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November 13, 2014 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-11-13

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SB Friday, November 14 2014 // Tip Off

The inflection point of
Michigan basketball

story by Daniel Feldman, Daily Sports Writer

The Michigan men's basketball
team is in a slump as it enters the
beast that is the Breslin Center
the night of Jan. 27, 2011. Losers
of six straight games and carrying
a 1-6 conference record, the
Wolverines are in East Lansing
having not won there since 1997.
Up 57-55 with 33.3 seconds left
against Michigan State, Darius
Morris catches an inbounds pass
from the sideline.
Before the game, John Beilein

told Morris to shoot it if the
Spartans went through a ball
screen. This was news for a player
who led the team in assists and
would go on to set a single-season
program record in the statistic.
As Morris dribbles over half
court, Keith Appling guards him
before switching off as Morris
gets to the free-throw line. With
the shot clock down to four,
Morris plants his lead foot on
the Spartan logo in the paint

and dishes the rock toward Stu
Douglass, who stands behind the
3-point line on the right side of
the court.
"It's only fair to say that game
was an inflection point of where
the program's heading," said Zach
Novak. "If we win this game, the
season is turned around. ... If we
could win that game, we could
win any game."

After a disappointing 2009-10
season, not much was expected
of Michigan in 2010-11. The team
had lost its four tallest players
and two leading scorers - Manny
Harris and DeShawn Sims - and
was picked to finish last in the Big.
With no seniors on the squad,
the team lacked any true veterans
besides Douglass and Novak.
The preparation for the season
started earlier than usual for the

Wolverines. Allowed an overseas
trip every four years, the team
traveled to Belgium to play four
games against professional
teams. Beilein found it to be
advantageous for such a young
team to begin practicing in
The team went 1-3 on the
Europe tour.
"Everyone was like, 'Oh,
they're going to suck,' even
though we were playing top-

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