It Was A Total Team Effort
Almost everyone got involved offensively tonight. The Wolverines had four players score double-digit points while shooting over 50% from the field and had seven players score at least six points. They shot the ball extremely well as a team at a 55.9% clip, and did a very nice job of attacking the basket, especially early in the game, as the Wolverines were up 15 points before knocking down their first three. Michigan did not do much damage from the outside tonight, as they hit just four threes, but they didn’t need to knock down threes, as they got good looks on layups and mid-range jumpers all night.
Isaiah Livers Is A Superstar and Perfect Leader For This Michigan Team
For the third straight game, Isaiah Livers shot at least 50% from the field and finished with at least 17 points. The Wolverines know what they are going to get from Livers, he constantly shoots the ball well, plays solid defense, hustles, and leads. Livers was fantastic tonight shooting 8-for-11 from the field with a team high 21 points. Livers is an unselfish player and constantly does the little things that don’t necessarily show up in the stat sheet that help the Wolverines win. For example, after Livers missed a layup, he did not give up on the play and sulk about missing the shot, he rather ran back on defense and poked the ball away from the Ball State ball handler. Livers was tremendous again tonight and will have to continue to be if the Wolverines want to make a run at a Big Ten Championship.
Franz Wagner Comes Alive
Wagner is too talented to scuffle on offense for long. After putting up just 14 points in the Wolverine's first two games, Wagner came out firing to start this contest. In fact, he scored or assisted on Michigan’s first nine points of the game. Wagner attacked the basket right from tip off, as he drew four fouls in the first five minutes of the game. The 6-9 sophomore is at his best when he attacks the basket early and that is exactly what he did tonight. Once he finds a rhythm offensively then his three point shot is more likely to fall, as he drilled his only three point attempt of the night. Michigan is much better when Wagner is aggressive, as he set the tone for the Wolverines tonight.
The Freshman Continues to Impress
Hunter Dickinson earned his first career collegiate double-double tonight, and it likely won’t be his last. The big man picked up where he left off in the Wolverines' previous game, as he had nice finishes at the basket, played solid defense, and rebounded the ball well on both ends of the court.
Mike Smith is Going To Be Very Good for Michigan
Smith can score at all three levels. He can finish at the basket, knock down mid-range jumpers and make the three ball. It is easy to see why he averaged 22.8 points per game for Columbia last year. Smith is also a good and willing passer. He is not as good a defender as last year's point guard Zavier Simpson was, but he does a nice job of reading passing lanes and finding his hands on the basketball. Michigan fans should be impressed and hopeful about their point guard play in the post-Simpson era.