For now, until football season begins, Jim Harbaugh is enjoying the love from the fan base. But even he can’t help Michigan be a better basketball team, as they lost 69-64 at home in overtime to Wisconsin, led by the fantastic Frank Kaminsky.
Kaminsky scored 22 points to go with 9 rebounds in his usual combination of nifty post moves and surprisingly accurate long range shooting. The Badgers, #6 in the nation, improve to 18-2 (6-1 in the Big Ten) and won their first road game since January 4. Their previous game outside Madison ended in their only conference loss, a shocking one to Rutgers.
He’s one of the best players in the country. I don’t say that very often because I let other people judge. Frank means a lot to this team. We had some new guys step up, too, but you always want to have veterans in a situation like that.
Wisconsin outscored Michigan 30-22 in the paint, and are 10-0 this season when scoring 30 points or more near the rim. Kaminsky alone scored 16 points in the paint, almost double his season average of 8.8 from close range.
Besides Kaminsky, there was also Sam Dekker with 15 points and Bronso Koenig scoring 13. Michigan were led by Derrick Walton with 17 points, but still looked a bit shocked and slow to react to events in overtime. This isn’t the first time that they’ve looked a bit subpar when matched up with the more elite in the nation, losing for a third time in conference play. However, this was their first loss at home in the Big Ten, and compliments about staying close with Wisconsin won’t make anyone happy.
The pats on the back about ‘good game’ — I absolutely hate after a loss. At the same time, when we go over what needs to be fixed tomorrow, we’ll also be showing what’s been fixed.
Michigan, after some very good years, are experiencing what usually happens when you lose a wealth of talent in a very short amount of time without focusing on one and done players like Kentucky does. It might also lead to them missing the tournament.