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Posts Tagged ‘Exhibition’

A hero Hatched: Michigan 86 – Wayne State 43 (exhibition)

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Austin Hatch(Dustin Johnson, UMHoops)

With 12 seconds remaining on the clock in Michigan’s exhibition blowout of Wayne State last night, one Wolverine stepped to the line to shoot two free throws.

The first shot, perhaps a little rushed, clanged off the back left of the rim.

The second one found nothing but net to put Michigan up 86-43.

The ensuing roar of the crowd might have looked like a shallow celebration of doubling up an over-matched opponent to the outsider.

But those who have followed Michigan basketball and the story of Austin Hatch for the past few years knew it was so much more than that. The standing ovation for that one free throw was a celebration of life, an ode to a historical moment at the Crisler Center, a tear-soaked applause for a kid who has overcome more hardship than what most could even imagine.

Austin Hatch scored the first point of his Michigan career with a late free throw (

Austin Hatch scored the first point of his Michigan career with a late free throw (

Back in the summer of 2011, nine days after accepting an offer on the spot to play basketball at the University of Michigan, Hatch was involved in a deadly plane crash that took the life of his father, his stepmom, and a family dog. The 16-year-old Hatch was left completely unaware for eight weeks, as he lay comatose while doctors dealt with his punctured lung, broken collarbone, broken ribs, and, worst of all, a fractured skull that resulted in a bruised and swelling brain.

But that’s far from the whole story. It turns out that the family Hatch lost in that catastrophic accident was the only immediate family he had left.

Eight years prior, the eight-year-old Hatch was riding in a different plane that went down, taking the lives of his mom, his only sister, and his only brother. His father, who had his pilot’s license and was flying both planes, made it out of the first wreck and had become the younger Hatch’s self-proclaimed best friend.

Today, Hatch is still a shell of his former self on the basketball court. At the Canterbury School in Fort Wayne, Hatch thrived as a shooter and scorer for two years before suffering those injuries that knocked his development back to the point at which he says “it was almost like being born again”.

Hatch is noticeably the slowest player on the floor and has to think two steps ahead to be able to beat his man to the spot. He’s still a long way off from finding himself in a game that’s up for grabs.

But that doesn’t mean he’s settled. No, Hatch is perhaps more determined than ever to keep fighting. He admits that last night was a cool moment, a special moment, even monumental, but Hatch is the first to acknowledge that the actual point he scored was not a deciding factor in the preseason game.

“I don’t want to be known, by the time my career comes to an end here, as a cool story. Obviously what happened to me is kind of unique, but that’s what happened. It’s not who I am. Obviously it’s a big part of my life, but I’m about moving forward and making the most of my experience here.”

This is coming from the same kid who would not allow his high school coaches to insert him into a basketball game until he felt that he could contribute in a meaningful way.

Austin Hatch has a lot of heart, faith, and determination. He knows last night was not the end of a road, a chance to ride off into the sunset. Last night, though the score will not go down in any record books, was just the beginning.

Freshmen Takes:

The exhibition was the first chance for most to see Michigan’s other five true freshmen in live action against a real opponent. Here are some quick thoughts on each:

Kam Chatman – Chatman looks to have locked down the starting spot at the 4 and shook off some early nerves to wind up with a nice night of nine points, six rebounds (one offensive), four assists, and zero turnovers in 25 minutes. The highest-rated player in this class seems to be operating comfortably within the offense and made a really nice drive from the top of the key where he used a pretty hesitation move and an up-and-under scoop to get past two defenders for his first bucket of the night. He air-balled two threes long from the same corner in the first half, but came back in the second half and stepped into a pretty catch-and-shoot three from the right wing and drained it. He also went 4-of-4 from the free throw line and had a couple nice passes.

Kam Chatman had a nice all-around game in his first collegiate action (

Kam Chatman had a nice all-around game in his first collegiate action (

Aubrey Dawkins – Dawkins was the first true freshman off the bench and was quiet for most of the night until scoring eight points, including two pretty-looking threes from the right corner, within three minutes near the end of the game. Like most freshmen, he looked lost a couple times on the floor and nearly turned the ball over the first time he touched it, but he didn’t make any glaring errors and has two skills – shooting and athleticism – that could see him settle into a nice role. He also drained two free throws and recorded an assist, a block, and a turnover each.

Ricky Doyle – The big Floridian notched four points and three rebounds in 15 minutes but has a ways to go before any of the big boys come to town. Doyle is a hard worker who arrived in Ann Arbor early to put in extra work with Strength and Conditioning Coach Jon Sanderson, and his body looks ready for Big Ten play, but his foot speed and hands stand out as major areas for improvement. Doyle jumped through a crowd on one occasion to get an offensive rebound and put-back, but too many times when he was on the floor he was nowhere near the carom. As the biggest player on Michigan’s team, he needs to rebound. He did throw a nice back-door pass to Zak Irvin but was not credited with an assist.

