Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/7/13
John Beilein and Jordan Morgan (photo credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Michigan closed out the second of it’s two preseason exhibition games with a conclusive victory over crosstown counterparts Wayne State. Hot off a 73-point trouncing of Concordia, the Wolverines were looking to maximize on momentum before tipping off the regular season Friday Nov. 8 against Mass Lowell. Michigan took care of business closing out Wayne State in convincing fashion, 79-60. A few key items worth noting: 1. Keep an eye out for Caris Levert He’s put forth two stellar performances in Michigan’s exhibition games, sporting a double-double in the first, followed by a solid double-figures showing in the second. His length and speed make him a catalyst both on defense and the fast break. Levert’s lethality is epitomized by his crafty passing ability, rare among your average everyday 6’6” swingman. The most important factor for Levert this season is whether he sees sufficient playing time to develop properly. He has seen serious minutes through two exhibition games, and should this trend keep up, Caris Levert could be a catalyst for a Michigan team looking to rebound strongly after the best season in recent memory. 2. Michigan is supremely undersized The all too familiar Achilles heel. Beilein and Co. suffered all last year on the boards, and things do not appear to be turning around, as Michigan was narrowly outrebounded by Wayne State. With Mitch McGary starting the year on the bench, the Wolverines will have to rely even more on perpetually underperforming big men Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford. Glenn Robinson III will undoubtedly take on a significant brunt of responsibility, as well as new freshman arrival Zak Irvin. But until McGary is cleared to return to action, for which a timeline has not been established, Michigan’s unpredictable frontcourt will be a topic of scrutiny. 3. The Wolverines will live and die by the 3-point basket Again a trend that will carry over from last year, and perhaps not one that Michigan fans necessarily welcome. The Wolverines all but colonized the area behind the arc a year ago, which yielded hit-or-miss results. A combined 20 3-point shots in two exhibition games indicates Michigan’s continued preference for living downtown, but Stauskus and the rest of the Michigan sharpshooters must beware of a dependence on outside living, as one bad shooting start can lead to an early hole. Having said that, the deadly knockdown strengths of Michigan’s deep backcourt denotes as ideal of a situation that a 3-point reliant team could want. 4. Get ready to watch this team run and gun One of the Wolverines’ greatest strengths is their incendiary speed. Michigan will look to push the ball on every fast break opportunity, and score the majority of their points in transition. This is not a team that specializes in half-court situations; in fact one of it’s major strengths is meticulously but almost instantaneously dissecting and capitalizing on any defense’s missed assignments, as demonstrated in the second exhibition game.  The Wolverines flourish at top speed, so look for Beilein to encourage a fast-paced, up-tempo tenacity from Michigan this season. Michigan will tip off the regular season Friday Nov. 8 against Mass Lowell in the Crisler Center. Related articles Michigan Basketball: It’s going to be a fun season Michigan Basketball: Roster rundown For more Michigan Basketball news, recruiting updates and opinion, visit our Michigan Basketball page. If you would like to receive an email notification each time a Michigan Basketball story is posted you can fill out the Email Notification Form.
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