Sunday, December 24, 2006

That thud you heard was Michigan basketball

Yesterday marked a new low in the Tommy Amaker era of Michigan basketball. The Wolverines were throttled by No. 1 ranked UCLA by a margin of 37 points. Unfortunately I was unable to actually watch the game because it wasn't on in the DC area. But thinking back, it was probably a good thing that I didn't watch because I would have come to the painful realization that Michigan basketball is headed nowhere under the guidance of Amaker. It showed on the court that Michigan had played just two teams with records above .500 heading into this game. Personally, I thought we were going to lose to UCLA, but by 37? I did not see that coming from a team that starts 4 seniors and a junior. It's not like the Wolverines are going to learn and grow from this loss like that young Ohio State team that got blindsided by Florida. This team has supposedly spent the last three seasons learning from losing and should have already grown. But not only did the team not play up to its capabilities, the team just didn't look prepared. Here's an excerpt from the La Daily News story on the game. Pay particular attention to Mbah Moute's quote:

The key to the game was UCLA’s double-team on 6-foot-10 center Courtney Sims, although Michigan coach Tommy Amaker didn’t think so. Mbah a Moute got his two steals out of it in the game’s first minute. Sims was held to two shots and two points in the first half and finished with 13. UCLA beat Michigan in Ann Arbor with the same game plan last year.
"I was surprised because we did it last year," Mbah a Moute said. “I felt they would be ready for it.”

The talent is there for a NCAA Tournament bid. I just don't know if the coaching is there. He's not a particularly good recruiter and he certainly isn't a good game coach, so why does he still have a job? The guy has been a head coach for nine seasons if you include his time at Seton Hall, and has made the tournament just once (with the Pirates). It's time for a change in Ann Arbor, but you know it's not going to happen anytime soon. Unless Michigan loses the remainder of its games, Tommy Amaker is, for better or worse, here to stay.

So that's what a terrible coach looks like

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