Five Takeaways: Michigan Scores Win At Nebraska
Michigan finally got off the schneid against a weak Nebraska team and can now head into the rest of this manageable stretch with some confidence. Here are five takeaways from the 79-68 win.
1. First win on the road
Michigan is now 1-5 on the road and at least knows what it feels like to win away from Crisler as February approaches. Nebraska is a bad team, but Michigan won't feel sorry them after taking the court without Zavier Simpson and Isaiah Livers. A win is a win, and they're tough to come by in the Big Ten.
2. David DeJulius isn't quite ready for the big time
I was pretty excited to see what DeJulius could do in a starting role but in more than 30 minutes of action, he let me down a bit. He's definitely not the facilitator that Simpson is, but I thought he'd make up for that as a scorer — he didn't. DeJulius finished with just five points on 1-of-7 shooting. He didn't make a three pointer and only had three assists.
The sophomore also had a turnover and never really seemed comfortable. It's also worth noting that he split point guard duties with Eli Brooks even though Brooks is definitely the two guard when Simpson is in the lineup.
3. What's up with Cole Bajema?
I know Bajema is a freshman and hasn't played much this year but he really can't find the floor before walk-on CJ Baird? At 6-7, Bajema has a few inches on Baird, a better three-point shot and more athleticism, so for Baird to play before him doesn't add up to me. Unless Bajema is still eligible for a redshirt, I don't understand Juwan Howard's decision to play Baird over Bajema in a game with a very shortened bench and some key playing-time experience available.
4. Role guys became the main guys
With Simpson and Livers out, most expected senior center Jon Teske to step up in a big way, especially considering the massive size advantage he'd have over the Huskers (he had four and five inches, respectively, on Nebraska's two centers). Teske ended up playing 32 minutes but only scored nine points on 4-of-7 shooting.
Instead, it was Brooks, Franz Wagner and Brandon Johns Jr. who stepped up and led Michigan to victory. The trio had 20, 18 and 16 points respectively. Wagner and Johns did combine for 10 turnovers, which is too many for guys who don't really handle the ball that much, but both made some nice hustle plays and brought needed energy to a sleepy Pinnacle Bank Arena.
5. Nebraska is bad
I honestly can't believe they have a win based on how they looked against Michigan. The Wolverines actually had Baird and Adrian Nunez on the floor together for 2.5 minutes in the first half and didn't miss a beat. Michigan travels across the country, plays just ok without its two top players and comes away with a sleepy 11-point win. How?! I really don't know how that Nebraska team beat Iowa and Purdue. I feel like Hawkeye Luka Garza should've scored 100 against the Huskers.
Oh well — Michigan needed a win to snap the losing streak and taste victory on the road and they did both.
What did you see from Michigan today? What would you like to see them do better? Comment below!!!