January 9, 2013
Miles: Rolling the three dice
Nebraska coach Tim Miles received some out-of-the-box advice from an old baseball coach that helped his team stay in a game at Crisler Center Wednesday night. In the end, though, it wasn't enough.
Michigan struggled to a 62-47 win on its home floor despite hitting just 3 of 17 three-point shots, a dramatic break from its hot hand throughout a 16-0 start.
"You have to take away something, so we tried to take away their transition, hustling back," Miles said. "We tried to keep them in front of us as much as possible, knowing if they got threes, that was a risk. I just through that was a risk worth taking.
"I know they'd shot it extremely well. I remember a baseball coach telling me years ago, 'Bases are loaded, bottom of the ninth, who do you pitch to? Do you pitch to the guy who is 8-for-8 or do you pitch to the guy who is 0-for-8?' What do I say: '0-for-8.'
"He goes, 'Wrong. Odds are, the guy who is 8-for-8 is not going to get a hit on you.' I thought, they've been shooting the three great. They've got to return to the mean. We were fortunate they didn't shoot the three well, so we were able to hang around."
Freshman Nik Stauskas, who came in shooting better than 50 percent from long range, went 2-for-6. Sophomore Trey Burke, a 40-percent three-point shooter, went 1-for-5.
In the end, Michigan had to use superior muscle on the boards to grab a 47-30 edge there, and Miles' best strategy came up a few kilometers short.
"The story of the game is rebounding, and [Glenn] Robinson and [Mitch] McGary and [Tim] Hardaway did such a strong job on the glass, we just couldn't fight that off," Miles said. "We struggled with that.
"They've got production everywhere you go. It was the way to win the game tonight for them. It was the boards - being aggressive and getting fouled. They did both. You have to commend them on that.
"Philosophically, when you look at them, what can you eliminate? It was transition, and the driving of the ball. We fouled some early in the second half, which hurt us, but they missed threes, so we were able to hang around. It's that simple."
Miles said his team is basketball savvy enough to understand what Michigan has on the roster. Hanging around built confidence through the game, but wasn't enough in the end.
"They looked sick to their stomach in the locker room before the game, so that's a good sign, I guess," Miles said. "I felt like as the game wore on, they were like, 'We can do this. We can do this.' They don't feel good about just playing hard and coming close. They're in there with their heads down
at the end of the day, we're 0-3 in the league."
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