clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Howard Eisley speaks on Dug McDaniel’s adjustments as a starter, preparing for Lipscomb

The assistant coach had quite a bit to say Friday morning.

Syndication: DetroitFreePress Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press, Detroit Free Press via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Michigan Wolverines assistant basketball coach Howard Eisley took some time to talk to the media Friday morning ahead of the game Saturday against Lipscomb.

Eisley started off his availability talking about the switch from Jaelin Llewellyn to Dug McDaniel at the point guard spot following Llewellyn’s season-ending injury. McDaniel is coming off a solid 15-point performance in a win over Minnesota. Eisley said McDaniel is going to be guarding players the full length of the floor as well.

“He’s been great so far,” Eisley said. “We encourage and we want him picking up (at) 94 feet, to really slow the other teams down, but try to get them out of rhythm as well. We’re very comfortable with him, he’s in great shape. We encourage him not to get in foul trouble, not to use his hands — that’s something we talk about a lot with our team, guarding with our chest and our feet and not with our hands.

“For Dug, he’s being thrust into the fire now. That can go one of two ways, but I really believe he’s a confident kid and he’s up for the challenge. Now it’s not just on Dug; everyone else on the team has to step up as well and try to make his job easier. I think we have good leadership in Hunter (Dickinson), T-Will, as well as Kobe in our starting lineup to really relieve some pressure that he may have as well.”

The prep with McDaniel starting compared to Llewellyn won’t be much different, as Eisley said they’d be adding a few more sets on offense while executing the same defensive philosophy. Eisley also mentioned Bufkin, who has improved drastically since his freshman year, will run the offense when McDaniel isn’t on the floor.

“We’re very comfortable and confident in Kobe,” Eisley said. “We actually had an opportunity to see it earlier when Jaelin (Llewellyn) was out with his ankle, so this is nothing new for Kobe. He’s been through reps at the point guard position early on in the year, so this is nothing new to him.”

The last few weeks of the schedule have been abnormal for the Wolverines. After the London trip that ended with a loss to Kentucky on Dec. 4 and the game at Minnesota just four days later, the team will have had nine days without a game going into this Lipscomb matchup. Eisley said the team has used that time to focus on their studies.

“I think we embraced the little break,” Eisley said. “We’re in the middle of final exams right now, so we wanted to give our guys an opportunity to concentrate on that end. Going to London was a great experience for our guys. (We) may never have the opportunity to do it again, but it was a great team bonding experience. Obviously we wished we could have had a few days before Minnesota, but our guys really locked in. For me, that was the first test of the year. Now we just have to keep building off that and moving forward.”

Michigan is set to face Lipscomb at home tomorrow at 4 p.m. The Bisons are 7-4 and currently third in the ASUN, behind Queens University and Florida Gulf Coast. They did lose a nail-biter to Notre Dame earlier in the year after the Fighting Irish hit the go-ahead three with 15 seconds left.

“(Lipscomb is) a very disciplined team, they have some very good shooters on the floor that you have to get to,” Eisley said. “They play extremely hard. Something that we haven’t experienced yet this year is their 5-man is more of a facilitator in the post, does a lot of passing. They execute their offense and they’re a very good cutting team.

“That’s going to be a challenge for us, and their guards are excellent at rebounding. (They) focus on all five of their guys, gang rebounding. We need to be making sure we get their shooters off the three-point line.”