The fact that the Wolverines rallied from huge deficits to tie the game at one stage is a moral victory of sorts for a squad that everyone keeps saying is so young. Moral victories are fine in the college basketball ranks until you get to the postseason, of course.
“Watching film and watching them today, Ohio State has a good defensive team,” said Michigan coach John Beilein. “They play defense and buy into it. I’m proud of the way the guys work. We had five freshmen play double digit minutes. It’s adversity this time of year. Most teams are seeing the first top level teams this season. A lot of questions will be answered.”
Trey Burke returned to his hometown and handled himself well with 15 points. The Wolverines were sluggish offensively, 18-of-47, but give them credit for a good second half defense that forced OSU into 8-of-23 in shooting.
“They have to finish some plays. There were a few times we tried to make plays we always try to make. It would have been nice to have some of those. It’s all a part of the same journey,” Beilein said.
The 16-0 run Ohio State had in the first half is something the Wolverines can’t afford to repeat defensively again.
“This is a great opportunity for us to grow as a team,” Beilein said. “We got very excited about this opportunity and perhaps got away too much from our base defense. You have to be careful to do that with their quickness. This is a young team. There’s a lot of challenges there we made tough on ourselves. We were excited to play. This is terrific for us. We had not played a Top 20 team on the road yet. We have a few more on the road. Now we have a great Minnesota team.”