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Posted on Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 9:49 p.m.

Defensive collapses haunt Michigan basketball team in loss to Purdue, and more notes

By Nick Baumgardner

Offensively, the Michigan basketball team was far from sparkling Saturday.

But during a 75-61 senior night loss to Purdue, the amount of made shots was hardly the issue.

"It all starts with defense," senior guard Stu Douglass said. "We've got to have our offense come from our defense, and they're one of the worst transition defense teams in the Big Ten.

"We just didn't turn our defense into offense."


Ryne Smith (with ball) and Purdue controlled the action for much of the game Saturday as the Boilermakers ended Michigan's bid for a perfect home record this season.

Chris Asadian |

The Boilermakers shot 57.7 percent during the second half, and went 11-for-12 from the foul line as they outscored Michigan 35-19 in the game's final 12 minutes.

Purdue guard Terone Johnson dropped in a season-high 22 points, effortlessly getting to the basket for most of the night and finishing 9-of-12 from the floor. Johnson, who entered the game shooting 35.1 percent from the foul line, went 4-for-4 from the stripe.

As a team, Purdue was shooting 64.1 percent from the stripe — a Big Ten-worst. On Saturday, the Boilermakers went 14-for-16.

Purdue's 75 points was easily the most points Michigan has allowed at home this season, and the 14-point margin was the Wolverines' worst home defeat since an 80-67 loss to the Boilermakers on Dec. 28, 2010.

Saturday also marked the seventh time in Michigan coach John Beilein's five seasons as head coach that Michigan allowed at least 75 points at home.

"We got down early and we missed some things, and it's not our two seniors that are making the mistakes," Beilein said. "When they run their stuff they run it at such a high speed, and they don't turn it over.

"They look for each other great, and you couldn't give them much room."

Despite the porous defense, Michigan wasn't without its chances.

The Wolverines clawed back from an early double-digit deficit to take a 42-40 lead midway through the second half, but immediately gave the edge back as Purdue rattled off six points in less than two minutes.

Michigan had one final chance after Tim Hardaway Jr.'s inside bucket drew the team within four late, but Purdue answered with back-to-back triples from Robbie Hummel — shots that Beilein said should have never happened.

"Those were just complete mixups in our defense, and they were really disappointing," he said. "We worked on it, we worked on it, we worked on it, but obviously we've got to work more on it.

"It was just lack of communication."

For every punch Michigan threw Saturday, the Wolverines seemed to take two as a counter.

It went down as the team's worst defensive performance of the season, and should serve as a learning tool down the stretch.

"We didn't check (anyone)," Michigan senior co-captain Zack Novak said. "It didn't happen tonight."

Limited space for Burke

Michigan freshman point guard Trey Burke was limited to one of his worst offensive outputs of the season at Purdue last month, finishing with six points.

He scored 12 on Saturday against the Boilermakers, but coughed the ball up four times, and never seemed comfortable.

"We've got a lot of respect for him, not many people in the country have an elite guard like him," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "When you watch film, you've got to make sure you can get the ball out of his hands. The problem is, other guys can shoot.

"We tried with our size to hedge (screens) and get the ball out of his hands and stay with him."

The strategy worked.

"Hummel's was probably hedging in kindergarten," Beilein joked. "They switched with a lot of ball screens and made us play one on one.

"And we didn't make some of those shots."

Subdued crowd

Michigan scored its eighth sellout of the season Saturday, the most since 1994-95.

But still, the building lacked the overall energy it has had over the past month, thanks in large part to the absence of most Michigan students.

The university is in the midst of spring break, keeping plenty of the "Maize Rage" members away from Crisler Center for the regular-season home finale.

William Davidson honored

The late William Davidson was honored Saturday with a halftime ceremony.

The Michigan graduate and ex-Detroit Pistons owner recently received a posthumous honor from the school as the basketball program named its new Player Development Center in his honor.

On hand to accept the recognition were members of Davidson's family, as well as Detroit mayor, and ex-Piston great, Dave Bing.

Odds and ends

Walk-on senior Corey Person entered the game in the final minutes, and proceeded to log a career-high four points. He went 2-for-3 from the field, the only two field goals (to date) of his career. ... Beilein is 2-6 against Purdue in his Michigan tenure. ... Michigan freshman guard Carlton Brundidge was active Sunday, and he saw his first game action in nearly a month after missing five games due to asthma-related complications. ... Michigan was whistled for 15 fouls Saturday, while Purdue was called for eight.

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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Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 3:31 a.m.

Who should be coach of the year, Izzo or Beilien? In other forums, some of you GoBluers called Izzo a clown. Judging by how well Michigan was prepared for Purdue, perhaps Beilien should dress as Ronald MacDonald for the next game. When was the last time an Izzo coached team choked on senior night?


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 9:34 p.m.

Is Hummel finally going to graduate? He seems like he has been there for about 8 years. And after yesterday, I hope to never see him again.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 5:19 p.m.

No energy game in this one after the seniors were honored and the team played like the no energy Beilein teams before. It looked that they looked past Purdue and just savored the last game of Novak and Douglass.

Soft Paw

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 5:18 p.m.

Best player in Purdue history? Rick Mount maybe, or Terry Dischinger, Glenn Robinson, John Wooden but Hummel is not at that level yet.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 4:10 p.m.

Where is the basketball news in the hard copy of today's paper? You had plenty of time to get it to press. Breakfast in front of the computer?!?


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 2:09 p.m.

Looks like UM couldn't flop thier way to another win.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 6:23 a.m.

How do you not know how to run your defense by the LAST home game of the season? First couple of games of the season I can understand this. Last home game of the season and only 2 regular season games left and you have communication problems and a ton of mistakes running your defense against a mediocre boiler team. Something is smelly with this coaching staff. Their lack of quality recruiting their first few years is the big problem. No excuses acceptable here. This was embarassing and I doubt will help recruit any lottery picks anytime soon.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 4:09 a.m.

Nick... you stated it very well. Your quotes are right on. Blue was outplayed and did not make good use of opportunities. Was very surprised how often just about the best player in Purdue history (Hummel) was left wide open especially toward the end of the game. Definitely a big defensive mistake. A sad loss. ...Was disappointed in the officiating in this game but that was not a factor in the outcome. Coach Belien's comments on the radio after the game focused on what can be learned from the teams mistakes. The plan is to improve going into post season play... to win more games. ( The "learning tool" quote)