* 6-12 2-7 5-6 1 5 6 3 19 3 2 0 1 32
01 Stu Douglass 1-3 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 4 2 2 0 0 0 16
05 Eso Akunne 2-2 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 5 0 1 0 0 12
13 Matt Vogrich 0-2 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 12
15 Jon Horford 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 1 0 0 1 1 0 10
22 Blake McLimans 2-2 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 5 1 1 0 0 6
Totals 27-56 7-29 15-18 6 29 35 15 76 14 11 1 2 200
Iowa State 24-67 6-27 12-15 15 23 28 17 66 11 11 1 8 200

Michigan Hoops Preview: Iowa State

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011


After dropping a road game at Virginia on Tuesday night, Michigan returns home to face Iowa State. The Cyclones have the same record, 5-2, but have played a schedule of cupcakes to this point. Like Virginia, they do have a dangerous post man in Royce White. Michigan will have to find an answer to him, unlike the Wolverines were able to do on Tuesday.

This is another one that Michigan should win, especially at home. Iowa State doesn’t have near the defense Virginia had and the Cyclones allow opponents to shoot 45 percent from the field. Iowa State does dominate on the boards, especially offensively, so it will be important for Michigan to limit the Cyclones’ second chance points.

#15 Michigan v. Iowa State
Saturday, Dec. 3
12 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
5-2 Record 5-2
Ferris State 59-33
Towson 64-47
W. Illinois 59-55
#8 Memphis 73-61
UCLA 79-63
Wins Lehigh 86-77
W. Carolina 92-60
N. Colorado 90-82
Providence 64-54
Rice 90-63
#6 Duke 75-82
Virginia 58-70
Losses Drake 65-74
N. Iowa 62-69
66.7 Points Per Game 78.4
58.7 Scoring Defense 68.4
175-for-362 (48.3%) Field Goal % 181-for-382 (47.4%)
142-for-344 (41.3%) Def. Field Goal % 181-for-403 (44.9%)
52-for-150 (34.7%) 3-point % 72-for-172 (41.9%)
42-for-131 (32.1%) Def. 3-point % 43-for-134 (32.1%)
65-for-102 (63.7%) Free Throw % 115-for-159 (72.3%)
9.3 Free Throws Made/Game 16.4
31.4 Rebounds Per Game 37.4
30.3 Opp. Rebounds Per Game 28.9
12.1 Assists Per Game 15.7
11.7 Turnovers Per Game 12.7
5.1 Steals Per Game 5.7
3.4 Blocks Per Game 3.0
G – Tim Hardaway (15.4)
G – Trey Burke (11.0)
Leading Scorer F – Royce White (14.1)
G – Chris Allen (13.4)
F – Evan Smotrycz (5.0)
F – Jordan Morgan (4.1)
Leading Rebounder F – Royce White (10.4)
F – Melvin Ejim (5.4)