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University of Michigan Basketball Fan’s Perspective: Entire Team Shoots Too Many Triples While Still Edging Northwestern, 66-64
In a previous University of Michigan men's basketball blog, I asserted that Tim Hardaway Jr. was shooting too many three-pointers. For one game, at least, a 66-64 win over visiting Northwestern, my concept was correct by my choice of players was wrong.
Hardway entered the contest shooting only 27 percent on triples tries, but he canned 5 of 9 against Northwestern in a 19-point effort.
Meanwhile, the four guys I said should shoot from downtown instead of Hardaway—Evan Smotrycz, Zack Novak, Trey Burke and Stu Douglass—combined for an ice-cold 1 for 17 from beyond the arc.
Even though Hardaway was on the long-range mark against Northwestern, I stick by my original point. This was a one-game anomaly. He is too athletic, too good driving to the bucket, to be firing so much from outside. He didn't shoot a single free throw vs. the Wildcats. (The rest of the team was 15 of 16 from the stripe.) A game should not go by in which Tim Hardaway Jr. goesn't go to the free-throw line as least as often as he goes to the three-point line.
But I shouldn't single out Hardaway Jr. To me, the whole Wolverine squad shoots too many triples. Against Northwestern, they were a respectable 15 for 36 on two-pointers but 7 for 30 from three-point line. That's an imbalance when nearly half the shots come from downtown.
Michigan shot only 33 percent overall (22 for 66) while Northwestern hit 50 percent (24 of 48). From that perspective, the No. 13 Wolverines were lucky to avoid an upset on their home floor.
Sixth-ranked Michigan State plays at Northwestern on Saturday. A comparison between the two games will be interesting, because then MSU visits U-M on Tuesday, Jan. 17, for the first of a closely paired matchups in the rivaly. The Wolverines will visit the Spartans less than three weeks later, on Saturday, Feb. 5.
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