Monday, March 22, 2021

Michigan Monday: LSU Up Next

This weekend has been full of upsets and poor play by the Big Ten.  Illinois ran into a very hot Loyola and Sister Jean,  OSU got beat by Oral Roberts who also upset Florida and on its way to the Sweet 16.   Iowa, Maryland, and Michigan are the only 3 Big Ten teams out of 9 left and they haven't played their second round games yet. 

Whether we are talking about Michigan Football or Basketball, the Wolverines seem to struggle against athletic teams.  LSU is one of those teams.  They have talent (mostly paid for) but have lacked defense this year.  For example, Alabama blew them out of the building early in the year and beat them by 1 in the SEC Championship.   So the defense is getting better and Will Wade still has a job after being caught on a FBI wire tape offering money to recruits.

What I saw on Saturday:

  • I saw Juwan experimenting with some different lineups and players 
  • Trust in true freshman Zeb Jackson and Terrance Williams 
  • Both Mike and Eli knowing they have to shoot more 
  • Good offensive distribution without Livers
  • Poor defensive rebounds 
  • Hunter with foul trouble and turning the ball over with double teams 
  • Franz still in a mini slump and trying to find his game 
  • That might have been the longest Michigan Basketball game I have ever watched.  Enough fouls ref! 
  • Brown struggled and we need 10+ out of him.  Johns wasn't even guarded at the 3 point line.  Michigan will have to have someone in that role that can knock down shots if LSU deploys a similar defense. 
I believe a lot of Michigan's success rides on the shoulders of Franz.  If he plays like a lottery pick and is the best player on the floor, Michigan won't miss Livers with Smith and Brooks both scoring more.   If Franz scores in single digits and Michigan forces the pick and roll to Hunter, this might be it for the Wolverines.  

Michigan is the better team but we have seen that not make a bit of difference in this tournament.  LSU's wins this year will be vacated so they might as well just lose now and save us all some time.  Michigan will need to defend LSU's guards and dominate the paint.  LSU has NBA Pro's on it, Michigan will need to force them into turnovers and low percentage shots.  I also don't like the location of this game which is in half a dome.   These don't make for good shooting games and lets hope that just doesn't effect our Wolverines.  

I know playing in domes is a money grab, but in a Pandemic with limited fans, and with all the courts around Indy, they couldn't play this game in a made for basketball arena? 

  • Michigan Baseball was down to MSU 7-0 in the bottom of the 9th.  Michigan scored 8 for the walk off win. 
  • Michigan's Women's team won their first round match-up against Florida Gulf Coast.

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