Michigan comes up short against Duke

November 21, 2008

Michigan lost the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic to Duke 71-56. It was certainly a tough assignment for Michigan having to play #4 ranked UCLA and #5 ranked Duke on back to back nights. This loss should not dampen the enthusiasm about the season.


Michigan Duke BasketballThe differences between tonight and last night were obvious. First of all Duke was much more cohesive then UCLA was last night. They played very tough defensively and executed their offense very well.

Michigan shot 35% from the field and a miserable 6-22 on three pointers. Last night DeShawn Sims and Stu Douglass stepped up and helped take some of the load off of Manny Harris. Tonight nobody really was able to chip in and help out.

Manny Harris scored 25 points on 6-13 shooting with 2 rebounds and 5 assists. The only other player in double figures was Sims with 10 points on 5-13 shooting. Beyond that Zack Gibson scored 6 points and Kelvin Grady 5 points for the Wolverines.


Manny Harris did set a 2K Sports Classic record by scoring 96 points in the tournament, breaking Chris Douglas-Roberts previous mark of 92 points in the 2007 tournament.


At the half Michigan was down 38-31 and Coach Beilein said they were getting some good looks on three pointers but they were hitting back rim. Duke pulled away early in the second half and held Michigan off the rest of the way. Michigan did mount a few rallies but Duke always had the answer.

For Michigan to come out of this tournament with a 3-1 record is great. It puts them ahead of schedule for the 21 wins I predicted and the UCLA game is a huge win for the resume.


Quotes: During the end of the UCLA vs. SIU game Bob Knight said John Beilein was the best zone defensive coach in the country.


Steve Lavin said Michigan would be the most improved team in the Big Ten and also referred to Michigan as a sleeper. Lavin said, “they are going to be a dangerous team in the Big Ten”.

Dick Vitale made no secret about his obsession with Duke basketball. At one point he actually recited the names of all 14 Duke players who are currently in the NBA.


Inside the numbers: Michigan was out rebounded 32-25. Michigan had 14 assists against 12 turnovers and forced Duke into 17 turnovers. Michigan also notched 10 steals in the game compared to 6 for Duke.


UCLA thumped SIU 77-60 in the consolation game.


Michigan will play Duke on December 6th at Crisler.


Michigan Defeats #4 UCLA 55-52

November 20, 2008
Michigan UCLA BasketballMaybe this surprised some folks but of the 143 votes in the poll on this blog 64% said Michigan was going to win this game. Well, Michigan pulled the upset defeating the #4 UCLA Bruins 55-52 at Madison Square Garden.
Michigan kept hanging around and staying within striking distance. I could sense early on that Michigan just might pull this off.  

Michigan took their first lead of the game when Manny Harris hit a 3 pointer at the 16:39 mark of the second half. That was after being down at one point 29-19 and making 1 of 12 first half three point shots.

Michigan came out battling in the second half and freshmen Stuart Douglass provided the spark. First Douglass hit a mid range jumper to cut UCLAs lead to 29-25, moments later Douglass hit a deep three to pull Michigan within one point at 29-28.

DeShawn Sims was ESPNs player of the game. Peedi scored 18 on 9-15 shooting and grabbed 5 rebounds. 

Michigan UCLA BasketballThe team played with a great flow. The 1-3-1 defense was causing havoc for UCLA. Meanwhile the Wolverines were executing on offense. Michigan continually worked for and found good shots. Here are some examples of that execution:
Manny Harris drove into the paint and 3 Bruins converged on him. Manny found DeShawn Sims open and kicked it out to him and Sims knocked down a long jumper and
Michigan was leading 40-36.

Stuart Douglass made a nice dish to Anthony Wright for a lay up to put Michigan up 44-41.
Manny Harris picked up a steal and hit Douglass on the outlet pass, Douglass dropped the ball off to Sims in the paint and DeShawn finished to put Michigan up 51-48.

 Perhaps the most clutch execution came with 34 seconds left in the game and Michigan leading 51-49. Anthony Wright executed a perfect bounce pass to Sims on a back door cut and Sims finished the play and put Michigan up 53-49. That play was simply humongous. 83742129NL027_2K_SPORTS_CLA

Manny Harris capped things off by draining two clutch free throws with 4.1 seconds left to put Michigan up 55-52. For good measure Manny blocked Darren Collision’s three point shot at the buzzer to seal the win.

Stuart Douglass had a break out game scoring 10 points and going 2-3 on three pointers. Douglass also dished out 4 assists. 

Manny Harris finished with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks.
Michigan coach John Beilein is now 3-1 against UCLA in his career.  

Michigan (3-0) will play Duke in the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic on Friday (11/21) at 7pm. Ironically Michigan will also play Duke on December 6th at Crisler Areana.