Now they count, and after one such game, the Wolverines are 1-0.
It wasn't pretty early on, however. Hillsdale jumped out to a 12-3 lead, powered by Stedman Lowry, who poured in 11 in just about 2.5 minutes of play. The Chargers couldn't miss, but, as if often the case when an opponent is shooting lights out, Michigan's defense didn't offer much resistance.
With so many fresh faces, defensive overextension and guys just generally not being where they need to be isn't too surprising. Regardless, most of those early Chargers were wide open looks, while Michigan couldn't hit at the other end, starting 1-for-8 from the field.
To even call it a "scare" would be a bit much, especially since Michigan zoomed into the half with a 50-33 lead (albeit capped by a buzzer-beating Hillsdale three). At a certain point, Michigan's wide open threes started falling.
But even after Michigan's 29-12 run after the teams stood knotted at 21, the Chargers didn't go away. In fact, they continued to make it rain from beyond the arc. When they weren't shooting from downtown, however, the Chargers were able to spread the Wolverines out, screen and cut their way to easy buckets, leaving Michigan's youngsters looking completely lost, at times (particularly Kam Chatman, even though I hate to single players out).
On the positive side, Michigan scored what felt like a "quiet" 92 points. Derrick Walton looks supremely comfortable as the team's floor general, and LeVert continues to be able to create havoc in transition or in half court sets. A lot of teams are going to be frustrated by their inability to stop LeVert from wriggling his way into a too-easy mid-range shot in the lane. That's just what he does.
Despite Lowry and Kyle Cooper (26 points, 10-for-17, 4-for-7 on 3PA) going off, the rest of the Chargers weren't quite as charged up. Nonetheless, this sort of game is a coach's dream: a major blowout with plenty of teaching points to be gleaned from the tape.
While many will argue that three-point defense, as a statistic, is largely luck-based. That may or may not be true, but straight up leaving guys wide open, even against a team like Hillsdale, is a recipe for not great things.
In any case, Michigan's leading scorers, LeVert, Walton and Zak Irvin, finished with 20, 22 and 21 points respectively. Michigan shot 58 percent from beyond the arc, and 21-for-25 from the free throw line.
Michigan is 1-0, and there's plenty to work on. But, unlike the team that usually plays on Saturdays, this team will only get better as the season moves along.