Thursday, December 13, 2007

Michigan Hits the Century Mark; Defeats Oakland (MI)

Led by 24 points and eight rebounds from freshman guard Manny Harris and 22 points from DeShawn Sims, the Michigan Wolverines shot their way to victory over Oakland (MI) last night, winning 103-87 to improve to 4-6 on the season.

Much like Michigan did against a more athletic, more talented Duke team last weekend, the Grizzlies put up a valiant fight for about the first 10 minutes of the game against the bigger, faster, and stronger Wolverines. Also just like Michigan in that blowout loss to Duke, however, Oakland simply couldn't keep pace and with 8 minutes left in the first half, they trailed 32-25, then 44-27 with just over 5 minutes remaining.

Oakland wanted to play to their strengths and set a fast, breakneck tempo, score a lot of points, and play enough defense to try and sneak out of Crisler Arena with a win. The problem was that Michigan plays the exact same way but with a much more aggressive defense, and when you're facing the more athletic players that Michigan has and the deeper bench that the Wolverines possess, you just can't run with Michigan for 40 minutes, just like Michigan couldn't against the talent that Duke can put on the floor.

As I said before, that's not to say Oakland didn't give their best effort. Derick Nelson is a stud at small forward and could be playing for any Big Ten school in my opinion. Nelson had 31 points for the Grizzlies last night and really just had his way with anyone whom Michigan tried to put out there and defend him. Erik Kangas has Big Ten ability as well in terms of shooting the basketball from distance and he scored 24 points, 15 of which came via the trifecta. With Oral Roberts likely to be down this season, look for Oakland and IUPUI to really battle for the Summit League's (former Mid-Continent Conference) NCAA Tournament bid.

Two key stats in this win for Michigan: 58% FG percentage compared to 42% for Oakland, and 31 points off the bench to just 11 for the Grizzlies.

Next up for the Wolverines is another home game against a fellow state school, as the Central Michigan Chippewas will come into Ann Arbor this Saturday (2:00 PM, BTN) and try and get a win for the MAC.

1 comment:

Kartik said...

No offense but Michigan is one of the worst teams I have seen with in a power league this year. I think Beilein is an outstanding coach. I recall he inherited a pretty poor team from Gale Catlett at WVU and won pretty quickly. But this Michigan team is beyond repair it seems and it will take him a bit longer to turn it around that I had thought. He may have troubles but no new coach in any sport on the planet has the problems Bill Gillespie is facing- Blue Nation is ready to deport him.