The University of Michigan men’s basketball team played one game last week, and they won it handily. Of course, it was an exhibition game against a Division II team, but still. Wins are wins. On Friday (11/03/2017), UM defeated Grand Valley State 82-50 in Crisler Arena. This was an exhibition game, so Michigan’s record is still 0-0.
Since it was an exhibition, Coach Beilein got to play almost everyone, and he got to try lots of different lineup combinations. Michigan pulled away early, and was never seriously challenged. The lead hovered in the 22-24 point range for most of the 1st half and the beginning of the 2nd half, before UM pushed it up into the 30s.
The game was sloppy for both teams, with 12 turnovers for Michigan and 13 for Grand Valley State. Michigan shot pretty well (31-for-60 = 51.7%), also pretty well from 3-point range (11-for-26 = 42.3%). Free throw shooting was a little off (9-for-16 = 56.3%). Here are the complete stats.
Who Looked Good
The star of the game was Matthews. He was the leading scorer, with 23 points, and he looked comfortable out there. He shot pretty well (9-for-14, 1-for-3 from 3-point range), had 2 assists and 2 turnovers, and grabbed 4 rebounds.
Robinson had 11 points, and shot pretty well: 3-for-6 (3-for-5 from 3-point range). He grabbed 3 rebounds and had 4 assists.
The other player in double figures was Wagner, with 10 points. He shot 50% (4-for-8, 2-for-5 from 3-point range), and had 10 rebounds, for a double-double.
Ibi Watson looked a lot more comfortable out there, especially compared to last season. He had 8 points, on 3-for-5 (1-for-2 from 3-point range) shooting.
Jon Teske also looked a lot more comfortable out there. He only had 4 points (2-for-3 shooting), but he also had 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 0 turnovers.
Who Looked Not-So-Good
MAAR and Simpson both had quiet games, with 6 and 5 points, respectively.
Isaiah Livers played quite a bit (16 minutes), but failed to score. He did have 3 rebounds and 1 assist.
Who Else Played
Redshirt freshman Austin Davis was the 3rd center, and he only played for 6 minutes. He made his only attempt, for 2 points.
Brent Hibbitts played for 4 minutes, but failed to score.
Freshman Jordan Poole only played for the last 2 minutes, in “garbage time”, and failed to score. It was somewhat surprising that he only got in at the very end.
The Big Picture
What can we learn from an exhibition game? Not much. Michigan was obviously quite a bit better than Grand Valley State, and they took care of business. It wasn’t pretty, but it was good practice. Michigan looked about as good as expected. On to the real games.
This week Michigan plays one game, in the “Maui On The Mainland” portion of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational. This game is technically part of the Maui Invitational, but it doesn’t affect which teams go to the Championship Round in Maui on 11/20 – 11/22. It’s just a “warm up” game.
On Saturday (11/11/2017, 7:30 p.m., BTN Plus), Michigan plays North Florida. I expect Michigan to win this game handily, and get more chances to experiment with different lineup combinations.
Come on down to Crisler Arena to see how they do, and check back next week.