Michigan ‘Went Cold,’ Overthinking in Loss

Michigan coach John Beilein pointed to the turnovers and missed shots as reasons for the Wolverines fourth straight loss Saturday, a 62-51 defeat to SMU. Caris LeVert and Zak Irvin believe players were overthinking too much down the stretch.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Missed shots and turnovers, that was Michigan coach John Beilein’s focus in the aftermath of the Wolverines’ fourth straight loss, a 62-51 defeat at the hands of SMU.

Michigan turned the ball over 14 times and converted on just 8-of-36 attempts from behind the three-point line, good for a putrid 22-percent.

“That’s what we just talked about in the locker room,” Beilein said. “That was my big point. I’ve been coaching a long time; I realized sometimes the ball just doesn’t go in the basket. And they had some good looks too from three, except for the flurry at the beginning by (Nic) Moore, they didn’t make a lot of outside shots either.

“You’re going to have those games. We cannot go down and blow up fast breaks or we started the second half with a great stop and a fast break but we threw a bad pass and shot an off balance shot. That’s not how you’re going to win and our guys know it, so they’re upset about that as well.”

SMU turned the ball over 20 times Saturday afternoon, still able to win by double figures on the road thanks in large part to a 17-0 run late in the second half.

Over the final 7:57 of regulation, Michigan managed just three points, a triple by Mark Donnal who was a bright spot with 13-points on an otherwise gloomy day in Ann Arbor that resulted in a third straight home loss for the Wolverines.

“We took a couple bad shots but I think the majority of our shots were good shots,” Michigan junior Caris LeVert said. “We didn’t knock them down and the turnovers really hurt us down the stretch.”

“That happens sometimes, you miss shots,” added LeVert. “But the turnovers, there’s no excuse for the turnovers. That’s the main thing, offensive execution and we didn’t execute at all, down the stretch especially.”

LeVert was held to just four points on 1-of-8 shooting from the field including an 0-for-5 mark on three-point attempts.

Perhaps some of the pressure is getting to Michigan, staring a third straight loss at Crisler Center in the face despite clinging to a 48-45 lead.

The Wolverines appeared to clam up and lose confidence on the offensive end despite receiving normal looks within the offense on multiple sequences.

“I think guys are overthinking a little bit, myself included,” LeVert said. “We just got to go out there and play.”

“We went cold,” Michigan sophomore Zak Irvin said. “We held them to 62-points on the game, (forced) 20 turnovers, and I thought we played well defensively. It’s just tough, we’re not scoring, capitalizing on the mishaps that they had.”

Irvin led Michigan with 17-points despite shooting 3-for-11 from downtown.

Now sitting at 6-5 to start the season following Saturday’s loss to SMU, LeVert says a victory is Michigan’s focus but the Wolverines can’t allow the focus on the game plan on the floor to dwindle.

“Winning was definitely a big thing on our minds, especially going down the stretch,” he said. “I felt like we fought pretty hard, we just didn’t execute.”

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