D.J. Wilson – Wilson just oozes potential. The lanky 6’9″ Sacramento native with a 7’3″ wingspan is going to be excellent when he really gets everything figured out. Wilson’s foot speed is much better than fellow big man Doyle’s at this point, and his outside shot looks smooth. Wilson’s final stat line – nine points (including a three), two rebounds (one offensive), two assists, one block, and zero turnovers in 15 minutes – is exactly what Beilein would love out of him.

Wilson did make one befuddling error early in the game when he caught a ball on the elbow and nervously threw up a shot that got sent right back in his face, but he really seemed to calm down as the game got going, and was calling for the ball on the wing by the end. All four of his buckets were pretty impressive for a freshman big – a monster dunk underneath from Spike Albrecht, a harder-than-it-looked layup in a crowd, a drive from the right wing capped by an awkward lay-in, and a three from the right corner. Wilson also missed a layup in the first half where he was more open than he thought and got blown by once on defense, but he made up for it with a nice block from behind. One troubling stat – Wilson’s three fouls in 15 minutes have him off to a rough 8 fouls per 40 minutes pace.

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman – Rahk may be the furthest freshman from seeing meaningful minutes at this point. He has the quicks that should make him a dangerous player and a good defender down the line, but he rushed things a little bit and missed all three of his shots by a wide margin. He did make two of three free throws, though, and recorded a rebound, an assist, a steal, and a turnover in 12 minutes.

Quick Hitters:

 Zak Irvin’s improved athleticism has been a major talking point all offseason, and he finally got the chance to show it off here, recording a trio of rim-rattling dunks that got the crowd on its feet. He looks much markedly more comfortable operating within the offense and should see his 1-of-4 shooting from downtown improve significantly.

 There is no doubt that the core of this team is in its guard play. Caris LeVert, Derrick Walton, and Irvin will all easily see more than 30 minutes a night and should carry the scoring load. All three looked to be in good shape and led the team with 16, 11, and 13 points, respectively, despite only making three of their combined 10 triple attempts.

 Derrick Walton went down hard on a late drive to the basket and limped his way to the locker room after not being able to put any weight on his left leg, but he emerged jogging just a few minutes later with no noticeable limp and entered back into the game shortly after. Players and coaches confirmed after that it was just a cramp.

 The battle for 40 minutes at the five position is not close to being settled. Mark Donnal started and scored four points while grabbing five boards in 12 minutes, but needs to continue to build muscle to deal with stronger players down low. He also did not attempt any outside shots – a disappointment for me. Doyle saw 15 minutes of action while a few of Wilson’s 15 minutes also came at the five. The most impressive of the bigs, however? That would be seasoned vet Max Bielfeldt, who didn’t see a minute in the first half, but immediately grabbed an offensive rebound for an easy put-back when entered in the second. The senior also drained a nice 10-footer and made his only free throw attempt (in place of Walton after his injury) while blocking two shots in just seven minutes. Bielfeldt clearly has the lowest ceiling of any of Michigan’s big man options, but he may also have the highest floor for quite some time as well.

• The crowd, listed at 10,510, looked much smaller than that and was very late to arrive and quiet when it did.

Three Stars:

***Austin Hatch***
1 point (1-of-2 FT) in 1 minute

**Caris LeVert**
16 points (6-of-10 FG, 1-of-3 3pt, 3-of-4 FT), three rebounds, six assists, one turnover in 30 minutes

*Zak Irvin*
13 points (5-of-11 FG, 1-of-4 3pt, 2-of-2 FT), five rebounds (two offensive), one assist, one steal, two turnovers in 29 minutes

Final Game Stats
03 Kameron Chatman* 2-6 1-3 4-4 1 5 6 1 9 4 0 0 0 25
34 Mark Donnal* 1-2 0-1 2-4 2 3 5 2 4 0 0 1 1 12
10 Derrick Walton Jr* 2-6 1-4 6-7 0 4 4 2 11 0 0 0 1 21
21 Zak Irvin* 5-11 1-4 2-2 2 3 5 1 13 1 2 0 1 29
23 Caris LeVert* 6-10 1-3 3-4 0 3 3 3 16 6 1 0 0 30
02 Spike Albrecht 2-3 0-1 0-0 1 2 3 1 4 2 1 0 3 20
05 D.J. Wilson 4-8 1-3 0-0 1 1 2 3 9 2 0 1 0 15
12 M-A Abdur-Rahkman 0-3 0-1 2-3 0 1 1 2 2 1 1 0 1 12
20 Sean Lonergan 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 4
24 Aubrey Dawkins 2-3 2-2 2-2 0 2 2 0 8 1 1 1 0 9
30 Austin Hatch 0-0 0-0 1-2 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1
32 Ricky Doyle 2-2 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 1 4 0 1 0 0 15
44 Max Bielfeldt 2-2 0-0 1-1 1 0 1 0 5 0 0 2 1 7
Totals 28-56 7-22 23-29 9 31 40 17 86 17 8 6 8 200
Wayne State 14-54 4-12 11-13 10 23 33 23 43 8 18 2 3 200
Full Stats

