Nothing But ‘Net – Week #05 – 11/25/2019 – A Pre-Holiday Cupcake

UMGOBLUE.COM

The University of Michigan men’s basketball team played one game this week, and they won it.  On Friday (11/22/2019), they beat Houston Baptist 111-68 in Crisler Arena.  Michigan’s record is now 4-0.

What Happened?

This one was over early.  Michigan jumped out to 12-2, 26-4, and 38-10 leads in the 1st half, and HBU never challenged them.  The lead was 37 points (63-26) at halftime, and never dipped below 30 points in the 2nd half.  The only questions were: would Michigan break 100 points? (yes, easily), and what would the final margin of victory be? (43 points).

HBU is not a very good team, and Michigan played well.  Coach Howard substituted liberally, and played his “deep bench” players with a decent amount of time left.  It was a fun game.

Stats

Things got a little ragged out there a couple of times, with sloppy turnovers and quick 3-point attempts, but the stats are still very impressive.  Michigan shot very well overall (43-for-77 = 55.8%), they shot 3-pointers very well (14-for-29 = 48.3%), and they shot free throws well enough (11-for-16 = 68.8%).  They won the rebounding battle (46-36) and the turnover battle (12-19).  Those are dominating statistics.

Who Started?

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

Who Looked Good?

Simpson had a career game, with new career highs in points (22) and assists (14).  He hit 22 points very efficiently (8-for-10 shooting overall, 3-for-4 from 3-point range).  He even had 5 rebounds.

Livers also hit a new career high for points, with 24.  He shot even better than Simpson: 9-for-10 overall, 4-for-5 from 3-point range.

Teske didn’t hit double figures in points (3), but he did have 12 rebounds.

Colin Castleton had his best game so far, with 14 points, a career high.  He also shot very efficiently (6-for-7 overall, 0-for-0 from 3-point range).  More than just the points, he looked solid and confident out there, and played good defense.

David DeJulius was the other Michigan player in double figures, with 10 points.  He shot fairly well (4-for-9 overall, 2-for-4 from 3-point range), and looked good out there.

Brooks played a pretty good game, even though he didn’t quite hit double figures (9 points).  He did have 7 assists, which is good, but he shot pretty poorly (4-for-12 overall, 1-for-2 from 3-point range).

Brandon Johns, Jr. only had 5 points, but he had 8 rebounds and a blocked shot.

Cole Bajema had a career high in points (5) and minutes (13).  He also made the first 3-pointer of his career.

Austin Davis played for 7 minutes, and looked good, with 4 points (on 2-for-3 shooting), 3 rebounds, and NO fouls!

Who Looked Not-So-Good?

Nuñez had 8 points, but he shot terribly: 3-for-11 overall, 2-for-10 from 3-point range.

Who Else Played?

Coach Howard played everyone, including 3 minutes for the practice squad.  Just about everyone scored.

C.J. Baird hit another 3-pointer!

Jaron Faulds missed his only field goal attempt, but did hit 2 free throws for his first points at Michigan.

Rico Ozuna-Harrison made a 2-point basket.

Luke Wilson missed both of his field goal attempts, but did get an assist on Rico’s basket.

Who Didn’t Play?

Franz Wagner still has a broken wrist, and didn’t suit up.  He’s out until at least early December.

What Does It Mean?

HBU was an overmatched opponent, so it’s hard to learn much from this game.  It was very encouraging to see Michigan play hard and play well for 40 minutes.  There were a few sloppy moments, but it was usually a result of getting carried away and trying to get too fancy.  When they settled down and played the way they’ve been coached, they looked very good.

The games are about to get harder (see below).  Michigan could face 3 ranked opponents in their next 4 games.  That will tell us a lot more about this team.

What’s Next?

This week, Michigan plays three games, in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas.  On Wednesday (11/27/2019, 12:00 p.m., ESPN), they play Iowa State.  On Thursday (11/28/2019, 1:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m., ESPN or ESPN2), they play either the winner or the loser of the Alabama/(#5) North Carolina game.  On Friday (11/29/2019, TBA, ESPN or ESPN2 or ESPNU or ESPNNews), they play one of the teams from the bottom half of the bracket ([#8] Gonzaga, [#11] Oregon, [#13] Seton Hall, and Southern Mississippi).  The complete bracket is here.

Iowa State is currently 3-1, with no significant wins or losses.  They were 23-12 last season, won the Big 12 Tournament, and lost in the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament to Ohio State.  They don’t have much height (one 6’10” player, one 6’9” player), and they got about the same mix of upper- and underclassmen as Michigan.  It should be a fairly even matchup.

The other teams represent quite a challenge, with 4 teams in the top 15.  It should be quite the tournament.

Check back next week to see how Michigan did down there.

Go Blue!