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Insider

Jennings' 3-pointers vs. Iowa

1/15/2012

It was ugly for the No. 13 Michigan basketball team. There’s no getting past that. And the Wolverines’ 75-59 loss represents how poorly Michigan played.

Michigan dropped to 0-3 in true road games, but this was the Wolverines' worst performance away from Crisler Arena. Their defense (both their man-to-man and 1-3-1 zone) appeared sieve-like at times, and their offense fell flat, forcing Michigan to settle for low-percentage shots.

"You have to look at it and say, 'We have to be special. We have to be not just better than this team, we have to play significantly better than this team to win,' " Michigan coach John Beilein said Friday. "If you’re going to win on the road, you have to play your top game."

Simply put, Michigan didn’t. Not even close.

Player of the Game: Zack Novak.

Even though the senior guard picked up four fouls against the Hawkeyes, he was one of the few bright spots in the Wolverines' loss. Novak scored 14 points (5-of-10 from the floor, 4-for-8 from 3-point range) and grabbed eight rebounds. His consistent play and intensity kept the game from seeming like too much of a blowout.

It's what most expect from the senior at this point in his career. He has been the Wolverines' rock. But against Iowa there was little help coming from his supporting cast, and he’s not a player who can completely take over a game. If Michigan hopes to rebound on Tuesday against Michigan State, Novak will have to continue that role for the Wolverines.