2023-24 Season

‘We’re 4-5 for a reason’: Michigan looking for improvements ahead of first Big Ten road test

Olivier Nkamhoua has been playing college basketball for a while, so when it comes to looking for words of wisdom, he’s a great person to provide them. In a Zoom press conference on Friday, he shared a taste of the wisdom he’s constantly providing the Michigan men’s basketball team.

“I’m gonna keep saying the same thing: whether we go on a 10-game losing streak or a 20-game winning streak, I’m gonna keep saying we’re gonna have our highs, and we’re gonna have our lows,” Nkamhoua said. “And we have to keep fighting and getting better and improving through anything that we go through, all the bumps in the road.”

The Wolverines certainly aren’t boasting anything near a 20 game winning streak, and having dropped five of their last six games to fall below .500, the lows are far more prevalent than the highs right now. The bumps in the road the Nkamhoua was referring to are plentiful, and they’re so prominent as Michigan heads back on the road, this time for its first Big Ten road game for the year at Iowa. 

And while the Hawkeyes are a focus and the Wolverines are certainly preparing for an up-tempo, transition-filled attack in Iowa City, they’re focused just as much on themselves right now. Enduring a stretch like this is one thing, but emerging from it is a whole other one. To do so, they’re being honest with themselves and clearly pinpointing what’s going wrong. 

“I’m not a cliche guy, but we’re 4-5 for a reason,” associate head coach Phil Martelli said Friday. “Because even in these individual games, we’re up and down, we do some good things, but we haven’t done enough consistently. I point to turnovers, I point to pace of play, we need to get back to scoring fast break points, putting pressure on the defense, and then turning around and saying at some point everybody on our team is gonna be challenged to guard the man in front of them.” 

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