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.”