Michigan (2-0) faced off against Central Michigan (1-1) at Crisler Arena on Monday night in Ann Arbor.
The Wolverines struggled early once again, leading to a tight 72-65 win. Central Michigan’s zone defense gave Michigan some fits at the beginning of the game, but the Wolverines seemed to adjust.
Michigan went into halftime up by a single point, even though it struggled mightily in the first 10 minutes of the game. Just looking at the score, one might assume that Michigan was playing poor defense – that wasn’t the case.
Most of Central Michigan’s offensive output was thanks to its ability to bury contested threes deep into the shot clock. That’s how the Chips stayed in the game, by shooting 42-percent from 3 (10-of-24).
Nonetheless, Michigan was able to win while only making 10 of their 34 3-point shots, in part because they only turned the ball over 6 times.
Takeaways from Michigan vs. Central Michigan
It’s Zavier Simpson’s spot to lose as the starting point guard. He looked good with the ball in transition, pushing it up court – and he had great success attacking the rim. John Beilein must’ve thought the same, because neither Simmons nor Brooks played nearly as many minutes as Simpson (27 minutes). Freshman Eli Brooks played the least of the point guards, playing only three minutes. while Jaaron Simmons got 14 minutes. .
Michigan’s player of the game was Zavier Simpson. The sophomore guard was extremely efficient from the field, shooting 72-percent (5-of-7), putting up 13 points. To go along with his scoring effort, Simpson also had 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. This game cemented Simpson as deserving of the starting role.
The Wolverines’ leading scorers were senior guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (17 pts), sophomore guard Charles Matthews and Simpson (13 pts). Michigan had five players score in double-digits, with Moe Wagner and Duncan Robinson having 10 a piece.
And that's a wrap! 5 players scored in double figures tonight: @theprophet_5 with 17@1CMatthews & @Xaviersimpson3 with 13 each@D_Bo20 & @moritz_weasley with 10 each #GoBlue ???? pic.twitter.com/rVWgZfDQjL
— Michigan Men's Basketball (@umichbball) November 14, 2017
Wagner picked up his second straight double-double of the year, finishing with 10 points (3-of-9), 11 boards (team high), and 1 assist.
Jon Teske gave some really great minutes when Wagner picked up 2 fouls, and then again when Wagner took a seat due to injury. The 7-foot-1 Sophomore had 2 blocks, and had 2 taken away by questionable foul calls.
It may be disappointing that Michigan isn’t coming out scoring like fans may be accustomed to, but this is a new team. A team that hasn’t played much basketball together. I think many fans are expecting the team from last year. This team has the talent to be very good, just give them some time before panicking.