Michigan 117, Concordia 44

Submitted by Ace on October 29th, 2013 at 9:24 PM

There's your game in a nutshell. Michigan ran rampant over an undersized and overwhelmed Concordia squad, and the visitors only made matters worse by insisting on running a full-court press for much of the game. This, unsurprisingly, did not go well.

Stat lines of importance:

Glenn Robinson III: 33 points, 8/9 2P, 4/6 3P, 5/5 FT, 3 rebs, 4 asts, 2 stls, 1 TO
Nik Stuaskas: 23 points, 5/5 2P, 2/3 3P, 7/7 FT, 3 rebs, 3 asts, 1 block, 1 steal, +103(!!!)
Caris LeVert: 16 points, 6/6 2P, 1/2 3P, 1/3 FT, 4 rebs, 10(!) asts, 3 stls, 1 TO
Derrick Walton: 11 points, 2/3 2P, 2/4 3P, 1/2 FT, 4 rebs, 4 asts, 4 stls, 1 TO


Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog

Scattered thoughts from a rote exhibition blowout—Concordia caveats very much apply:

  • Michigan opened with a starting lineup of Albrecht, Stauskas, Robinson, Morgan, and Horford; Beilein played two bigs for lengthy portions of the game, and it's clear he's serious about incorporating that in a major way even without the services of Mitch McGary, who watched from the sideline in a (pretty sharp) suit.
  • Derrick Walton looked every bit the part of a starting point guard. He pushed the pace well, displayed impressive hands on defense, and had a nice balance of looking for his own shot and creating open looks for others.
  • Caris LeVert may be gunning for that point guard spot himself. He dished out ten assists to just one turnover, confidently got to any spot on the floor he wanted, and finished strong at the rim on multiple occasions. Again, it's Concordia, but he looked very capable of living up to the sky-high practice hype.
  • Also in the good sign department: Glenn Robinson couldn't miss from the field, whether contested or not, and he also dished out four assists while picking just the right spots to get aggressive.
  • Nik Stauskas remains Nik Stauskas, which is quite nice.
  • Zak Irvin scored a quiet ten points on seven shots, displaying a nice shooting stroke while also showing off his defensive prowess; his combination of length and quickness gave Concordia a lot of problems. That goes for the team as a whole, as well; we saw the "nobody shorter than 6'6" lineup with LeVert running the point, and it was dominant defensively (even more so than the rest of the lineups).
  • One thing that I think will hold up regardless of opponent: Michigan is looking to run off of every defensive rebound, and with good reason. The outlet passing from the bigs—and also the guards—was impressive, leading to a ton of easy fast break buckets. With a pass-first guard like Walton leading the break, the team looked unstoppable in transition—this is a very athletic team that can finish at the hoop.
  • Mark Donnal appears headed for a redshirt; he didn't enter the game until the score was 111-36 with 5:38 left, and most of his time was spent alongside the walk-ons.

I can't bring myself to write much more about such a meaningless game; I'll say that, even accounting for the opponent, just about everything that could go well went well. The shooting was obviously great (30/41 from two, 11/22 from three), the team moved the ball around very well without turning it over (26 assists, 6 TOs), and the Wolverines were effectively aggressive on defense. Yes, there's good reason this game didn't count; that doesn't mean there isn't reason for optimism after seeing Michigan perform with such brutal efficiency.

Comments

lebriarj

October 29th, 2013 at 9:32 PM ^

Well it's good to see GRIII starting out strong in a meaningless game. I think UofM could be better and the reason I say why is because of better play from GRIII and Levert. Mitch and Nick will be as advertised. The team will teach the 2 young FR how to play the Michigan way. Hail to the Victors.

ClearEyesFullHart

October 29th, 2013 at 11:24 PM ^

I thought Stauskas was the best player on the floor in the first half. You could tell he was dying to posterize someone, he seemed a lot more confident with the ball, And a lot more active on defense and with the 50/50 balls. The freshmen seemed invisible until Walton went on his 3ball-steal-layup flurry with about 5 to go in the first half.

The second half was all GR3. He couldn't miss from downtown, and he and Caris were throwing down pretty dunks all night. Irvin was pretty quiet, although he did hit some shots. He looked smooth. Maybe too smooth...guess its hard to get a feel against Concordia(Although I can remember a year they had a wide-body post player who had the game of his career and nearly beat us).

If you're looking for negatives...Our bigs didn't dominate like you'd hope. Horford and Morgan missed a lot of bunnies and put-backs. It's going to be hard justifying keeping both of them on the court if it means putting Caris or GR3 on the bench. And our scrubs are terrible. Eso Akunne ain't walking through that door. Once you get past Donnell...Well, the scout team isn't going to be a strength.

maineandblue

October 29th, 2013 at 9:35 PM ^

Indeed, Concordia caveats apply, but I've seen us lay plenty of stinkers and look underwhelming against exhibition (or supposedly out of our league early season) opponents. Wish our football team would have been half as dominant against Akron and UConn. Can only take this as a good sign, and know that sky's the limit when McGary hopefully returns to action healthy soon. 

J.

