Michigan Pummels Eastern 91-60

December 13, 2008

shepherdemuMichigan played this game without Coach John Beilein who was out sick. This was also the first game they had played since the Duke win a week ago. Considering those two factors I guess it is not that surprising that Michigan came out a little flat and/or out of synch. Eastern Michigan controlled the game for the first 16 minutes of the half and enjoyed leads of 18-11, 19-13, and 26-19.

During that 16 minute span Jevohn Shepherd kept Michigan in the game by scoring 9 points. Kelvin Grady chipped in 3 three pointers as well to keep Michigan close.

Michigan took a 32-30 lead after two DeShawn Sims free throws with a little over three minutes left in the half. Michigan would not trail again in the game.

Following the free throws David Merritt hit a 3 ball. Jevohn Shepherd scored on back to back possessions. David Merritt ended the half by hitting a 3 at the buzzer and Michigan had a 44-34 lead at the break.

Manny Harris had 2 points and 2 fouls in 5 minutes of play in the half. Jevohn Shepherd had 13 points and Kelvin Grady 11 points to pace Michigan in the first half. The Wolverines started the half hitting just one of 7 from downtown. However, they ended the half by hitting 7 of 10 from three point land.

I noticed acting head coach Jerry Dunn started Zack Novak in the second half over Stu Douglass. DeShawn Sims scored the first 4 points of the second half for Michigan. With about 17 minutes remaining in the game Manny Harris was 1-6 from the field for 2 points. Then Manny went on a rampage of three point plays. If he was not knocking down a triple he was converting three point plays at the line. The Manny rampage came quick and hit Eastern hard. He started it by hitting 3 consecutive three pointers. Then on a feed from Zack Novak he scored and completed the 3 point play at the line. Just like that Manny had ripped off 12 points.

Following the Manny rampage Sims and Douglass knocked down three point shots and in between that Manny added another 3 point play on drive, score, and foul. Manny continued his rampage by grabbing rebounds and swiping the ball from Eastern and Michigan poured it on down the stretch. Eric Puls even got into the mix by knocking down a good looking 3 pointer and Michigan won 91-60 and improved to 7-2 on the season.

gradyemu1Manny Harris finished with 22 points on 8-16 from the field including 4-7 from deep to go along with 7 boards, 5 assists, and 2 steals. DeShawn Sims scored 18 points grabbed 5 rebounds and picked up 2 steals. Kelvin Grady continues to run this team very efficiently. In 23 minutes Grady scored 11 points on 4-5 shooting (3-4 on 3 pointers). Grady had 3 assists and 0 turnovers. This is the second straight game that Grady has not turned the ball over. 

Inside the numbers: Michigan only had 5 turnovers in the game compared to 17 for Eastern. Eastern out rebounded Michigan 42-27 including 14 offensive rebounds. Michigan had 24 assists on 35 field goals and was 16-33 from three point range.  The 16 three pointers set a school record for one game.

The road to 21 wins: This was a game Michigan had to win and they did so in convincing fashion. Now they have a week to get ready for Oakland. Laval Lucas-Perry will make his highly anticipated Michigan debut against Oakland.


Michigan Hammers Norfolk State

November 25, 2008

novaknf11Let me start out by saying I love the chemistry on this team. These guys are really functioning as a unit on the court. They are playing hard and they are playing together. Coach Beilein said you can beat anybody when you believe in what you are doing. These guys believe.

Michigan had to win this game and preferably in convincing fashion and that is exactly what they did with an 81-49 victory over an outmatched Norfolk State team.

Michigan actually started the game 0-10 from the field and did not score until Stuart Douglass hit a three pointer at the 15:21 mark. Zack Novak provided a huge spark in the first half with 10 points.

Manny Harris continued his incredible start to the season by scoring 16 points, hauling down a career high 15 rebounds, dishing out 4 assists, and picking up a steal.

shepherdnfJevohn Shepherd had the best game of his career scoring 11 points to go along with 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block and 0 turnovers.

Anthony Wright started the game 0-5 but finished 4-5 good for 12 points and he had 5 rebounds

Michigan was really pushing the tempo especially when Kelvin Grady was in at the point. Grady was playing very fast and under control. Grady only scored 3 points but had 5 assists against 2 turnovers.

Coach John Beilein said in the post game that Michigan’s offensive transition game was “exceptional tonight”. He said he wants to run on every rebound and every turnover at full speed, just go.

He also mentioned that Manny Harris had 10 defensive rebounds and “that is the greatest face break you can have because everyone has to go at his (Harris’) speed, which is very fast”.

The Wolverines had some very good ball movement as they played very unselfish basketball. They really seem to be coming together as a team and that great chemistry that Coach Beilein said this team has is becoming very apparent.  

 

Tim McCormick did the color commentary. Being a Clarkston native I have always respected McCormick and I have noticed that he is not afraid to tell it as it is. When things don’t look good he will say that and not try to serve any maize and blue Kool-Aid. On this night McCormick had a lot of good things to say, which I take as a good sign about the team. Here are some of his comments:   

On Laval Lucas-Perry: He said that Lucas-Perry has a unique ability to separate and he said “this guy gets it”. He also said that LLP will be the best point guard Michigan has had since Rumeal Robinson. 

 On Zack Novak: Novak understands the offense at the level of a junior or senior. 

On Manny Harris: Manny reminds him of former Michigan great Mike McGee. He also said Manny is the best scorer in the Big Ten and that he can score in many different ways. 

McCormick also said what I have heard several other basketball people say about Michigan, “they play hard”.  

Inside the numbers: After starting the game 0-10 Michigan shot 32-61 good for 54% from the field. The Wolverines had 21 assists on 32 made field goals. Michigan had 14 turnovers, 7 steals, and 5 blocked shots. Michigan did out rebound the Spartans 49-35 and had 16 offensive rebounds. Michigan was 9-27 on three pointers and had 6 different players make a three pointer.

Notes: Ben Cronin played 8 minutes and scored 6 points to go along with 2 rebounds.
Zack Gibson tweaked his back in the first half and did not return.