While the game was never close, there were plenty of notable storylines. The most obvious was Manny Harris’ triple double. Harris notched 18 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists in only 29 minutes. The triple double was only the second in Michigan history (although it’s important to remember that assists were not counted until 1974), the other belonging to Gary Grant in an NCAA tournament game.
Eye popping statistical performances have been common place throughout the first week of the season. Evan Turner notched a triple double and Rotnei Clarke’s hit 13 three pointers for 51 points. Still, a triple double is very hard to achieve and is an honor no matter the competition. I guess the next question is who records more triple doubles this year, Manny Harris or Evan Turner?
The second notable performance of the night was freshman Matt Vogrich putting on a shooting clinic; the lanky guard hit all five of his three point attempts en route to 15 points. There are still plenty of questions about Vogrich’s defense but he can definitely stroke it.
The quote of the night comes from Northern Michigan coach Dean Ellis:
“Their pace was more extreme than we could handle,” Ellis said. “We played Michigan State about four years ago, and even they didn’t attack us with that kind of speed. If they keep playing like that, and keep getting the ball into Manny’s hands, they are going to be very good.”
Taking too much from a game against a mediocre GLIAC team is obviously a mistake but Michigan dominated Northern in every facet of the game.
Michigan rolled offensively, scoring 1.4 points per possession in a 69 possession game. Michigan shot it well (65% eFG), got to the free throw line (36% FTR), and rebounded the ball (43% offensive rebounding, 75% defensive rebounding). It’s tough to play much better on offense.
If you are really looking for a negative from Michigan’s offensive performance, you could point to the fact that Michigan was only 4-20 from long range without Vogrich’s 5-5. It would be nice to see a little better shooting from the rest of the team but that’s why you have depth.
The defense was just as good. Northern scored .72 points per possession while shooting a miserable 35% eFG% from the field. The Wildcats barely sniffed the free throw line and didn’t get anything going on the glass. The one thing Michigan didn’t do was force turnovers.
Next up: Houston Baptist made one of fifteen three pointers in a home loss to Sacramento State. The Huskies travel to Crisler Arena next Friday. However, the Thanksgiving clash against Creighton looms large, the Blue Jays looked solid in a close loss at #22 Dayton.
- Manny Harris: He’s pretty good. Manny recorded a triple double but at one point I was thinking that he wasn’t even playing his best game. That’s obviously a little harsh but the fact that Manny could record a triple double without playing his best game says everything about how good he is and can become.
- DeShawn Sims: Sims got his touches inside and out and managed a double double for himself with 22 points on 13 shots to go along with 10 rebounds. Sims was extremely efficient and assertive, if he can bring this effort consistently he is poised for a huge season.
- Matt Vogrich: As noted above, the kid can stroke it. His shot is extremely pure and most of his shots didn’t even hit rim. The question is how he will react against more athletic teams.
- Darius Morris: Morris got a little more involved in the offense this time out, scoring 11 points (5-7 shooting) with 5 assists to 3 turnovers. Morris has a little too much flare in his game at times but, as advertised, he provides a new element to the Michigan offense.
- Zack Gibson: Maybe it’s due to a boost of confidence from his strong play down the stretch last year but Zack Gibson looks good. Gibson made all five of his field goal attempts for 11 points and was active. He’s not going to be a rebounder but I think he’s giving Michigan productive minutes.
- Zack Novak: Zack didn’t really look for his game offensively but he posted a typical Novak performance: 4 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal. Novak was diving for loose balls an crashing the glass. The most impressive thing to me is how much more athletic Novak looks on the court.
- Stu Douglass: A relatively quiet night for Douglass who hit one three point shot in his 17 minutes. Stu appears to be searching for his role a bit. Beilein also continues to emphasize that he really likes Stu coming off the bench.
- Laval Lucas-Perry: Laval hit his first three point shot but didn’t do much else from the field. Despite the lack of scoring I thought Laval was impressive finding the open guy and also pushing the ball in transition.
- Anthony Wright: Definitely not his best night. Anthony couldn’t find his three point range but did manage to get to the line a couple times. The issue with Ant is that when his three point shot isn’t falling, he doesn’t provide much else.
- Ben Cronin: Simply put, he’s not ready to be a meaningful contributor at this point. He will definitely continue to develop down the road but the fact that he didn’t get into the game until the final four minutes of a game like this says enough in my opinion.
- Blake McLimans: DNP, a redshirt seems obvious here.