Embed from Getty Images Defense is not an issue for the 7th ranked Michigan basketball team. For two seasons Michigan’s defense has been at or near the top in the country. That is the good news. The bad news is the Wolverines offense lacks consistency.
All teams go through ups and downs of a season. The phrase used nowadays is “trust the process.” Okay. That is well and all if you have the players who can move the team forward. Sunday afternoon Michigan’s flaws were seen firsthand.
The Michigan State Spartans did not do anything different on defense. They did dare the Wolverines to hit outside shots as well as three point shots. Michigan State even gave Michigan players a good look at the hoop. One problem. Michigan could not take advantage.
Michigan has lived off of the defense. The offense has been trending down for most of the season. John Beilein has had no answers for his team. The players themselves have had no answers. It has been that way in all of the Wolverines losses this season.
One of the issues is that Michigan is better in the offensive zone when players are running and creating. Not having to stop set up and wait for someone to get open. Shooting 34.4% from three- point range as well as 51.5% from two-point range is down from one season ago.
This is not where Michigan wants to be with three regular season games left and the Big Ten Tournament coming. People will argue defense wins championships. That is certainly a valid point. Defense is critical in every sport.
However, teams need to make shots. All the defense and no offense leads to games like Michigan State. Michigan will have a shot at redemption March 9 when they travel to East Lansing to face the Spartans. It will not be easy. There will be a lot on the line for both schools.
This will be a show me game for the Wolverines. Michigan coach John Beilein says “we have habits we need to break.” He is absolutely correct. If Michigan can not grow and learn from Sunday’s home loss to their in-state rival their season will be met with disappointment.