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Posted on Tue, Dec 28, 2010 : 6:30 p.m.

Purdue blows out Michigan basketball team in Big Ten opener, 80-57

By Michael Rothstein


Michigan sophomore Josh Bartelstein and Purdue junior Bubba Day scramble after a loose ball in the last minute of Michigan's 80-57 loss.

Melanie Maxwell |

Updated 6:30 p.m.

Team chemistry can be a fickle thing, something gained over a season lost in an instant.

And in the first few minutes of the Michigan basketball team’s Big Ten opener against No. 12 Purdue, Michigan was out of sync offensively. And it was easy to see why.

Michigan’s point guard Darius Morris was on the bench. What followed was an 80-57 loss to the Boilermakers that ended the Wolverines’ seven-game winning streak.

Michigan coach John Beilein benched Morris - who entered the day as the Wolverines leading scorer (15.8 points a game) and leader in assists (7.5 apg) - for the first 4 minutes, 5 seconds of the game for an undisclosed violation of the team’s “core values.”

“I made a mistake, and I apologized to my teammates and am ready to move forward,” Morris said. “I learned a lot from this experience and a lot from this game.”

By the time Morris entered the game, Purdue had a 12-2 lead.

“We scouted for them and realized (Morris) is the head of their team,” said Purdue forward JaJuan Johnson, who scored a game-high 22 points. “He’s going to pretty much get the show rolling for them. A lot of things go through him, and we really tried to key in on him a lot.”

It showed. With Michigan already flustered with three turnovers and only one good look at a shot in his first four minutes of action, Morris forced the ball as he tried to settle into the game.


Michigan basketball coach John Beilein talks with sophomore Darius Morris in the second half. Morris finished with nine points and six assists.

Melanie Maxwell |

“I would be lying if I said it wasn’t (different) when I was used to starting,” Morris said. “But it was a situation I put myself in, and I need to be ready to adjust.”

Michigan was limited to one field goal in the first nine minutes of the game, which allowed the Boilermakers to take control against Michigan (10-3, 0-1 Big Ten) before halftime.

At one point in the first half, Michigan — one of the best assist-to-turnover teams in the country — had two assists and nine turnovers.

“You can tell when we only have three points in 10 minutes that we’re not doing something right,” sophomore guard Matt Vogrich said. “Darius came in and calmed us down, and Stu and Evan were hitting shots in the first half.

“The biggest things were stops.”

Beilein said he wasn’t sure whether keeping Morris out of the starting lineup was part of the Wolverines’ stagnant start, but Purdue used its pressure defense to fluster whoever had the ball for Michigan before Morris came in.

“There’s distractions, and any time it happens you don’t know how it affects your team, but it happens,” Beilein said. “You’ve just got to move on. It’s no different than a guy who gets injured or gets a technical foul.

“Your team has to be able to rebound.”

Morris’ replacement in the starting lineup, junior guard Stu Douglass, saved that from happening.

Douglass scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half — most of them in a 23-6 run that culminated with Michigan taking a 26-25 lead with 1:20 left in the first half. From there, though, it all unraveled.

Johnson hit one of his 10 free throws and then Purdue guard Ryne Smith hit one of his five 3-pointers to take back the lead.

Falling behind early caused Michigan to expend a lot of energy to come back in the game, something that showed in the second half when Purdue (12-1, 1-0) made an early 8-0 run that ended up setting up its game-clinching 17-5 run late in the second half.

“We lost focus defensively,” Michigan junior guard Zack Novak said. “Let them get going, and you can’t let a team like that get going.”

Michigan did. And it was part of a combination of things that led to the Wolverines’ first loss in a month.

Box score | Slideshow 1 | Slideshow 2 | Notebook
Three Stars | Videos

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



Wed, Dec 29, 2010 : 2:08 p.m.

Yep, that winning traditions means we, as alumni and fans, expect that our sports teams continue that heritage. We expect them to win and win more than most. I'm surprised that some how escapes you that a fan would want there team to win. I can only assume that you are a fan of some also ran and don't understand what it means to be a champion.


Wed, Dec 29, 2010 : 12:53 p.m.

Same old story... 1) Your offense only works when running at an ultra-fast pace. 2) Your defense is still weak. 3) You still have no kicking game (Oops... wrong sport). Oh well, fire RichRod anyway.


Wed, Dec 29, 2010 : 12:39 p.m.

