ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Losing is never easy.
And that’s the case for Michigan, who have lost two straight games at home by double figures -- and the games weren’t even close.
Last Tuesday, the Wolverines lost 80-67 to Indiana, then followed with another subpar performance, losing to in-state rival Michigan State, 89-73.
Now, Michigan (17-7, 7-4 Big Ten) has to regroup, says U-M coach John Beilein, as his Wolverine get ready to play at Minnesota (6-17, 0-11) Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET.
“This past week was certainly a tough one for us,” Beilein said. “So we’ve ben busy trying to wrap out minds back around (the losses) and get ready for our next opponent at Minnesota on Wednesday.”
And while the Golden Gophers are winless in league play, Minnesota played U-M tough in defeat at Crisler Center on Jan. 20, with Michigan narrowly holding on for the 74-69 win. And Beilein knows it’s always tough to play on the road in the Big Ten.
“This is obviously a tough place for everyone to play,” Beilein said. “And so we just got to get on with our season and play that next game. You’re only as good; I’ve learned in all these games, you’re only as good as your last game. And that just weighs on you. We weren’t very good out last two games. So it’s on, you just got to keep trying to refresh yourself, get better.
“But you have to get a win somewhere along the line to feel good. Any type of win, any place (and) against anybody. This will be great challenge for us.”
Does Aubrey Dawkins deserve more playing time?
Well, according to Beilein, they are trying find a way for Dawkins to get on the court, but it’s just a little complicated with him playing the same position as Zak Irvin.
“We’re trying to find ways without complicating things for Aubrey to play him in other positions,” Beilein said of Dawkins, who is averaging 7.9 points in 17.5 minutes per game this season. “Cause he basically plays over on the left side with Zak (Irvin). How can we get him in either the backcourt and the frontcourt to play with Zak, and still keep the ball in Zak’s hands. So it’s under consideration right now to get him on the floor.”
Recent struggles of Duncan Robinson.
Robinson is averaging 7.6 points, while shooting 2-of-13 form 3s through his past three games, and is coming off two-point performance against MSU.
Which is far less than his season average of 12.5 points, while making 48.7 percent of his three-point attempts. And if Michigan is going to have success moving forward, they need to find a way to get him more open looks, say Beilein.
“We got to get him open,” Beilein said of Robinson. “He’s marked man. That’s what Michigan State and Indiana did a great job of not letting Duncan get open.”
Adding: "They really wouldn’t let Duncan get any looks with the risk of playing four on four. We got to find ways to do that, but I guess that’s the puzzle I love and I hate. You’re always going to be changing because people will take what you do and take it away from you.”