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Posted on Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 4:48 p.m.

Michigan basketball team goes 37 minutes without a free throw in loss at Ohio State, and more notes

By Nick Baumgardner

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Shortly after his team's 15-point loss at Ohio State on Sunday, Michigan basketball coach John Beilein was asked to comment on his team's foul shooting.

"You guys obviously didn't go to the line until very late in the game," a reporter remarked.

"Is that right?" Beilein responded with a tinge of sarcasm.


Ohio State's Aaron Craft knocks the ball away from Michigan's Tim Hardaway during the Buckeyes' 64-49 win Sunday in Columbus, Ohio.

AP Photo

Ohio State out-shot Michigan 18-4 in its 64-49 win, with the Wolverines not receiving a free throw attempt until the 2:33 remained in the second half.

At that point, Ohio State was 13-of-16 from the foul line.

Beilein said plenty of the Buckeyes' foul shots resulted from OSU's 14 offensive rebounds. Michigan had 10 offensive rebounds of its own -- but had no such luck in the free throw department.

"A lot of their (free throws) came off their offensive rebounds," Beilein said. "We had 10 offensive rebounds but we didn't get to the line."

With Michigan down nine at the five-minute mark, the Wolverines had three cracks at a bucket underneath their own basket.

Trey Burke drove the line, drew contact and missed a layup without a call. Jordan Morgan grabbed the rebound in traffic, drew contact and missed a layup without a call. Zack Novak collected that miss, but had his shot blocked inside by Ohio State's Jared Sullinger.

Buckeye point guard Aaron Craft collected the loose ball, pushed forward and eventually found Sullinger inside for a jam, pushing the lead back to 11 and prompting a Michigan timeout.

During the stoppage, Beilein stormed out near mid-court with words for the officials before being gathered and led back to his own huddle by Michigan assistant coach Bacari Alexander.

After the game, though, Beilein made no ill comments toward the officiating, saying he'd have to review the tape to get a closer look at things.

"I'll have to watch the film (to see more)," he said. "They just got fouled more."

Horford travels, but doesn't play

Michigan sophomore forward Jon Horford traveled with Michigan to Columbus on Sunday, but watched the game from the sidelines in street clothes.

The 6-foot-10 Horford missed his 13th straight game after suffering a stress fracture in his right foot.

Horford has since returned to practice, and is now walking without a supportive boot, but is not yet ready for game action.

"It's always hard when you can't play," Horford said after the game. "Everyone's been helping me stay up and hopefully in the near future I'll be back at 100 percent."

Horford said he practiced well until Saturday, then sat out of practice with foot pain. He said the latest X-rays on his foot have shown that the stress fracture in his foot has healed "fairly well."

The Wolverines could've used Horford's presence inside. The Buckeyes dominated the glass, gathering 14 offensive rebounds, 16 second-chance points and 30 points in the paint.


Ohio State's William Buford shoots over Michigan's Zack Novak. Buford finished with 12 points. Novak was held scoreless for the first time this season.

AP Photo

Scoreless Novak

For the first time this season, Michigan senior guard Zack Novak was held without a point.

Novak, who was plagued by foul trouble for most of the second half, missed all four of his field goal attempts for zero points in 33 minutes of action.

"You've got to give them credit for going after it," Novak said afterward. "But we've got to get better."

The last time Novak failed to score in a game was Nov. 21, 2010, an 80-58 Michigan win over Gardner-Webb.

Was it a flop?

After being whistled for a foul during the first half while guarding Evan Smotrycz, Ohio State sophomore Deshaun Thomas fell to the floor holding his face, appearing as though he'd been hit in the face by a Smotrycz elbow.

The officials reviewed the play, and the replay showed that Smotrycz's elbow did not, in fact, touch Thomas' face in any way.

Afterward, Ohio State coach Thad Matta was asked what exactly happened.

"I don't know, I haven't seen it yet," Matta said. "They said with the angle they had, he didn't get hit. But he was bleeding down the lip. It probably happened, I guess, earlier.

"I don't know. Then he had a cut down the side of his face where he was bleeding, but I didn't see it."

Odds and ends

Smotrycz finished 1-for-6 from the floor with three points, one rebound and four fouls in 18 minutes of action. ... Michigan's 49 points were a season-low. ... Matta is now 15-2 all-time against Michigan. ... All coaches on both sidelines wore tennis shoes in support of the Coaches vs. Cancer basketball weekend.

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.

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Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

When Morgan gets in foul trouble, Smotrycz has to go inside and just can't hold his own. Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm not seeing 35 lbs. of additional muscle on that body. Still looks like a very tall little boy.


Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 2:18 p.m.

Man rough weekend for you guys against us... big loss and Armanie Reeves commiting to us. And for you Sparty's out there smiling because Michigan lost- your next!


Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 4:47 a.m.

Ouch... that's how the game goes when one team just flat out refuses to rebound the basketball. Bummer it wasn't the other way around.


Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 3:56 a.m.

Well I think we are doing well under Beilein, why no game plan to get OSU players in foul trouble? I don't watch every game, but when I do I notice Michigan does not have any game plan for getting the other team in foul trouble. Shooting those long distance shots instead of driving the lane is not going to get you to the line. They should have made OSU have to switch a lot and get Craft forced to cover guys like Hardaway and smokstyk(sp) in the paint. Beilein needs to build some isoaltion plays into his system if ever wants to think about taking this team to the next level.


Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 4:11 a.m.

Dude, would you have your sister drive to the hoop on you? UM has no athletes with the ability to drive the hoop on OSU. The one time they did was with the 6-0 guard trey burke. Simply put, no athletes. Beilien's only choice is to shoot 3's and hope someone gets hot. OSU has the B10 best defense. You aren't going to beat a team like that with that crap.


Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 3:22 a.m.

...and Urban just landed Armani Reeves.


Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 4:15 a.m.

Michigan is becoming the "true little brother". The only recruits they are going to get is OSU's hand me downs.


Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 2:37 a.m.

The truth is... OSU is an elite basketball team and Michigan is not. Michigan has not come close to a conference title since the 1993-1994 season, while OSU has finished 8 times in the top 3 since that season, with several conference championships. The point is, Michigan cannot expect to beat an elite team on the road at this point in time. The program is just not there yet. A big step toward gaining or regaining some respect for the program would be to beat OSU in Ann Arbor. That would be a good first step toward the ultimate goal of winning a Big Ten title in perhaps two or three years.


Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 1:19 a.m.

Nick: I will repeat my question from the other day. What is the story with Carlton Brundidge? They played McLimans ( a forward, yes) and Christian (no great shakes) but Brundidge couldn't see the floor? Just what is happening with him? He was all American out of HS and can't smell a minute. This game showed how good Ohio can be when they get to it. First half was fairly even, but in the second half, it was clear that Matta's gameplan was to pound the ball inside which overwhelmed our guys. We had absolutely no answer. Everybody got into foul trouble, and we couldn't keep them off the glass. And then we had no penetration on the other side when our 3's were not falling. It is the same story we have heard many times before. I don't think losing to Ohio at Columbus is anything to hang your head over. Ohio is an excellent team and plays unselfishly and good fundamentally. Lots of teams are losing games, so it is no big deal. But until Michigan learns to play that kind of bball (probably won't under B-line given his style), they will lose games like that unless their 3's fall.


Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 1:15 a.m.

Does everyone on this pathetic team have to fall down every time they shoot a 3?? This team has zero athletes so it has to play the game a little differantly, but this is one of the most pathetic things I have seen!


Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 1:05 a.m.

Seriously? UM lost by 15! It wasnt like the MSU game, where they squeaked out a 1 point win at home, despite shooting 8 more FTs (AND going 5-8 from the line) before the Spartans even attempted one FT, 23 minutes into the game.


Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 12:42 a.m.

John beilien is a very good coach. He had a very good game plan that kept UM in the game for a half. Um just doesn't have much talent. They have the talent level of Nebraska or Penn State with a very good coach. Trey Burke is a decent player but he is small and still a freshman. Beyond trey, the talent is not there. Novak was pathetic trying to guard, shoot or block out Lenzell Smith. Novak has like a 3 inch vertical versus a guy who can jump out of the gym. Hardaway has the size but lacks a shot, speed, or athletic ability to compete against the elite guards in the B10. All I can say is thank g_d for beilien.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 9:17 p.m.

You are completely accurate in your assessment except for one thing. Beilein recruited these guys and after five years has a team without depth, athleticism, and skill (except as you said Trey Burke). I don't know why this guy gets a pass when there are such better complete coaches in the Big 10.


Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 12:55 p.m.

Overall you're right that Michigan doesn't have the athletic talent level that Ohio does. But, you underrate Michigan's talent just the same. Burke and Hardaway are big time talents. "Decent"? C'mon. And Jordan Morgan is much more talented than people like you give him credit for. Next year the situation will change with Michigan bringing in 3 extremely talented freshmen.


Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 11:33 p.m.

1 of the 2 teams on the court today didnt really bring a competitive game............ Any guesses?


Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 11:10 p.m.

Somehow 37 minutes without a foul, unfortunately, is just about right, from the land of chewing tobacco and mud-flaps !!


Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 1:50 a.m.

You forgot about the trailer parks. Michigan can be a disgusting place to live, I know.


Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 10:54 p.m.

Zack got 'em with the head fake a few times but didn't pull the trigger..shoot it Zack! ..goofy acting job by the schmuckeye. Go Blue!