Michigan hoops preview: Wayne State (exhibition)

Monday, November 10th, 2014

After a rough first 10 weeks to the football season, Michigan fans get a reprieve tonight when the basketball program hosts its first and only exhibition game of the season against Wayne State. Unfortunately, unless you’re willing to shell out ten bucks for BTN Plus, you’ll have to resort to following the live tweets from those in attendance or wait until Big Ten Network airs the replay on its main channel at 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday night to get your first look at the 2014-15 Wolverines.

UM-Wayne State
Michigan vs Wayne State (exhibition)
Monday, Nov. 10 | Ann Arbor, Mich. | 7:00 p.m. EST | BTN Plus
73.9 Points/gm 70.1
(945-1,982) 47.7 Field Goal % 45.1 (633-1,403)
(319-794) 40.2 3-pt FG % 37.3 (122-327)
(527-691) 76.3 Free Throw % 72.1 (364-505)
14.2 FT Made/gm 14.6
31.4 Reb/gm 33.8
14.2 Assists/gm 11.8
9.3 Turnovers/gm 11.2
65.1 Points/gm 69.4
(905-2,035) 44.5 Field Goal % 44.7 (598-1,337)
(201-632) 31.8 3-pt FG % 36.5 (159-436)
31.2 Opp. Reb/gm 32.8
4.9 Steals/gm 6.0
2.7 Blocks/gm 3.1
Individual Leaders
N. Stauskas (17.5), G. Robinson III (13.1) Points/gm Brian Coleman (16.8), Chene Phillips (15.3)
Mitch McGary (8.3), Jordan Morgan (5.0) Reb/gm Michael Lewis (7.7), G. Williams-Taylor (5.8)


Wayne State went 12-13 overall last season and 10-12 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, missing out on the GLIAC Tournament for the first time since 2008. The Warrior concluded their season, sending seven seniors off on a high note with a 82-78 win over GLIAC regular season champion Lake Superior State (26-4, 18-4).

The senior-laden squad that played Michigan within 19 points in last season’s exhibition is now much younger, having lost its top three scorers and four of its top five rebounders. Bryan Coleman, Chene Phillips, and Gerald Williams-Taylor combined to score 43.4 of Wayne State’s 70.1 points per game a year ago. Coleman, an All-GLIAC Second Team performer, scored 25 points on 10-of-24 shooting in the 79-60 loss to Michigan last November.

Now, head coach David Greer will have to rely on a roster with just one upperclassman, junior Gavin Toma, who averaged 8.5 points and 1.9 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game last season. Sophomores Michael Lewis and Clark Bishop figure to be the leaders this season. Lewis, a 6’3″ forward from Ann Arbor Huron High School, played in three games before an injury cost him the rest of the season, but he averaged 11 points and 7.7 rebounds in those three games. Against Michigan, he scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds. Bishop, a 6’0″ guard, started 23 of 25 games last season, averaging 7.8 points and 2.4 rebounds while leading the team with a 40.7 three-point average.

Four freshmen — John Draper, a 5’9″ guard from Dayton, Ohio; Chuck Key, a 6’6″ forward from Detroit Cass Tech; Marcus Moore, a 6’1″ guard from Lansing; and Tristan Wilson, a 6’8″ forward from Ann Arbor Skyline — and a transfer — 5’11” guard DaMarius Miller from Clarion University will round out the roster. Miller averaged 16.4 points per game for Clarion last season.

Michigan will also be breaking in several new freshmen and asking others to step up in place of Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III, and Mitch McGary, who were all drafted in June, Jordan Morgan, who graduated, and Jon Horford, who transferred. Six freshmen — guards Kam Chatman, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, Aubrey Dawkins, and Austin Hatch, and forwards Ricky Doyle and D.J. Wilson — will see the court for the first time in the Crisler Center.

Our very own Sam Sedlecky will be live tweeting the game, so follow him on Twitter at @SamSedlecky if you can’t get BTN Plus.

