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Dickinson Dominant In Michigan’s Double-Digit Win At Maryland

Michigan's big freshman still hasn't been checked.

Hunter Dickinson played the best game of his young career and Michigan remained the Big Ten’s lone undefeated team with an 84-73 road win over Maryland on New Year’s Eve.

After a back-and-forth battle through the first 30 minutes of action, the Wolverines took control with a 22-4 run that spanned over six minutes. That stretch gave Michigan its largest lead, 82-63, with four minutes to play, and helped the Wolverines remain unbeaten.

After 21 points against Nebraska, Franz Wagner stayed hot with 8 quick points in the opening six minutes of play, helping Michigan jump to a 14-7 lead.

The Wolverines advantage grew to as many ten points in the opening half at 26-16, but Maryland got back in the game due to uncanny three-point shooting. The Terrapins hit 9-of-11 attempts from deep in the first half to cut into Michigan’s lead.

The Wolverines survived Maryland’s three-point onslaught with their success from the free throw line, converting 15-of-16 attempts from the charity stripe in the first frame. Michigan entered the locker room with a 46-44 edge.

Both teams traded blows to start the second half, as the lead changed hands six times in the first six and a half minutes following the break. The Wolverines seized control however with 10 minutes to play. Michigan went on a 13-0 run to surge ahead to a 73-59 lead, and never looked back.

1. Hunter Dickinson was unstoppable

The freshman has been outstanding throughout the season, but this was his best performance yet. A prospect from the DC-Maryland-Virginia area, Dickinson noted earlier this week he felt “disrespected” by Maryland coach Mark Turgeon and the Terps, who didn’t recruit the 7-footer. Dickinson let Maryland know exactly what they missed out on by scoring 26 points on 10-of-11 shooting. The freshman also grabbed 11 rebounds for his second consecutive double-double, and the third of his career. Dickinson has looked better and better every time he’s stepped foot on the floor for the Wolverines, but this performance will be hard to top.

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2. Franz Wagner stays hot

Wagner played well the Wolverines’ first six games, but he’s taken his game to another level in each of the last two outings. On Thursday, the sophomore went 8-of-14 from the floor for 19 points and handed out 4 assists. Entering the game with just 5 three-point field goals on the season, Wagner hit 3 against the Terrapins. The sophomore was once again strong on the defensive end, finishing with 3 steals and a block. If Wagner continues to play at this level, Michigan will quickly establish itself as one of the top teams in the country.

3. Brandon Johns Jr. bounces back

After a tough game on Christmas Day, Brandon Johns Jr. had a nice bounce-back effort in the first half on Thursday. The junior scored six points on 3-of-3 shooting, had a big block on defense, and just seemed to play with more poise and control against Maryland. Johns Jr. remains an important role player for the Wolverines, especially following the injury to Austin Davis. While he didn’t get much run in the second half, Johns Jr’s first half performance was encouraging.

4. Wolverines’ running like a well-oiled machine

Michigan’s efficiency on offense was impressive against the Terrapins. The Wolverines shot just shy of 59 percent from the floor (30-of-51), with 15 of their 30 made baskets coming via an assist. Michigan also got to the free throw line early and often and took advantage, hitting 18-of-20 attempts. The Wolverines had four players in double figures with Mike Smith (16 points) and Eli Brooks (10 points) joining Dickinson and Wagner. The Wolverines also played well defensively, despite the Terrapins hot shooting from outside. Michigan finished with six blocks and five steals as a team, and the energy was palpable on the defensive end. The Wolverines are bringing it on both ends of the floor.

5. Michigan is alone atop the Big Ten standings

Picked to finish in the middle of the pack in a loaded Big Ten, Michigan stands alone atop the conference at 3-0 after two weeks of league play. For context, the Wolverines’ three wins have come against teams that are a combined 1-9 in conference play thus far, but give Michigan credit for taking care of business. Dickinson, Wagner and Isaiah Livers make up one of the best trios in college basketball, while Mike Smith and Eli Brooks form a strong backcourt. The Wolverines also have a difference-making 6th man in Chaundee Brown Jr. Throw in solid role players Johns Jr. and Terrance Williams – and a potential return for Davis – and this Wolverines squad has the making of a Big Ten title contender. Michigan will be put to the test in the coming weeks, with home matchups against Northwestern, Minnesota and Wisconsin in the first two weeks of 2021.