2020-21 Season

Notebook: Michigan stresses defense; Livers and Davis named captains

To some extent it’s hard not to make rash conclusions based on the first 40 minutes we’ve seen from Michigan basketball in over eight months. Some new faces impressed. The offense hummed. Michigan appears to have found a point guard.

All the necessary caveats — namely, it was just one game against Bowling Green — apply to those positives. They should also apply to the Wolverines’ defense, which allowed 1.11 points per possession against Bowling Green. Opponents hit that mark just seven times last season, all of which came against would-be NCAA Tournament-bound Big Ten teams. 

For the Michigan players and staff, it’s enough to raise an eyebrow, if still no alarm bells.

“We gave up a lot of points — and we have to grow in that area of defense, for sure, and get more stops and get more rebounds,” said senior point guard Mike Smith. “I think we gave up a lot of offensive rebounds vs. Bowling Green. And we can’t do that anymore.

“If we get stops, the offense is so good, we have so many weapons, that if we can get stops the offense takes care of itself.”

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