Balance: Michigan 79 – Wayne State 60

Monday, November 4th, 2013

(Dustin Johnson, UMHoops)

When a college basketball team makes a run to the national championship game with large contributions from the Naismith Player of the Year and another first round NBA pick, the first question after those players’ departures is naturally going to regard their replacements. Around the country, writers and fans alike have been hesitant to deem Michigan an elite team again this season because they don’t know who will fully replace Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr.

Following tonight’s routine, 79-60 exhibition win over Wayne State, however, Michigan gave the world a little bit of an answer to that lingering question. No one will replace Burke and Hardaway alone. It’s going to be a team effort.

After a 2:48 drought to start the game, the Wolverines got going with a nifty finish by Nik Stauskas followed by a silky smooth three-pointer from a fresh-off-the-bench Caris LeVert and capped off a quick 7-0 spurt with two free throws from Jordan Morgan.

By the time the first half had ended, six Wolverines had tallied double-digit minutes, eight had scored, and Michigan had built a 16-point lead that, despite a back-and-forth second half, was always going to be enough to coast to the win.

After scoring 33 in the opener, Glenn Robinson III tallied 15 against Wayne State (

In Michigan’s first go-round of the exhibition games, Glenn Robinson III was turning heads with 33 points and LeVert wowed with 10 dimes. Tonight, Zak Irvin and LeVert notched nine points a piece before halftime to go along with 15 combined from Stauskas and Derrick Walton, Jr. while Morgan and Jon Horford each grabbed five rebounds.

In his post-game comments, John Beilein quipped that it wasn’t long ago that if Burke got into early foul trouble, it could spell doom for Michigan on any given night. Now, if one player goes down, there are seven or eight guys that can pick up the slack.

Irvin, who calmly knocked down three straight first-half threes and ended the night with 13 points on 5-8 shooting, said after the game that, “I just think we’re a very dangerous team, (we) have a lot of balance.”

For Beilein, balance is certainly welcome. Of course most coaches would dream of having two first round draft picks, but Beilein’s offense in particular creates more problems when four or five guys can consistently lead the team offensively rather than two or three.

After leading four Wolverines in double figures with 17 total points and being one of six Michigan players to knock down a three tonight, Nik Stauskas alluded to the fact that when the shots are falling for everyone, the opposing team has “got to respect that.”

Now with two exhibitions in the rearview mirror, Michigan opens up the regular season schedule on Friday night against UMass-Lowell, a first-year Division 1 squad.

Beilein, who usually likes to find a comfortable starting lineup and determine a rotation early on, has perhaps changed his philosophy a bit given the balance this team presents.

“We could go in and change starting lineups all the time.”

For now, it’s a good bet that after a little bit of experimenting, Beilein probably has a good idea of what his lineup will look like heading into the season, but there’s no guarantee on that remaining the same for games at a time. He will go with the players that give him the best chance to win on any given night.

Walton, who got his first start tonight, looks like a good bet to start the season after a second strong showing, and Jon Horford seems to give Michigan the best rebounder and shot-blocker down low, but it’s anyone’s guess as to who will be called upon when Friday rolls around.

In the past, such uncertainty would have been worrisome, but with the versatility of this 2013-14 edition of the Michigan Wolverines, there appears to be strength in numbers.

Final Game Stats
01 Glenn Robinson III* 5-10 1-3 4-5 2 1 3 1 15 3 3 0 1 32
15 Jon Horford* 1-2 0-0 0-0 2 7 9 4 2 1 2 2 0 25
52 Jordan Morgan* 0-0 0-0 3-4 1 5 6 1 3 1 0 0 1 14
10 Derrick Walton Jr.* 1-4 1-3 4-5 0 3 3 0 7 4 2 0 1 27
11 Nik Stauskas* 5-8 2-4 5-5 0 6 6 2 17 4 2 1 1 31
02 Spike Albrecht 2-3 1-2 1-2 0 0 0 2 6 0 0 0 0 13
21 Zak Irvin 5-8 3-5 0-0 0 0 0 1 13 0 0 0 0 19
23 Caris LeVert 5-10 1-3 5-7 0 1 1 1 16 3 1 0 0 28
34 Mark Donnal 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
44 Max Bielfeldt 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9
Totals 24-46 9-21 22-28 6 25 31 14 79 16 10 3 4 200
Wayne State 23-63 7-19 7-10 15 21 36 22 60 10 11 2 4 200

Michigan hoops preview: Wayne State

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Michigan opened the exhibition portion of its schedule last week with a dominating 117-44 win over Concordia. Tonight, the Wolverines return to action for their final tune-up before the regular season starts. This time, Wayne State comes to town for their first exhibition of the season. Here’s how their numbers compared to Michigan’s last season:

