All of a sudden, there was this lifeline, a second chance. All of a sudden, Saturday at the Breslin Center will mean everything for both teams. Whichever one wins will earn at least a share of the conference.
As it turned out, Beilein didn’t need to worry. Livers forced Palmer into tough shots and held him to seven points on 3-of-15 shooting, a performance so poor that Nebraska coach Tim Miles left him on the bench to start the second half.
And from when Matthews walked in wearing a walking boot Wednesday at practice — making it clear that Livers would be filling in — Livers’ hunger was apparent.
With the Michigan football team’s 2018 regular season in the books, The Daily looks back at the performance of each unit this year and peers ahead to the future in 2019. In this edition: special teams.
It was an about-face from the scene just 14 minutes earlier. Freshman forward Ignas Brazdeikis got the ball on a fast-break, drove to the hoop and flushed it in right over Michigan State’s Kenny Goins, putting the Wolverines up by six and bringing the crowd to its feet.
But after that, the Spartans called timeout. Michigan didn’t score for five minutes. And the complexion of the game changed completely, resulting in a 77-70 Spartan win.
A mere two days before his team’s biggest game of the season, John Beilein started talking about how he was glad Michigan had gotten back from Minnesota a little earlier than usual. Then he talked about the challenge of a short turnaround. Then he thanked the operations staff for setting up the logistics so that 200 alumni could attend.
The reason 200 alumni were going to be at this particular game?
Oh, yeah. Only then did he talk about the next opponent: Michigan State.
Simpson no longer fits his reputation. In Big Ten play, Simpson has hit 22-of-28 from the charity stripe — a 76 percent clip. And against Maryland, he continued the trend, sinking both free throws to extend the Michigan men’s basketball team’s lead.
David DeJulius took the court at Crisler with his first real opportunity all season.
Junior guard Zavier Simpson needed a spell in the Michigan men’s basketball team’s game against Maryland on Saturday, and DeJulius was the first guard off the bench. He played just 40 seconds before subbing out, but with six-and-a-half minutes left in the first half, the freshman re-entered after Simpson got his second foul. He hit a layup and nabbed a steal two possessions later. He was in for four minutes this time, only coming out after missing a 3-pointer with 1:20 left.
In many games, that would have been where it unraveled — especially when Johns, Teske’s replacement, instantly picked up two fouls on the same possession. But Beilein took the risk and put Teske back in along with Livers.
After that, Fernando had six points, Smith had two and Michigan had a 65-52 win.
Don’t tell Jordan Poole he’s in a slump. At least not to his face.
“I personally don’t like to use the word slump. It’s a media thing,” the sophomore guard said last Monday after he shot 3-for-9 in a loss to Iowa. “But there’ll just be games where you don’t hit shots. … I bounce back. That’s all there is to it.”