Final Horn: Michigan 96, Bryant 60

Dylan Burkhardt

Michigan breezed through its final pre-Big Ten tune-up of the 2015-16 season in style as it knocked off Bryant by a final score of 96-60. The Wolverines hit a school record 17 threes in the blowout win and led 57-35 at the half.

Player of the game: Caris LeVert

With three starters in double-figures at half time, you could really take your pick for player of the game. Caris LeVert gets the nod as he finished with 19 points, eight assists and five rebounds in the victory. LeVert was effective against the zone early on and took over in the second half in isolation situations after Bryant moved into a man-to-man look. LeVert hit threes, got to the rim and got his big men involved for good measure.

It was over when: Bryant rolled out a 2-3 zone

There are ways to beat Michigan, but a 2-3 zone won’t be at the top of any Big Ten coach’s list. Bryant played strictly 2-3 zone in the first half and the Wolverines torched the Bulldog defense. Michigan scored 1.78 points per possession in the first half with a ridiculous 84% effective field goal percentage with assists on 17 of 21 made field goals. Bryant went to a man-to-man defense in the second half, but the damage was done.

Stat of the game: Three-point shooting

Michigan broke a school record with 17 made three-pointers in the win. Eight different Wolverines hit at least one triple and Duncan Robinson led the way with four made triples. The Wolverines finished the game 17 of 35 from long distance in the blowout win.

Room for Improvement: Defense

There were still plenty defensive woes on Wednesday night as Bryant scored 1.09 points per possession in the first half and .94 points per possession for the game. There were still too many missed assignments, too many blown close-outs and too many easy shots for the Bulldogs, who finished the game with a 57% effective field goal percentage. Big Ten play is looming and the Wolverines will have to tighten up those defensive cracks to make their mark in conference play.

Four Factors

four fac brynat
  • bobohle

    Good to see Zak getting in the groove for the start of conference play. Donnal has been much more aggressive lately. I don’t see anyone shutting us down completely on the 3 pt line. We have too many shooters. I think if we played U Conn and Xavier now it would be a much more competitive game. I think we will do well in conference play now.

    • DetroitDan

      Right. Robinson, LeVert, Irvin, Dawkins, and Walton are all dangerous 3-point shooters. We’ll miss Albrecht, but fortunately MAAR is tested and capable. Good depth at the center position, so we can afford to get physical there. Wagner may be another 3-point threat before the year is out, and Wilson has hit 3 in a row from long range. Good to see Chatman hit that one at the buzzer to set the record.

      Team is settling into a good rotation. We might not see much of Chatman and Dakich for awhile, but good to see them tonight and last Saturday.

    • JohnNavarreIsMyHero

      Well said bobhohle! I think we lacked intensity and organization, especially in that Xavier game. We had trouble adjusting to the reffing, which our coaches and players are now starting to get a better grasp of. I think our shooters were hesitating a bit as well. I see less of that now. More energy, more fluidity, and it looks like guys know where they need to be and what their role is. The Texas and NC State wins will continue to be solid imo and the fact that neither was on our home floor will make them even more valuable.

      We will get off to a great start in the Big Ten and our team will be successful .

  • Mattski

    I keep defending these guys, but I am terrified of the way people blow past us, night in, night out. What is up with that? Until last year, Beilein had one guy after another stepping up to take charges. . . We get beaten up top AND down below.

  • MChem83

    Not sure what it means at this point to say that we need to “tighten up those defensive cracks”. Sure, that’d be nice, but how long have we been saying that about Beilein’s defenses? What hasn’t happened in years is not going to suddenly happen in the next week or two, particularly not with the personnel we have. Bottom line, we’re going to have to live with a porous defense for the foreseeable future, and cross our fingers that we can generate enough offense to make up for it sometimes.