Michigan walked into a bad matchup at a wrong time without its best player and acquitted itself pretty well for 35 minutes in a hostile environment. The Wolverines played as hard as they have all season, mucked the game up defensively, and figured out how to grind out enough tough buckets to keep the game close.
The Wolverines got double-digit minutes from Jaron Faulds and Jace Howard and a season-best 17 points from DeVante’ Jones, but in the end, the Illini had too much firepower, the best guard on the floor, and the more consistent defense.
Despite dropping its third game in a row and falling to 1-3 in the Big Ten, this felt like a performance that the Wolverines can build on. Something that they haven’t been able to say after a game since at least before Christmas.