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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wolverines coach awed by Allen

Kansas defenders Thomas Robinson and Brady Morningstar smother Michigan forward Manny Harris during the first half, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas defenders Thomas Robinson and Brady Morningstar smother Michigan forward Manny Harris during the first half, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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2009 KU-Michigan

Reader poll

Which were you most disappointed in after KU's 75-64 win over Michigan?

  • KU's rebounding 18% 272 votes
  • KU's turnovers 77% 1138 votes
  • Undecided 4% 64 votes

1474 total votes.

Michigan basketball coach John Beilein has been around the block a few times.

In 32 seasons as a head coach — with stops at places like Canisius, Richmond and West Virginia — he has racked up 587 victories and coached in a lot of big games in big buildings.

Saturday, after the Wolverines’ 75-64 loss to top-ranked Kansas University, Beilein admitted to being a little awestruck by the Allen Fieldhouse environment.

“It was tremendous,” Beilein said. “It was one of the few that had a little bit of a wow factor, even for this old coach. Just at the beginning, how loud it is. But at the same time, as we went into the second half, I didn’t think the crowd was a factor.”

Kansas (10-0) built a 21-point first-half lead, but saw the Wolverines trim that to 11 by halftime. During the final two minutes of the half, UM senior DeShawn Sims (19 points, seven rebounds) and freshman Darius Morris (nine points, four assists) each scored back-to-back buckets during a 9-0 Michigan run that was bolstered by three KU turnovers and inspired a couple of timeouts from KU coach Bill Self.

“I think that made a big difference,” said junior guard Manny Harris, who scored 16 points, six below his season average. “It gave us confidence that we could come in here and beat them. Not that we didn’t believe at the beginning, but we were down 20 points.”

Added Beilein of his team’s fighting spirit: “That could’ve gotten very ugly very quickly. It could have been one of the typical Kansas 100-58-type of wins that they have, and I was impressed with that. We hadn’t been in that situation yet, where we were really getting blown out early and nothing was going our way. But I liked that we fought back, and we stayed in the game.”

Other than that run, the Wolverines spent a large portion of the game fighting an uphill battle on offense. Michigan shot just 36 percent from the floor, including a paltry 5-of-28 (17.9 percent) from three-point range.

“We can drive it all we want,” Harris said. “But if we don’t knock down shots, it doesn’t matter. They did a really good job defensively as a team, but we just didn’t make shots.”

Michigan stayed close throughout the second half — the KU lead never grew higher than 15 or dipped lower than 11 — and the Jayhawks never were able to pull away.

“Coach emphasized that during that first 13 minutes we were down by 20, but that next 27 minutes, we won by seven,” Morris said. “We got great looks for all of our shooters. If we could’ve knocked down a couple more shots, it might have been a different outcome.

Defensively, Michigan proved it belonged on the same floor as the No. 1 team in the country, harassing the Jayhawks with a 1-3-1 trapping zone that forced 14 turnovers.

Comments

KANSTUCKY 10 years, 1 month ago

...and if you just ran the last 100 yards of a marathon, you might win that too. Does anybody else think Brady should get all of EJ's minutes? Me neither. How about some of that hustle off the bench when we are up 21? Just a thought.

swkhawk24 10 years, 1 month ago

ralster, the crowd lives and dies by the student section. they have to have something to cheer about (big plays, dunks, 3's, etc). there was not a whole lot of that in the second half of this game. crowds need motivation and excitement from the players to get it going.

FairgroveJayhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

“It was tremendous,” Beilein said. “It was one of the few that had a little bit of a wow factor, even for this old coach. Just at the beginning, how loud it is. But at the same time, as we went into the second half, I didn’t think the crowd was a factor.”

...

I have a better concept. Perhaps if Michigan had some form of a resume, had won a few more games, the crowd would have perceived the smallest hint of a threat and been more vocal. Michigan played a decent game for their capacity but they are no upset huckleberry.

Mike Kendall 10 years, 1 month ago

A lot of the posters were talking about maybe going undefeated--who had the best chance of all the teams that were undefeated, etc. Remember, what I said earlier--the more we win and stay undefeated, the more the pressure builds to bring it every game for 40 minutes. That's tough for some young pups. We did win and it was an "ugly" win. But a win is a win. There are going to be some uglies. Maybe we should not look ahead and take it one game at a time. Also, maybe, this being the first game coming off Finals, may have played into the Jayhawks playing ugly. Any thoughts?

nobody1793 10 years, 1 month ago

"crowds need motivation and excitement from the players to get it going."

No no no, no no no.

Sit on your hands until something good happens = spectator. Yelling to get the guys fired up on every play = fanatic.

