The Massacre at Champaign (Michigan v Illinois) - U of M Sports News 1/11/2017

After Illini Loss, Something New Better Happen Soon

1/11/2017 - So, Michigan got killed by a really mediocre Illinois team tonight. You are what your stats say you are. We give up incredibly high shooting percentages to every opponent (even the bad ones) and we can't rebound the ball at all. Michigan basketball is just not very good right now. They can't stop penetration, they can't guard the parameter, and they can't deny the pass. I wish I had nice things to say. 

I will repeat what I have been saying all season, at least give John Teske minutes and get him experience. I have a hard time believing that he can't accidentally get more rebounds and blocks than what we are getting at the 5 right now (just because of his size). At least give some meaningful minutes to Xavier Simpson and Ibi Watson, we are going to need them and he is not going to get better from the bench. Plus, it might just light a fire under someone (I hope).

6 Rebounds in a half....6.....geeeeeeeeze.

Game Day: Michigan vs Illinois (Basketball) 

1/11/2017 - Michigan (11-5, 1-2) travels to Champaign Illinois today to take on the Fighting Illini (11-5, 1-2) at 9 p.m. on BTN.

Illinois, like Michigan, has been struggling on the defensive side of the street and Illini coach John Groce has been teasing that lineup changes are forthcoming for tonight's game. It could be a good sign that all of the Illinois papers I saw were picking Michigan to win tonight. 

In my humble opinion, most everything can be explained by the fact that Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin are both having a really sub-par seasons defensively and offensively.  They both can wake up for a few minutes in every game but mostly dribble around and play hero ball and their perimeter defense is horrible (opposing teams are shooting 41% against us from 3). As the guys from the Wolverine Beat Podcast said this week, there are plenty of guys on the bench who could at least attempt to play better defense.

Zak has always been mercurial but can defend, his problem is consistent effort and judgment but this year's Derrick Walton doesn't play defense, doesn't penetrate, and doesn't shoot well.

Anyway, Coach Beilein has pledged to go "back to basics" on practice in Defense.