Michigan Falls Late to Villanova

Michigan can’t hold on against Villanova and the Weekly Awards

Michigan Falls Late

Michigan fell in a narrow defeat to Villanova 60-55 the championship game of the Legends Classic in Brooklyn last night.  It was a Jekyl and Hyde type of game for Michigan which saw the Wolverines go over 10 minutes without a point between the end of the first half and the beginning the second half.  After getting down by as many as 13 they came bursting back to take the lead and led by as many as six in the final ten minutes.  They couldn’t close the deal on this game though.  In the waning minutes of the game the score would go back and forth.  With the Wolverines up a point with :31 seconds left, Mark Donnal missed the front end of a one and one giving the Wildcats a chance to win the game and they did just that.  JayVaughn Pinkston made a basket with just :16 seconds left to take the lead.  At the other end Michigan had two more good looks but Irvin and Rickie Doyle both had their shots blocked.  It’s the first loss of the season for the Maize and Blue who drop to 4-1 and return home on Saturday to face Nicholls State.

Irvin was not one only one who had his shot blocked last night

Irvin was not one only one who had his shot blocked last night

Michigan was two totally different teams last night.  That very well could be an issue all season.   They had their very poor times in that game when they looked completely overmatched and made several bad mistakes.  Things like going over 10 minutes without a point, or using three time outs in the span of :18 seconds because they couldn’t get the ball in bounds.  On the positive side they came fighting back and looked like the better team in the final 10 minutes of that game.  It was, if nothing else, very strange to see two completely different teams.  I’ve said it before but young teams are going to be very inconsistent.  That is both from game to game and even within a game.

LeVert was big down the stretch but his big shots weren't enough

LeVert was big down the stretch but his big shots weren’t enough

The other obvious thing from last night was how Michigan got beat up on the inside.  Villanova had some tough guys on the interior and it was very hard for U of M to match up with them.  This is another issue that we knew would come up from time to time.  This was the first time it was truly noticed in a big way though.  By the end of the game all three of Donnal, Doyle and Bielfeldt had four fouls.  On the positive side of all of that is in five games this was really the first time their size and youth became an issue.  It took a very solid Villanova team to bring out those weaknesses.  This should still be a solid team, but just hang on because they will probably still have their fair share of rollercoaster games this year.

Weekly Awards

Yes it’s a short week this week for obvious reasons.  I did want to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving this year.  Believe it or not I’m very thankful for all of you who take the time to read this every day.  I am truly appreciative and humbled when I have so many people come up and tell me or email me that they’ve been reading.  You guys are the reason I do this so I wanted to say Thank You.

But, as we have a long weekend here I have a few awards to give away on a short week.  So without further ado…

Wooden Shoes Award

This week’s Wooden Shoes Award will go to Houston Texans’ defensive end J.J. Watt.  In a selfless act yesterday he went out of his way to send pizza to the fire fighters and police officers of Houston.  Along with the lunch he also sent this note:

“I just wanted to send y’all a small token of my appreciation for everything you do. My dad & uncle were both firefighters, so I spent a lot of time around the firehouse when I was younger and gained a great deal of respect for both firefighters & the police force along the way. Y’all show up day in & day out, never knowing what the day might hold and never getting enough thanks for what you do. Yet, you still continue to put others before yourselves and save lives because of it. As athletes, we often get the headlines and big crowds, but just like the men & women of our military, y’all are the ones who truly deserve the credit, appreciation & admiration. I know it’s not much, but please enjoy lunch on me today. Thank you for all that you do!”

Watt certainly makes big headlines on the field but it’s nice to see a guy step up and do the right thing in support of those risking their lives every day.

JJ Watt

Congratulations to JJ Watt on winning this week’s Wooden Shoes Award.

Justin Bieber Award

I thought long and hard about this because there are two good candidates on a short week.  First of all there is the Detroit Pistons who have become unwatchable and one of the worst teams in the NBA.  What makes it worse is that I don’t know if they are actually trying to tank yet.  Rather, I think they are actually just this bad.  But I won’t be going with the Pistons today because I’m pretty sure I can save them for any other week.

Pistons aren't winning this just yet

Pistons aren’t winning this just yet

So that means this week’s award will go to the second candidate, Robert Griffin III.  RGIII has become the man of great discussion over the last few weeks mostly because he isn’t any good and he’s playing anyway.  The saying goes that the most popular guy amongst fan bases is the back-up quarterback.  Well, in this situation the back-up isn’t that good, but he’s still probably better than the starter.  It appears Griffin has lost his starting spot this week and will be replaced by Colt McCoy.  The fact is this probably should have happened a long time ago and the only reason it didn’t happen was because the owners are paying him a lot of money, spent about 100 first round picks to get him in the draft and still wanted to force him to play.  He has played in only five games this year, and Washington has only won one of those games.  Oh and in that win he was hurt in the first quarter and didn’t return.  He has won just three games for his team over the last two seasons now.  His once great blend of running and throwing has been diminished to just being able to throw, and he’s not doing that very well with just two TD passes and three INTs in those five games.

This whole situation has been a comedy act for a few years now.  Going back to his rookie year when he was stellar, led his team to the playoffs, but also tore his ACL once he got there.  He was rushed back last season, clearly wasn’t ready but played anyway.  His relationship with head coach Mike Shanahan got very sour and was a big part of the reason Shanahan was shown the door this past season.  Jay Gruden took over, but things between the coach and the QB aren’t good again.  There’s one common denominator here…RGIII.  I think the ownership is finally realizing that fact and have decided to side with their head coach.  Gruden came out and blasted Griffin last week saying the QB has been coddled, isn’t handling adversity, has auditioned long enough and there need to be results now.  Not exactly the words usually said about a franchise QB.  He can’t get along with coaches and it appears his fellow teammates don’t care for him much either.  The team claims he’s still a big part of the long term plans of this team, but that’s hard to figure considering he can’t stay healthy, can’t get along with coaches and can’t win games.

RGIII will be spending some more time on the bench

RGIII will be spending some more time on the bench

Congratulations to Robert Griffin III for winning this week’s Justin Bieber Award.

On Tap for the Long Weekend:

Wednesday:

Red Wings vs. Philadelphia.  7:30

Pistons vs. Clippers.  7:30

Thursday:

Lions vs. Bears.  12:30

MSU Basketball vs. Rider.  6:30

WMU Basketball vs. Long Beach State.  8:30

Friday:

WMU Football vs. Northern Illinois. 11:00 am

Red Wings @ New Jersey.  7:00

Pistons vs. Milwaukee.  7:30

WMU Basketball at Titan Tournament.  TBA

MSU Basketball at Orlando Classic.  TBA

Saturday

Michigan Football @ Ohio State.  Noon

MSU Football @ Penn State.  3:30

Michigan Basketball vs. Nicholls State.  4:00

WMU Basketball at Titan Tournament.  TBA

MSU Basketball at Orlando Classic.  TBA

Sunday:

Red Wings vs. Vancouver.  2:00

Pistons vs. Golden State.  3:30

 

Contact Dutch:

Email: DutchsSportsOven@gmail.com

Twitter: @DutchOvenSports

Author: Dutch

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