WEST LAFAYETTE –
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