The Michigan Wolverines (7-2) faced off against the Indiana Hoosiers (4-4) in the B1G opener for both teams. Michigan won by a score of 69-55.
Michigan was coming off of a tough loss to the No. 13 North Carolina Tar Heels, and the Hoosiers were coming off a loss, but a moral victory in a close game against No. 1 Duke.
Welcome, Jordan Poole
Head coach John Beilein entered Poole in after Charles Matthews picked up a foul only 20 seconds into the game. From then, the true freshman didn’t disappoint.
Poole was draining jump shots, something that Michigan had problems with in previous games – when Duncan Robinson is off, this team hasn’t had anyone else that can pull the defense out.
The freshman guard put up a team leading 19 points, in addition to 3 rebounds.
I have criticized this team for not having someone that is going to step up when Charles Matthews or Moe Wagner aren’t having a great game, but with the amount of minutes Poole played today, it’s looking like it could be him.
Charles Matthews’ minutes
Only 20 seconds into the Matthews picked up a foul and Beilein pulled him.
The talented wing ended up only playing 19 minutes, which was 6th on the team, and only 1 more minute than Zavier Simpson.
This means absolutely nothing for Matthews, BUT this was huge for the rest of the team.
Matthews is a stud, and he got pulled out because he got an early foul. He will be fine. The important part is how well Michigan played in his absence, especially considering how he and Wagner have had to carry games by themselves.
Michigan moving the ball
Throughout this year so far, Michigan has relied heavily on the pick and roll with Matthews and Moe Wagner. This is a good plan because both the players are stars, but relying on two players to make all the offense is a recipe for inconsistency and upsets.
Here you can see a nice cut from Jordan Poole and a dime from Moe Wagner:
This is a great development for a team with a complex offense. We have seen this offense stagnant and standing around waiting for Wagner or Matthews to get a bucket. Hopefully, they can keep getting everybody involved.
“The guys that didn’t play are now role players”
In the post-game interview with Bill Raftery, Beilein praised the depth of his team.
Indiana is a really inconsistent team, but they aren’t a bad team. It’s a great thing when so many players can get good minutes in a win.
This is huge for Michigan. This team has a ton of talent and the future of this season hinders on their ability to put it together quickly. This far, it seems they are coming together nicely.
Moe Wagner: “I’ve got to get better at defense”
This was just about the only problem that Michigan had in this game today.
Wagner is a terrific talent, but he can get bullied in the paint.
Juwan Morgan is a good post player, but he dropped 24 points on 9 of 14 shooting, often being guarded by Wagner.
Teske is obviously the better option defensively, but with how good Wagner is offensively it is impossible to keep him off the floor for long. This begs the question:?Will we see a two-big lineup?
That’s what we could – and should – see soon.
Michigan takes on Ohio State Monday at 6:30 p.m. ET.