2008-2009 Season

Game 2: Northeastern at Michigan Post Game

Michigan passed their first test tonight with a comfortable 76-56 win over Northeastern. Michigan will play next at Madison Square Garden against UCLA (presumably) next Thursday at 9pm on ESPN2. Highlights!

Manny Harris seems to get better every night. After posting a career high 30 points last night Manny came 2 assists short of a triple double tonight. Yesterday the only thing you could criticize about Manny’s game was that he didn’t have many assists. Well he posted 8 tonight and seemed to be looking for the open man most of the night (while still managing to score 26 points). Manny shot it efficiently (6-9), got to the stripe (13-14), and rebounded (10) — I don’t know what else you can ask from him.

Beilein on Manny:

“It was a pretty good two days for him, that’s for sure. We are trying to give him better opportunities to see the floor, to rebound, to do everything. He had eight assists and I think he had three the first night. Those numbers we think can be way up. We are trying to get him into some space.”

A lot of Manny’s assists were to DeShawn Sims on the block. Manny got in the lane and found Peedi all night long. DeShawn still isn’t a great finisher (he was 8 of 16!) but I was impressed with his hands for the most part and he played hard all night. He seems pretty comfortable playing down low, he played a lot of five tonight and I really like him in the middle of the 1-3-1.

Rebounding is becoming a huge issue, however a reader reminded me today that Beilein’s teams have never been good at rebounding. He passed along these numbers to prove his point:

2006-2007
Record: 27-9
Rebound margin: -3.4 (272 out of 326 ranked)

2005-2006
Record: 22-11
Rebound margin: -10 (325 out of 326 ranked)

2004-2005
Record: 24-11
Rebound margin: -3.9 (287 out of 326 ranked)

Somehow Michigan actually outrebounded Northeastern 33-31. However the very troubling number is that Northeastern had 20 offensive rebounds. It seems pretty clear that Beilein can win without rebounding but man it’s frusturating to watch teams get so many second chances. Maybe it’s just not even worth mentioning night in and night out.

On the other hand I was very impressed with the defense. Matt Janning was pretty much shut down, I know he ended up with 14 points but he shot very poorly and got a lot of his points later in the 2nd half. Michigan held Northeastern to 29.3% shooting (16.7% from long range) and only 56 points.

Other notes:

  • David Merritt is playing great, he clearly worked on his jumper all summer long because for the most part he is hitting the open three.
  • Gibson needs to stop picking up those cheap fouls because there just isn’t enough post depth.
  • The freshman guards shot it pretty well today, I’d actually like to see a couple more set plays designed to get Stu the ball coming off screens.
  • I know Jevohn Shepherd isn’t a threat on offense but I think he will play in games like this when Michigan is really struggling to rebound the ball. Shepherd can play solid defense and is also a good rebounder even if he is a liability on offense. He even had a nice dish to DeShawn today and made both his free throws.
  • Another concern I had was how Michigan handled the full court pressure. The guards didn’t look comfortable breaking the press all night. I would expect UCLA to bring the full court pressure all night long.
  • Free throws! 25-26! Also check out the second half shooting percentage: 68.2% from the field (50% form long range). For the game Michigan shot 52.5%.
  • Can someone turn up the volume on the new speakers?
  • Apparently I missed the memo sent out to season ticket holders that the season started December 6th…

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