Wednesday, March 31, 2021

UCLA 51 Michigan 49


This was as good as it got, from a Michigan perspective.  They were cocky in the beginning and tense and scared after that.  Johnny Juzang was a big part of it, but the whole UCLA team was responsible for the win.  

After LSU and Florida State, Michigan faced a real coach and was out-coached.  For a moment the basketball bench looked like the football sideline, a place filled with coaches, trainers, and players who are either injured or never play.  But what could they do?  

The only reliable scoring came from Dickinson or even Davis, perhaps with a little help from Johns or Wagner, under the basket.  There was very little passing and, aside from two aggressive 3's from Brown and one open shot from Smith, there was no 3-point attack.  The hard-headed plan, or the reality, offered nothing more.

Kick-outs.  High post from Johns or Wagner...  They didn't do anything.

Tyger Campbell chipped in with a 3 and other scoring too; it was supposed to be a favorable match-up for Mike Smith and Campbell won.

UCLA center Cody Riley was in foul trouble the whole game and that was a favorable match too and then Juzang was injured and...  On many occasions Michigan players stood there and watched the jumpshooters hoping they wouldn't go in.  UCLA won the loose ball scrambles too.

Franz Wagner showed leadership through his actions the last few games.  Of course his overall game always helps.  In this one he did not rise to star or go-to guy level.

Turnovers.  Missed free throws.  Open 3's that weren't close.  Terrible shots, the worst of which was Brooks trying to throw it over and behind his head at the basket.  I can understand the strategy:  Michigan had plenty of chances.

Despite the piss-poor TBS production, one of the announcers got it right.  Someone said, RE UCLA coach Mick Cronin, "Get used to it.  We're going to play ugly."  They did.  They won and they deserved it. 

Always a bad sign.  Over confident.

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