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Posted on Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 9:48 p.m.

Tim Hardaway Jr. struggles to find flow in No. 14 Michigan's loss at Virginia

By Nick Baumgardner


Michigan guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (10) works against Virginia center Assane Sene (5) and guard Joe Harris (12) on Tuesday night in Charlottesville, Va. Hardaway was held to five points in Virginia's 70-58 win.

AP Photo

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- If Tim Hardaway Jr. had a reset button to push Tuesday, he'd have done so in a second.

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.

Hardaway Jr, Tim (CROP).jpg

Tim Hardaway Jr.

The accolades continued to come for Hardaway earlier this week, when the Big Ten named him the conference's Player of the Week.

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."

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.

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Hardaway Jr, Tim (CROP).jpg

Tim Hardaway Jr.



Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 3:36 p.m.

..totally agree 81Wolv.. i thought the end of the 1st half was a great time to let Jr. play with 2 fouls.. The wolverines had a 5 point lead and the backups let it ebb away.. the threat of Jr. on the floor is valuable, even if he is not the one scoring.. but i have accepted that part of Beileins philosophy is a deep team with interchangeable parts.. that being said.. "Let the Players play!".. ..and Tim Sr. needs to keep the M gear on at the games.. that crimson shirt was awful.. Go Blue! v


Wed, Nov 30, 2011 : 2:03 p.m.

Give Virginia a lot of credit in this game for playing great defense the entire game. Michigan's a pretty good defensive team too, but Virginia may be the toughest I've seen in a long time. One thing I think was a problem for Hardaway was he sat on the bench for the rest of the half after picking up the 2 quick fouls. I have to disagree with Coach Beilein's decision to sit him that entire time. Hardaway is almost never foul-prone, so the risk of him picking up the third foul was low to me, especially if the coaches tell him NOT to attempt to draw any charges or reach in at all. Virginia isn't that good of a shooting team, and one reason we couldn't take advantage of that in the first half was Hardaway sitting on the bench. No matter though. Still, it was a good learning experience for Michigan that will hopefully help them later in the season.