2022-23 Season

Michigan emphasizing defense in early practices

Comparing the past two iterations of the Michigan basketball team, you’re almost certain to find a laundry list of differences. The personnel, the schedule, even the way it ran the offense changed significantly.

But one drastic difference perhaps stands out the most: whereas it ranked fourth in adjusted defensive efficiency in 2020-21, it ranked a measly 53rd last season. Already in practice, the Wolverines’ leaders are emphasizing reversing that trend.

“(I) try to establish a tone on the defensive end because I think that’s something that would really differentiate us from being good to great this season,” junior guard Jace Howard said at Michigan Media Day. “I think I’m taking on that challenge, and I know our team is as well.”

Putting it nicely, the Wolverines struggled to defend the hoop last season. In some games, they failed to close out the perimeter. In others, they allowed far too many buckets down low. The Wolverines mixed and matched ball screen coverages throughout the season, struggling to find one that worked more than others. They experimented with zone, mainly because they couldn’t get enough stops in man-to-man.

Overall, a lack of defensive consistency made it hard for Michigan to develop any consistency. 

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