Penn State is the kind of team that plays tough in every game. Chambers has run all kinds of creative defenses, from a stifling three-quarter court trap to zone to plain old man, that could give Michigan fits.
Isaiah Livers was in the middle of answering a question about adding pace to his game when Jordan Poole came over.
The sophomore forward left his answer hanging.
“You shot 10 threes, bro?” he said to Poole. “Calm down, man! That’s a lot of threes!”
Calming down, of course, isn’t Poole’s thing. And on Sunday, it was a good thing he didn’t — six of his 10 shots from beyond the arc went in, providing Michigan with 18 much-needed points in its 74-52 win over Binghamton.
It was halftime and John Beilein was at a loss. The Michigan men’s basketball coach couldn’t draw up any new plays for his team, which was leading by just five against Binghamton (4-12) .And though it took longer than it should have against a team no one viewed as a threat Michigan eventually found a groove and ended 2018 with a 74-52 win.
For the first few minutes of Saturday’s game against Air Force (4-7 overall), No. 4 Michigan (12-0 overall, 2-0 Big Ten), the misses piled up. But by the end of the game, Michigan got its offense clicking just enough, as four players scored in the double digits en route to a 71-50 win.
Few vestiges remain of what Michigan basketball used to be, but it was that era of the program that shaped so much of who Zandt, Moore and Pilipovich are today. On Saturday, the three will meet with old friends, visit their old haunts and thank the people — including Beilein — who got them to this point.
In a game that more often than not consisted of missed shots, sloppy play and an inability to sustain momentum, Matthews at first contributed to that. But right when the Wolverines needed him the most, he stepped up.