MI let a 20 point first half lead slip away in a 71-62 loss to Ohio State in Columbus last night.
In this year of transition - during which Ohio State has no outside expectations and less talent than nearly everyone in the Big Ten - the Buckeyes have begun league play 2-0.
"If we play like we did in the second half all game, the game's really not even that close, and Michigan's a good team", Bates-Diop said.
"We knew in the first half, if we would've kept playing like that, we would've gotten ran out of the gym, and you definitely don't want that in front of your home fans", OSU guard Kam Williams said.
"For us to be able to defend them like we did in the second half was terrific", Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said.
Johnson burst on the scene at Trinity Christian Academy, and he made his presence felt in the defensive backfield to such a degree that he solidified himself as the 38th-ranked player in the country.
On Ohio State's ensuing possession, forward Keita Bates-Diop buried a 3-pointer from the wing. Moritz Wagner led MI with 14 points and nine rebounds, but the Wolverines (7-3) have struggled to find consistent offensive weapons this season.
After consecutive 3-pointers by Ohio State cut the margin down to 13, MI used another 7-0 blitz on layups by Wagner and Abdur-Rahkman and a 3-pointer by Wagner to extend the lead to 43-23 with 1:31 left in the half. "We didn't play harder than them". MI led by as many as 20 in the half, but the 7-0 run - capped by a monster dunk by JaeSean Tate - pulled it closer.
"I have not (seen a five-point play) until yesterday", Beilein said during his weekly radio show Tuesday night. "I'm sure us getting down 20 had something to do with it".
"We couldn't score and we couldn't stop them", Beilein said.
"It was just a lack of focus and sense of urgency coming out of the half", Robinson said.
The season is young and the road long, but Ohio State believes it taught itself something important with its 2-0 start to Big Ten play.
But the Buckeyes didn't buckle and scored the final seven points of the half, which included an unconventional five-point play on a made 3-pointer and a foul away from the basket with Ohio State in the bonus, to shift the momentum and pull within 43-30 at the break. He finished with three points.
Ohio State lived an entire lifetime in 40 minutes.