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Three takeaways from Michigan Basketball’s obliteration of Minnesota

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 10 Michigan Wolverines went into the locker room of Wednesday night’s game against the No. 16 Minnesota Golden Gophers up six points.

The deficit at the end of the game was a little wider than that.

Michigan moved to 10-0 on the season (5-0 in conference play) with an 82-57 win over the Gophers. They were led by another career performance from Hunter Dickinson with 28 points and eight rebounds, while Isaiah Livers added 14 points of his own.

Here are three quick takeaways from the victory.

Stifling defensive performance

This was as complete a defensive performance as we have seen from Michigan all season long and their stock on that end of the floor continues to skyrocket. The Wolverines held Minnesota to 32 percent shooting on the night and 7-for-28 from the three-point line. Star guard Marcus Carr was held to 14 points on 5-of-16 shooting. At one point, Michigan was on a 37-8 run to start the second half.

This was an absolute butt-whooping.

What we have seen in recent weeks is Michigan discovering how to use its length and athleticism to its advantage and it is paying off big-time. I have stated before here that I wasn’t sure if this could be a team that hung its hat on its defense, but they are quickly proving that wrong and keep getting better there. This team plays extremely hard and is locked in on both ends of the floor, but the strides on defense is what might take them from good to great.

Brandon Johns’ night

I thought this was Johns’ best game from a year from a hustle and impact standpoint. As of late, it felt like his role had started to teeter a bit with Terrance Williams getting more run, but the coaches have been working him hard and he has responded over the last number of games. He finished the night with seven points and four rebounds in 14 minutes of play and had other moments that will not show up in the box score. The hustle and energy he and guys like Chaundee Brown bring off the bench is tremendous and it allows you to keep your foot on the gas when your starters need a breather.

Oh yeah, Hunter Dickinson

He’s good. What else is there to say? He will win Big Ten Freshman of the Week again and had another career outing on Wednesday night. Liam Robbins of Minnesota was supposed to be his biggest challenge of the year but it was Dickinson that once again came out on top in a lopsided matchup. The jumper was again part of his game on Wednesday and if that starts to drop consistently, you’re looking at one of the five best centers in college basketball.

Alternate fun fact!

A little bonus content here, as Michigan beat Minnesota in both football and basketball by 25 points in their most recent matchups. This...should wind up going better than the football season did.

Michigan was originally scheduled for a game Saturday at Penn State, but it has been postponed due to COVID-19 within the Nittany Lions program. As of now, their next scheduled opponent is Wisconsin on Tuesday night in Ann Arbor.