Gut reactions to Michigan basketball win over Eastern Michigan

Gut reactions to a victory for Michigan basketball in the first game back for Juwan Howard.

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For the first time in the 2023-24 Michigan basketball season, Juwan Howard served as the head coach.

It was hard to judge the impact against a team like Eastern Michigan. However, the Wolverines held Eastern Michigan under a point-per-possession and were solid enough to cruise to a double-digit win without concern.

There was a lineup change to start as Will Tschetter began the game for the first time this season over Tarris Reed. It was curious because Reed was coming off one of his best games.

Yet, Reed still responded. He was a menace on defense and earned the start in the second half after a solid first half. He impacted the game with multiple steals and blocks. He also came up with a key bucket on a tip-in, which capped a quick 5-0 run as EMU trimmed the lead to 10 in the second half.

It wasn't a perfect performance. But the defensive fundamentals have looked better in the past two games. The 3-point shooting continues to be a bright spot. Terrance Williams III in particular has been stellar from beyond the arc.

Tray Jackson has been struggling but hit a big trey in the second half. Olivier Nkamhoua (17), Dug McDaniel (11), and Nimari Burnett (14) all scored in double figures. Plus, outside of a small stretch in the second half, U-M was in complete control. The lead was never less than 10.

Of course, the post-game press conference will be just as important as the game, but here are the gut reactions from the Michigan basketball win over Eastern Michigan.

Gut reactions to Michigan basketball win

*Terrance Williams III's improvement as a 3-point shooter has been one of the best developments for Michigan basketball and was on display against on Saturday.

*Even if Will Tschetter doesn't start, he needs more minutes. Having Nkamhoua at the five opened some things up at the start of the game.

*The defensive fundamentals have been better. I haven't lost all hope that the Wolverines can still figure things out on that end of the floor.

*Tarris Reed put together two really solid games in a row. He's making free throws, scoring the ball, and being an impact defender.

*It still feels like this team hasn't played its best basketball.

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*The real rest comes on Tuesday against Florida. Win that game and the chances of making the NCAA tournament are much more realistic. There have been two solid games in a row, but it's time to build on that in a meaningful way.