The Wolverine

February 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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FEBRUARY 2017 THE WOLVERINE 45   MICHIGAN BASKETBALL "I thought I was going to jail," Da- kich said with a laugh. "They got me, for sure. It's an experience I'll never forget. "I was thinking over the last three and a half years what could have possibly happened? I didn't come up with anything, thankfully, so I thought I was in the clear. "At one time I almost said, 'Can we talk about this privately? Am I being punked?' But I knew I had to let these guys talk because they were doing their job and they came out with a document, some kind of war- rant to get me out of there." Teammates reacted in different ways. Redshirt junior big man Mark Donnal saw a coach filming it and had an idea early something was up. "I was nervous for a second … but then I kind of got the idea it was a joke," Donnal said. "To see his reac- tion, I thought it was really good. It's not something you'd expect Coach Beilein to do. The fact that he reacted the way he did made everybody's day after the hard loss we took [to Maryland Jan. 7]. "He took it well. He kind of was nervous, you could tell, throughout the video. But he realized everybody was in on the prank, so it was funny to be part of that. He's a guy that likes to talk a lot in practice, getting under peoples' skin. To see him take the butt of the joke was funny." The entire team got a laugh out of it, though, and were happy for their teammate. MICHIGAN ADAPTING TO HOW IT NEEDS TO WIN Michigan picked up a much- needed 91-85 win over Nebraska Jan. 14, but the Wolverines did it primar- ily with their offense again. Head coach John Beilein said the Wolver- ines might have to continue to win that way for the foreseeable future while they figure things out on de- fense. "We showed how hard we can play, did what it takes to do everything we can. Every time we punched, they punched back," Beilein said. "Pretty soon some teams give in and say, 'We ain't going to stop you guys.' We executed very well down the stretch when we had to. "We didn't stop them very often. We outscored them, and if that's the way it's got to be for a while, while we shore that up, that's what we've got to do." Nebraska guards Glynn Watson and Tai Webster got to the rim and put on an offensive clinic the way many guards have against the Wol- verines this year. They hit some ridic- ulously tough shots, complemented by some easy ones in which they got to the rim uncontested. "It is really difficult to defend really good players," Beilein said. "Those two were really good, and ev- erybody plays off them. It's a trend, so if this is what people wanted to see, that's what they're getting. "Look at Purdue — Iowa put 90 on them the other night. That just didn't used to happen. That's what I'm see- ing. We feel really bad when we have a bad field goal percentage and give up points, but you look at Kansas, Duke … they give up 80 or 90. It's part of this 30-second [shot clock], downhill play." But his team will need to improve in that aspect, too, in order to out- score the better teams on the sched- ule. The Wolverines got to the free throw line 30 times against Nebraska by being more aggressive — "That's as much as we've gotten there in the last three games combined," Beilein noted — and emphasizing getting two feet in the paint and not shying away from contact. "We're still not great," Beilein ad- mitted. "Guys like, after the first few bumps, to give it up … the first bump might be incidental, but they pick it up. We're trying to get guys to drive through the first bump. We did it better, but we're still not good at it." Beilein said he hoped his team wouldn't have to continue to win strictly with its offense, but he in- sisted it was on them to find a way. "We're going to adapt to what- ever we see in a game. We can score points, as you can see," he said. "It's uglier to try to win these games 46- 43, but we've had some games like that in the past." MICHIGAN BASKETBALL SCHEDULE 2016-17 Date Opponent (TV) Result/Time Nov. 4 Armstrong State! W, 77-49 Nov. 11 Howard* W, 76-58 Nov. 13 IUPUI* W, 77-65 Nov. 17 vs. Marquette^ W, 79-61 Nov. 18 vs. SMU^ W, 76-54 Nov. 23 at South Carolina L, 61-46 Nov. 26 Mount St. Mary's W, 64-47 Nov. 30 Virginia Tech# L, 73-70 Dec. 3 Kennesaw State W, 82-55 Dec. 6 Texas W, 53-50 Dec. 10 at UCLA L, 102-84 Dec. 13 Central Arkansas W, 97-53 Dec. 17 Maryland Eastern Shore W, 98-49 Dec. 22 Furman W, 68-62 Jan. 1 at Iowa L, 86-83 (OT) Jan. 4 Penn State W, 72-69 Jan. 7 Maryland L, 77-70 Jan. 11 at Illinois L, 85-69 Jan. 14 Nebraska W, 91-85 Jan. 17 at Wisconsin (ESPN) 8 p.m. Jan. 21 Illinois (BTN) 2:15 p.m. Jan. 26 Indiana (ESPN2) 9 p.m. Jan. 29 at Michigan State (CBS) 1 p.m. Feb. 4 Ohio State (ESPN2) 6 p.m. Feb. 7 Michigan State (ESPN/2) 9 p.m. Feb. 12 at Indiana (CBS) 1 p.m. Feb. 16 Wisconsin (ESPN/2) 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at Minnesota (CBS or BTN) TBA Feb. 22 at Rutgers (BTN) 6:30 p.m. Feb. 25 Purdue (ESPN/2) TBA Mar. 1 at Northwestern (BTN) 7 p.m. Mar. 5 at Nebraska (BTN) 8 p.m. March 8-12 Big Ten Tournament$ TBD ! Exhibition; * 2K Classic Ann Arbor regional; ^ 2K Classic championship round at Madison Square Garden in New York; # ACC-Big Ten Challenge; $ at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. Senior Andrew Dakich requested to redshirt during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, but had to be pulled out both times when injuries struck. He is redshirting this winter and will be a fifth-year senior in 2017-18. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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