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.
The 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.