KEITHMILES05 10 years, 1 month ago

BM is gonna take minutes from Taylor. End of story.

quigley 10 years, 1 month ago

I was at the game yesterday. During one timeout called by Michigan I watched Taylor playfully push EJ and they both laughed. EJ (to me) took a few steps back pretty gingerly then walked to the huddle. Even as he walked he looked like someone who was not putting his full weight on a leg. That plus I never remember him wearing that sleeve on his knee. Maybe I am just looking to much into it, and it seems strange that Coach self would over and over again say that he is "fine" if he's not. Just what I saw.

RockCaCO3 10 years, 1 month ago

nobody, you beat me to it. Well said.

Firebirdguy31 10 years, 1 month ago

Cole has played horrible this season when faced by a big man of the same stature. Nelson of UCLA had his number all day long until he got hurt. The big man from Radford, I believe, had 20+ points. Cole only scored 5 points against Michigan! I think if I were Cole, I would spend a little more time working on my game against equal or better talent because he'll be destroyed in the NBA. My prediction is that he will be domintated by Pittman and James from Texas and that will likely be the difference in the game.

Cole is the key to KU's success in the tournament and I fear that we will squander this year's opportunity and see Cole again next year...

bayareajhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

I was at the game and I don't think you should be too hard on the crowd. We were loud during the first half, and whenever the guys played well in the second half. At times we were frustrated. The problem was that the game was never in doubt during the second half. I never entertained any ideas of losing after about six minutes of the game.

I did yell so much I lost my voice, though, so I hope I am exempt from the general crowd bashing! It was great to see the guys live. I hope all Jayhawk fans get a chance to see that this year for obvious reasons. Let's just hope this year ends like we want it to.

I also just want to say something about Brady Morningstar. It's great to have him back. He is a good player, a calming influence and a defensive stopper. I thought he did a great job on Harris once he started guarding him.

optichawk 10 years, 1 month ago

I too was there as always, It wasn't the loudest but wasn't dead either. Part of it was a very average Michigan team. Part of it could have been a long couple weeks of Finals as Markieff said in the post-game, but it definitely was a lack of emotion for most of the game. When they play with emotion and smarts, this team is deadly.

Here's my beef (and I'm sure its been said over and over)... Why bother going to the game if you are going to leave with 2-3 min. left? I realize we have some older fans that appreciate time to get out in front of the crowds but with 2 min. left at a time out, it looked like the game had just ended. I looked down and saw $75 printed clearly on my ticket and couldn't believe this is the same place that so many say is one of the toughest places to play. It reminded me of the student section after halftime of KU football games. There shouldn't be a need for incentives for people to stay the entire game, just stay in your seats until the band starts playing "Home on the Range." Most people probably don't know this is part of the tradition since they leave so darn early. For those that do, stay at home and give your tickets to people who appreciate the entire game. If we want the team to play hard for 40 min., shouldn't all 16,300 put in the same effort??? Let's see that missing emotion against Cal and stay the entire game!

Chad Hallack 10 years, 1 month ago

Maxhawk-

Excellent point... The ball movement was noticably better with Brady in there. Not to mention his good, quick post feeds. Cole will be the biggest beneficiary of Brady's return. He looks to the post everytime he touches the ball. When you have a dominant inside player, the mentality of the offense should be to run everything from the inside out and Brady will help make that happen.

We have had a tendency to get it twisted so far this season and Cole has disappeared at times. Granted, he wasn't overly agressive early in the season, but I think Coach got through to him about that. Brady makes us much better than anyone realizes with his defense and willingness to consistently look to make the post feed...

sizehawk 10 years, 1 month ago

I suspect that Cole will be better when the rest of the team qiots throwing the ball directly to the opposing center/forward, instead of lofting the ball to Cole. That certainly seems to be a factor that requires some work.

Jetson 10 years, 1 month ago

I too was at the game, and have been to 4 so far this year. I was a student from 95-2000, and have been to countless games over the years. Saying that, I was very disappointed by the fans, and have been for awhile. Sure, there are times where it is great, and extremely loud, but do we seriously need the freaking decibel meter on the scoreboard to tell the crowd to get louder? Yes, a lot of this stems from the students, but it also has a lot to do with the bluehairs as well.

I realize it was "just Michigan," but it also was a Michigan team that we had never defeated before. It seems people are more concerned with texting and not paying attention than to what is actually happening on the court.

The guys on the floor working their butts off deserve better.

/rant

Steve Brown 10 years, 1 month ago

to showcase AFH to top 30 programs rather than cupcakes helps us in just in the fact we are on a kid in the future from Detroit and he has KU, MIch others on his list, we want all our competitor coaches to have seen AFH 1st hand. Nice to get a win against MICH finally and keep the HCBS streak alive.

joining Bob Knight Can't understand Coach Cal still in business fan club. If you haven't heard Coach Knigfht comments on Coach Cal, then google it.

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