Men's Basketball

Sophomore guard Eli Brooks' contributions off the bench have been key in Michigan's 12-0 start.

Tasked with manning the ‘3’, ‘4’ and ‘5’ positions at various times in John Beilein’s complex system, Livers has averaged 7.2 points while shooting 46.8 percent from 3-point range. Meanwhile, Brooks has spelled both Simpson and Jordan Poole in the backcourt, scoring 4.4 points per game with an assist/turnover ratio of 2.3 to 1.

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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.

Getting freshman forward Brandon Johns into the rotation is the next step for Michigan

December’s trio of buy games shouldn’t merely be a meaningless transition from one part of the season to the next. If Michigan has spent the last two months laying the foundation of a national contender, it can spend the next few weeks fortifying that foundation.

John Beilein helped Air Force coach Dave Pilipovich and assistant Andrew Moore land jobs after leaving Michigan

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.

Junior point guard Zavier Simpson has shown more confidence in shooting from outside lately.

The Zavier Simpson of now isn’t leaving those shots on the table. He’s putting them up with a newfound confidence — the confidence that defines a shooter whether he’s shooting 20, 30 or 40 percent from beyond the arc.

Charles Matthews scored 25 points and had 10 rebounds in Michigan's win on Saturday

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.

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After an opening 17 minutes that saw the Wolverines play their worst basketball of the season, falling to an eight-point deficit against Western Michigan, junior wing Charles Matthews threw down a putback dunk off a missed layup from junior point guard Zavier Simpson in transition. That started a 10-0 run heading into the half that proved decisive as No. 5 Michigan (11-0) beat the Broncos (5-5), 70-62.

Freshman forward Brandon Johns is trying to break into Michigan's rotation.

Ten minutes into a Friday press conference, faced with a slew of questions about the same thing, Michigan coach John Beilein stopped and offered up a comment on the presser itself.

“There must not be a lot of news right now,” Beilein said.

Junior center Jon Teske scored 15 points in 29 minutes against South Carolina.

Michigan might be better off with Teske starting instead of Wagner. The junior hasn’t just affected shots at the rim, but all over the court. He has turned into an example that strength coach Jon Sanderson will hold up for every big-man recruit that walks through the Wolverines’ door for his strength and athleticism improvements.

Michigan coach John Beilein helped his former player, Mike Gansey, get back on his feet.

John Beilein helped Mike Gansey get back on his feet and eventually that led to Gansey winning an NBA Championship as the Cavaliers' assistant GM.