After escaping Buffalo in the season opener at home, the Michigan Wolverines traveled to Washington, D.C. to take on Prairie View A&M in the inaugural Coaches vs. Racism contest. The game played out as expected, with the Wolverines never trailing against their SWAC opponents, winning by a final score of 77-49.
Four different players hit double-figures, with Hunter Dickinson logging a double-double. Caleb Houstan continued to look like the real deal, and the back of the bench was able to log some minutes as Juwan Howard and company notched their second win of the season with relative ease.
Metro D.C. native Dickinson scored the first seven points of the game, including knocking in a three-pointer, the first of his collegiate career after going 0-for-4 last season. Houstan missed a couple from deep before connecting as well, helping the Wolverines take a football-like 21-7 lead into the under-12 timeout.
Moussa Diabate was one of the first players off the bench and his impact was felt right away. The rookie was active on the glass on both ends of the floor, snagging seven rebounds in the first half alone while also adding in six early points and a thunderous block later on. While the level of competition will increase, it is clear how much of a presence he will be in the paint this season.
The Panthers struggled to shoot all half, recording more fouls (7) than made field goals (5) through the under-8 timeout. However, the Wolverines were not exactly sharp from behind the arc themselves, before ending the frame with a 5-for-14 mark.
DeVante Jones had a few nice drives to the hoop in addition to a connection from three, and essentially all of the starters (other than Brandon Johns) contributed offensively throughout the first half. The Michigan defense made nothing easy on the other end, committing just one defensive foul, and a combination of bad looks and sloppy turnovers put Prairie View down 40-16 at the four-minute mark.
The biggest blemish from the opening stanza was the continuation of the team’s free throw woes, with the maize and blue only shooting 50 percent from the line in the first half. That was about the only complaint though, as the Wolverines cruised to a 42-23 lead after 20 minutes.
The second half started with a flurry of Panthers fouls, needing just two and a half minutes to send Michigan into the bonus. The athleticism gap was just abundantly clear as there were few answers for players like Dickinson underneath the rim or a driving Jones. A trio of threes by Houstan and Brooks (twice) pushed the lead to 15 five minutes after the break.
Prairie View endured a rough scoring drought, missing seven straight shot including multiple opportunities right at the rim. The Wolverines had the lead up to 26 again at the 12-minute mark but were unable to take advantage of many of their foul shots, continuing to struggle at the line.
Terrance Williams saw plenty of action but did not necessarily stand out. Meanwhile, freshman guard Kobe Bufkin made the most of his playing time and had some nice looking shots, and he looks to be in contention for backup minutes this season. Classmate Frankie Collins was not quite impactful during his limited action.
Michigan took a 68-45 lead into the final five minutes of the half. Jace Howard tried his best to get on the scoresheet but was unsuccessful. Still, it was all smiles on the Wolverine bench, as the clock eventually ran out with the scoreboard reading 77-49.