Okay, okay, the time for making excuses is over.

Nobody wants to hear that “the other guys were just faster and stronger.” No more of “the shots just didn’t fall.” And don’t even try the “well, we only had one day to prepare for Boston College.”

One loss can be written off as an anomaly. Three is a trend.

And a trend like this can’t be ignored. This one might as well be a neon, flashing warning sign.

Sure, it’s just a couple of days into December — it’s really early in the season. And sure, if a few more 3-pointers fell, the Michigan men’s basketball team might have squeaked out a win over Boston College last night or even Alabama last Sunday. I get that.

But the numbers are hard to miss.

Let’s start with the most important one: three. That’s the number of losses Michigan has piled up in the past six days, all against unranked opponents. The preseason No. 15 ranking is long gone. Question marks have replaced the preseason praise. And the problem is that nobody seems to have an answer — whether it’s a momentum-changing basket or even an eloquent way to describe what’s going on.

“I probably won’t be able to be clear about exactly what the heck went on out there,” Michigan coach John Beilein said to start his postgame press conference. He trailed off, at a loss for words.

Junior Manny Harris tried his best to articulate the demoralizing loss, too.

“(We’re) not knocking down shots,” he said. “It could be a focus problem. I don’t know what it is, but we got to find a way to overcome it. … There’s no reason why we should lose three games in a row.”

It’s hard to explain why so many different Wolverines keep missing shots. And the worst part is that the area they’re struggling with is the most critical part of their offensive game plan.

Which brings us to another key number: 34. Last night, Michigan attempted 34 3-point shots, which is an alarmingly high number — even for a Beilein offense. The team ended up making nine on the night, with a few coming from desperation shots near the end of the game.

But for more than 12 minutes in the middle of last night’s second half, the Wolverines couldn’t buy a three. Some shots were wide-open, others forced, but they all had one thing in common: they didn’t go in.

“We have a lot of guys who shoot rather than drive,” Harris said. “If they’re open, they’re going to shoot the ball. That’s just the flow of the offense, and if we were knocking them down, we wouldn’t be here talking about it. We just aren’t making those shots. It hurt us, hurt us bad.”

Harris said the team has to find another way to score if the shots don’t fall.

So what did Michigan try? In the second half, the Wolverines penetrated the Eagles’ interior defense with a Harris dunk and a Stu Douglass layup, complemented by a Zack Novak 3-pointer for a quick 7-0 run. And then, for whatever reason, the Wolverines stayed away from the paint. Beilein said Boston College’s zone defense was so strong, it was like trying to run against a football defense with eight in the box.

Okay. So if you’re stuck shooting from the perimeter, what do you do when you’re ice-cold?

That seems to be where everyone draws a blank. And that’s where Michigan froze and the game spiraled out of control.

Now it’s time to look beyond the numbers, and figure out what they mean.

First of all, the three early losses — especially with Utah, Kansas and Connecticut looming in the next two months — are damaging, but they also put this team back in more of an underdog role, a position it enjoyed last year. The burden of high expectations has lightened considerably, and now Michigan must prove it can compete with good teams again.

At the same time, though, 34 3-point attempts seems like a scary number. Perhaps it was so high because foul trouble kept Michigan’s big men out of the game for significant time periods, but that’s no excuse for settling for shots behind the arc. Beilein said he wants his teams to attempt 20 to 30 3-pointers a game, and that’s assuming more shots are falling.

Maybe it isn’t entirely feasible that the Wolverines can attack the basket every possession, but they’ve got to do it more than they did last night. Oh, and there’s that guy they’ve been leaving out — 6-foot-8 forward DeShawn Sims. He should give more to this offense than the four measly points he put up last night.

Michigan faces a great deal of uncertainty right now, and a lot of people are jumping off the bandwagon that seemed oh-so-full during the preseason. So it’s time for the Wolverines to figure out what’s wrong. Whether it’s a lack of focus, bad form, someone not eating his Wheaties — whatever.

Because now, there’s no margin of error.

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