Well, that sucked. A few thoughts on the Boston College game, before I get all sad and write depressing things:
- I really thought this would be the year DeShawn Sims would put it all together and become a consistent threat, every game. After a four point, four foul performance, I’m very disappointed. Yes, he had foul trouble early, but when Peedi came off the bench for the second half, he spent most of his time hanging around the perimeter and seemed completely out of sync with the offense. I don’t know what John Beilein has to do to convince Peedi he isn’t a shooting guard, but whatever it is needs to happen.
- Darius Morris simply isn’t ready. I still think he’s going to be a very good player here, but right now he’s having a very tough time running the offense, and he doesn’t have the finishing ability to make any impact on that end. Yes, he’s a much better defender than Stu Douglass, but he just isn’t giving Michigan much choice about who to play.
- For longer stretches than I care to say last night, Zack Gibson was Michigan’s best player. He plays hard on both ends, hasn’t been forcing it too much on offense (which I thought was his biggest issue last year), and provides Michigan with a legitimate post presence on offense and defense. More importantly, he knows that he’s a post player, and plays like it — DeShawn would be wise to learn from Gibson.
- The offense in general looked completely stagnant last night — some well-deserved comparisons to watching an Amaker offense have already popped up. Watching Manny Harris settle for contested jumpers all night — his 19-7-6 stat line doesn’t look nearly as good when you check the 7-18 on field goals, or the 1-6 on threes — was nothing short of excruciating. I’m not sure what Beilein should do to remedy this — more pick and rolls, more cuts to the basket, play Manny at the point, etc. — but it needs to change, and quick.
The loss leaves Michigan stuck at 3-3 and looking at a big uphill climb if they want to make a repeat appearance in the NCAA tournament. The Utah game looks like a must-win now, and there’s a very good chance Michigan will need a big upset over Kansas or UConn (neither of which seem at all likely) to have a legitimate resume. Throw in the hockey team’s struggles and the disastrous football team, and this may be the worst time to be a Michigan sports fan in generations.
Seriously. Just for kicks (very depressing kicks, that is) I checked through Michigan’s record books to find the last time that (1) both the basketball and hockey teams missed the NCAA tournament and (2) the football team finished with a losing record in the same academic year. The result? In 1962, the football team finished 2-7 under Bump Elliott, and the 1962-63 hockey and basketball teams missed the tournament, finishing 7-14-3 and 16-8, respectively. So, yeah, if it feels like Michigan sports have reached a new low in your lifetime, there’s a very good chance you’re right.