Tim Hardaway Jr. struggles to find flow in No. 14 Michigan's loss at Virginia
Hardaway had a performance to forget in the 14th-ranked Michigan basketball team's 70-58 loss at Virginia during the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, finishing with just five points on 2-for-9 shooting in 25 minutes.
"It was a learning experience that I have to learn from," Hardaway said following the defeat.
Entering the game, Hardaway was coming off one of the stronger weeks of his young career. He averaged 20 points over a three-game stretch to earn a spot on the 2011 Maui Invitational all-tournament team.
On Tuesday, the good vibes never got started.
Hardaway was whistled for two fouls in the game's first six minutes, and never found his groove. He was scoreless in the first half, and was completely taken away by Virginia's defensive efforts in the second.
"Tim's not going to be the last guy in here that's a high-profile (player) that they play a lot of attention to," Michigan coach John Beilein said. "He's going to have to make tough shots against them, and he had a tough night.
"But he'll bounce back."
Beilein said he never considered re-entering Hardaway in the first half after he picked up the two early fouls. Then again, he really didn't need to. The Wolverines only found themselves down one point entering the half.
During the second round of the Maui Invitational against Duke, Hardaway was held scoreless in the first half, but broke out to score 19 second-half points in a narrow loss.
That second wind never came Tuesday against Virginia, and Michigan had no answer because of it.
Zack Novak and Trey Burke picked up some of Hardaway's slack in the first half, combining to score 15 points in his absence.
But with Hardaway stuck in a funk during the second, the Wolverines couldn't muster up any external offense to limit Virginia's eventual game-icing 15-0 run.
"I think (the coaches) got us some stuff, guys got open looks," Novak said of the second-half struggles. "A couple times we didn't take them, a couple times we didn't score. But we have total trust in our coaches.
"We still got decent looks, we just didn't knock them down."
Michigan senior guard Stu Douglass said Hardaway's early foul trouble wasn't just new for Hardaway, but the entire team in general.
Douglass said the rest of the roster can learn from the situation, though, and be better prepared if it happens again.
"They started off trying to attack Tim, trying to get him in foul trouble and the first play of the game they drove right at him," Douglass said. "So when Tim goes out that puts pressure on us, and it also keeps it on us in the second half.
"It's something we'll all learn from. I don't know if Tim has ever really been in foul trouble like that. It's a good learning experience, and it's something you can't prepare for in practice. We'll learn and get a lot better from it."
Beilein wouldn't read too much into his star's poor performance Tuesday, saying he's confident Hardaway will respond.
Hardaway kept the same attitude, giving Virginia credit and moving forward to Michigan's upcoming contest Saturday against Iowa State.
There might not be a reset button, but there's always the next game.
"They just did their job," he said. "We just have to learn from our mistakes and come back on Saturday with a different mentality."
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