Michigan vs Wayne State (exhibition) – Crisler Center – 7pm EST
75.2 Points/gm 72.2
(1,093-2,260) 48.4 Field Goal % 45.9 (683-1,488)
(296-769) 38.5 3-pt FG % 36.6 (138-377)
(450-642) 70.1 Free Throw % 71.2 (446-626)
11.5 FT Made/gm 16.5
35.0 Reb/gm 32.7
14.5 Assists/gm 12.1
9.4 Turnovers/gm 11.1
63.3 Points/gm 66.3
(941-2,221) 42.4 Field Goal % 43.6 (610-1,398)
(242-745) 32.5 3-pt FG % 34.1 (157-460)
32.1 Opp. Reb/gm 33.4
6.1 Steals/gm 6.9
2.8 Blocks/gm 3.3
Returning Leaders
Nik Stauskas (11.0), Glenn Robinson III (11.0) Points/gm Mike Hollingsworth (14.6), Chene Phillips (11.5)
Mitch McGary (6.3), Glenn Robinson III (5.4) Reb/gm Gerald Williams-Taylor (4.9)
*All stats from 2012-13 season

Wayne State finished the 2012-13 season with a 17-10 record overall and shared the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular season title with a 16-6 record. The Warriors lost in the first round of the GLIAC Tournament but made the NCAA Division II Tournament, falling in the first round 79-70 to Southern Indiana.

Head Coach David Greer is in his 13th season at Wayne State and has the luxury of three returning starters this season, including last year’s leading scorer Mike Hollingsworth. The 6’2″ redshirt senior shooting guard averaged 14.6 points per game a year ago and was voted to the All-GLIAC first team. Fellow senior guard Chene Phillips – a transfer from Liberty University – averaged 11.5 points a game last season while starting every game. He led the team in steals and finished second in assists and was voted to the GLIAC All-Defensive Team.

Senior forward Gerald Williams-Taylor also returns to the starting lineup. He was the team’s leader in field goal percentage (56.3), free throw percentage (80.6), and offensive rebounds (62). Fellow senior forwards Bryan Coleman (8.1 points, 3.5 rebounds) and Jamar Ragaland (4.2 points, 4.4 rebounds) also return.

With so many key returning players, the Warriors figure to compete for the GLIAC title once again. They will surely be a tougher test for Michigan than Concordia was, but Michigan shouldn’t have any trouble dispensing of them. Look for John Beilein to once again mix and match his lineups to try out different combinations in different situations. Mitch McGary is still out, but it won’t matter and Michigan will roll.

Tickets are still available for as little as $5, but if you’re not able to attend you can watch on the Big Ten Network.

Bullying: Michigan 117 – Concordia 44

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013


Three years ago Michigan hosted Concordia and needed a 14-3 run midway through the second half to turn a four point game into a 86-65 win. On Tuesday night, in the first exhibition of the season, Michigan dominated Concordia from the onset, winning 117-44. It doesn’t count towards the record or the stats, but it was an impressive showing nonetheless and it’s a testament to how far this team has come over the past few seasons.

Even in last season’s two exhibitions, the Wolverines won convincingly, but didn’t look as impressive in doing so. Michigan won just 83-47 and 76-48 against Northern Michigan and Saginaw Valley State, respectively. In this one, Michigan didn’t even have arguably its best player, Mitch McGary, who was out with a back injury, and still won by 73.

Michigan led 60-19 at halftime and 101-29 with nine minutes remaining. At that point, John Beilein took out most of the starters and played mostly freshmen for the final few minutes – and not freshmen that will be playing this season. Andrew Dakich, Sean Lonergan, Cole McConnell were all on the court at the same time as Mark Donnal who is likely headed for a redshirt.

Glenn Robinson III led the way with 33 points on 12-of-15 shooting. He hit 4-of-6 three-point attempts and dished out four assists. Midway through the second half, Robinson himself led Concordia 33-29. Nik Stauskas scored 23 points, making 7-of-8 from the field and 2-of-3 from downtown. Caris LeVert looked impressive with 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting. He also added 10 assists and just one turnover. Jon Horford led the way with 12 rebounds.

The freshmen played well. Derrick Walton Jr showed good command at point guard with 11 points and a 4-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Zak Irvin flashed a nice shooting stroke, scoring 10 on 4-of-7 shooting.

As a team Michigan shot 65.1 percent overall and 73.1 percent from two. The Wolverines had 26 assists and just six turnovers, outrebounded Concordia 43 to 26, and committed just eight fouls. Michigan looked strong defensively, holding the Cardinals to just 29.3 percent shooting and forcing 23 turnovers. Michigan’s length and athleticism was apparent, especially when running with the lineup of all 6-6 or taller players.

