With almost 10 minutes of game time gone by in Michigan’s 61-56 win over Syracuse on Saturday night, the Orange had jumped out to a 14-9 lead and the Wolverines were searching for offense.
Michigan’s usual scoring weapons — Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Nik Stauskas — simply weren’t getting it done. Burke had missed the only two shots he took, Stauskas had missed his only 3-point attempt and Hardaway was bricking shots left and right — the junior had already missed four of the five jumpers he’d taken to that point.
Michigan badly needed someone to step up. So it turned to its bench.
Caris LeVert, a freshman who hadn’t made a basket since March 3rd, kicked things off by hitting a 3-pointer. Jon Horford came off the bench and cashed a 3-point play with a tough layup inside. After he hit his free throw, LeVert hit his second 3-pointer and Michigan was back in the lead, offense humming along.
Michigan is a team identified by its stars: Burke has been winning Player of...