You have the right to a great program because of accomplishments from 30, 40 and 50 years ago??? Obviously not counting when UM resorted to cheating in the 90's. Pretty sad


Wed, Dec 29, 2010 : 9:02 a.m.

To paraphrase the immortal Denny Green, "They are who we thought they were". We got a little over excited about this team in preseason perhaps, even though they lost to the 2 best teams they faced and now we're back to reality. I think an 8th or 9th place finish is where this team ends up and out of the post season. Playing an outside only game isn't a formula for long term success, but it's what we've had since Beilein has been here. Which is strange since he did develop front court players at WVU, but he's been averse to doing that at Michigan. The only thing thats saving Beilein from the same kind of public outcry that RR is facing is that the B-Ball program has been completely decimated over this past decade and now no one cares. There's a cautionary tale in there for the football program, I think. As for why we UofM alums and fans feel we have a right to a great program, it's because we had a great program. We are 1 of only 4 teams to play for a National Title in BBall in the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's. The others were NC, Duke, and UCLA. We may have only won 1 of them, but that's some pretty heady company to be in. That tradition says we should expect more from our BBall program.


Wed, Dec 29, 2010 : 8:51 a.m.

NoSUVforMe, Are you new to the forum? let me explain how this works (For FB and BB) during the early easy non conference schedule portion of the season the koolaid drinkers all cheer at how the team has finally turned around and is beating their competition soundly. they cheer for the coach and cheer for the team. everyone else rolls their eyes and makes comments like "Yeah they are winning, these teams they are playing are horrible" and the Koolaiders say things like "Why all the negativity? we just won XX games in a row, i thought that was a good thing" THEN the big ten season starts and Michigan barely beats the worst teams and gets blown out by 25 points by everyone else. THAT'S when the calls for the coach to be fired happens. The Koolaiders by the way always sound the same. (Young, injured, getting better, will learn from the losses).

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Dec 29, 2010 : 8:48 a.m.

Yes, and we'd start the firing with NoSUVforMe. The difference is that Beilein took over one of the worst programs in the Big Ten, one that hasn't recovered from the Martin/Fisher scandal. Elite recruits don't think of Ann Arbor as a destination. So we look to Beilein for progress. RichRod took over an elite program and gave it it's first three losing seasons in more than 40 years. He has failed on the field and he has failed as a recruiter. All he has is one gimmick, and it doesn't work against the better Big Ten defenses. He pays no attention to defense himself, and opponents have been rewarded with Michigan's first-ever 400-point defense (two years after giving them Michigan's first-ever 300-point defense. RichRod = failure.


Wed, Dec 29, 2010 : 8:38 a.m.

So, where are those screamers that want to fire Coach B? No success after all these years. Hmmm... I guess firing is only for coaches playing football on New Years Day. Personally, I wish fans could be fired.


Wed, Dec 29, 2010 : 7:24 a.m.

ease up folks. Had Michigan played two halves of basketball, they would have been in this. They are young and getting better every game. They will make the NCAA and Beilein will be coach of the year.


Wed, Dec 29, 2010 : 6:47 a.m.

@Paul Nelson: Remember. JB got his team to a tournament with the athletes of the coach that was fired. Let's see what he can do with this entire class of athletes being his recruits. Sure he will get them to the tournament, the NIT year end and year out M will not defeated any of the upper tier teams and only a few of the middle and lower tier teams in the B10.


Wed, Dec 29, 2010 : 4:08 a.m.

No surprise, Purdue will contend for the conference crown with Johnson and Moore. But what makes Purdue is their rugged in your face defense that pushed the M offense outside their comfort zone. Limited open looks. Purdue is not a pretty boy jump shooting team. HINT: Run the offense at full speed during practice Coach.


Wed, Dec 29, 2010 : 2:24 a.m.

"but where have we seen this story (blow out B10 loss to a mediocre team at home)?" If you're assuming Purdue is a "mediocre" team, perhaps you should take up that issue with the coaches and AP that voted them into the Top 15.


Wed, Dec 29, 2010 : 12:21 a.m.

ok, so we can score 3 points in 10 minutes without Morris. Not buying that "Michigan was out of sync offensively. And it was easy to see why. Michigans point guard Darius Morris was on the bench." No we have seen a preview of us vs. the Big Ten. This will not be pretty.


Tue, Dec 28, 2010 : 10:22 p.m.

