DeShawn Sims certainly didn’t look like a third team all-conference player today. He set the tone from the jump by scoring the first 14 Michigan points and didn’t look back. With his confidence already soaring, he kept on rolling for 18 first half points on perfect shooting. DeShawn was trailing the Hawkeyes by one point at the half.
It wasn’t a one man effort. Peedi opened things up for everyone else and Manny Harris played an efficient and under control game. Manny was a creator rather than a scorer and he consistently penetrated and kicked the ball to an open shooter. Douglass, Novak, Sims, Lucas-Perry, and Merritt all hit at least one three point shot during the game, most of them thanks to one of Manny’s eight assists.
Statistically Michigan dominated the Hawkeyes. Michigan scored 1.23 points per possession while Iowa managed a measly 0.73 points per possession. This was the most efficient game that Michigan’s offense has played since December and it was Iowa’s worst offensive performance of the year. Michigan lost the rebounding and free throw battles but it didn’t matter because they made just about everything, finishing with an effective field goal percentage of 69.4%.
Nothing is set in stone but I’m having a pretty hard time coming up with a scenario that leaves Michigan “out” on Selection Sunday. Andy Cox from Crashing the Dance sent me this e-mail after the game:
I think Michigan is safe now. Now it’s all about the seed.
Let it sink in and then try to remember what your expectations were back on November 10th, the night before this season tipped off. Personally, my expectations included three letter post season tournaments rather than the big dance. Now it is time to enjoy the rest of the weekend. The Illinois game is winnable and if Michigan plays like they did today they can beat just about any team in the country. This team certainly looks to be peaking at the right time and judging by Beilein’s track record that should excite each and every one of us.
I’ll have a preview of the Illinois game tomorrow but here are a couple of notes/articles as well as an abbreviated player bullets list from today’s game.
Notes & Links:
- Illinois guard Chester Frazier questionable for Big Ten tournament
- Sims works to control sporadic mental lapses
- DeShawn Sims: Dominant: 27 points on 16 shots with two rebounds and three steals. DeShawn has become a man this year and he has carried this team on his back down the stretch.
- Manny Harris: This was one of the best all-around games that Manny has played this year: 18 points on 7-11 (3-5 3pt) shooting with seven rebounds, and eight assists. Manny looked to setup his teammates throughout the first 30 minutes or so but added a couple three pointers down the stretch to boost his scoring total. I know he had four turnovers today but I thought Manny played under control and within himself — he passed the ball about as well as I remember since the Oakland game.
- Laval Lucas-Perry: 6 points on 2 of 4 shooting with four rebounds and 2 assists. I thought Laval was solid, he hit a couple threes and seems much more confident. I was probably most impressed with his defense.
- Stu Douglass: 8 points on 3 of 6 shooting with four rebounds and two assists. Solid production overall from Stu and Laval at the two-guard, if we can get a solid 14-16 points combined out of these two in every game that would be a huge boost down the stretch.
- Zack Novak: Novak didn’t score a lot but he filled the stat sheet in other areas: 3 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal. Zack only took two shots so it isn’t like he had a lot of opportunities or was forcing things. I really think he did a good job letting the game come to him today.
- CJ Lee & Dave Merritt: I thought CJ did a good job of guarding Jake Kelly and he also added 5 assists. Merritt was also solid on the defensive end containing Kelly and hit a triple. Kelly absolute tore us apart and has been lights out of late so it would be wrong to let this effort go unnoticed.