Friday, January 8, 2010

Making basketball out of nothing

Sometime late in the first half yesterday, I Tweeted, "Michigan is a bad basketball team. No other way to say it anymore". They were 0-10 or 0-473 from beyond the arc, had no defense, turned the ball over constantly. It was a bad team. And then the second half happened.

When I got home from work yesterday, I grabbed the mail but didn't open it immediately. It looked like just some end of the year stuff and random paperwork. I had a letter from the city I live in. Opened it. "DELINQUENT FILING NOTICE". Saywhatnow? Turns out that for 2008 (or the 6 months that I lived in Ohio in 2008), I failed to pay any city income taxes (which I didn't know I had to pay, my employer didn't inform me of, and wasn't taking regularly out of my check), and owed a bunch of money to the city, likely with interest and penalties, by February 4th lest I get subpoenaed. I spent much of the night on the phone with my dad trying to dig through city websites and paperwork, figuring out what I needed to turn all of this in and not get arrested. Laval Lucas-Perry was hitting three pointers. 

Many stories will be told about the game last night, and it may even be chalked up to the turning point in Michigan's season. I saw a bad basketball team and, unfortunately, not much more than one of the brighter moments in Michigan athletics of the recent, dreary history. This is a bad basketball team. 

Regardless, last night's game was nothing short of an epic comeback. I didn't see enough of the game in depth to say how they did it aside from hitting three pointers and, judging by the box score, shutting down Taylor Battle (9 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 turnovers). Per Penn State's season performance, there wasn't much help scoring elsewhere, and without Battle, who didn't score in the second half, the team floundered. Laval Lucas-Perry hit three pointers and DeShawn Sims continued to pound the ball down low. Other than that, the offensive output from Michigan was basically par for the course this year. 

This was a big win for Michigan and one that technically keeps their season alive. But it wasn't particularly inspiring. It doesn't feel like a turning point. This team has too many glaring problems and inconsistencies to expect anything more than a graceful NIT exit. I hope I'm wrong.


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