Listen: What Is Michigan's Ceiling?
Michigan was favored by just 5.5 points in Evanston last night but instead comes back to Ann Arbor after a 25-point blowout road win over Northwestern. Granted, the Wildcats are pretty hapless, but they've been in some close games and we all know how tough the road has been for Big Ten teams this year.
With seven regular season games and the Big Ten Tournament remaining, Michigan is trending in a very positive direction. A big reason for that is the return of a healthy Isaiah Livers. In the two games since he returned, Livers is averaging 15.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in right around 30 minutes of action, despite not being 100 percent per Juwan Howard. Not only do his direct contributions help, he allows Howard to normalize his rotation with guys like Brandon Johns Jr. and Austin Davis.
Johns and Davis have played a total of 31 and 23 minutes respectively over the last two games. Those amounts obviously aren't eye popping but it allows them to approach their time on the floor in a way that fits their playing style very well. Johns is a ball of athletic energy and Davis is a banger who can go hard in short spurts. Sprinkle in some outside shooting from Johns and high-percentage finishes for Davis and you have two really important role players for U-M's stretch run.
Those developments, along with an increased focus on defense per Livers, a more confident and aggressive Franz Wagner and a go-to scorer and potential lockdown defender in Eli Brooks, and you have a dangerous Michigan team as the postseason approaches.
Earlier today on Inside the Huddle, Michael Spath and Zach Shaw discussed U-M's ceiling as the regular season winds down and tourney talk picks up.
What is most important for Michigan's continued success? How good can this team be in the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments? Comment below!!!