The Michigan Wolverines (26-5) lost their last game of the regular season with a score of 75-63 against their rival Michigan State Spartans (25-6). This win gave Michigan State shared rights to the regular season Big Ten Championship with Purdue.
Although Michigan led by six at halftime, Michigan State blitzed the Wolverines in the second half outscoring them 46 to 28. Here are the takeaways from Michigan’s second loss to the Spartans this year…
More Offensive Cold Spells
Ignas Brazdeikis was really the only Michigan player to play well offensively tonight. He also battled foul trouble throughout the whole game and ended up fouling out with five minutes left in the game. When an offense that is already struggling loses their best scorer, it is not bound to end well.
Michigan’s offense looked lost and confused throughout the second half. They took poor shots at times, made lazy passes, and never seemed to find any sort of rhythm of flow. Michigan State took advantage of it.
Michigan built a nine-point lead at the beginning of the second half. It looked like Michigan was going to open things up and put the Spartans away. But then, Cassius Winston started to take over, yet Michigan’s offense had no answer on the other end.
Michigan State went on a huge scoring run which was accompanied by yet another long Michigan scoring drought. Michigan simply lacks shooters yet the majority of their perimeter players refuse to go inside.
Michigan has the ability to get hot from outside but it MUST come from the inside out. If they expect to shoot contested threes all night, they won’t have much of a chance in the upcoming tournaments.
They still have an elite defense, but their offense needs to figure out a way to get better looks. Instead of isolation scoring, Michigan needs to move the ball, attack the basket, and then kick it out for open shots.
Playing as they did against Michigan State tonight is a recipe for disaster come tournament time. Michigan still has time to fix things, but time to do so is certainly running out. Hopefully, they can find their groove soon with the Big Ten tournament starting this week.
The other big reason Michigan lost this game was rebounding. The Spartans out-rebounded Michigan 46 to 20. That type of margin is ridiculous. Michigan State was also able to grab 11 offensive rebounds compared to Michigan’s four.
Getting outrebounded by that much cannot happen if you expect to win games. There were multiple times where Jon Teske looked lost out there. The Michigan wing players weren’t much of a help either.
Second chance opportunities kept Michigan State in the game in the first half and they helped put Michigan away in the second. If Michigan could have rebounded with some more urgency the outcome of this game could have been completely different.
Unfortunately for Michigan fans, that wasn’t the case. Jon Teske had just three rebounds all game. Zavier Simpson, the six-foot point guard had the same amount. Sometimes, the ball just doesn’t bounce your way giving you a perfectly valid excuse for missing out on rebounds. Tonight, however, that wasn’t the case.
The discrepancy should never be as lop-sided as it was tonight and that is one of the biggest reason’s Michigan State was able to pull off the win.
Michigan will have a few days to prepare for the Big Ten tournament. They will have a bad taste in their mouth after missing out on the Big Ten regular season championship and losing to their rivals twice.
Hopefully, they can use this to fuel them into another run at the Big Ten tournament title. John Beilein has built a reputation of getting his team to play their best basketball in the tournament. Michigan fans can hope that this year won’t be any different.
If the offense starts to find a rhythm, and they all stay discipline on defense, Michigan will still have a great shot at winning the Big Ten tournament. Only time will tell, however, which means we’ll have to wait about five days to find out.
If you would like to receive an email each time a new Michigan Basketball article is published, fill out our email notification form.