Sunday, March 13, 2022

Old Habits

God I hope they don't make it.

If they do I might spend time and it is a waste of mine and everyone else's time.  The NIT is easily avoidable.

Going back, the team was somewhat fun to watch after the latest blow-up; it was self-made news that was all about me, me, me on different levels.  The overall impact was and is negative.  No one benefits except those who either need therapy or to be left alone, or both.  To be left alone includes staying out of the news, computer screens, and phones that are unavoidable.

Included in the irrelevant history was a blowout of MSU.  That was unexpected.  Probably the most memorable part is the bizarre behavior by Hunter Dickinson that resulted in an away from the play technical.  Tom Izzo won the argument with officials.  

It was followed-up by the surreal comments by Phil Martelli that basically reinforced why he was fired years ago and no one has called, except Howard, since.  If a 7-foot sophomore fails at basketball he will be in WWE.  

I would encourage him to check the facts or demographics.  First, you don't wish failure or WWE on anyone.  Second, Michigan students and alumni have nothing to do with WWE.  I had to look it up:


If Michigan had won against IU they would have lost decisively to Illinois again.

They played hard and well in the beginning, even without Caleb Houstan contributing.  They were locked-in and you could see it on the players' faces.  It was impressive--they let it all hang out, from full court pressing, to effective post play, to near-instant fast breaks.  That was what they did against State, full court, one pass outlets for points within seconds.  It leaves a lasting impression.

Then, I missed the beginning of the second half, Houstan made back to back 3's and soon after Michigan flopped.  Indiana played great to be sure and whatever Coach did worked; they have talent and they rose to the elimination occasion.  

But Michigan went something like ten minutes, not for the first time this season, the post was not working, and overall they are not a strong 3-point shooting team.  Indiana's stars made plays.

It was the same as the rest, or at least the beginning, of the season.  Jones looked terrible and turned the ball over.  Diabate was all over the court but not in the box score.  Dickinson couldn't do it every time and couldn't do it all himself, and he had some "personality" breakdowns too.  Brooks cannot hit an open shot from the free throw line and, while his outside shooting occasionally helps, he is not a go-to guy.  Houstan is only a freshman minutes-eater.  Let me see...  Johns spurts but overstays his welcome; Williams is a spot player; Collins has a disastrous jump shot, makes a lucky layup now and then, and tries to provide a spark off the bench; Bufkin has body and talent but has lapses that prevent more.  The rest of the team are along for no discernible reason.  (Obligatory aside:  more Howard family members arrive next year.)

Howard is by most standards (not mine), an excellent coach.  He recruits top players, he knows X's and O's, and for those he selects, he motivates them.  So far in his tenure there have not been any player or coach scandals; I won't deal with "other" things or repeat them here.

Howard loves Michigan and he was calmer and seemingly happy to be back.  Players said positive things about having Coach back.  They were all talking about family and in the IU pregame they were hugging, touching, and smiling a lot.

Michigan basketball is not very good.  They are a strong family for those few who are included.  Included by Howard, that is.

I don't care if they all go pro today.  None of them are invested in the school, the team, or the long term.  They all look as though they care more about themselves first, the NBA second, and everything else is a distant third.  

Please, don't make the NCAA Tournament.

Other teams don't wear BLM patches.

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