Posted on Dec. 11

Michigan coach John Beilein was very admiring of Oakland before tonight’s game.

Maybe even a little jealous.

Oakland coach Greg Kampe, in his 24th year with the Golden Grizzlies, has his system in place and has players that fit it. Beilein, coaching a team of players recruited by former-Michigan coach Tommy Amaker, has had trouble making the awkward conjunction work at times.

But it was the Wolverines’ coach who was more aware of his players, as Michigan beat Oakland 103-87 tonight at Crisler Arena, snapping a four-game losing streak.

“We really need it,” said freshman guard Manny Harris, who led the Wolverines with 24 points and eight rebounds. “We need wins at home, especially because it’s going to be a tough season throughout.”

Several Wolverines said Beilein has done a good job of adjusting his scheme to their particular skill sets as the season has gone on. It took five minutes until Michigan shot a 3-pointer, usually the staple of Beilein’s offense. The team’s 17 attempts from behind the arc (seven makes) tied a season low. Instead of hoisting long jumpers, the Wolverines went inside early and often, earning 32 free throws attempts (28 makes).

Entering the game, Kampe thought the Golden Grizzlies could beat Michigan (4-6) if they made the game a high-scoring affair. In his post-game press conference, Kampe admitted, unprompted, that strategy was a poor choice because it worked and they still got routed, as the Wolverines broke out of a seemingly never-ending offensive lull.

“The last time we scored 100 was nobody knows when,” Udoh said.

It was back in 1998 when the Wolverines scored 112 against Indiana, a game Michigan vacated game due to NCAA sanctions. The last time the Wolverines scored more in a game that counts was in 1994 (111 against Boston University).

They bested their previous season-high of 82 points (Radford) with 9:14 left.

And their 57.6 shooting-percentage and 20 assists were season-bests, too.

But Harris didn’t think this was Michigan’s best game of the season. He pointed to Saturday’s game at No. 6 Duke – a 28-point loss – saying he saw plenty of good signs on film. Michigan just didn’t show up against one of the nation’s top teams. It clearly did against a 4-6 Summit League team.

Kampe said he was very confident before the game Oakland, which lost to No. 9 Michigan State by just four earlier in the year, could win this game. Asked why, he paused for nearly 10 seconds before answering

“(The Wolverines) lost at Harvard,” he said. “They lost three or four in a row. They’re young. They’re learning a system.

“I have all the respect in the world for the coach. I know they’re going to win here, and I know they’re going to win quickly. But they don’t have players, per say, that fit his system. And they don’t have depth that fit his system. They have not shot the ball at all.”

That looked as untrue as it has all season, but Michigan has a long way to until it’s playing perfect Beilein ball.

“We’re miles, miles and miles away,” Beilein said of how close his team his to where he wants them to be through 10 games. “Hopefully, it will be a beautiful painting one day. But we’re finger painting out there a little bit.”

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