On Wednesday night against Nebraska, Glenn Robinson III hit three 3-pointers in a blowout victory. While not necessarily a meaningful contribution to the final score, the makes did something for the sophomore’s confidence. Robinson has been struggling from beyond the arc this season, hitting only 29 percent of his attempts from deep.
The three triples Robinson made against the Huskers were the most he’s hit in a single game all season.
Robinson said after the game that he had many private sessions in the gym to thank for his shooting performance, though he got a little help from his friends — his old high school coach and Mitch McGary.
“I got up shots the other night. I found something in my shot that I needed to change, just talking to my high school coach again,” Robinson said. “I changed it and my shot felt great and I was confident going into this game. Mitch actually helped me shoot the other night. They just seemed to fall.”
Michigan hopes Robinson can keep his improvements going. Not only does he provide an appealing offensive weapon from the perimeter, his shot falling has a major effect on his ability to drive. If defenders don’t respect his jumper, he becomes much easier to contain because of his general lack of ball skills.
Luckily, Robinson has one of the nation’s premiere shooting experts in his corner, as well.
“He’s been working on just punching through the shot all the way,” John Beilein said when asked about Robinson’s shot during his press conference on Friday. “When you see a good tumble on his shot, it means he’s punched through all the way. Some shooters, they just won’t finish here and he’s really working on it. We work on it almost every day, just getting good rotation on the ball.”
Michigan must be familiar with Iowa’s myriad of experienced scorers
Not much has changed since the last time Michigan played Iowa, on January 22nd at the Crisler Center. Iowa is still very experienced, dangerous on the fast break, and great at rebounding, especially on the offensive end.
When it comes to stopping the Hawkeyes’ attack, it comes down to one simple acronym: KYP.
“What they really have is tremendous experience,” Beilein said. “They’re one of the few teams with juniors and seniors all over the court. What do get is points that they manufacture with the offensive rebounding. Tremendous rebounding team, as we all know. You have to know who the shooters are, who the drivers are — KYP: know your personnel. We have to know that the whole game and make sure we close out, block out, just all the different things that give them easy baskets.”
In the first meeting, Iowa got the better of Michigan in the first half — in fact, Beilein remembered them “controlling” the opening frame, with Michigan making a late run. It was in the second half that Michigan really won the game.
Beilein said he doesn’t necessarily examine what was different between the first 20 minutes and the second 20 minutes in the previous matchup. Rather, he takes in the game as a whole and knows that the strategy has more to do with what each team runs in practice rather than in the game.
“I just look at the whole game. What did they score on, what did we score on, what were the things we have to do better, what’s their personnel,” Beilein said. “What you emphasize every day in practice is going against what they emphasize every day in practice. And it might now even be a play. It might be an angle.
“You just look and watch how it all meshes together and try to summarize what you see and make a whole new gameplan. Some of it may be similar, but some of it may be different. I assume Fran is doing the same thing.”
Mitch McGary has started rehab
In what has become a running joke between John Beilein and the media, the coach finally was able to let the press know about a bit of news regarding the Wolverines’ All-American center.
“Breaking news: he has started rehab,” Beilein said with a chuckle.
McGary elected to have surgery on his back earlier this season. The last game he played in was against Arizona, before the Big Ten season started. The plan is to bring him along slowly, Beilein said.
“Do not have any shattering news on there. I would assume it’s very very light right now,” Beilein added. “But he has started some rehab with our team and teams of doctors. Gotta start slow and do it right.”