WEST LAFAYETTE –

Andrew Skidmore

What a difference a week makes.

Seven days and three defensively lacking losses before this Saturday’s 84-70 defeat at Purdue, Michigan must have had dreams of the NCAA Tournament dancing in its head.

One hundred and sixty-eight hours later, the bubble has not yet burst, but it sure is deflating quickly.

In some ways, things are starting to look a lot like they did last year. Perhaps luck has once again claimed the Wolverines as victims.

Exhibit A: The injuries. First it was Lester Abram. Then it was Abram, again. Jerret Smith was next, followed by Dion Harris. And, for a few minutes on Saturday, it seemed like it was Daniel Horton’s turn.

Exhibit B: A crushing road defeat in West Lafayette. Although not quite as bad as the Wolverines’ loss at Purdue last year, this was not exactly a game that makes for a fun ride home.

But there is one piece of evidence, permissible as Exhibit C, that exonerates the defendant, old Lady Luck.

These players are all one year older – and, hopefully, wiser. A veteran squad shouldn’t leave its fate to the basketball gods.

A veteran team like this needs to take a proactive approach to dealing with the injuries and all the adversity they bring.

In the clich

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