Michigan basketball, ranked #3 in the nation, proved why with a dominant win over Western Michigan by a final score of 73-41. The Wolverines look every bit the part of one of the nation’s elite teams.
3 Stars of the Game
1. Trey Burke was simply sensational. He went 8-11 from the field for 20 points to go along with 7 assists, 3 boards, 3 steals, and zero turnovers. His lines in the box score are starting to become worth the price of admission. Some are starting to say he’s the best point guard in the nation. Tough to argue with that.
2. Nik Stauskas had an efficient night on the court. He scored 11 more points but more impressively found a way to increase his 3-point efficiency by going 3-4 from long range. He is now 21-33 on the season from 3-point land, good for a 64% mark.
3. Jordan Morgan almost notched his 2nd consecutive double-double with 8 points and 8 boards. Morgan was 4-6 from the floor and added 2 steals and is really starting to produce at a high level once again.
3 Key Plays
1. With the score tied 9-9 early on and Michigan trying to find their way, Tim Hardaway, Jr. grabbed the ball, raced up court, and threw down a ferocious right-handed dunk to not only fire up the crowd but to also set the tone for the rest of the night. Michigan immediately went on a 9-2 run. On the grander scale, from the moment Hardaway grabbed the ball, Michigan outscored Western 64-32 from then on.
2. With 3:20 left in the 1st half, freshman Caris LeVert took and made his first collegiate three-pointer. LeVert has supplanted senior Matt Vogrich in the regular rotation and looks very comfortable on the court. There was initial speculation that LeVert would be redshirted but after the game coach John Beilein mentioned how he earned the playing time, the team was in favor of it, and to honor his increased role, LeVert was given the honor of leading The Victors in the postgame locker room.
3. At the 14:16 mark of the 2nd half, Stauskas hit his 3rd three ball of the night. It has gotten to the point now where the expectation is that the ball will go down each time he lets it go. The most impressive part about Stauskas’ game is that he refuses to be pigeonholed as a shooter and nothing more. He added 4 assists, 3 boards, and a steal to his impressive shooting night.
Stat of the Game
7 assists to 0 turnovers by Burke. Since the Kansas State game in New York City, Burke has 22 assists to just 2 turnovers.
Mitch McGary continues to gain confidence with each passing night. He was 5-5 from the field for 10 points while adding 3 boards. His 4 turnovers marred an otherwise stellar effort.
Glenn Robinson III is one of the quietest contributors you’ll see. Tonight he scored 7 points, corralled 5 boards, and dished out 2 assists. His star will rise as the season wears on. Keep a lookout for some highlight-reel slam dunks in the near future.
Tim Hardaway, Jr. is in a bit of a funk right now. After a red hot start to the season beyond the 3-point arc, TH2 is just 5 for his last 24 from deep. He struggled most of last season to stay consistent with his jumper. Hopefully he can right the ship and start to find the bottom of the net again with more efficiency.
Both Josh Bartelstein and Max Bielfeldt are wearing protective boots on their respective right feet.
The Wolverines were 8-21 (38.1%) from three-point range.
Michigan outrebounded Western 35-31.
Behind another stellar floor game from Burke, Michigan won the turnover battle by only giving it away 10 times to 18 errors by the Broncos.
Western was led by Darius Paul’s double-double (10 points and 10 boards).
McGary’s effort will land him in this category on a lot of nights. Going 5-5 from the field makes it that much easier to put him here.
What it means
Michigan overwhelmed an inferior opponent, which is exactly what they should be doing as they continue to tune up for the Big Ten road that is rapidly approaching. Beilein’s team will be seeking revenge against Arkansas after a Trey Burke buzzer-beater rimmed out a year ago, costing Michigan what was almost an incredible comeback win.
Next: Michigan will host Arkansas on Saturday, tip is set for high noon and the game will be aired on CBS.
Before you watch the video below, read this tweet
Favorite karaoke? @mitchmcgary4 belted out @justinbieber‘s “U Smile” on the videoboard at Crisler Center earlier.
— Michigan Basketball (@umichbball) December 5, 2012
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