Bitter Medicine From Michigan State

Bitter Medicine From Michigan State

Michigan coach John Beilein alluded to a lack of focus from his Wolverines coming out of Tuesday's pounding at the hands of Michigan State. If they want back in he B1G race, that'll have to change, and quickly.

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- After Michigan's embarrassing 75-52 loss in East Lansing Tuesday night, little was discussed in the Wolverines' locker room.

"The season goes by so fast so we can't keep on having team meetings and keep saying the same thing over and over again," said junior Tim Hardaway Jr. "That's when you've got to hold yourself accountable for your mistakes and make sure you don't make the same mistakes again."

Michigan was outrebounded by a bigger, longer Michigan State team by the count of 41-30. But size isn't the only contributing factor to the lopsided statistic on the glass -- hustle is part of it as well. Coming into Tuesday night's game, Michigan State didn't hold a significant lead in rebounds per game over Michigan -- the Spartans were pulling in 37.4 to Michigan's 36.3 per game.

The guards don't go blameless for the rebounding nightmare either, specifically on the offensive glass when, in the second half, off an Appling missed three, three Wolverine wings surrounded the ball but Appling came up with it.

Effort.

"The offensive rebounds that they got took a lot out of us," said Beilein. "We had one of the best defensive rebounding percentages in the Big Ten but it wasn't even close tonight. One of the things we emphasized was we had to seek contact on every shot and there was no contact."

Hardaway Jr., one of the most consistent scoring guards in the country of late, came into the game averaging 16.3 points per game but was held scoreless in the first half, finishing 1 for 11 from the field -- including 0 for 5 from three -- finished with two points.

Despite the obvious struggles, his coach isn't concerned.

"He has been playing as good as any guard in the country," said Beilein. "He had a bad night. He really had a bad night. You can credit the Michigan State defense.

"Tim Hardaway will bounce back like he always has."

What Beilein and the Wolverines will be concerned with in the immediate future is a break from a stretch of games that didn't allow for much rest and relaxation or focus on details, let alone a comfortable nights sleep.

But there is no excuse for a loss like the one Michigan State handed down Tuesday night. The hope inside the Michigan program will be that the Wolverines experienced a wake up call.

"You are going to have days like this and you are going to learn that in every game you have to execute every time," said Beilein.

"I thought our guys were distracted coming out of the huddle a couple of times. Just things that they have to learn to understand because they can snowball so quickly on you. We didn't deserve to win that game. And maybe we got exactly what we deserved. Maybe that's medicine for the future."

Hardaway Jr., one of a few Wolverines with the team the last time Michigan won in East Lansing, knows Michigan's path to success if they want back into a Big Ten race After a stretch that has dropped Michigan from 20-1 to 21-4, including a conference record that now reads 8-4.

"It's not even about offense, it's about pride and defense," said Hardaway Jr. "And we didn't play with that today."

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