Michigan basketball (13-3) traveled to Iowa City to take on Iowa (9-7) and left with a 75-68 conference win.
Five turnovers in the first 4 minutes was a shaky start to the Wolverines first formidable opponent in weeks. After the first few minutes, Michigan got hot from every spot on the floor and continued to hold control until the final whistle.
Zavier Simpson continues to impress
Simpson has been playing more minutes than freshman guard and starter, Eli Brooks, and this is due to him looking like a completely different player than fans saw just earlier this season. He has left his timidness behind and now looks decisive and confident.
The Sophomore is not only scoring the ball well, but he has clamped up opposing point guards and can get big calls like this charge he drew tonight:
It’s time for Isaiah Livers over Duncan Robinson
This is something that I have been arguing for since the beginning of the season.
Duncan offers very little other than shooting, and he hasn’t shot well enough to mask his struggles defensively or on the boards.
At the same time that Robinson is struggling, freshman forward Isaiah Livers has started to put it all together. The 2017 Michigan Mr. Basketball had a great game, posting 13 points (5-6), 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. To compare, Robinson had 5 points (1-5) and 2 assists.
There are quite a few things that Livers brings and Robinson does not, including transition oops:
Teske’s progression may be biggest impact from the off-season
This game is a perfect example of how important Jon Teske is to this team. With Moe Wagner struggling on both sides of the floor – coming off an injury and trying to guard Tyler Cook can do that to you – All Michigan needed was someone that could play defense. Just the big body and presence of Teske is enough to frustrate teams.
Earlier in this season, if Wagner or Matthews happened to have a bad game, this team looked bad. As the season has progressed, more players are showing up. The freshman have all played well, Zavier Simpson is back in a big way, and when other players can pick up the slack offensively it allows Wagner to leave the floor for Teske.
Player of the Game – Zavier Simpson
Michigan has seemed to find the answer to the point guard question much faster than many thought possible.
Simpson finished this game with a team-high 15 points (tied with MAAR) on 6 of 9 shooting, 3 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 0 turnovers.
The Michigan guard was 2 of 4 from deep, but one was a leaning one-footed shot as the shot clock was expiring.
This was just another game that Simpson has been impressive in.
Here is the full boxscore of Michigan’s win over Iowa.
Michigan’s next game comes against Illinois (10-5) in Ann Arbor on Saturday the 6th at noon.