Nothing But ‘Net – Week #02 – 11/04/2019 – The Exhibition Game


The University of Michigan men’s basketball team played their first and only exhibition game on Friday (11/01/2019) in Crisler Arena, and they pounded poor Saginaw Valley State University 82-51.  Since it was only an exhibition game, Michigan’s record is still 0-0.

What Happened?

Michigan led the whole game, jumping out to a 10-point lead right away, and stretching it to 14 points (26-12) midway through the 1st half.  Then they fell asleep, and let SVSU creep back into the game with some sloppy offense and indifferent defense.  With 2:13 left in the half, Michigan’s lead was down to 2 points (31-29), and the crowd was getting uneasy.  Fortunately, Michigan woke up and finished the half with a 10-0 run, to make the score more comfortable (41-29).  They continued the run into the 2nd half, and pushed the lead to 20 (58-38), then 30 and more.  The 2nd half was never close.


Michigan shot pretty poorly overall (25-for-61 = 41.0%), they shot 3-pointers pretty poorly (9-for-31 = 29.0%), and they shot free throws pretty well (23-for-30 = 76.7%).  They won the rebounding battle (44-40) and the turnover battle (11-20).

Who Started?

The starters were Zavier Simpson, Eli Brooks, Adrien Nuñez, Isaiah Livers, and Jon Teske.

Note: I missed it when Livers switched his number from #4 (the last 2 seasons) to #2 (this season).  He wore #2 in high school, and it was his preferred number, but he let Jordan Poole wear it the last 2 seasons.  Now that Poole is in the NBA, Livers got it back.

Who Looked Good?

Livers was the leading scorer, with 20 points.  He shot a good percentage overall (7-for-11) and from 3-poiht range (4-for-8).

Brooks had a double-double, with 13 points and 10 rebounds.  He had a terrible overall shooting percentage (1-for-7), but the only shot he hit was a 3-pointer (1-for-4).  He was tremendous from the free-throw line (10-for-10).

Brandon Johns, Jr. was the only other Michigan player in double figures, with 12 points, on good shooting (4-for-5 overall, 2-for-3 from deep).

Simpson didn’t hit double figures in points (7), but he did have 11 assists.

Nuñez was the only other Michigan player to make a 3-pointer.  He had 7 points on poor shooting (2-for-6 overall, 1-for-5 from deep).

Teske didn’t score much (6 points), but he did have 9 rebounds.

Who Looked Not-So-Good?

Cole Bajema only played 5 minutes, missed his only shot (a 3-point attempt), and made a free throw, for 1 point.  He didn’t play badly, he just didn’t do much.

Colin Castleton played 17 minutes, and scored 6 points on 2-for-5 shooting.  He had 3 rebounds.  He didn’t play badly, he just didn’t do much.

Austin Davis only played 6 minutes, and made his only shot (a dunk) and a free throw, for 3 points.  He didn’t play badly, he just didn’t do much.

David DeJulius played 24 minutes, and scored 5 points on 2-for-9 shooting.  After his performance in the “secret” scrimmage and the open practice, I expected a lot more from him.

Who Else Played?

Coach Howard emptied the bench for the final 3 minutes, so 4 players from the practice squad got to play: C.J. Baird, Jaron Faulds, Rico Ozuna-Harrison, and Luke Wilson.  Rico made the only basket, for 2 points.

Who Didn’t Play?

Franz Wagner has a broken wrist, and didn’t suit up.

What Does It Mean?

It’s hard to learn much from an exhibition game against an overmatched opponent.  We saw improvement from last season for some players (Johns and Nuñez), and unimpressive outings from others (Castleton and DeJulius).  We saw about what we expected from the upperclassmen (Simpson, Teske, Livers, and Brooks).  We didn’t see enough of the lone healthy freshman (Bajema) to make any judgement.

What’s Next?

Michigan’s first real game is Tuesday (11/05/2019, 7:00 p.m., BTN) vs. Appalachian State, in Crisler Arena.  ASU was 11-21 last season, and they don’t figure to be much better this season.  They don’t have anyone taller than 6’9” on their roster, and they’re pretty young.  Michigan should be able to handle them pretty easily.

Go Blue!