2009-2010 Season

Game 22: Michigan at Northwestern Post Game

The last month or so has been littered with games where Michigan reminds you how good they could have been. In this one, Michigan reminded us how bad they really are.

Northwestern dominated Michigan in all facets of the game in what was easily one of the worst performances in Michigan’s 11-11 season.

Michigan didn’t hit shots but most of all they didn’t defend. The Wildcat offense walked all over Michigan, scoring 1.19 points per possession with a 65.2/57.7/50 (eFG/2pt/3pt) shooting line. The worst effective field goal percentage that Michigan has allowed this year.

The StatSheet graphs pretty much tell the story here:

Michigan played with Northwestern for a while but when both teams went cold, Michigan froze. Northwestern eventually found their stride again and blew the lid off the game.  The game was tied 27-27 with 6:40 left and then Michigan disappeared. They missed 7 of their final 8 shots in the half and from that point on they shot just 21.9% (7 of 32) from the field.

DeShawn Sims and Manny Harris were brutal. Sims wasn’t in it defensively and Luke Mirkovic took advantage, scoring 12 points with 4 assists. Sims’ offensive game was completely missing in action as well; he made only 2 of 9 field goals for 4 points. Harris got some decent looks but couldn’t buy a basket either, finishing 4 of 14 from the field. One factor that could have affected both Harris and Sims is that Northwestern ranks very highly in “effective height” (12th nationally), a mixture of all the statistics that height results in which includes block percentage, 2 pt defense, eFG% defense, and overall defense.

Novak (1-6 3pt), Douglass (2-5 3pt), and Lucas-Perry (2-5 3pt) weren’t any better. Michigan’s trio of “shooters” made only one three point shot in the final 28 minutes of the game.

I’m not going to go into full player bullets because, quite simply, no one played well. The effort was missing on defense and there was no execution on offense. The entire team looked lethargic and if you don’t show up to play in this conference, you will lose.

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