Michigan Basketball: Slippery Rock at Michigan — Wrap-up
Michigan, as highly expected wins the opener against Slippery Rock and starts the season 1-0 by winning 100-61. The game was enjoyable on the offensive end and a little frustrating on the defensive end.
Slippery Rock totaled 9 offensive boards in the first half, a simply unacceptable number. Most of the damage was due to the inability to block out on the weak side and simply give the Rocks position for easy put backs. Early on Michigan did not contest shots well enough and Slippery Rock showed that Division 2 shooters could also make shots if given a good look.
Mitch McGary again picked up quick fouls that took away from some development time. His rebounding will be needed in the Big Ten as well as his threat as an inside scorer. In the second half, Mitch caught some momentum and played well at game’s end.
It cannot be overstated that if Michigan wants to make a run for the Big Ten title and go far in the tournament, things are going to have to improve with perimeter defense and rebounding. Coach Beilein has often communicated an emphasis being placed on both historic shortcomings this off-season.
Offensively, this team runs a very nice controlled break, and this involves more than Trey Burke. Hardaway Jr. when playing the two spot is really good at moving the ball.
This team is beautiful to watch passing the ball and there is clearly an effort and an understanding of how the pass enhances the Wolverine offense.
In the same vein, this team plays super well together and again no ego seems to be seeping at all.Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson III, as mentioned last week, are just going to be wonderful bookends. Hardaway had a great first half and got off to a hot start early in the second half. In fact he sore a cape for a few minutes.
Robinson is very patient for a freshman and gains the flow of the game in a superior fashion for his age.
The other guys fit the Michigan mold and melded into effective offensive play that let Burke, Robinson, and Hardaway shine and control the night. The bet here is those three will rule most of Michigan’s scoring this year. The really good news is Stauskas and McGary will crack through here and there to add additional scoring threats.
As mentioned in the game preview, Slippery Rock does have a core of good players and that core had a decent night keeping Slippery Rock in the respectable range.
All in all, there was much more good than bad on Friday night. Some may remember a few years ago when Michigan was winning by only a few points in early season games. Not so this time out. However, again, better rebounding and defense could have made this game quite a rout, not that a rout was needed or mandated.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff
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