That’s what John Beilein said (video here) in the locker room addressing the team after Michigan’s five point ‘upset’ of UConn Sunday afternoon.
Upset?!? You Talkin’ About An Upset?!
It really wasn’t an upset. Ok… it was a little bit of an upset, but not enough to warrant mass hysteria I’ve read on various Michigan threads on the interwebs. And it certainly wasn’t the type of win where you rush the court. Of course it’s been a trying season up to this point, but A) UConn came into the game losers of two in a row and not ranked in the top 10 and B) it’s not like this Michigan team is downright dreadful or anything, rushing the court should be for special occasions. But hey, these are college kids were talking about. There’s very little rationale in why they do what they do sometimes. Trust me, I’m in college, and half the time I wonder how I ever got in (I thought UofM admissions was tough, but then they let me in). On the other hand most of the students I’ve met I can understand why they’re here, they’re brilliant–just not at hoops knowledge kinda stuff. Oh well, I think they’ll be alright in the grand scheme of things. It’s me I’m really worried about.
Look, It’s The Bench
Props to Zack Gibson and Anthony “Michigan fan’s whipping boy” Wright for their stellar performances (25 total minutes, 4 field goals, active defense). Both had been pretty much non-existent for the last several games, but both gave the team a much needed jolt in the arm. With the exception of the play when Anthony drove hard to the left and promptly tripped over his own feet and turned the ball over, there wasn’t really anything cringe worthy about their time on the court. I’ll let the airball Wright threw up towards the end of the half slide because he had already hit two of them in the half and, well, when Wright’s feeling good you better savor the occasion and milk the hell out of it. As for Gibson. he made a very graceful hook shot and was a pest on defense. And no turnovers for Gibson, which, is something worth noting.
For this victory to be considered truly impressive in the minds of the NCAA tourney committee Michigan not only has to seize this momentum and at worst win two! of the next three games (@Wiscy, @ Purdue, vs. MSU) but also hope UConn turns their season around, and soon, before it’s too late in the wild Big East (still the best conference in America). The better UConn does this point forward the better this win looks for Michigan. I’m not exactly confident UConn has what it takes to turn their season around. Sure they have lots of talent and some impressive specimen, but where exactly did they learn how to dribble and pass?
Badgers And That Bully Kohl Center Up Next
At Wisconsin on Wednesday— No Jon Leuer (15ppg), no problem, right? Wrong. Wiscy doesn’t lose at home. And the Wolvies aren’t exactly world-beaters on the road or anything. Some way somehow even if the Badgers are playing poorly their crowd wills them to victory. Also I think the refs go easy on Wiscy because they just don’t want to piss off Bo Ryan too much, and I really don’t blame them for one second.
Limiting what trouble guard Trevon Hughes can get into will be key for the Wolvies, but they also must not allow the likes of Jason Bohannon (with his streaky 3 pt stroke) and Jordan Taylor (shot making ability) to go for big games either. Though, realistically, if Manny and DeShawn play like they’re the two best players on the court (which they are) then Michigan will be in a great position for a victory. Yet, with Wisconsin’s often stellar defensive schemes, I expect one of the two to be slowed, making it necessary for others guys to step up and make them buckets wet.
It’ll be a typical low scoring Big Ten affair. I’m hoping Michigan doesn’t come in with the mindset that without Leuer in the lineup it will be a lot easier. Because if that’s their mindset, it’s a guaranteed Wisconsin win.
This is when Beilein earns his salary.