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Posted on Wed, Mar 17, 2010 : 1:30 p.m.

Ten most important moments from Michigan's basketball season

By Michael Rothstein

As Michigan's basketball season wrapped up with no postseason bid Sunday - it was sent into the off-season with a half-court shot that will eventually become the stuff of legends - there was a lot of time left for reflection.

How did Michigan reach this point, watching the NCAA tournament on television?


Ohio State's Evan Turner (21) takes a last second, game winning three-pointer against Michigan's Stu Douglass in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten conference tournament in Indianapolis.

AP photo

10) Ever so briefly, Michigan found its rhythm in Minneapolis. The Wolverines shot 68 percent in the second half and earned a much-needed road win over the Gophers, 71-63. The performance offered hope that U-M might have cured its shooting ills and confidence woes. A loss to Penn State nine days later made all the same questions return.

9) Manny Harris gets a triple-double in the season-opener. Harris’ 18-point, 13-rebound, 10-assist night gave hope for a great season, even though it came against Division II Northern Michigan.

8) Michigan ranked No. 15 in the preseason. The Wolverines hadn't had that type of expectation since Bill Frieder and Steve Fisher roamed the sidelines in Ann Arbor. It showed. Michigan, before the season even started, downplayed the ranking and tried to stay an underdog aggressor. That didn’t work so well.

7) Playing at Kansas. If you’re looking for Michigan’s season in microcosm, peek at how the Wolverines played in Lawrence. Inconsistency marred a chance for an upset because Michigan fell behind by 21 points in the first half. Michigan made up ground in the second half, but placed itself into too big a hole early.


The framed jerseys of Michigan Wolverine seniors DeShawn Sims, Zack Gibson and Anthony Wright, sit on table near midcourt where the three seniors were recognized before their final game at Crisler Arena.

Lon Horwedel |

6) Senior Night in Ann Arbor. DeShawn Sims deserved better. One of the better players in school history - he finished his career in the Top 16 in scoring and rebounding - he picked up a win but in front of a fairly sparse Crisler Arena crowd. Sims ended his career with 1,584 points (16th all-time) and tied for 12th in rebounds (728).

5) Announcements. Michigan committed to building a new practice and development center along with Crisler Arena renovations. It’s only one piece, but an improved infrastructure will help in recruiting and bringing people back to Michigan basketball games.

4) Losing to Michigan State at the buzzer. Had they beaten the Spartans, the Wolverines might have had the confidence for an extended midseason run. They had a legitimate shot to knock off a Top 10 team. Instead, the loss crushed the Wolverines, leaving an incredibly somber lockerroom after the game and a 57-56 loss.

3) Darius Morris' shot blocked at the buzzer in Orlando. The block sent Michigan to a 68-66 loss against Alabama, a 1-2 finish in the Old Spice Classic and it left the Wolverines exposed. It also left some wondering why the ball wasn’t in Manny Harris’ hands to start with.

2) Manny Harris gets suspended for Purdue game. Whatever happened in practice, it set a tone. The Wolverines struggled against the Boilermakers and struggled to find themselves after that point.

1) Michigan makes a defensive mistake in the Big Ten tournament and Evan Turner ends the Wolverines’ season with a 37-foot buzzer-beater. Season over on a call Michigan coach John Beilein later said he would like to do over again if he could. Same could likely be said of the Wolverines’ season.

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, Mar 17, 2010 : 9:34 p.m.

"Sims deserved better" He got a Tourney win, unlike all the great talent that we had here in the years before, including Dion Harris(mr. basketball) among others.


Wed, Mar 17, 2010 : 6:28 p.m.

Great wrap-up. Makes one think about the season and what could have been... The 3-point offense was made obsolete with the movement of the 3-point line this year. I don't believe there are any NBA teams that attempt use the 3-point shot as the staple of their offense. So, at the college level with the same 3-point distance as NBA, it doesn't make any sense at all. Not at all.


Wed, Mar 17, 2010 : 3:46 p.m.

If you are suggesting these points are why they are done, I disagree. At times through the season Michigan showed it can beat anyone. In my humble opinion the problem is the offense. Basing an offense on 3 pt shots ad nauseum requires making them at about NBA level. Its very high risk. I was so frustrated seeing players in the paint with open shots who passed the ball beyond the arc for a miss. It worked last year but was ineffective this year. If you have a good short open shot, you take it. And I would like to see some height and bulk with an emphasis on better rebounding.