You may not believe it from the final score, but Penn State actually started this game off on a 7-0 run. There didn't appear to be any post-Maryland hangover, but the tides quickly turned in the first half once Michigan found their rhythm beyond the perimeter. It became apparent early that the Lions weren't going to benefit from another poor shooting display from their opponents.
The Wolverines were hesitant early as they tried to find their way without Caris LeVert, who was scratched late with a lower left leg injury. But once Duncan Robinson made a few early threes to quickly erase PSU's opening lead, Michigan never looked back. An 18-2 run in just over five minutes of game clock gave Michigan a commanding 30-15 lead. Penn State never got closer than 15 for the rest of the game.
It was arguably one of the worst losses ever under Chambers. Penn State offered no resistance to Michigan's attack, as the Wolverines took advantage of numerous defensive miscues by the Lions. Chambers employed mostly man defense, but too many breakdowns left shooters open. All-in-all, John Beilein's team finished 14-25 from beyond the arc. Only some second half 2-3 looks seemed to slow down Michigan, but the game was long decided by that point.
When this team can't get stops, everything goes to shit. We know the offensive limitations of this team, but they are magnified when trying to erase a 20-point margin. It was brutal.
Four Factors Analysis
When there's such a vast shooting discrepancy, nothing else really matters in this sport. Beilein-ball dominated Penn State's defense today as the Wolverines set up open look after open look. Michigan's 73.5 effective field goal percentage was the worst mark against the Nittany Lions under Chambers. Usually anything over 60.0% is an automatic loss.
Player of the Game
Quite frankly, nobody on the team deserves these kudos today. Everyone did not play their best, but if it's anyone, Brandon Taylor finished with 18 points and 6 rebounds.
- Bank Ain't Open - Payton Banks with his biggest dud of the season today - 0 points and 3 boards in 21 minutes. When he doesn't show up, this apparently could be a result.
- Isaiah Washington Sighting - Washington got some significant run in the second half for the first time since the George Washington game. He was aggressive on offense and finished with 9 points in 10 minutes.
- Beilein-ball Whips Chambers Again - Chambers needs to figure out Beilein-ball, because other than the 2013 upset, Penn State has not been competitive against UM under Chambers. They have never surrendered less than 1.14 points-per-possession in 8 games against Michigan.
Penn State returns home for a 2-game swing with a pressure cooker on Tuesday night. The Minnesota Golden Gophers come to town, and they're the Lions' only beatable opponent on paper in their first 6 league games. To avoid a fourth consecutive 0-6 start in the Big Ten, Penn State's going to need to bring a much better effort Tuesday night.