Michigan passed an early test Tuesday night then they knocked off Creighton 79-69 at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor.
This was a game that was always going to tell you more about this Juwan Howard led squad then last week's victory vs.Appalachian State (which almost ended terribly for the Wolverines). In that game, Michigan led by 30 at the half and only won the game by 8.
Against Creighton, Michigan would trail at the half 41-38 after the first half that featured Michigan and Creighton trading blows from beyond the three line. Michigan’s size and toughness would eventually wear down Creighton and result in the biggest win Juwan Howard’s very young career.
This could be a win in March that might raise some eyebrows on the committee when it comes to seeding in the NCCA tournament.One week later the progress made was impressive to the naked eye but there are still some things that need to be cleaned cup according to Coach Howard.
"We had 11 turnovers, that's uncharacteristic of Michigan basketball and it's something we are going to have to clean up"
The Wolverines had 17 turnovers vs. App State, so limiting themselves to 11 is quick progress, but point guard Zavier Simpson has to be better with the ball. He had 6 turnovers last week and 4 on Tuesday night against Creighton. Although, Zavier had a much better game vs. Creighton, (17 pts., 9 Asst.) you do not want your dominate ball handler to give the other team easy bucket opportunities. That's something the Wolverines will want to shore up quickly before the competition really ramps up.
One coaching critique I had of Howard after game one was his reliance on the 3 guard lineup of Simpson, Brooks and DeJuilius with Livers and Teske as the bigs. That lineup closed the game Tuesday night and was the catalyst that pushed Michigan to 2-0 with David DeJuilius having another impressive outing. The size still concerns me, but at this point, do not fix what is not broken.
The rotations will change a little once freshman wing Franz Wagner is healthy and that day is approaching maybe quicker than expected.
Michigan's next contest is Friday in Ann Arbor for a Battle 4 Atlantis campus game vs. Elon at 7 P.M.
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Jake Woods (@WoodsonAir)