there would have to be some to wash away
Michigan faced a tougher test against the Mantova Stings, which will move up to Italy's second divison this year, than they had in their first three games of the Italy tour. Despite falling behind early in the third quarter, however, the Wolverines still managed to win with relative ease, holding the Stings to ten fourth-quarter points to win 96-76. Michigan finishes with a perfect 4-0 record in Italy, and they'll head back to Ann Arbor this weekend.
Zak Irvin led the team in scoring for the fourth time in four games with 16 points to go along with ten rebounds. Six other Wolverines, including three freshmen—MAAR, Ricky Doyle, and Aubrey Dawkins—finished in double figures. Full box score (click to embiggen):
Tweet of the day goes to this guy:
— Kevin McCarthy (@kevmc21) August 22, 2014
Basketball-related Macbeth reference? TMD.
Postgame quotes courtesy of the athletic deparment.
Michigan Head Coach John Beilein
On what can be gained from today's game in comparison to the previous three contests ... "Every game has helped us in different ways. These games are not about the score, but experiencing playing basketball with a team like we have right now. As we went through the games, we saw new things that we have to learn. Today we played a very experienced team; they had a plan. They haven't been practicing a lot, but the things that they ran are a part of European basketball everywhere. They picked us apart at times, however we scored some points, too."
On whether or not the team got what he wanted them to get out of the Italian Tour ... "Without question. The number one thing is that we got extra days of practice and we also got to play these four games. Close to that in importance is the relationship-building we were able to do on this trip. From player-to-player, player-to-coach and coach-to-player, that was really tremendous. Now let's all get home safely, and this will have been a tremendous trip."
Sophomore Spike Albrecht
On the experience as a whole, from a basketball perspective ... "It was a great experience for everyone and a lot of fun. I was happy with the way the guys came over here and played and the unselfishness that I saw, especially from the freshmen; they were unbelievable. They had a really strong showing over here."
On the way the team responded to a tight second-half score in today's game ... "That was one thing I was looking forward to seeing. When things went a little south, how would we respond? We did a great job refocusing and bringing lots of energy. Our depth was great tonight; we had guys stepping up off the bench and we really played well."
On the experience from a team bonding perspective ... "It was unbelievable -- a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We got to see things most of us have never seen in our life and may never get to see again, so to be out here because someone else was willing to pay for it is special. We can't thank them enough for the opportunity. It means a lot to every one of us."
Junior Caris LeVert
On the takeaways from this four-game tour ... "It was a great experience coming out here, especially for the freshmen to get comfortable with our offense and our defense and go out there in a game setting and do what we've been practicing."
On the resilience the team showed in the second half of today's game ... "They were up in the second half, so we had to turn up the defensive intensity. We knocked down some shots in the third and fourth quarters, so that was big for us. Off the bench, Muhammad really played well when I was in foul trouble, so that was huge for us."
On the experience from a team bonding perspective ... "Only a couple of guys had been over here -- I think Mark and Derrick, so for us to come overseas and play basketball and be with each other like this was a great bonding experience. We went to some great places like the Vatican and the Colosseum, so it was a blessing to be able to come over here."
Sophomore Derrick Walton Jr.
On how he felt about his performance in today's contest ... "The key for me was just being aggressive and knowing that the team needed me tonight. I came out and hit shots I'd be expected to hit during the season, so the early start was important."
On the four-game tour as a whole and what it has done for the team ... "Mostly it built confidence. For the freshmen, being able to come out and play with us to get a couple of games under their belt gives us team chemistry."
On how the team will benefit down the line from this set of games ... "In the Big Ten, no game is going to be a 20-point game like we had here. It's all getting us ready for the one-possession, two-possession games. As far as getting out and jumping on teams, we've done that in the past, and it doesn't happen often but when you're playing like we have it can always be a possibility."
On the experience from a team bonding perspective ... "It's brought the team a lot closer together. We have a lot of young guys that we've only seen for a couple months, so being able to room with them, talk with them and learn about their personal lives, it brings us closer together on the court. It makes for better continuity out on the floor."
