In Michigan's second exhibition contest of the season, it took them two minutes and 39 seconds to get on the board against . Tonight's opponent, the Wayne State Warriors, even managed an early 3-0 lead, but after a Stauskas drive to the hoop for two and and a Caris LeVert trey from the top of the key in transition, Michigan started to put a little space between them and the Warriors.
However, WSU continued to hang around a little bit, mainly via the three-point shot. In the first half, the Warriors went 5-for-10 from beyond the arc. Fortunately for Michigan, they were even better from downtown, going 7-for-11 themselves. Very few of Michigan's looks were seriously contested, but a make is a make (and sometimes those uncontested looks can actually be more difficult shots for some players).
Derrick Walton got his first start, and minus a bad three early and an open three that was well short, the freshman point guard made things happen for the Wolverines. On one sequence, he picked a Warrior's pocket, pushed it up the floor and hit Nik Stauskas, who finished through contact at the rim.
Later, Walton hit a trey from the left corner despite getting fouled in the process. Once again, level of competition caveats apply, but given what little data we have, early returns are encouraging vis-a-vis the play of Walton.
Speaking of promising freshmen, Zak Irvin had a nice first half, scoring nine points on three treys. Thus far, he has not been shy about getting his shots, and he's living up to the "hunter" descriptor given to him by John Beilein.
The Wolverines went into the half up 46-30. The points per possession in the first half went as such: Michigan--1.51, WSU--0.98.
Michigan didn't do much to extend the lead early in the second half. Through the first six minutes of the second, Michigan upped the 18. The Wolverines seemed constantly one run away from truly blowing the doors off the Warriors. Again, this game meant nothing, and it never really was close, even though an 18-point lead seems insubstantial after a win like last Tuesday's.
WSU did cut the Michigan lead to 13 with under 11 minutes to play, but they never got closer than that. The most exciting part of the final 10 minutes came when Zak irvin, thinking he had an open breakaway dunk, got his slam attempt swatted from behind. Of course, this allowed one of the student announcers to say "Get that salami out of here!" This exclamation was followed by at least 10 seconds of silence, making it all the better.
Anyway, even though the Wolverines got cold early in the second half, it was a comfortable win, albeit not the prettiest. More importantly, the freshmen duo of Walton and Irvin impressed once again, Irvin with his outside shooting and Walton with his overall quickness and distribution abilities.
Nik Stauskas paced the Wolverines with 17 points and six rebounds on 5-for-8 shooting. LeVert and Glenn Robinson III pitched in 16 and 15 points, respectively. Derrick Walton scored seven points and had four assists to two turnovers.
The part of Michigan's season that actually counts begins this Friday against UMass-Lowell, as the Wolverines look to avenge the hockey team's loss to Lowell on Oct. 26.