Michigan basketball has had a lot of impressive wins this season, on its way to an 11-1 start in the Big Ten and 16-1 overall, but none were more impressive than Sunday’s win at Oho State.
While Michigan has become known for its defense, it was the offense that was the key to victory on Sunday, although the defense stepped up and made some huge plays down the stretch.
The Wolverines scored 1.35 points per possession, which was the highest number of any Big Ten team this season. That allowed U-M to overcome Ohio State getting 1.27 points per possession.
E.J. Liddell was a matchup nightmare, but on the other end, so was Hunter Dickinson and in the end, Michigan just ran better offense and has more playmakers than Ohio State, which had to rely on making tough shots, while the Wolverines got open looks time and time again.
It doesn’t take much explaining to say that beating a top-five Ohio State team on the road is a huge victory and here are the grades for the Wolverines:
Hunter Dickinson: A
Dickinson had some issues defensively, not because he played poorly but because he’s just a poor matchup for Liddell. He still made things tough on him and on a few occasions, Liddell made contested shots, so you have to tip your cap. But in the second half, when the Wolverines 3-point attempts started missing, they went to Dickinson inside and he stabilized the offense. Ohio State didn’t have anyone who could match up with him and very few teams do. His 22 points, nine rebounds and two assists earned him the second-best plus-minus rating on the team.
Austin Davis: B-
Davis scored two buckets down low and one was at a key point in the second half when Michigan really needed one. Most of the time, against second units, Davis is near automatic and he went 2-for-2 against Ohio State in 11 minutes. He didn’t grab any rebounds, which hurt his grade slightly and his defense wasn’t all that effective but it was a tough matchup for him and overall, I thought his impact was positive.
Brandon Johns: D
Johns had one bucket but outside of that, he didn’t add much to the table. He was 1 of 3 from the field and missed a 3-point attempt badly. He also grabbed just one rebound. It’s frustrating because he’s an exceptional rebounder when he wants to be but he just seems lost this year. I found myself asking why is he even playing? Chaundee Brown got more minutes at the expense of Franz Wagner Sunday but that’s more of a one-off. Brown should really take Johns’ minutes at the four, because right now, with how poorly he’s playing, those minutes are just being wasted.