2021-22 Season

Against Michigan State, Michigan looks to shore up its defense

When Phil Martelli thinks back to the last Michigan-Michigan State game — a 16-point blowout victory for the Spartans on Jan. 29 — there’s a certain statistic that remains etched in his memory. 

28 transition points. 

Michigan State ran rampant, galloping up and down the floor and pushing the pace on an endless, frantic loop. It made for Michigan’s worst defensive performance in transition this season. 

So, later Monday afternoon, Martelli plans to cycle through all 14 transition baskets in a teamwide film session, dissecting them one at a time. In doing so, the Wolverines will mold a crucial component of their gameplan for Tuesday’s contest. 

“We have to first get back, then we have to build a wall and not allow the ball into the cracks so now they spread it around,” Martelli explained. “… What was learned from the first game? We better get our backsides — and I’m being PG — back so we can build a wall and get settled in. 

“If they’re able to attack and our feet are moving, Hunter’s feet are moving, then they’re going to get downhill. But if we’re able to get back and build a wall, and you can envision this image, then we’re going to be fine.” 

Special Offer!

You can join UM Hoops for a discounted rate of $3 per month with promo code JOIN and unlock exclusive content. Sign up today for coverage throughout the season.

Join Today

Subscribe to Continue Reading

Join the UM Hoops community today and access our exclusive content.

  • Advanced analysis and previews
  • Member-only forum & monthly ‘Ask Me Anything’
  • In-depth video breakdowns and features
  • Ad-free viewing

Subscribe Today

Already a UM Hoops member? Sign in below

To Top