Michigan took the court for the first time this season on Friday night in Detroit, knocking off Wayne State 87-54 in the first game at the WSU Fieldhouse.
The Warriors came out flying with sheer determination to muck up the game in front of the packed house. They were swarming the ball, crashing the offensive glass and battling in the paint, racking up 8 second-chance points, five steals, and three blocks just in the opening half. Juwan Howard was forced to call a timeout after Wayne State cut the lead to 20-16 with a putback at the 9:25 mark.
For a fleeting moment, things felt a bit real. It was a reminder of why you don’t see many road exhibition games.
Howard slowly started inserting his starters back into the game, and then it was promptly back to regularly scheduled programming. The Wolverines closed the half on a 28-3 run to take a 48-21 lead into the locker room. That reckless abandon that kept Wayne State close eventually caught up to the Warriors, and Michigan racked up 24 free-throw attempts and 19 fastbreak points in the routine exhibition win.
But the game was never about the result, it was about a first chance to evaluate this year’s Michigan team, understand the rotation and figure out how the pieces fit together.
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