Michigan cruises past Penn State

February 5, 2009

Penn St Michigan BasketballThe Wolverines gave their coach a very happy birthday present with a convincing 71-51 win over Penn State. I for one finally exhaled as the season was teetering on the brink of disaster heading into the game. Michigan did exactly what they had to do and they did it with strong, hustling defense and patient execution on the offensive end.

Manny Harris said that Coach Beilein challenged him at the half to be more patient. Harris was more then up to the challenge as he led his team in a dominant second half performance in which they outscored Penn State 40-20.

Credit CJ Lee as he started the game and played tough defense on the Big Ten’s leading scorer, Talor Battle, and helped frustrate him into a 3-16 shooting performance for 9 points. Lee also ran the offense like a true floor general scoring 5 points to go along with 4 assists and 3 rebounds.

Manny Harris played one of his best all around games and as Gus Johnson said was a real “stat stuffa”. Manny stuffed the stat sheet to the tune of 28 points, 7 dimes, 6 boards, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. The most important stats might have been his 7-13 shooting and only two turnovers.

Stu Douglass chipped in 13 points with some timely three point daggers. DeShawn Sims came off the bench and added 9 points and 7 rebounds.

The story of the game was definitely Michigan’s defense. Jamelle Cornley scored 25 points but the rest of the Nittany Lions combined for 26 points. Michigan forced 13 turnovers and logged 7 steals and 6 blocks in the game.

The much needed win boosted Michigan’s record to 15-8 and 5-6 in the conference. Next up is a trip to Storrs, Connecticut to take on the #1 ranked Huskies on Saturday. That will be followed by a quick turnaround to a Tuesday home game against Michigan State

The road to 21 wins: This was a game I had them projected to win and a game they had to win. Let’s just take this one game at time from here on out. You don’t have to be a bracketologist to figure out that a win at Connecticut would be gigantic. 

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Michigan vs. UCLA Preview

November 17, 2008

First of all, thanks to everybody for voting in the poll and for all the feedback I have been receiving so far. Let us know who you think will win the game by voting in the poll at the end of this post.

 

Michigan has a tough assignment going against the 4th ranked UCLA Bruins. The game will be played at 9pm on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

UCLA features their own version of the Fab Five with their freshmen class, headlined by point guard Jrue Holiday. However, they still rely heavily on two seniors in Darren Collision and Josh Shipp.

Collision is fresh off PAC-10 Player of the Week honors and he was named the MVP of the Los Angeles Regional of the 2K Sports Classic. Click here to read more about Collision’s awards.manny2k

 

Manny Harris was named the Big Ten Player of the Week and he was named the MVP of the Ann Arbor Regional of the 2K Sports Classic.

 

 

UCLA is certainly an outstanding team but they are a team that Michigan is somewhat familiar with. This will be the 7th straight season Michigan has played UCLA. Michigan has lost 4 straight to the Bruins after beating them in 2002-03 and 2003-04.

I am sure Coach Howland will have his team paying close attention to Manny Harris. The keys will be for Zack Gibson and DeShawn Sims to be a factor in the paint and for some of our shooters to bang down some three balls to help open up things for Manny.

The good thing is that Coach Beilein seems to have a nice crew of shooters when you consider that Stuart Douglass, David Merritt, Kelvin Grady, Anthony Wright, CJ Lee and Zack Novak are all capable of knocking down some three pointers. Also the defense will need to be very active and we can’t afford to get crushed on the boards.

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  All of the experts out there are giving Michigan no chance to win this game. I don’t know what is going to happen. I do have the feeling that Michigan is going to play a lot better then people think they will. 

 

It should be mentioned that on Saturday Northeastern went to Providence and beat the Friars 70-66.

 

Duke will play Southern Illinois prior to the Michigan vs. UCLA game. The winners of the two games will play on Friday as will the losers of the two games.