2023-24 Season

Game 19: Michigan at Purdue Recap

There’s nothing worse than knowing that you could write the game recap before the game is played. Tonight’s loss at Purdue wasn’t about in-game management or decision-making. It wasn’t about execution, shooting, or lineup combinations. Nothing to do with the nuances of four factors, or ball screen coverages.

It was about a program that has everything rolling crushing a program that is lost at sea.

Michigan has been on the other side of that equation plenty of times over the last decade, but tonight’s 32-point point loss in West Lafayette amplifies how dire the situation has become. The Wolverines never had a chance to compete, let alone win, without Dug McDaniel. The reality is that they are playing such lackluster basketball with McDaniel at home that they likely wouldn’t have a chance even if he weren’t suspended for road games due to academic issues.

And the worst feeling of all isn’t the result; it is that there’s no apparent path to fix it. This team is worse than the last, which was worse than the one before it. There’s no reason to expect next year’s team to be notably improved; in fact, it will probably be worse, barring a miracle in the transfer portal.

For now, the most important takeaway from each game is that it brings us one step closer to the end of this season, and the start of a new chapter. Whether it is a new roster, coaches, approach, or players, change is needed. Whatever comes next will be a step somewhere for a program that feels like it’s going nowhere.

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