It’s hard to remember the last time Michigan basketball found itself in a place like this.
Losers of four of five, holders an 11-7 record midway through January. Unable to beat Penn State on its home court in a sleepy Wednesday night game, or even mount much of a fight. Eli Brooks, a three-year veteran, hasn’t experienced anything like this since arriving in Ann Arbor.
“I feel like morale is still there,” Brooks said, standing in a back hallway of Crisler Center after a 72-63 loss to the Nittany Lions.
If a series of road losses represented warning signs, Michigan took a jump into the abyss on Wednesday. The Wolverines shot 35.3 percent from the field and 5-for-28 from 3-point range. They went long stretches without a made basket more than once, an answer never presenting itself. When Michigan managed to cut the lead to five with 3:50 to go, it proceeded to miss two 3-pointers then give up a transition dunk on the other end, the momentum deflating like a balloon.