Photo courtesy of Detroit News
It wasn’t always pretty but Michigan cruised to an easy 19 point win over Wayne State in their first and only exhibition game of the year.
Michigan rolled out a starting lineup of Darius Morris, Laval Lucas-Perry, Manny Harris, Zack Novak, and DeShawn Sims. I was a bit surprised to see Laval Lucas-Perry in there but Morris, Lucas-Perry, and Douglass all played around 20 minutes.
Michigan played around with lineups, rotated players around, and gave just about everyone a chance to play. The play was sloppy at times, although Michigan did a great job holding onto the ball, but Michigan was clearly the better team.
Because it’s an exhibition game we are without any wonderful graphs from StatSheet, but here are the four factors statistics from the game.
Michigan held onto the ball, shot it well, and got to the line. Wayne State pulled down plenty of offensive rebounds but that’s about it.
On offense, Michigan let the three pointers fly. 29 of Michigan’s 57 field goal attempts were from long range, but they knocked down 11. Michigan got to the line a bit but the free throw shooting certainly left something to be desired, hopefully that’s an exhibition game aberration.
Michigan played strictly man to man in the first half but in the second half they sprinkled in some 1-3-1. Morris looked good at the top of the 1-3-1 and provides a nice option up there with his length. The defensive effort was strong overall but it’s hard to judge against Wayne State.
Manny Harris reminded everyone just how good he is when he lets the game come to him. Harris scored 25 points on 14 shots and added 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals in 29 minutes. The competition was obviously subpar but it was still a very impressive performance.
Overall it was great to see the team get back on the court and start to shake some rust off. The Maize Rage was full, spreading through the extended sections and into the maize seats. Just one week until the season tips off for real.
- Manny Harris: Harris showed no signs of being bothered by the hamstring injury that has held him out of practice at times. He dominated play and was extremely efficient.
- Darius Morris: Morris has great size for the point guard position and did a good job of letting the game come to him. Morris can handle the ball and distribute it but he needs to keep working on this shot because people will begin playing off of him.
- Zack Novak: Novak didn’t show many signs of diversifying his game but he had the three point shot going, hitting on 5 of 8 attempts for 15 points. Novak also is the first one on the ground for just about any loose ball. He played all of his minutes at the four.
- Stu Douglass: Stu hit two out of three three point attempts and pulled down 2 boards in 19 minutes. I was a bit surprised that Stu didn’t get the start but he looked solid without standing out.
- Laval Lucas-Perry: Laval didn’t have his shot going but he looked comfortable running the offense when Darius was not in the game. He is definitely quicker than last year and he looked solid in transition as well.
- DeShawn Sims: Sims coasted a little bit and scored 9 points on 9 shots while pulling down 5 rebounds. He hit a three but he also got the ball in the post several times. Sims had his quick post moves working but he missed a couple finishes.
- Zack Gibson: Gibson picked up where he left off at the end of last year. He scored 6 points and was also active on defense. Consistency is the key for Gibson, if he can give Michigan the same kind of solid minutes every night he will be a valuable asset this season.
- Ben Cronin: Cronin is certainly huge and he made a few plays in limited playing time, notching 4 points, 3rebounds, and two blocks in just 3 minutes. Cronin definitely appears to be the 10th guy in the rotation and this point, only playing in the last few minutes of each half.
- Anthony Wright: Ant got most of his playing time backing up Manny Harris. At this point he seems like he will be Manny’s backup but Matt Vogrich got some time at the three as well.
- Matt Vogrich: Vogrich has a long way to go on the defensive side of the ball. He has a tendency to play on his heels a little bit and it causes him to go flying after even a simple jab step. He wasn’t hitting on his shots but his stroke is definitely pure.