Michigan coach John Beilein picks up a technical, LaVall Jordan comes home and other notes
IOWA CITY — John Beilein was incensed.
Darius Morris had just picked up his second foul, the fourth Michigan basketball starter to do so in the first half Saturday and the third in a 96-second span. Beilein had seen enough.
It wasn’t intentional, Beilein said after the Wolverines' 75-72 overtime win at Iowa, but for the first time this season he picked up a technical foul.
“Maybe it’s a bit out of character for me. I didn’t do it on purpose,” Beilein said. “There was no strategy there. It was just, I wanted to voice my opinion.
“How’s that for a really good answer?”
Iowa’s Matt Gatens hit 1 of 2 free throws and combined with two foul shots from Hawkeyes forward Melsahn Basabe on the ensuing possession, Iowa took a 28-20 lead.
It was the third Michigan technical of the season — Evan Smotrycz and Darius Morris had ones earlier in the year — and Beilein’s first since the second round of the 2009 NCAA tournament against Oklahoma.
Barely missing the buzzer As Michigan’s first half spiraled out of control with foul trouble, missed shots and a lineup that included little-used Eso Akunne and Blake McLimans on the floor for the final two minutes, it almost got worse.
Iowa guard Bryce Cartwright heaved a 60-foot buzzer beater that went off the backboard and in as time expired. Beilein was again enraged at the call and official Ed Hightower went to review.
He decided the shot came off a little too late, turning a potential 11-point Iowa lead into an eight-point advantage, 32-24.
“I heard (the crowd reaction) in the locker room, so I had a hint that it didn’t (count), but I thought it was (in),” Cartwright said. “It must have been conclusive because the dude (another official) ruled it a 3.”
Michigan recognized a fortuitous break.
“We were very fortunate on that one. That’s what breaks the game,” Beilein said. “We can talk all about strategies and all these different things and out-of-bounds plays, that ball goes in his hand for one-tenth of a second and we’re sitting here and Fran (McCaffery) is the winner.
“It’s the life Fran and I have chosen to lead.”
Semi-homecoming Before and after Saturday’s game, Michigan assistant coach LaVall Jordan was surrounded by well-wishers and people just wanting to say hello.
After all, it was a mini-homecoming for the first-year Wolverines aide. He coached in Iowa for three years with former Hawkeyes coach Todd Lickliter and hadn’t been back since.
“Been here before, so I knew the layout,” Jordan said. “It was fun, a lot of good people and got to see them all. But once game time came around, I just wanted to come out of it with a win.”
Not surprisingly, Jordan was responsible for the Iowa scout because he’s familiar with most of the Hawkeyes players.
This and that Sarah Drake, a sophomore Iowa field hockey player from Pioneer High School, was honored at halftime for academics, along with a number of other athletes. Another game, another marriage proposal. Some guy asked a woman named Laura to marry him during the second half of the Iowa-Michigan game. Akunne picked up his first points since Nov. 21 against Gardner-Webb. Michigan guard Zack Novak fouled out in overtime. Darius Morris passed Gary Grant for third place in the all-time single season assist list after dishing out nine Saturday. He now has 193 this year, passing Grant, who had 185 in 1985-86. Next up is Rumeal Robinson, who had 233 in 1988-89. Morris also broke Grant’s record for assists in a sophomore season.