It doesn’t count, it technically means nothing, and it’s the worst opponent Michigan will face all season, but it was certainly an impressive showing. Walton looks fully capable of filling Trey Burke’s shoes – not from a scoring standpoint yet, but in terms of running the offense and dishing the ball to open shooters. Robinson has improved and is in line for a monster season. LeVert may be tough to keep off the court. And Stauskas is still Stauskas but bigger and more capable of handing the physical aspect of the Big Ten season. Once McGary comes back this team will be tough to stop offensively and will likely be better on the defensive end than it was a year ago.

Ultimately, Michigan did exactly what it was supposed to do rather than play down to its opponent and it leaves a lot to be excited about for the upcoming season.

The Wolverines return to action next Monday for the final exhibition against Wayne State at 7pm in the Crisler Center.

Final Game Stats
01 Glenn Robinson III* 12-15 4-6 5-5 1 2 3 0 33 4 1 0 2 25
15 Jon Horford* 1-4 0-0 2-2 2 10 12 1 4 1 0 2 1 22
52 Jordan Morgan* 3-5 0-0 4-4 4 3 7 1 10 0 0 1 0 14
02 Spike Albrecht* 1-2 1-1 1-2 1 1 2 2 5 4 1 0 0 21
11 Nik Stauskas* 7-8 2-3 7-7 0 3 3 0 23 3 0 1 1 26
05 Andrew Dakich 0-1 0-0 0-2 1 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
10 Derrick Walton Jr. 4-7 2-4 1-2 0 4 4 0 11 4 1 0 2 24
12 Cole McConnell 0-2 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
20 Sean Lonergan 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 4
21 Zak Irvin 4-7 1-2 1-3 1 0 1 1 10 0 0 0 0 19
23 Caris LeVert 7-8 1-2 1-3 1 3 4 1 16 10 1 0 3 21
34 Mark Donnal 1-2 0-1 1-2 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 1 0 5
44 Max Bielfeldt 1-2 0-1 0-1 0 3 3 2 2 0 1 0 1 11
Totals 41-63 11-22 24-33 11 32 43 8 117 26 6 6 10 200
Concordia 17-58 8-29 2-4 10 16 26 27 44 9 23 1 2 200

Michigan vs Saginaw Valley State quick thoughts

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Michigan’s second and final exhibition matchup comes tonight at the Crisler Center against the Cardinals of Saginaw Valley State. Here are three things to watch for as the season nears:

Trey Burke will see his first game action of the season tonight

  1. Rotation: Trey Burke will be back in the lineup tonight after serving a one-game suspension last Thursday for a violation of team rules and will certainly be starting over Spike Albrecht, whose play in the first exhibition game exceeded many observers’ expectations. Because this game doesn’t count in the record books, Beilein will probably try to get Albrecht some quality minutes again to prepare him for the regular season, but I wouldn’t expect more than 15-20. Burke needs to get minutes against a different opponent with his teammates both new and old to develop the chemistry that all great teams have. Watch for Beilein to play Burke, Glenn Robinson III, and Mitch McGary together on the court for long periods of time. Also pay close attention to the rotation at the two-guard spot. I expect Matt Vogrich to start again, but Nik Stauskas’s play has certainly spoken volumes, and a bigger lineup would likely see Tim Hardaway, Jr. slide down to the shooting guard spot.
  1. Shooting: The Wolverines, and notably the freshmen, got off to a hot start against Northern Michigan with their three-point shooting in particular, as Spike Albrecht, Nik Stauskas, and Glenn Robinson III combined to go 9-for-15 from behind the arc. Was this just a case of getting hot at the right time or will these freshmen continue to light it up from deep? Only time will tell, but with each passing game it will become more evident. Pay special attention to Vogrich, who struggled shooting the deep ball Thursday, going 0-for-4 from three-point land. If Stauskas continues to outshoot him, Beilein may shuffle up the lineup sooner than I thought.
  1. Defense: With the potential to play a bigger lineup this year, Michigan has some options on both ends of the court, and many expect to see significantly more zone defense being deployed by Beilein when a bigger squad is on the floor. Against Northern Michigan the Wolverines went to the 2-3 zone for a short stretch in the second half, but there wasn’t a whole lot more than that. Watch tonight to see if Beilein mixes up the calls a little bit more on the defensive end, and if so, which zones he plays. The 2-3 will likely be the most utilized zone defense we see this season, but Beilein always has the 1-3-1 in his back pocket as well, and with more length and athleticism, Michigan could be deadly in spurts by switching to the 1-3-1 at times. It certainly won’t be used often, but I think we will see it more than we have over the past couple of years.

