Michigan hasn't been given many breaks this season, but John Beilein showed against Wisconsin that he is quite capable of making his own. Michigan came out with a zone look and got big contributions on offense from its youngsters to push Wisconsin to the edge.
Derrick Walton paced all Michigan scorers with 17 points, five rebounds, and a 7-of-8 day from the line. Beside him, a much more aggressive Zak Irvin sliced and shot his way to 12 points on a not so efficient shooting night (5-of-15 from the floor).
While the two experienced hands led the way, what Michigan got from its freshman class was the difference in keeping the game tight. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman had another nice game, scoring nine points and missing just one shot on the night. Up front, Mark Donnal and Ricky Doyle combined for 10 points and eight rebounds.
Another hero: Max Bielfeldt, who scored nine points while grabbing three offensive boards and two defensive. Michigan won the rebounding battle on both the offensive and defensive glass despite the size and experience advantage.
Of course, Michigan doesn't have Frank Kaminsky. He scored 22 points, grabbed nine rebounds. Michigan also doesn't have Bronson Koenig to step in for its injured starter at point guard. Koenig score 13 points and dished out four assists.
Michigan brought everything it had against Wisconsin. While it wasn't enough, the fight was worth watching. This team is still growing up. Games like this are proof of that, even if they sting.