After dominant performance, Michigan basketball players wonder where moxie has been all year
Lon Horwedel | AnnArbor.com
In one second, DeShawn Sims said he didn’t wonder why Michigan could play so well against MinnesotaÂ when the Wolverines vanished in so many other games this season.
Then, just as quickly he admitted, yeah, he thought about it.
“You can’t worry about the past but sometimes my mind kind of drifts off into where that type of performance has been,"Â Sims said after beating the Gophers on Senior Night, 83-55.
“But for the most part, I suck it in for the moment, and hopefully we get the same performance in East Lansing on Sunday.”
Whether that happens is anybody's guess, and that's sort of been Michigan's dilemma all season.Â Whenever the Wolverines have a good game - at home against Ohio State and Michigan State, on the road against Minnesota - people wonder whetherÂ the Wolverines have found what ailed them or if the good outing is merely an aberration.
Maybe they'll find out at 4 p.m. Sunday, in a nationally televised game on CBS against the Spartans.Â
But considering Michigan hasn’t won more than two games in a row against Division I competition this season, the aberration theory may be more accurate.
Yet Michigan is still hoping to find its rhythm, even if only one regular-season game and perhaps two games overall remain in the season. Starting Sunday, the Wolverines will have a chance for Michigan to win two games in a row for the fifth time this season.
There could be hope, though.
Michigan played one of its best games of the season against Michigan State on Jan. 26 in Ann Arbor, controlling much of the game before junior guard Kalin Lucas made a jump shot with 3 seconds remaining to give the Spartans the lead. Sims missed a catch-and-shoot in-the-air layup as time expired that sealed the win for Michigan State.
Michigan State is Michigan's biggest rival. The Spartans have been the Top 25 all season long and have both more depth and talent than the Wolverines led by junior guard Kalin Lucas and forward Raymar Morgan, who will be playing on his senior day.Â
The way Michigan played Tuesday allowed a bit of relief, too. Michigan won its final game at home after losing three in a row in Ann Arbor.
“I’m glad the way that ended,” Beilein said. “I told (his wife) Kathleen today before I left I could not recall having a home game and coming home so disappointed so many times in the last month of the season.
“But I have been and I won’t be (Tuesday night).”