Michigan 83 – Northern Michigan 47: Freshmen shine in rout

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Final 1st 2nd Total
#5 Michigan 38 45 83
Northern Michigan 21 26 47

Spike Albrecht scored 16 in his Michigan debut (photo by

With every new season comes new question marks, and Michigan is no different despite being ranked in the top five in the country entering the year. Tonight, some of those questions were answered in a big way.

If someone gave me 20 chances to pick the exacta (for all you horse racing fans out there) for Michigan’s leading scorers, there is simply no way I would have ever chosen Nik Stauskas and Spike Albrecht to win the bet for me. If there were odds on that stat, I imagine Vegas would have given out 200-1 or so on those two freshmen finishing 1-2, but I digress.

John Beilein’s squad came out guns ablazing, sprinting to a 17-0 lead behind six points apiece from Albrecht and Glenn Robinson III; the team as a whole didn’t miss a shot until the clock read 15:21, at which point the outcome of the exhibition tilt was unquestioned.

When Beilein announced Trey Burke’s one-game suspension yesterday, naming Albrecht as the starter for his first-ever Michigan game, many wondered how much the freshman would play and how he would look. Spike answered the bell, shooting an impressive 4-of-7 from the field (3-of-6 on threes) and dishing out six assists to just two turnovers in 30 minutes of action in the All-American’s absence.

Perhaps equally impressive was fellow freshman Nik Stauskas, who scorched the nets to the tune of 17 points (5-of-8 FG, 4-of-6 3-Pt) in just 19 minutes; his shooting was everything it has been advertised to be, as he seemed to be on line with every shot, and his pump fake, dribble, and step-to-the-left-and-pop-the-three bomb was easily the sweetest shot of the game. By the time he had drained his fourth trey of the game, I basically gave up on my $5 bet on who will be the best three-point shooter on the team at the end of the year (I have the field and my friend has Stauskas).

What encouraged me most about Stauskas’s game, however, was his ability to put the ball on the floor. When the shot wasn’t there, he wasn’t afraid to fake the defender and look for the drive and dish or for his own lay-up, and while he made a couple mistakes by doing so, he clearly presents loads of potential on the offensive end.

Albrecht, while not big, fast, or super athletic, was very crafty but controlled at the same time. He did a wonderful job picking his spots and playing within himself, and was really good in finding the open man on the perimeter.

Glenn Robinson III had perhaps the quietest 13 points (5-of-8 FG, 2-of-3 3-Pt) in his 23 minutes on the floor that I’ve ever seen, but also showed flashes of the five-star talent he is, throwing down a breakaway slam with ease and beautifully finishing an alley-oop in the half-court set from Tim Hardaway, Jr. on a ball that he seemed to bring from his waist to the hoop. It almost seemed as if he played too much within the offense, rarely looking for his own shot or putting the ball on the floor. Look for him to be more active on both sides of the ball as the season progresses and he continues to learn his role on this team.

Mitch McGary recorded two blocks to go along with 5 points and 9 boards (photo by John T. Greilick, Detroit News)

McGary showed the intensity and energy that he will bring to the floor night in and night out on a couple occasions and was relentless on the boards (nine rebounds) despite struggling with his touch around the hoop and from the line (five points on 2-of-4 FG, 1-of-5 FT). He seemed to play better immediately after making some big plays and had an eye-opening, one-handed put-back dunk that didn’t count because a foul had been called; McGary will learn to play hard on every possession, regardless of how he is doing on either end of the court.

Caris LeVert was not to be left out of the scoring frenzy either, making a three-pointer of his own and playing a mix of the one, two, and three in 10 minutes. For a very short stint in the first half Beilein put out the whole “Fresh Five”, but the offense failed to flow much and the lineup was quickly broken up. LeVert has great potential and has been very hyped this offseason, but I would still be surprised if he didn’t redshirt this season; he is simply too skinny and the team has too many weapons for him to make a big enough difference to warrant playing him.

Of the returning players, Tim Hardaway, Jr. looked like he has added a couple inches to his vertical, grabbing eight rebounds and pouring in 13 points on 3-of-9 shooting (2-of-5 3-Pt) and Jordan Morgan neared a double-double with nine points (4-of-8 FG, 1-of-2 FT) and 12 boards, showcasing an unquenchable thirst in cleaning up the glass. If these two can rebound consistently this Michigan team should be well above-average team in that category when all is said and done.

Because it was an exhibition, I will not get into deep statistical analysis. It was clear that Beilein was experimenting with many different looks and players, and the lack of Trey Burke basically means that the team we saw tonight will still be completely different from what we will see in a week’s time. Beilein will continue to tinker with different looks and groups on the floor until probably about Big Ten season, when a pretty clear rotation should emerge.

