And One: Recapping Michigan’s Season Opening Win Over NMU

Michigan 70 – NMU 44 

We got a breath of fresh air last Friday when we got to see the start of the college basketball season. For the last few seasons basketball season was great for Wolverine fans, mostly because our football team hadn’t really accomplished anything and we were ready to see Beilein’s boys go out and compete for a B1G title. This year the tides have changed, although we are all anticipating the basketball season, Coach Harbaugh’s resurgence of The Team (The Team, The Team) has us all chugging Harbaugh Kool-Aid.

Michigan started off their season against the Northern Michigan Wildcats (my beloved school), in what was seen as a game the Wolverines should have won by a big margin. The final score at Crisler was 70-44 in favor of the Wolverines. The scores don’t really give us much information in games like these though. So here’s what we learned from Fridays game:

5 Takeaways: 

1. Caris LeVert is back:

Always a good sign to have your best player back, and this couldn’t be more true for Michigan. They lost Caris early in the season last year and it really showed. Even though all of those young guys got valuable experience last year, LeVert is still one of the best players in the country and will need to lead the Michigan offense.

2. Aubrey Dawkins and Maar are great talents:  

Although Maar probably will not be a starter this year, I believe he will be one of the most important players on the team. Aubrey Dawkins had a great performance, picking up right where he left off (which is a great sign).

3. Spike and Zak Irvin still not healthy:

It will be interesting to see how long it will take two of the best players for Michigan to get back healthy and in game shape. Irvin will be a starter and Spike Albrecht, well he doesn’t need introduction.

4. Defense could be a strong point:

This is arguably the most athletic Michigan has been ever since the 2013 Final Four team. I believe that the perimeter defense will be top tier in the whole country. The front court isn’t going to have any 7’0 rim protectors, but I think they can do enough getting rebounds and playing solid defense down low. The biggest problem they will have will be foul trouble. The lack of depth and athleticism up front can hurt.

5. D.J. Wilson will get All B1G Honors:

I decided to make a little bold prediction for #5. The athletic post player reminds me a lot of MSU’s Branden Dawson. He is a little undersized, but makes up for it with his 7’2” wingspan and the athletic ability he has to send shots to 3rd row, as well as make athletic dunks and layups around the rim. I think he can take the Big Ten over and turn Michigan into a contender. He still might be just a little young, but I think he takes off this season.

Box Score Recap

Leading Scorers:

  • Michigan: Caris LeVert (18)
  • NMU: Naba Echols and Jordan Perez (13)

Leading Rebounder:

  • Michigan: Aubrey Dawkins (6)
  • NMU: Echols and Marcus Hall (5)

Leading Assists:

  • Michigan: LeVert (5)
  • NMU: Echols and Hall (2)

What’s Up Next? 

  • Michigan (1-0) vs Elon on 11/16
  • NMU (0-1) vs Minnesota Duluth on 11/17