Coach John Beilein trying to pinpoint cause of Michigan’s shooting woes

Brian Spurlock | USA TODAY Sports Images
UM is 254th nationally in shooting (41.9 percent).

For Michigan basketball coach John Beilein, who has made a career out of teaching players to shoot, this is a particularly dry spell.

Michigan has struggled mightily at shooting the ball during the past month, with only one game in that span over 44 percent (against Coppin State).

The Wolverines’ season shooting percentage (41.9 percent) ranks 254th nationally.

Saturday’s 64-51 loss at Purdue was as bad as it has been, at 31.9 percent from the field and 4-for-22 (18.2 percent) after halftime.

“One of the first things you have to do is know what’s a good shot, and are they taking good shots?” Beilein said on today’s Big Ten teleconference. “So try to get people to take better shots. We had six, what we thought, were really bad shots in the game. Obviously, in this league, those are six possessions you’re just giving to the other team.”

Michigan struggled against the Boilermakers, missing 13 consecutive shots at one point and going nearly 13 minutes without a field goal in the second half.

Purdue coach Matt Painter said on the teleconference that his team did not change anything after Michigan’s 44 percent shooting in the first half.

“We stayed with the same game plan, in terms of how to guard their action,” he said. “There was no adjustments.”

That means it is a problem that UM needs to fix.

“[They need] a lot of confidence and repetition, repetition, repetition, continue to test them in practice and put them on the clock and make sure you’re taking game-type shots in practice,” Beilein said. “The last thing is it gets contagious, both individually and as a team, as long as you stay confident and keep telling guys to shoot when you’re open. The key is: Are you open?”