Freshmen critical to Michigan’s success

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Photo: Michigan Basketball

Freshmen scored 48 of Michigan’s 99 points in its exhibition opening win over the Perugia All-Stars in Rome, Italy on Sunday. The game was never close, but the freshmen contributions served as a reminder of just how necessary first-year players will be to Michigan’s success this season.

Michigan’s starting front court was made up of freshman forward Kameron Chatman and redshirt freshman big man Mark Donnal. The first players off the bench were also freshmen, Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Ricky Doyle, and yet another freshmen, Aubrey Dawkins, wasn’t far behind.

Michigan’s seven freshmen won’t be the main attraction this year – that label is saved for Caris LeVert, Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton – but they will be responsible for just about everything else. The Wolverines stand to be as dependent on freshmen as they’ve been in any of their last four seasons — and that’s saying a lot given that Michigan has only ranked better than 300th in experience once since 2011.

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By The Numbers: Michigan 99, Perugia Select 60

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Michigan beat the Perugia Select All-Stars in a blowout win on Sunday in Rome. A full box score was not available, but Michigan’s media relations team put together a box score with stats for Michigan players.

Since the game wasn’t streamed and we don’t have a lot more to work with, here are some statistical observations and notes from the box score including our traditional Four Factors graph.

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Box Score: Click to view the full Michigan box score

The game was made up of four 10 minute quarters and played by FIBA rules with a 24 second shot clock. The result was a 76 possession game that saw Michigan score 99 points – 1.30 points per possession — and Perugia manage just 60 points (.79 points per trip).

Michigan shot the ball extremely well – 68% on twos and 52.4% on threes for a 72 eFG% – with 36% of its field goal attempts coming from beyond the arc. Michigan’s shooting was especially impressive as the FIBA three-point line is 22.1 feet, over a foot longer than the NCAA’s 20 feet, nine inch line.

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@umichball

Michigan opened its Italian tour in style with a 99-60 victory over the Perugia Select All-Stars in Rome on Sunday.

The Wolverines jumped out to a 13-3 lead and never looked back, extending their lead to 26 points by the end of the first quarter and 36 points at the half.

“Offensively, that first quarter was not what I was expecting. With us playing so well offensively that led to us playing so well defensively,” John Beilein said after the win. “You don’t know what to expect in games like these. The first quarter was probably a little above what I thought we would do. The last three quarters were a little more predictable for a team on a trip like we are on.”

Derrick Walton, Caris LeVert, Zak Irvin, Kameron Chatman and Mark Donnal got the start for the Wolverines. Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Ricky Doyle were the first two players off the bench, according to Michigan Basketball’s twitter account, while Aubrey Dawkins checked into the game shortly after.

Zak Irvin led Michigan with 27 points, 11 rebounds and four assists while fellow sophomore Derrick Walton had 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Caris LeVert had an impressive all-around game, finishing with 11 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals.

“I really shot the ball well today; however, I have to give my teammates credit because they were looking for me and getting me the ball,” Irvin said after the win. “The big thing for me was getting to the hole and I was able to do that. I was able to score inside and outside. It was a great start for us, a great game and hopefully we can keep this going.” [click to continue…]

Primer: Michigan in Italy 2014

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@umichbball

Michigan arrived in Italy on Friday afternoon and will play four games in over the next week on foreign soil. The Wolverines will visit five cities in Italy, starting out in Rome before heading to Vicenza, Verona, Venice and Lake Como. Here’s everything you need to know about the Wolverines’ overseas tour.

When are the games?

Michigan will play games on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday in Italy and will travel from Rome to Vicenza to Poggio Rusco.

  • Sun, Aug. 17: vs. Perugia Select Team, Rome, Italy, 12 p.m. ET
  • Tues, Aug. 19: vs. Vicenza All-Stars, Vicenza, Italy, 2:30 p.m. ET
  • Weds, Aug. 20: vs. Petrarca Padova Oderzo All-Stars, Vicenza, Italy, 2:30 p.m. ET
  • Fri, Aug. 22: vs. Mantova Stings, Poggio Rusco, Italy, 1:00 p.m. ET

Will the games be streamed?

No. As of today, Michigan officials and tournament organizers have no plans to stream any of Michigan’s games while on tour.

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Four questions for Michigan to answer in Italy

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Dustin Johnston

John Beilein couldn’t help but laugh when he was asked if he had any questions that he hoped to answer when Michigan heads to Italy for a ten day trip.

“I have a lot of questions and they’ll be answered over time,” he said with a grin.

Beilein’s roster is littered with questions, not because of a lack of talent or anything else, but because he’s barely had a chance to see so many of his players play. The Wolverines had ten practices in August, but a chance to travel to Italy and play four games will provide an invaluable experience for his team to grow up. Here are four questions that the Wolverines will hope to answer as they leave for Italy today.

Can Michigan’s centers survive?

The first stat I’ll look for on any box scores that make their way state side will be the rebound column. Is Michigan winning the rebounding battle – mainly on defense – and who is grabbing the rebounds? The U-M frontcourt doesn’t have much of any experience and is the first question on John Beilein’s mind.

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Video: PJ Dozier Summer Highlights

PJ Dozier will visit Michigan officially on September 26th and will make his college choice between Michigan, South Carolina, North Carolina, Louisville and Georgetown. Dozier had a big summer on the AAU circuit and proved that he’s fully recovered from his ACL surgery. Watch footage from Courtside Films in the embedded media player below.

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