October 30th, 2013 at 3:37 AM ^

According to the box score ( http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/mich/sports/m-baskbl/auto_pdf/2013-14/box_score/stats_20131030aaa.pdf ):
 

Stauskas started; he came out with 14:33 remaining in the first half, when the score was 9-6 (+3).  He re-entered with 12:20 remaining; the score was 16-9.  He then played the remainder of the first half, started the second half, and came out with 12:29 to play, when the score was 87-27 (+53).  Finally, he came back in with 9:31 left and a 98-29 score, and sat for good with 8:02 remaining, up 106-31 (+6).  Add the three together, and he was +62.

kvnryn

October 30th, 2013 at 1:12 PM ^

Yeah, Michigan only won by 73, so for that +103 stat to be true, they would have had to have been outscored by 30 when he wasn't on the floor. Not sure how that stat got out into the aether so pervasively without someone stopping to think for a second.

champswest

October 29th, 2013 at 10:29 PM ^

LaVert, Robinson and Stauskas. All have improved significantly.
Horford was strong on the boards and challenging shots.
Walton can play. He will be able to take over soon.
LaVert looked pretty good at the point.
I liked the 2 bigs look, especially on defense. When one of them is McGary, it could be really good.
We have a lot of weapons.

DingoBlue

October 30th, 2013 at 10:05 AM ^

but that could be based on a difference of meaning.  I didn't like Albrecht dribbling the air out of the ball a couple times (as he has done all of last season) whereas Walton was always looking to set something up.  Regardless, both are good and will be great players for the team going forward.

Bambi

October 29th, 2013 at 11:21 PM ^

The thing that makes me happy, beyond all the bovious we looked incredible stuff, was the free throw shooting, specifically GR3. Free throws are free throws, no matter the opponent, and after being mediocre at best last year, he hit all 5 of his today. If he can hit at even a 75% clip, the hack a GR3 startegy is no longer an option, and then watch out.

Ann Arbor Cardinal

October 29th, 2013 at 11:36 PM ^

Or Concordia would have brought its A-game. You know they didn't want to show all their cards at an exhibition game, since Spring Arbor was probably there scouting them. If UM misses out on March Madness and the NIT and ends up in the NAIA tournament, Concordia will probably be favored. (Today I am a Concordia troll, if such a thing exists.)

UMfan21

October 29th, 2013 at 11:50 PM ^

What was really nice was all of the jumpers sinking.  It's one thing to outrun an overmatched team, but to nail open looks is a different ball of wax.  And for the most part the team was pretty flawless.  Besides the three balls there were a few really nice mid range jumpers in there.  I hope every night the team is shooing like this, especially GRIII.  His shooting really impressed me tonight.

One question about this being an exhibition:  I know this doesn't count towards the record or NCAA seeding...but do these stats count for the players?  Or, technically have Walton and Irvin not scored their first career points yet?

kzooblue2016

October 30th, 2013 at 12:42 AM ^

Derrick Walton had some passes that were down right nasty. The no look to J-Mo, the bounce to Caris for the dunk...and another one I can't quite remember. He reminded me of Trey attacking of the pick and roll, though they obviously differ in the pass first/score first mentality. I also now realize I am saying this after one game...against Concordia. 

bronxblue

October 30th, 2013 at 9:53 AM ^

If Mitch comes back and they move Caris to PG, this team is going to be absurdly large and athletic.  I like what Walton and Irvin bring to the team as starters/rotation newcomers, but Robinson looks like a new player out there, and if that is the case I can't think of more than 3-4 teams in the country with equal talent.

charblue.

October 30th, 2013 at 12:24 PM ^

this year in matchup situations where he can dictate whether he wants to go big or small without loss of firepower or defensive intensity. The best part is he can bring Walton and Irvin along at a pace where their game can flow with their teammates and they won't be counted on as major contributors which Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway were. There looks to be any number of potential leaders on this team. It will be interesting to see who steps to the forefront to grab that role. 

Yes, last night was just an exhibition. But this team rocks. And it will be a joy to follow them throughout the season. One thing you know will happen soon, and that is development of their own identity, something the football team is still trying to determine. 

Biggest early season contest, the visit to Durham to face the Dukies. Hoping Mitch has healed to the point that he will be a factor in that game. 

Having the kind of size this team does, enables it to switch at will on defense and force the tempo and push the ball off any turnover or rebound. When you have three possible PGs, two or three guys who can play shooting guard and small forward, and four guys who can go power forward and center, you are versatile and deep. And that will take you a long way as the season progresses because production isn't limited to one or two guys. 

Piston Blue

October 30th, 2013 at 2:02 PM ^

Looking at the free throw numbers, we had a couple games where we blew leads (*cough, Indiana, *cough) because we couldn't shoot FTs. GRIII looks improved, but if Levert, Walton and Mcgary want to be in during crunch time then they gotta improve those numbers.

Indonacious

October 30th, 2013 at 3:31 PM ^

A friend of mine is a student manager and tells me that we will not be seeing McGary anytime soon and that the back injury has reduced him to essentially water aerobic workouts and no real basketball activity. He didn't think the team had a time table in mind with him.