Wednesday, February 19, 2020

At Rutgers

This was a great game for Michigan.  Earlier DeJulius was seen pounding the floor and trying to high-five Rutgers players after a free throw.  The team was not left barren as they have three good ballhandlers and, perfect for Juwan Howard, bigs who need a little help.

With public servants like Chris Christie in attendance, Michigan played in the Garden State.  Imagine the scene if the Rutgers football team were good and Michigan was in town.  Even in basketball it is still Michigan.

Without Livers it is doable but harder.  Michigan has to scrap and claw for every basket.  They are stagnant and Simpson has the ball a lot.  Often he scores and sometimes he is snuffed.

You try to remain positive and not make it personal.  From a team standpoint, they are not in a good position if Nunez is playing.

Rutgers is attacking Simpson and they are not allowing passes; everyone is standing there and covered.

The first half was dead even with a big 3 for Rutgers at the finish.

Second half just starting and Johns is out with fouls.  Michigan is falling behind.

Everyone in the arena is standing.  It is close to getting out of hand.  This is when you find out.

Michigan will not give up.  That was pretty cool, Castleton and Teske are blocking shots and playing tough down low.  They did it again!  DeJulius got abused (Beilein would be pleased; someone was studying film).  Teske and Castleton are playing big 'n tough in terms of defense and rebounding and it is providing a spark.

That was a beautiful block from the weak side by Castleton.

The reason Livers is so valuable to the Wolverines is they need a slasher.  The standing around is great if some can split it and drive or shoot.  Wagner is doing his best and the right thing to keep shooting.  His shooting form seems to have improved.

In keeping with my POSITIVE attitude --Castleton>Nunez, oops -- it is a close and great game.  Michigan was never going to give up, but right now they are showing more toughness than Rutgers.

THE university of New Jersey.

I think that Moe was always content, but it is nice to see Franz smile like his brother eventually became known for.  He has a smooth free throw stroke.

Michigan is playing strong and smart, but Rutgers is not that good.  They have no one to go to at the end of the game:  no ball handler and no scorer.  If Michigan can pull this one out it will be a VERY big win.

52-46 with FOUR minutes to go.  It is on Rutgers.  Do they have the leadership to pull it out at home?

Eli Brooks has a sweet jump shot.  Up by 9, now 7.

74 seconds.  35.4.  60-52.

Juwan has provided strong leadership.  Tough game.  Michigan played strong and poised.

The box score speaks volumes.  Probably Phil Martelli and Saddi Washington are responsible too.  Look at the minutes.  Juwan Howard has been a master at using the roster.  Franz Wagner plays all the time and as a result he has grown.  Eli Brooks too, and everyone has stuck with him.  Despite the pros and cons, in a game like this the ball needs to be in Simpson's hands.  While solid, Johns did not have it and DeJulius played a big role against Rutgers.  Austin Davis has found a place too, and there is hope for Colin Castleton as well. 

Juwan Howard has been really good with the roster.  There is a sense of positive reinforcement rather than benchings and punishments.  They are a better team than they were under John Beilein.

Purdue is always good.  They will be at home after losing their last three games.  Like every Big Ten team this year they are beatable.

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