You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sun, Mar 20, 2011 : 8:25 p.m.

Michigan sings 'The Victors,' Darius Morris says he's staying and more notes

By Michael Rothstein


The Michigan pep band plays Sunday at the Michigan vs. Duke NCAA tournament game.

Jake Drake | Icon Sports Media

CHARLOTTE — As sadness and despair spread through the Michigan basketball team's locker room Sunday afternoon, John Beilein made one decision he's never made before during his four years with the Wolverines.

He wanted his team to sing its fight song after a loss, a Michigan tradition usually reserved for post-game wins.

So out came ‘The Victors.’

In a way, Sunday's 73-71 loss to top-seeded Duke in the NCAA tournament could be considered a moral victory for Michigan.

It went from a team picked by many to finish in the bottom of the Big Ten and ended up being a Darius Morris-floater away from going to overtime with a chance to reach the Sweet 16.

“It was the only time that we’ve ever done it and the message was two things. Really understand, we sing it out of gratitude to the university to give us the this opportunity for each other, for our families, everybody who has given us this opportunity,” Beilein said.

“And then I think we sung it a little bit because it is just a great fight song that it gives us some hunger to sing it a little bit longer next year.

“I want our guys to come out so hungry out of this. It was a difficult way to lose a game.”


Michigan will likely return every player from its roster this season and also adds play-making guards Trey Burke and Carlton Brundidge.

Morris plans to return for junior year

In the moments after Michigan lost to Duke, Darius Morris confirmed he plans on returning to Michigan for his junior season.

“Yep,” Morris said when he was asked if he was definitely returning next season.

This echoes what Morris said a week ago, when he said “yeah, I’m here man. I’m not going anywhere.”

Morris had one of the better seasons for a point guard in Michigan history, averaging 15 points, 6.7 assists and 4 rebounds a game.

His 235 assists are the most in a single season for a Michigan player, passing Gary Grant, who had 234 in 1987-88, by one assist.

He figures on expanding upon that milestone next year, using the missed shot as motivation.

“It isn’t going to impact me negatively,” Morris said. “I’ve been in that situation before and I’ve hit that shot. This time, it just didn’t go in. I always like to have the opportunity to have that chance to take that shot.

“It is just more motivation for me to get better and work harder and next time change the outcome.”

The 1-3-1 appearance

Those who aren't familiar with Michigan's season often think the 1-3-1 zone is the team's primary defense throughout the year.

It's not, but Michigan brought out the 1-3-1 and some 2-3 zone to slow down the penetration ability of Duke guards Kyrie Irving and Nolan Smith.

“We only use it when we really need it,” freshman guard Tim Hardaway Jr. said. “Today we used it and it helped out big time.”

Michigan has used it more in the past two games against Tennessee and Duke than it had all year long, when it had been primarily a man-to-man team.

“It was very effective,” junior guard Stu Douglass said. “When we threw it out there, you know, it kind made them stumble a little bit on the offensive end.”

Krzyzewski gets win No. 900

In beating Michigan, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski picked up his 900th career win. He now trails former Army, Indiana and Texas Tech coach Bob Knight by two wins on the list for career coaching wins.

Krzyzewski would tie Knight with a win in the Elite Eight and surpass him if the Blue Devils  make the championship game.

There is a connection between the two. Krzyzewski was a point guard for Knight when he was at Army.

“There will be a lot of guys who will win 900 games eventually but to be the first two and it be the coach and his player to do it is such a unique, something very unique,” Krzyzewski said. “That’s the type of relationship and friendship I’ve had with coach Knight.

“I’m glad I can share a moment, that moment, with him. I’ve shared really good ones with him.”

This and that

With four 3-pointers Sunday, junior guard Zack Novak moved into fifth place on Michigan's all-time list with 160 3-pointers, moving past his teammate, Stu Douglass, who has 157 and Robbie Reid, who has 160. … Freshman guard Tim Hardaway Jr. finished fifth all-time in 3-pointers made in a single season with 76. … Four Michigan players are currently in the Top 13 in career 3-point percentage: Evan Smotrycz (8th, 38.1 percent); Hardaway Jr. (9th, 36.7 percent); Novak (12th, 34.7 percent) and Douglass (13th, 34.1 percent).

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558, by e-mail at or follow along on Twitter @mikerothstein



Mon, Mar 21, 2011 : 4:52 p.m.

Gosh it's so darn nice of David and other Wolverine fans to always be watching out for little brother. Most bigger brothers aren't so concerned--especially when little brother has been so successful all by himself for so long. Congratulations bigger brother for overachieving for the first time in 20 years. And again--thank you for your interest and concern as little brother significantly underachieved for the first time in about 20 years. I hope you're not too disappointed in little brother--you may rest assured they will try to do their best to make sure it doesn't happen again.

David Vande Bunte

Mon, Mar 21, 2011 : 10:43 p.m.

To add to my previous post: This is the first time MSU has underachieved in the past 20 years? Really? So that wasn't MSU that Izzo led to 6 seasons of 10+ losses? It wasn't MSU that Izzo has coached to four 1st round losses? (I am completely discounting his first two seasons at MSU, where he took MSU to the NIT, this is only his NCAA Tournament appearance seasons) When Tom Izzo has good teams, he is a good coach. When he has bad teams, he can't get them to play beyond their level. Michigan probably doesn't have as much overall talent as MSU does. But, he gets them to play better than they are. You can talk all you want, but Michigan beat you twice, finished higher in the Big Ten, and got farther than MSU did in the NCAA Tournament. Michigan's stock is rising, MSU's is dropping. Not saying Michigan is going to win the Big Ten next year, but MSU's days of dominating in-state recruiting for basketball are over. Basically, think of every taunt you leveled at Michigan's football program for being in a state of decline, and apply it to MSU's basketball team.

