Michigan vs Oakland Basketball Recap -
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Michigan vs Oakland Basketball Recap

  • The University of Michigan came away with a 69-51 win over the Oakland Grizzlies. Oakland was never able to cut within 10 points in the second half.  Ray Hamilton led Oakland with 23 points and was really the only Grizzly bear making his shots.  Michigan was led by a steady 18 from Darius Morris, and a 13 points 12 rebounds from do-it-all Zack Novac.

Game Notes

  • This was the first game in awhile that I actually got to go to. The thing that impressed me most was Michigan’s defense. Oakland came into the game as the 19th ranked scoring offense at 80 points a game, but Michigan contained a dangerous squad to only 51 points. The key matchup for Michigan was stopping Oakland’s Keith Benson and Larry Wright. Benson has been dominating this year, but a smart decision by John Belien to double team the big man with Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford kept Benson in check with only 11 points. Similarly, Larry Wright who went for 21 and 19 against MSU and Tennessee respectively, never was able to get his shot going and went 1 for 9 from the field with 2 points.
  • Darius Morris is Michigan’s best player and the team’s primary ball handler. When Morris picked up his 3rd personal foul in the 2nd half, Oakland’s full court pressure made it almost impossible for Stu Dauglass, Tim Hardaway and Matt Vogrich to get the ball up the court.   Morris, when he has the ball, controls the team and is very effective against other team’s pressure. He seems to make the team comfortable (and the fans), when the ball is in his hands. I like his decision making as well. There was one play that he fired a pass to Dougluss under the basket late in the second half that was a great point guard play. Morris is an impressive player and could develop into an All American type.
  • Jon Horford is going to be really good. He isn’t quite really good yet, but the potential is there. His strength is evidently missing at this point, but in a couple of years I would fully expect Horford to be somewhat like his brother Al Horford at Florida. Horford played well against Keith Benson and held his ground, but the missed rebounds that could have hurt Michigan if the game had been closer.
  • Michigan has been a great surprise so far. John Beilein and his staff have done a great job managing the team and finding matchups in their favor. A NCAA birth is not totally out of reach this year. At 10 wins following next week’s game against Bryant, going 8-8 in Big Ten play and wins against Clemson, Utah, and Oakland, could be enough. Either way, Beilein has found guys that fit into his system and has done a tremendous job developing these young players.

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