Sunday, January 6, 2013

Wolverines Improve to 2-0 in Big Ten Play Behind Another Explosive Offensive Performance

Quick Recap: The Wolverines withstood a competitive Hawkeye team early, behind a dominant second half performance and another shooting masterpiece. With the score tied 29-29 with just over three minutes to play in the 1st half, the Wolverines engineered a 17-6 run to close the half and ultimately pulled away in the 2nd second half, cruising to a 95-67 victory over Iowa (11-4, 0-2) and improving to 15-0 on the season.

Game Changing Moment: The engineer of the 17-6 run to close the first half was Mitch McGary, particularly on the defensive end. With Michigan leading 31-29, McGary emphatically rejected an Aaron White shot attempt in the post, leading to a Trey Burke layup. McGary added a dunk and 2 rebounds in that stretch, one of which led to a fast-break layup by Glenn Robinson III right as the 1st half buzzer sounded.

Freshman Sensations: Four of Michigan’s fabulous freshman put up big numbers today. Glenn Robinson III registered a double-double, with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Nik Stauskas had 13 points and three point shot looked sharp again, shooting 3 of 6 from behind the arc. Caris LeVert added 9 points off the bench. However, the most impressive performance this afternoon came from Mitch McGary. He contributed 5 points, including a smooth fourteen-foot jumper, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks, with many other shots altered. The future is indeed very bright in Ann Arbor.

Best Point Guard in the Country?: The orchestrator behind Michigan’s 58.1% shooting seemed to fly under the radar today. However, Trey Burke consistently put his freshman teammates in wonderful positions to the score the basketball, as Burke notched 12 assists to go along with 19 points. It is really nice to see Burke operate with a myriad of offensive weapons. His talent has been on display night in and night out, and he is becoming the consensus top point guard in the country as performances like these continue.

Developing Before Our Eyes: The criticism of Tim Hardaway Jr. in his first two seasons at Michigan has revolved around the tendency for his numbers to dip once Big Ten play starts. It appears this trend might disappear this year. Today, Hardaway scored 19 points in addition to 5 rebounds and 5 assists. He has been more aggressive with the basketball these past two games compared to earlier this season, but his decision-making with the basketball was better than ever today, as he only committed 1 turnover.

Big Picture: Michigan is now 2-0 in conference play. They must continue to hold serve at home. The next matchup is Wednesday against Nebraska at Crisler Center. The Wolverines need to take care business.

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