I trying to figure out why people think that Michigan has a divine right to be a national power in basketball. Michigan Basketball hasn't really been relevant since the SUV accident. Beilein got this team to the tournament, and if he can get them to become a regular tournament team, I'd be really excited.


Tue, Dec 28, 2010 : 9:04 p.m.

Its December 28'th and Michigan has officially removed itself from post season play.


Tue, Dec 28, 2010 : 8:57 p.m.

This is scary.. Wonder what the score would have been if Purdue had their best player.


Tue, Dec 28, 2010 : 7:11 p.m.

"Reality sets in- that's what a team gets for playing a cupcake schedule and running a gimmick offense with step slow recruits. The cream always rises to the top as the season progresses, the payoff is in March." Save for the month at the end, this could easily be said about the football team, too. Hopefully it's a long, long time before we hire another WVU coach. Somehow we've gone from "The leaders and the best" in these two sports to "Success is finishing better than.500" Mediocrity sure is boring.

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Dec 28, 2010 : 7:07 p.m.

Welcome to the Big Ten. It's a rather large leap from 290th-ranked Bryant to a team that could contend for the national title. Hopefully the irrational exuberance of the preseason is finished, and this young team can concentrate on improving for the future.


Tue, Dec 28, 2010 : 6:13 p.m.

Every team wants to win all its games, and so do the fans. We all know that's not possible. But what Michigan fans want (at least those that I've seen on these boards and my friends)--we want competitiveness and improvement. I like B-line a lot. I think he's a good character guy, a nice representative for UM (as was Tommy Amaker) but I do not see improvement year after year, and I don't see competitiveness with the upper tier teams. It's coach B's fourth year, and though the team is young, the story is the same as it has been. Yes the game was close for a while, I'll give them that, and they came back well, but we keep seeing losses to the top tier Big ten teams and not close losses at that. It's not promising, though I really do like the spirit of this team so far (except for today).


Tue, Dec 28, 2010 : 5:57 p.m.

yes we lost, thats a bummer, but isnt this what everyone expected from this team??? reading some of these posts, they are so negative,it seems like most michigan fans whether its basketball or football can never see a glimpse of anything good...are most michigan fans just miserable or what???i know we all want greatness, but sometimes we dont get what we want, but then why act like spoiled little kids..i want to win badly to, and thought there were some good moments in this game, it was close at half, and it seemed to slip away with that errant pass in the 2nd half that got picked off on that fast break after the defensive rebound, the score was 45-42, and if that fast break worked, no one really knows what could have instead of it being possibly 45-44, it was suddenly 50-42 and the bottom fell out...this team is gonna be a lot better than most think, i agree with some that they should not rely so much on the 3..get inside more and things will go better..go blue


Tue, Dec 28, 2010 : 5:57 p.m.

"Golden pants"...funny!


Tue, Dec 28, 2010 : 5:38 p.m.

I can't see any team that relies on the three pointer for the majority of its offense being successful. I see UM players pass up wide open short shots and kick the ball out for a three point miss so many times it makes me wonder if anyone coaching knows anything about winning basketball. Seems like the basketball team's success is mirroring the football team. I hope they can win a lot more games, but I would not bet on it.


Tue, Dec 28, 2010 : 5:29 p.m.

Michigan's team showed their freshman inexperience and how a tough defense can shape a game. We had some ( actually few) bright spots but it was Purdue's game as noted in the article. This is good for Blue to face a team this good early. The team will be better for this experience. One can see why this team is ranked and can contend for the Big Ten Championship with OSU and Minn and Wisc. Michael Rothstein's predictions for the Big Ten appear to be right on after watching this game.


Tue, Dec 28, 2010 : 5:22 p.m.

Reality sets in- that's what a team gets for playing a cupcake schedule and running a gimmick offense with step slow recruits. The cream always rises to the top as the season progresses, the payoff is in March.


Tue, Dec 28, 2010 : 5:03 p.m.

What happened to Darius? Did he sell his big ten championship ring? His golden pants? Oops. Let's hope he learns from this and moves on, but where have we seen this story (blow out B10 loss to a mediocre team at home)?

David Briegel

Tue, Dec 28, 2010 : 4:50 p.m.

You violate "core values" and you sit 4 min.


Tue, Dec 28, 2010 : 4:15 p.m.

Its a privilege to start at Michigan, Michigan coach John Beilein said. Hilarious!! This is what ypu get when you prepare with community college level talent....BEAT DOWN!!