It was smooth sailing for Michigan as they cruised past Coppin State in a game that was never very close. Coppin State appeared to be the worst team that Michigan has played since Northern Michigan but it was good to see Michigan handle them with ease.
Coppin State’s inability to hold onto the ball was the biggest difference in this game. They turned the ball over on 28% of their possessions and there wasn’t a single player on the Eagles’ roster that didn’t record a turnover. The defensive effort was strong from Michigan but it was also clear that Coppin State was flat out not very good.
It was good to see Michigan’s offense finally hit some shots (58% eFG, 33% 3pt). Stu Douglass led the pack with 20 points, hitting 6 out of 10 three point attempts and adding 5 rebounds, 5 assists, with just one turnover. Laval Lucas-Perry (2-3) and Matt Vogrich (2-4) also shot the ball well but Sims, Harris, and Novak combined to shoot just 1 of 13 from three point range. DeShawn Sims was dominant inside, hitting 8 of 9 two point field goals en route to 18 points. Manny Harris played the role of the creator because his shot wasn’t falling, Manny notched 7 assists to go with his 5 points.
It’s tough to know what to take from this game. Michigan did what they were supposed to and handled inferior competition. Now they take a couple days off for the holidays before regrouping for the treacherous conference slate. Michigan opens conference play on New Years Eve in Bloomington. The Hoosiers have more talent this year but they are beatable, just ask Loyola (MD) who knocked off the Hoosiers today.
Michigan’s first five games of conference play are: @Indiana, OSU (sans Evan Turner), @ Penn State, Northwestern, and Indiana. These are five winnable games that could do wonders to turn Michigan’s season around. A 5-0 start might be hopeful but that would rejuvenate not only this team, but its fans, before a marquee home game versus Connecticut. A couple losses along this stretch could seal this team’s postseason fate in January.