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 Sat, Jan 9, 2010 : 1:05 p.m.

The way Michigan basketball forward DeShawn Sims plays dictates whether Wolverines win

By Michael Rothstein

Sims, DeShawn (2008-09).jpg

DeShawn Sims

DeShawn Sims is the barometer for the Michigan basketball team.

In Michigan’s 8 wins, the senior forward from Detroit averages 21.63 points and 8.63 rebounds. In the Wolverines’ 6 losses, his numbers dip to 11.5 points and 4.67 rebounds.

Yet it took the beginning of the Big Ten season - and a message from some of Michigan’s support staff about how his performance dictates the success of his team - for Sims to realize it.

“The better I play, the statistics say when I do a certain amount of things in a game, we end up winning, so I’m just trying to fulfill the statistics,” Sims said. “… I didn’t know how valid it was until I looked at it, you know. I like to win, so I’m going to try my best to do whatever it takes to win.”

Sims, who is 10 points shy of 1,300 career points and 17 rebounds away from 600, is most effective when he stays close to the basket. With the exception of his 5-for-8 3-pointer game against Houston Baptist and a 3-for-3 performance against Utah, Michigan’s record is better when Sims stays inside.

He showed the ability to be effective against larger defenders when he neutralized Ohio State’s Dallas Lauderdale on Sunday. In what have maybe been his two best games of the year - against Ohio State (28 points) and Penn State (25 points) - he didn’t attempt a 3-pointer.

Sims and Michigan (8-6, 2-1 Big Ten) can capture their third consecutive Big Ten victory as they play host Sunday to Northwestern (11-3, 0-2) at 2:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)

“He’s understanding a lot more what he can do in this league with his back to the basket,” Michigan coach John Beilein said of Sims. “He’s getting double-teamed more, and he’s been handling that better.”

There is something else motivating Sims and will come into play against Northwestern, a team he averages just 8.2 points against in his career.

“Trying (for) a little redemption against some teams I didn’t play well against in my career,” Sims said.

• Big Ten Conference standings • Big Ten Conference statistics

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



Sat, Jan 9, 2010 : 11:31 p.m.

I would say Michigan is tourny bound. Experts have said they have to have an above.500 record in the big ten abd I see them winning the next 2 games and getting atleast 6 wins after that.


Sat, Jan 9, 2010 : 3:50 p.m.

aareader you are absolutely correct. The team, the team the team. No one player can carry the team, though all others must contribute as much as possible. If any part falters this team can fail, be it Deshawn, Manny or the rest of the team. I like this team. I like watching Michigan BB again. They are very capable, they can beat any team but to be victorious, they must all play well and play hard. I have three concerns. 1. Rebounding: I cannot understand why no one is averaging in double figures in rebounding. 2. 3 point shots. You live by the three, you die by the three. 3s are bad because they make rebounding difficult. Good when you have a good shot. Too many hurried shots by this team. 3. Defense wins ballgames. I do not like zone defenses they are easily beaten by a patient team. If you cannot play man to man defense you have to play zone, but if you cannot play 1:1 defense you should be on the bench. Each trip down court is a battle. Who is going to win you or your opponent? Defense wins ballgames.


Sat, Jan 9, 2010 : 3:48 p.m.

If Belein had recruited a 'true' center then Sims numbers might even be better. But going up against some of the trees he's met at his size, it's all he can do to just maintain.


Sat, Jan 9, 2010 : 3:48 p.m.

Simms is soft he hates to play around the rim... If I was JB I would tell him he can no longer shoot the three. For gods sake we already have a team of shooters!!!


Sat, Jan 9, 2010 : 2:33 p.m.

Sims is certainly an important member of the team. But can not this be stated about the other starters too. If Novak, Harris, Douglas and Lucas-Perry are hot the team does well. When a couple of players get hot from the 3 pt line this team wins. (Penn State latest example). When Sims hits 3's and plays well inside Blue should win. But if the others are cold on 3's the outcome of the game does not always favor Blue. Under the current offensive scheme MIchigan lives or dies with the success of the 3 point game. I am happy Sims is a major part of the team. His emerging inside play, as noted, is one important part to success. GO BLUE!


Sat, Jan 9, 2010 : 1:51 p.m.

Why does it have to take half a season for Sims and the UM coaching staff to realize that a power forward scoring, defending and rebounding inside is the key for this team. The power forward frees the 3 point shooters, clears the lane for the slashing Manny. Getting rebounds controls the game.

Macabre Sunset

Sat, Jan 9, 2010 : 1:40 p.m.

Strangely enough, the Michigan athletic web site indicates the Northwestern game is tomorrow. Agreed on Sims. No question the team is 100% better when he has a presence inside. He can be a dominant player.