No. 5 Michigan suffered their second consecutive loss on the season after losing to No. 10 Oregon 71-70 in overtime Saturday. Saturday’s loss dropped Michigan to 8-3 on the season.
Despite a sluggish first half start, the Michigan Wolverines were able to overcome a double-digit deficit. Oregon’s physical style of defense and fast-break offense caused trouble for Michigan early.
Ultimately, both teams were able to score but the slow start for Michigan was due to Oregon’s defense. Although both teams grabbed 32 rebounds, Oregon’s 26 defensive rebounds helped give them the edge.
Even though the Wolverines got off to a slow start they still found themselves with a chance to win. With 27 seconds left Zavier Simpson dished the ball to Brandon Johns Jr. for the game-tying layup.
Unfortunately, Oregon was able to hold off Michigan in overtime due to Anthony Mathis and Payton Pritchard’s efforts.
Nevertheless, the Wolverines are still in good shape after Saturday’s loss. Yesterday’s loss is a great lesson for Michigan and here are three takeaways from their overtime loss.
Oregon’s Starting Backcourt
The Oregon Ducks starting backcourt in Pritchard (23 points) and Mathis (19 points) combined for 42 points. On the flip side, Michigan’s backcourt of Franz Wagner (21 points) and Simpson (8 points) combined for a low 29 points.
Throughout the game, Michigan had a few lapses in their defense which contributed to Pritchard shooting 60 percent from three. Not to mention he shot 60 percent from the floor.
In addition to Pritchard’s strong night, his backcourt mate Mathis shot 57 percent from the floor and provided four assists. The backcourt pushed the tempo all game and caused matchup problems for Michigan.
Although Michigan is a solid defensive team the constant pick-and-roll caused the teams problems. Simpson struggled to defend the bigger Oregon guards. Duarte and Mathis were effective with running the pick-and-roll which forced Simpson to guard them in certain situations.
Jon Teske struggles
In last night’s game, Jon Teske struggled to assert himself in the game on the offensive end. Michigan is at its best when Simpson and Teske run the pick-and-roll.
When Teske screens at the top of the key he has the ability to drive to the rim or hit a mid-range shot. Also, his ability to set firm screens frees up other players to cut or flex out to the wing for an open shot.
Last night, Teske finished the game with 4 points, 4 rebounds and 1 block which is 10 points below his average. Currently this season he is averaging 14.3 points, 9 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. Be that as it may, Teske recorded 500 rebounds in last night’s loss.
Often times, Simpson overdribbles which makes it harder for the team to start their offense quickly. But Teske needs to receive the ball more at the top of the key because it opens up the Wolverines offense. If he struggles Michigan will have a hard time winning down the stretch.
The fact that the Wolverines are playing tough opponents will help prepare the team mentally, physically and emotionally for the latter part of the season. Currently, the team is ranked No.5 but they will most likely move back in the standings.
However, the team is still in good shape considering that they play Presbyterian next. A win against Presbyterian will help Michigan’s sense of moral and it will prepare them for their matchup against Michigan State in January.
Michigan fell back in the Big Ten conference but is still in great shape to make the NCAA tournament or win the conference championship.
The Wolverines will have six days to recover from last night’s loss and they will take on Presbyterian next Saturday at 12 PM EST.
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