Me So Corny

Michigan hadn’t won in Iowa City in each of their previous four tries, including the equal parts frustrating and seemingly unavoidable overtime loss in Michigan’s first game of 2017. However, on Tuesday night a lot of demons were chased as the Wolverine’s torched the Carver-Hawkeye Arena nets to the tune of 49% from the field and 11-25 shooting from deep as Michigan rolled Iowa 75-68. The Final score is less indicative of how dominant Michigan’s offense was, but the defense remains inconsistent at best as the maize and blue still have a glaring lack of a lengthy, on-ball defender to replace DJ Wilson, who hasn’t seen the floor in 5 games for the Bucks. Tyler Cook scored 28 points, all of which came inside against a turnstile of defenders. This may be a negative start to an article about Michigan winning a road Big Ten game, but truth be told Iowa is very average and Michigan was supposed to win this game. But Michigan can’t count on out-shooting every team they play. There is no Nik Stauskas nor Derrick Walton Jr. on this team yet. Right now MAAR is close, this was another Walton Jr. like game for Rahk, but I still need to see it when his teammates are non-factors. The biggest thing I’m pleased with right now, beside this headline, is that this might be the deepest team Michigan has had under Beilein. This is a true 9-man rotation that matches the depth of the Final Four team. Obviously, this team doesn’t have the same talent, but all 9 guys who are getting regular minutes right now can handle themselves. We all wanted Mo to be rewarded for returning for his junior year, but his struggles continued in this game and I’m less confident than ever that his stock is rising on NBA Draft boards thanks to an extra year of development in Ann Arbor. Overall, Michigan is in a good spot at the restart of conference play. They’re not as good as Michigan State, but the two best teams in the Big Ten (probably the worst year in Big Ten basketball since Beilein took over) could certainly be in the Mitten state. The loss in Columbus will continue to be painful, more so now because how the game played out, but as Ohio State keeps winning the less that becomes a bad loss. Michigan is a tournament team, they could be a second-weekend team again this year and that’s becoming the norm now for a program that went over a decade with an NIT title being the only banner worthy achievement.

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