Before anybody says it, I know this was an exhibition game.
Despite that, you can still learn a lot from an exhibition game. Michigan’s new starting 5 looked good Friday night against Division II Grand Valley State, beating the Lakers 82-50 at Crisler Arena.
Charles Matthews was the Wolverines best player. He got off to a blazing hot start, scoring 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting in 10 minutes. Matthews cooled off a bit, but still ended with an impressive stat-line of 23 points, while shooting 64-percent with 4 rebound and 2 assists.
— Michigan Men's Basketball (@umichbball) November 4, 2017
The team’s star player heading into the season — Moe Wagner — finished with a double-double, having 10 a piece in both points and rebounds. While its 3-point specialist, senior Duncan Robinson, posted 11 points while hitting 3-of-5 from beyond the arc.
The biggest surprise of the night was the progression of sophomore Ibi Watson. Senior Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman is the starting 2-guard, but the back up spot was less obvious. If this game is a representation of the rest of the year, Ibi Watson is going to see significant minutes. He ended the game with 8 points on 3-of-5 shooting with 2 rebounds and 1 turnover in 10 minutes. His numbers aren’t huge, but considering he only scored 24 points total last year – he looks better. The other 2-guard on the roster, Jordan Poole, didn’t enter the game until the 2-minute mark of the 2nd half.
— BTN Student U (@BTNStudentU) November 4, 2017
The biggest disappointment of the night was Abdur-Rahkman. He should be a big part of the team this year, so his game tonight was a bit of a let down. He had 5 points on 2-of-8 shooting with 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 turnover in 25 minutes of play. Abdur-Rahkman is expected to have a big senior year and it would have been reassuring to see him playing better against a clearly inferior opponent.
Quick note on the point guards: Zaviar Simpson started, but all three of the point guards had a similar night. Simpson finished with 6 points, 3 assists and 2 steals. Grad transfer Jaaron Simmons tallied 5 points and 3 assists.
The Wolverines take on North Florida in another exhibition contest at home next Saturday (Nov. 11).