Number 19 Michigan Dominates Northwood in Ann Arbor
On Friday night in Ann Arbor the number 19 Michigan Wolverines took the court for the first time since falling to Villanova at the 2018 national championship game in San Antonio Texas in April when they faced the Timberwolves of Northwood University. Michigan did have three key offseason departures from their roster Mortiz Wagner (1st round pick by the Los Angeles Lakers), Duncan Robinson (two way contract with the Miami Heat and Sioux Fall Skyforce), and Muhammad-Ali Abdur Rahkman (G-League with Canton Charge), however, that did not appear to impact them one bit as they easily dominated Northwood 90-58, and had six players score in double figures.
Michigan forced eight Northwood turnovers each half, and capitalized on many of them getting an abundance of transition dunks, alley-oops, and layups. That ended up being a theme for the Wolverines as they scored 22 fast break points After jumping out to a double digit 22-12 lead at the under eight media timeout in the first half Michigan never looked back, and only grew their lead throughout the game particularly in the early second half. At the 14:21 mark in the second half Zavier Simpson threw a alley-oop pass to Isaiah Livers that got everyone at the Chrysler Center on their feet. The bench got a full four minutes of playing time at the end, and many of them actually got in the box score. Michigan coach John Beilein thought there was room for improvement though telling me after the game ” I want to see the video more why there were so many offensive rebounds, and some of them it was just like the ball was funky and going all over the place, but we have to get 50/50’s better. I blame that on myself. Our scout team has not crashed the boards as hard as the Big Ten will, and I have to get them to do that. There are a lot of things we need to clean up.” Beilein did seem to like his team’s perimeter defense though saying “I do like that a three point shooting team only got 13 threes off, and one of their makes was when we went to our bench where our guys are still learning to play.”
Michigan was lead in scoring by Charles Mathews and Ignas Brazdeikis who both had 13. Trey McBride had 16 for the Timberwolves. He has now scored a combined 29 points in Northwood’s two exhibition games against division one opponents. Next up for Northwood is Delta College on Monday night while Michigan opens their season on Tuesday night at home against the Spartans of Norfolk State as part of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.
By: Ethan Hennessy