Game 5: Charlotte vs. Michigan Recap

Dylan Burkhardt

After a pair of demoralizing losses, Michigan got the pick-me-up it needed with a 102-47 trouncing of Charlotte.

Moritz Wagner was the star for the Wolverines, finishing with 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting, but 11 different Michigan players scored and four reached double figures despite no one playing more than 25 minutes in the blowout.

The win was a boost for a faltering Michigan squad, but it’ll have to take the next step and build off the performance against Texas tomorrow evening to make the trip to the Bahamas a success.

charlotte four factors

Michigan’s 102 points and 1.47 points per possession were its best offensive performance since December 7th, 2013 against Houston Baptist. There was no secret to the Wolverines’ offensive explosion: they hit open shot after open shot. Michigan shot 68% on twos and 52% on threes for a 71% effective field goal percentage. Michigan hit 10 of 15 treys in the second half after making only 2 of 8 long range efforts in the first.

Defensively, this was Michigan’s best per-possession showing since December, 2012 when it held Western Michigan and Binghamton below .67 points per trip in consecutive weeks. Charlotte’s offense was dysfunctional at best, but the lone bright spot might be that the Wolverines held an above-average offensive rebounding team to just an 18% offensive rebounding rate. Derrick Walton (8 defensive boards), Kameron Chatman (6) and Aubrey Dawkins (4) all had impressive days on the defensive glass in the victory.

This win didn’t teach us much about Michigan. Charlotte is probably going to give up 100 points in a few more games this season and it probably won’t face many teams that will be as motivated as Michigan was tonight to really prove that they can run up the score. The Wolverines needed this game for their own mental psyche after missing so many open shots against UConn on Wednesday and now will have another chance against a very good Texas team.

Player Bullets:

  • Moritz Wagner: Wagner scored 19 points in 16 minutes and showed off his full arsenal of moves. He had two drives from the top of the key that he finished with a spinning and-one layup. He scored on the pick-and-roll and the pick-and-pop. He had a tip-in and had a pair of nice finishes around the rim down low in the second half. He’s far from a finished product, but a few more games like this and we’ll be talking about what he is right now and not what he could be in the future.
  • Derrick Walton: Walton really set the tone in the first half with his defensive rebounding. He grabbed eight first half defensive boards and did a great job of starting the break. In the second half he hit a pair of big threes in the 10-2 opening run that blew the game open.
  • Ricky Doyle: Doyle grabbed a pair of rebounds on both ends of the floor and also threw down a monster one-handed tip dunk that was arguably the highlight of the evening in a game that had many.
  • Caris LeVert: LeVert had his fair share of impressive plays, but he had more assists (5) than made field goals. John Beilein said after the game that it was a focus over the last 24 hours to make sure the ball didn’t stick with LeVert and it certainly didn’t tonight.
  • Aubrey Dawkins: Dawkins reached double digits without a made three-pointer (a rare feat in his young career) and did most of his work around the rim. He was 4-of-4 on twos and had a nice driving transition layup to go along with four defensive boards.
  • Zak Irvin: Irvin doubled his made field goal count on the season and was critical early on for the Wolverines. He hit a couple mid-range jumpers and knocked in a three-pointer early, but more impressively he handed out four assists including a lob for a monster Ricky Doyle alley-oop. He was just 1-of-4 from three-point range overall, but it was the best floor game that he’s played this season.
  • Duncan Robinson: Robinson was invisible in the first half (he didn’t record a statistic in eight minutes), but he knocked in three triples in the second. In a game where just about everyone had enough shots to find their confidence, it was good to see Robinson join the party in the second half.
  • Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman: Abdur-Rahkman posted a solid 4 points and two dimes in 21 minutes off the bench. He continues to bring strong takes to the hole, but there are times when the offense really seemed to sputter in the first half when he was out there running the show with a group of reserves. With Albrecht limited (he played only to rest others tonight), it’ll be interesting to see how Abdur-Rahkman does running the team in spots as Walton’s backup.
  • Kameron Chatman: Chatman didn’t see much action until the game was well out of hand, but he did a good job on the glass (eight rebounds) and knocked in a few mid-range jumpers to get on the board with six points offensively.
  • DJ Wilson: Wilson still brings such a unique combination of skills to the table, but he just can’t seem to put them all together in a reliable package. He knocked in two of three three-point attempts and hit a turnaround jumper on the block late. He had an assist, a block and ever grabbed a pair of rebounds, but he also had three turnovers.
  • Mark Donnal: Donnal knocked in 3 of 5 shots from the floor for 7 points in seven minutes and even grabbed three defensive boards while he was on the court. He was also whistled for 3 fouls — bringing his season average to 11.4 fouls per 40 minutes
  • mirepoix

    Dylan, any chance we’ll get a ‘5 key plays’ on this one for those of us who were unable to access the game? Would be nice to get a glimpse of what Mo was showing.

    • Hopefully. That’s the tentative plan.

    • Nick posts pretty comprehensive highlights of the games fyi

      • JimC_UM

        Yes it’s kindof a nice Mo Wagner highlight reel. But it also has Doyle’s slam, and I agree with Dylan that’s the highlight of the night…and hopefully Doyle will keep that aggressiveness going.

    • mirepoix

      Great, thanks all!

      • Five Key Plays should be a go. Check back this afternoon!

  • Barth Applefeld

    Thanks for all the great articles. You are the best. One obvious correction: Correction: After a pair of demoralizing LOSSES.

  • Wayman Britt

    Good game for everybody’s confidence. The game against Texas is huge. I know it’s early, but if this team wants to go to the dance it needs a win over Texas. Otherwise there is so much more pressure on the NC State & SMU games.

  • Indiana_Matt

    I was not able to see this game other than the highlights. I feel like there is always cautious, qualified talk about Wagner (far from a finished product). In the highlights he looks outstanding. He just looks like a player. Haven’t seen a big man for us look that skilled offensively since McGary. And he actually might have better footwork than McGary at same stage. Other than his frame (needs to get stronger) what are the negatives anyone is seeing in his game? I am ready to praise him without reservation!

  • Obviously they played much better tonight. It is WAY too early to worry about this team. Our 3 best players from last year are all coming back from injury. Give this team time to get to get used to playing together and we’ll be in for a show.

    Add in the rule changes (shot clock, etc.) and there’s obviously going to be an adjustment period. We will be fine. This is a tourney team for sure, and the talent is there for a S16/E8 type of run. Be patient people.