David Vande Bunte

Mon, Mar 21, 2011 : 9:58 p.m.

And thank you, little brother, for proving that Izzo isn't capable of coaching up his players. When MSU has 10 or more losses, Izzo has only gotten out of the first round once...He can't get the team to play better than the sum of its parts, and he proves it every year he loses in the 1st round. When he has a great basketball team, sure, he can coach...but when he has less than a stellar team, he can't get out of the 1st round. Michigan was 1 3-pointer away from the Sweet 16. Where were you?

John B.

Mon, Mar 21, 2011 : 9:55 p.m.

Neener neener neener! (And that's the truth...).


Mon, Mar 21, 2011 : 4:24 p.m.

Darius Morris leaving? I like him a lot, but I don't see an NBA point guard there....yet


Mon, Mar 21, 2011 : 3:59 p.m.

Our season can be summed up in Horford's performance yesterday. He gets into the game for the first time in a while, commits a foul. Then goes to the other end of the floor and gets a dunk, and 1, then picks up another foul and sits back down for the rest of the game. We lost games this year because we are young and inexperienced, but we also showed amazing up side and out performed our perceived talent level. In the end our youth caught back up with us but I have not had this much fun watching Michigan basketball in a LONG time. We are gritty, we work really hard, and we have a clutch gene player in Hardaway Jr. GO Blue!


Mon, Mar 21, 2011 : 2:41 p.m.

Michigan has NOTHING to feel bad about or hang their heads for. This team greatly exceeded all our expectations and they made all U-M alums, fans, and students proud. Yes, we lost the game, but as far as I'm concerned, Michigan basketball is back. If we can play with the best teams in the country like yesterday's game showed, anything is possible going forward. Beilein has now shown that his system can work. Hopefully, this will shut up the anti-Beilein faction. I look forward to next year, when Michigan should be one of the favorites in the Big Ten. And I think we're going to start beating some of these top teams instead of coming up a little short. Go Blue!


Mon, Mar 21, 2011 : 1:38 p.m.

I guess the uncle tom commen is going to haunt the B ball team just like the Mike hart stupid comment! Pride before the fall. What a classless tradition you hang your hat on! Worst part is it just keeps coming!


Mon, Mar 21, 2011 : 7:13 p.m.

Did you actually listen to what Jalen Rose said? He was being honest about how he felt as an 18-year-old, and very clearly implied that he was wrong and does not feel the same way now. Everything he actually said about Grant Hill's family was positive--he says that he was simply jealous of how positive that family was. What more do you want from an adult who's trying to explain his feelings from his youth nearly 20 years ago? Mike Hart has a big mouth, I don't think there's any arguing with that, and I wasn't always thrilled with what he said. Nonetheless, the opposing coach has a bigger and more classless mouth, so I'm not losing any sleep over Hart's comments.


Mon, Mar 21, 2011 : 2:44 p.m.

What the heck are you talking about? Rose's comments were HIS alone and have nothing to do with the current team, coaches, or athletic administration. The vast majority of MIchigan fans have different beliefs and opinions than Mr. Rose. To compare that to Mike Hart's comment is laughable.

David Vande Bunte

Mon, Mar 21, 2011 : 1:31 p.m.

I imagine us Wolverine fans feel a LOT better about how our season ended than little brother does... It's so much better to overachieve and be far better than anyone thought you could be than it is to underachieve and be far worse. Looking forward to next year, GO BLUE!

David Vande Bunte

Mon, Mar 21, 2011 : 4:53 p.m.

Not sure what you are talking about. Maybe you can take a note for next year about where MSU finished, and where UM finished. UM is returning virtually it's entire team, why shouldn't I be encouraged by how they did this year?


Mon, Mar 21, 2011 : 2:18 p.m.

Over/ Underachievement is usually the exception that proves the rule. Please make a note of it for next year.


Mon, Mar 21, 2011 : 12:37 p.m.

Michigan had a great run and it should be a great teaching moment for michigan in how to win! It was very frustrating at times to watch the game yesterday with some of the calls and non calls. In reading the title of this piece, where exactly would Morris be going? Was he thinking about transfering somewhere? He was not thinking about going to the NBA was he? That was a tough shot at the end of the game, I would have liked to seen him kick it out to Douglass who was open for a three. It was a great come back though, especially the way Duke holds and grabs you when they play Defense. Good season and here is to next year! Go Blue


Mon, Mar 21, 2011 : 11:52 a.m.

don't miss the main point------singing the victors. that is a great stroke from coach beilein. that and his breaking out the 'team team team' shirts a week ago illustrate both his motivational skills and his connection to tradition. coaching requires a lot of skills------we have a COACH !


Mon, Mar 21, 2011 : 10:58 a.m.

The 1-3-1 works a lot better as a change of pace. If you play it the entire game as your base offense, opposing coaches have a lot of time to adjust to it. If you play mostly man and switch to the zone in "emergencies," the zone is a lot more effective. It was a great move by Beilein, was partially responsible for the blowout over UT, and could have produced a victory over Duke if they weren't playing the typical 5-on-7 ball that everyone has to play against Duke.


Mon, Mar 21, 2011 : 3:48 a.m.

Congratulations Michigan on having an unexpectedly good season. When 'they' said you were too young and wouldn't get anywhere, you proved them wrong. After so many years of underachieving were a breath of fresh air. Can't wait to see you in next years final four. Go Blue!!