It is a somewhat paradoxical exercise for comparing former and current Michigan Basketball Difference because there are so many differences.
Last season’s team led a large group of point guards Xavier Simpson And centerpiece John Tesky, and everything the Wolverine team did seemed to have been dictated by two veterans – especially in attack. Simpson used ball screen after ball screen to hit the ball to open shooters to the perimeter, finding teammates for easy finishing touches or scoring himself.
That team was the Simpsons, through and through, and they were a very good team offensively.
However, Michigan’s crime, Simpson’s absentee, continues to grumble as Wolverine’s team reaches a quarter of the season mark.
Michigan is now 7-0 after being meticulously done Send Nebraska on Christmas Day, 80-69. With the first six matches of the regular season table of 25 games, Michigan Crime ranked 10th nationally in Adjusted Offensive Aptitude, according to KenPom.com. On Friday, she averaged 1.14 points per possession, although she turned the ball more than 15 times on 70 kings and fired 9 of 27 from a 3-point range (4 of 17 in the first half).
While last season’s attack orchestrated Simpson, who averaged 12.9 points and 7.9 assists (the third highest point in the state), Michigan has a rotating team of players who can hurt an opponent on any given night.
Two days before the match, Joan Howard was asked about the performance of winger Franz Wagner, who has been billed as a Michigan breaker who entered the season, but averaged just 9.5 points on 6.7 field shots during his first five matches – numbers lower than last season.
Howard said He believed in Wagner And I think he will find out. He recalled Simpson’s imprint on last season’s attack, and how Wolverine had to adapt to not having one of the show’s best bystanders and innovators.
“We have a lot of depth now where there will be some matches where Hunter (Dickinson) may get only five shots, he may score only seven points, Chundi (Brown) may get 20 points or Franz (Wagner) may get 20 points,” Howard said. Mike (Smith) has six points: “We have depth.”
Friday’s match was played similarly to Howard assumed.
Nebraska chose to double the Hunter Dickinson position, with a team average score of 15.8 as of Friday morning, and twice named as the Big Ten Student of the Week. Dickinson still got – 13 points in 5 of 7 shootings and added 15 rebounds and two blocks – but he was more than just a cog in the Michigan attack rather than the pivot point, passing off the post and allowing the Wolverines to take advantage of the 4-on-3 advantage in Elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Wagner – who scored only twice in his first five matches – was as aggressive as he had been throughout the season in search of his shot. He attacked in moving and off the ball screens, reaching the edge, shooting buoys and taking perimeter shots, and scored 20 high points for the team on 9 of 16 shots – including 11 in the first half.
“I thought I had good shots,” said Wagner after Friday’s game. “I tried to get to the paint, I opened 3 seconds. Played well or passed by the teams. I think that’s what everyone in the team is supposed to do and if that leads to victory then I’m very happy.”
However, as was the nature of this team, Wagner was not the only source of attack.
Isaiah Livers scored six points in the first half and missed all four of his points. In the second half, he scored his first three points and assisted in a two-figure lead, finishing with 17 points. In 16 minutes off the bench, sixth man Chundy Brown scored 13 points on a 5-to-8 shot. Goalkeeper Mike Smith provided the game’s most important baskets, scoring a goal as Nebraska cut the lead to six, scoring 3 points when that lead diminished to four and provided assists. Decisive – one in the transition and the other in the half. Court crime.
Howard said, “This is not the first rodeo for senior Mike.” “He made a lot of shots, big shots during his days at Colombia. So it’s great that Mike has the poise and most importantly, the confidence to deliver when his team needs it.”
There should be an added caveat that Michigan has not faced particularly tough competition up to this point. Of the six opponents to date, Penn State has the best defense, being ranked # 71 in modified defensive proficiency.
There will be powerful units as the Wolverines delve into conference gameplay. But for now, insulting them – regardless of unofficial changes – is the team’s biggest strength. And on Christmas Day, Nebraska learned how hard it was to slow down Michigan’s varied attack.
“I think we have a good balance between playing indoor and shooting outside,” Wagner said. “I think we have players who are not selfish and ready to pass, and I think it is very difficult to guard.”