In the end, Michigan easily handled a team they were expected to handle easily while nearly every freshman impressed. Beilein has warned that the freshmen will make lots of mistakes, and especially early on, and every freshman did make his fair share of mistakes tonight. At the same time, however, no one looked out of place against a college opponent, notably on the defensive end. None of the Fresh Five had the look of a lock-down defender, but none was clearly inept on that end either, a welcoming sign for this team.

After tonight, it’s hard to imagine a game in which there isn’t at least one player that is on; with the number of offensive weapons at Beilein’s disposal, it certainly appears that the Wolverines will score the ball on anyone. If the defense continues to improve as the schedule strengthens and the regular season nears, Michigan will be good. Scary good.

Final Game Stats
01 Glenn Robinson III* 5-8 2-3 1-1 1 0 1 0 13 1 0 0 1 23
52 Jordan Morgan* 4-8 0-0 1-2 5 7 12 0 9 0 0 1 1 21
02 Spike Albrecht* 4-7 3-6 5-5 0 3 3 0 16 6 2 0 0 30
10 Tim Hardaway Jr* 3-9 2-5 5-7 0 8 8 1 13 5 0 0 1 29
13 Matt Vogrich* 2-7 0-4 0-0 2 2 4 1 4 1 0 0 1 18
04 Mitch McGary 2-4 0-0 1-5 6 3 9 1 5 1 2 2 0 17
05 Eso Akunne 1-2 1-2 0-0 1 0 1 0 3 0 1 0 0 8
11 Nik Stauskas 5-8 4-6 3-4 0 2 2 2 17 2 2 0 0 19
20 Josh Bartelstein 0-0 0-0 0-2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
22 Blake McLimans 0-3 0-2 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 8
23 Caris LeVert 1-5 1-2 0-0 1 0 1 0 3 0 1 0 0 10
32 Corey Person 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 3
44 Max Bielfeldt 0-2 0-1 0-0 0 3 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 11
Totals 27-63 13-31 16-26 19 31 50 5 83 17 8 4 4 200
Northern Michigan 19-59 6-20 3-4 10 22 33 18 47 8 11 2 6 200

Michigan 47 – Wayne State 39

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Final 1st 2nd Total
Michigan 25 22 47
Wayne State 14 25 39

It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win, whether it counts or not. Michigan shook off the rust of the offseason, scoring just 47 points (19.5 points below last year’s average), but gave up just 39, beating NCAA Div. II Wayne State in Crisler Arena on Friday night.

It was the much anticipated debut of point guard Trey Burke and he didn’t disappoint. The freshman from Columbus, Ohio split time at point with Stu Douglass and looked comfortable. He made his entrance about five minutes into the game and was the only freshman to play more than just a few minutes.

Tim Hardaway Jr. led all scorers with 20 points and also added nine rebounds. Zack Novak scored 14 points and Burke added seven points and four assits. Jon Horford was the only other Wolverine to score with six points and six rebounds.

Defensively, Michigan showed good intensity, holding the Warriors 37 points below last season’s average. Wayne State shot just 33 percent (13 percent from three-point range) and attempted just four free throws.

The main point of improvement needed is the post defense. Wayne State center Ike Udanoh recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

“Our bigs have a lot of work to do,” Head Coach John Beilein said after the game. “We’ve got to work with them to realize where they are on the court.”

Michigan now has a week off before the season opener against Ferris State next Friday. Many times, a team wouldn’t want a week off between games, but Beilein insists it’s a good thing in this situation.

“We need to practice right now,” Beilein said. “We weren’t sharp with some things. Give Wayne State credit. They’re a veteran team. But we’ve got some rhythm-type issues that we have to take care of.”

Five-of-24 from downtown, 4-of-12 from the free throw line, and 14 turnovers are not good stats for the Wolverines, but that’s why they play exhibition games.

Final Game Stats
15 Jon Horford* 3-3 0-0 0-5 1 5 6 1 6 1 1 2 0 17
23 Evan Smotrycz* 0-5 0-2 0-0 1 3 4 3 0 0 1 0 0 23
00 Zack Novak* 6-12 2-8 0-1 1 2 3 1 14 1 2 0 3 36
01 Stu Douglass* 0-4 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 3 0 0 1 31
10 Tim Hardaway Jr* 7-17 2-7 4-6 2 7 9 1 20 1 5 1 0 35
02 Carlton Brundidge 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2
03 Trey Burke 3-7 1-3 0-0 0 2 2 1 7 4 2 0 2 28
13 Matt Vogrich 0-2 0-2 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 10
52 Jordan Morgan 0-1 0-0 0-0 3 1 4 2 0 0 2 0 2 18
Totals 19-51 5-24 4-12 9 22 31 9 47 11 14 3 10 200