The takeaway from Michigan’s dominant victory over Pitt in the Legends Classic

Figure 20 Michigan Wolverines He took over the business in the first round of the Legends Classic on Wednesday night, defeating the Panthers 91-60. After getting off to a slow offensive start that first half, Michigan outgained Pittsburgh, 40-19, to clinch the victory.

Here are some quick takeaways from the win.

A tale of two halves of three

The 2021-22 Michigan team had a lot of problems offensively, and one of those problems was an over-reliance on the three-ball to stay in games with high-scoring teams.

This Michigan team has a more diverse record, and despite bad shooting from three in the first half (2-for-11), the Wolverines were still able to score consistently and made plenty of shots.

Michigan’s top scorers in Jet Howard (17 points in 19 minutes), Joey Baker and Kobe Bufkin (14 points each) managed to get to the rim and finish through contact. Michigan didn’t need to count on its MVP tonight, as Hunter Dickinson had 11 points to go along with seven rebounds. And although he didn’t have a lot of blocks, Dickinson’s presence near the edge forced Pitt to tip over.

Michigan shot much better in the second half with three attempts, scoring 8 tries from 19 and 58.3% from the field as a whole. Shooting the ball well from deep certainly helped turn this game from a tight game into a blast, but that wasn’t the only reason Michigan won the game.

A lot of teams in college basketball live and die by the three, and luckily Michigan is not one of those teams.

Jet Howard is such a versatile scorer

Howard proved he could score in a variety of ways, finishing on the rim and hitting jumpers inside the arc to help Michigan score on a consistent basis.

A key period of the game came midway through the first half – from the 12:27 mark to the 8:07 mark, Michigan made all eight of its field goals and went from one down to five, with Howard hitting three of those. field goals.

To open the second half, Howard had seven consecutive two-set Wolverines points, one of which was a one-and-out. The Wolverines used this scoring rush as momentum to carry them to a near double-digit lead, and they never looked back.

Even when he’s in as bad trouble as he was tonight, Howard is a huge impact on the game and is far from just a three-point scorer; He is a versatile scorer who takes what the defense gives him and makes them play. If he can keep this up when Michigan moves to conference play, he’ll pick him up in the next lottery NBA Draft.

The second half settles the deal

College basketball is a game of running, and the Wolverines used a big game to secure the victory. After the aforementioned scoring rush from Howard, they took an 8-1 lead in just under two minutes, eventually taking a 62-44 lead with only about 12 minutes to play.

That run came with Howard benched on four errors, as Bufkin and Dickinson managed to put more nails in Pitt’s coffin. Michigan never looked back from there and ended up winning that half by 30. Michigan dominated that second half, and the rushes to start the half were a big reason for that.

Joey Baker is the scorer this team needs off the bench

Baker’s play in this game was crucial, as he helped wake up the offense after a slow start, scoring 14 points off the bench, including four of them three on five attempts.

He’s exactly what this team needs off the bench; A veteran presence who can shoot all three but can also drive to the basket hard and make it easy in the fairway (he had a good feed to Taris Reid for an easy bucket in that first half). Baker is bound to have some games as he leads the Wolverines in scoring, and I’m excited to see him.

What’s next for Wolverines?

Michigan will take over Arizona Tomorrow night, after Frankie Collins and the Sun Devils beat Brandon Jones Jr., Zip Jackson, and Virginia Commonwealth University, 63-59. Game information will be sent at 9 PM or later.

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