NOTEBOOK: Michigan basketball team still searching for answers after latest defeat
There are three games left in the regular season, and Michigan coach John Beilein is still searching for answers.
Michigan’s shooting struggles continued Tuesday. The Wolverines shot a season-worst 24.6 percent from the field on a night when the defense played well. The performance has left Beilein thinking some players have mental blocks - and thinking about possible lineup changes.
“We’ve got to get the positive,” Beilein said. “We need to maybe bring some guys off the bench. We’ve got to do something. This can’t, we can’t win. You can’t play, it’s not wasted energy.
“But if you see our practices, how hard we work, the stuff we ran today I thought was great. We got great looks, got to the basket. We just can’t make a basket and sometimes we’re tentative.”
The problem, though, is that Michigan isn't sure where to turn for help. Sophomore guard Laval Lucas-Perry has been inconsistent all season has hasn’t scored in two games.
Senior forward Zack Gibson has been productive - but playing him would be at the expense somewhat of Michigan’s most productive player, DeShawn Sims. Senior forward Anthony Wright hasn’t played in three games.
Beilein would like to see freshman Matt Vogrich be able to play multiple positions before giving him more playing time.
“He’s got to do that,” Beilein said. “He’s got to be able to learn to play, we started him on the two and switching him to the three when Eso (Akunne) could not play. He struggled, as many freshmen do, with being a multi-position player.
“If you look at his stats in shooting, it’s tough for a freshman coming off the bench.”
Gibson bright spot
Every so often, Gibson comes in and plays well.
He did it with more efficiency earlier in the season, but he had a good game at Minnesota scoring eight points. He played well again Tuesday, scoring seven points, grabbing two rebounds and having a career-high four steals in a season-high 20 minutes.
“Zack has been a bright spot for us right now in this funk,” Beilein said.
This and that
Michigan freshman guard Josh Bartelstein was in street clothes. With seven points, Sims moved into 18th place all-time in scoring with 1,511 points, passing Bernard Robinson, Jr., who had 1,505 points. At the end of the game, when Sims fouled out, the students thanked the senior forward. It was the last game Sims will play in front of the Michigan students as next week is their spring break. They did the same for Gibson when he entered the game for the final time.