No one enjoys playing against Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights play hard and are too aggressive defensively for anyone to enjoy their 40 minutes on the hardwood across from them.
But even if they are miserable to play against, they are beatable. Something Michigan managed to do again on Thursday night.
Rutgers defends as well as just about anyone in the league. It just doesn’t have enough offensive firepower, especially in the halfcourt. Michigan led 56-39 at the under 12 media timeout on Thursday before falling into a dreadful drought. The Wolverines only made three more shots in the final 12 minutes and still won the game comfortably.
It took Rutgers almost 11 minutes to reach Michigan’s 56 points. The Scarlet Knights finally crossed that line with 51 seconds remaining when the only worry was whether Jacob Young would figure out a way to cover the spread.
Michigan’s defense is good, and Rutgers’ offense is bad. We knew that before Thursday’s game and we know it after sitting through a second half that featured more fouls (25) than made baskets (22).