Finally, here are the full combined team/player stats from the four games in Italy (click to embiggen):
Caveat on the turnover/steal/block numbers—those weren't available for the second game, so the totals may be a little misleading. A big thanks to the Michigan basketball media staff for compiling these; I believe they had to do three of the games by hand.
In a much closer game, Michigan defeats Montova 96-76. Montova managed to keep it pretty close most of the game, even briefly taking the lead just after halftime, but Michigan puts it away late and wins by 20.
Game tweets here:
If you aren't on a mobile device, you can still follow the action by refreshing this page
https://twitter.com/umichbball or if your work computer doesn't like social media
The Stings should pose a pretty good challenge for our fledgling Wolverines. One could compare the Stings to an NBADL team.
(Bolded info plagiarised directly from UMhoops. All hail Dylan)
Mantova went 18-10 in the third division of Italian basketball last season and bumped up to A2 Gold, the second division, this year.
The Stings are upgrading this year in preparation for the move. They signed several new players including Aristide Lande,
a power forward loaned from top Italian club Virtus Bologna and who played with Italy’s U20 Gold Medal team in 2013.
Italian-American center Ryan Amoroso,
who averaged 15.3 points and 11.2 rebounds per game last season, and Riccardo Moraschini
an Italian international who played for Virtus Roma (the team that just signed Jordan Morgan) last season, and Robert Fultz
a 32 year old guard with years of experience.
Dylan says the biggest challenge for Michigan will be battling against Mantova’s leader in the front, Johndre Jefferson.
Jefferson graduated from South Carolina in 2011 and while he only averaged 2 points and 2 rebounds per game in college, he’s blossomed in Italy. He’s 6-foot-10 and averaged 12.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, shooting 60% from the floor. Jefferson’s size, experience and athleticism should give Michigan’s frontline all it can handle overseas. Jefferson’s size, experience and athleticism should give Michigan’s frontline all it can handle overseas.
I believe that these are the "Grown Arse Men" people have been clamoring for Michigan to face. If Ricky and Mark can hang with these guys, it will bode very well for the season as a whole.
Interview and story re: Austin Hatch coming up on the Today Show for anyone who's interested in watching. Not sure of the exact time...just referenced that it'll be in "the next hour."
Looks like he was interviewed by Maria Shriver (or, "Skeletor," as my wife calls her).
Get out the tissues. Or start chopping onions or release some dust in the air.
Over at umhoops. MGoBlue has not posted it yet.
|11/10||vs Wayne State (ex)|
|Progressive Legends Classic (Regional Round)|
|Progressive Legends Classic (Brooklyn, NY)|
|11/29||vs Nicholls State|
|12/9||vs Eastern Michigan|
|12/22||vs Coppin State|
|1/6||at Penn State*|
|B1G Tournament (Chicago, IL)|
Here is a brief preview of the men's baketball game tomorrow versus the Mantova Stings, the last game in their Italy tour: http://www.stings.it/stings-vs-michigan/
It's written in Italian, so use Google Translate to read it in English. And reading this through Google translate, the interesting take aways are:
- Michigan is one of the best teams in history
- Jordan Morgan to the Timerwolves summer league is the only NBA player mentioned from Michigan
- Caris LeVert will be next year's #1 draft pick
Michigan is simply one of the best and most constant teams in the history of NCAA Division I as demonstrated by the results obtained in the last two years under the guidance of Coach John Beilein: Final NCAA Tournament in 2013 and victory in the Big Ten (regular season and tournament) with reaching the Elite 8 in the NCAA Tournament in 2014.The University of Michigan has 45,000 students and the matches played by the Men's Basketball team are the most watched American TV in the NCAA.Numerous college athletes have also landed in the NBA, the last one was Jordan Morgan called to participate in the Summer League in Las Vegas with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Another player in the spotlight is Caris LeVert, 1st choice next to the NBA Draft, which the public will be able to see Mantua play tomorrow night. Along with the latter, even Zak Irvin gave the show in friendlies earlier in Vicenza; the young guard has an average of 42% in the three-point shot.