Men's Basketball

Sophomore guard Jordan Poole led Michigan in scoring with 19 points against Florida.

On Saturday, Poole played 33 minutes. He took some bad shots, a whole lot more good shots, played strong defense and helped his team win. The shot against Houston was great. But performances like Saturday’s are what Poole cares about.

Junior guard Zavier Simpson passed Trey Burke on Michigan's all-time assists leaderboard Thursday night.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Zavier Simpson smirked. He extended his right arm and flicked his wrist, a motion instantly recognizable as that of his hook shot.

Feeding junior center Jon Teske is key to Michigan's success in attacking switches.

If the Wolverines wish to beat Florida on Saturday and advance to the Sweet 16 for a third straight year, that can’t be the case.

“We’re pretty sure we’re gonna see some switches tomorrow, which we’ve been scouting,” said assistant coach DeAndre Haynes. “We’ll be ready for it because we’ve been seeing it in our league. Lot of teams switch against us, and it made us a better team.”

Assistant coach DeAndre Haynes played with Florida assistant Jordan Mincy at Kent State.

Just as soon as Gumbel’s message reached Mincy’s ears, his phone began to blow up. Some were congratulatory, but far more came from his group chat from Kent State, where he played from 2005-09 and coached from 2010-12. Haynes — a player with the Golden Flashes from 2002-06 and coach from 2012-16 — was one of those on the other end.

Ignas Brazdeikis was recruited by Florida before deciding to play basketball for Michigan.

Brazdeikis canceled his official visit to Florida after going to Ann Arbor, never stepping foot in Gainesville as a recruit. That won’t stop anyone involved from thinking about what could have been as he lines up for the Wolverines against the Gators in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.

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It seemed that every shot Montana took — threes, layups, even a fast-break dunk attempt — missed. The Wolverines’ shooting wasn’t particularly potent, either, but their defense clamped down, holding the Grizzlies to 33 percent from the field. Montana (26-9), a No. 15 seed out of the Big Sky Conference that doesn’t start anyone taller than 6-foot-7, had no answer for Michigan’s relentlessness.

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DES MOINES, Iowa — As Michigan stormed out to an early but indestructible lead Thursday night against Montana, the word of choice across social media was “boring.” By the time the Wolverines jogged down the tunnel at halftime with a 34-21 advantage that felt more comfortable than that, many back

Redshirt junior wing Charles Matthews scored 22 points as Michigan beat down Montana on Thursday.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Charles Matthews ran down the floor with some urgency, shooting the moment the ball came to him. He heard the buzzer sound, saw the basket light up red and the ball roll around the rim with the guise of a shooter’s bounce, before falling out. Then he smiled.

Junior center Jon Teske exploited a size mismatch against Montana.

Thursday, the Wolverines were happy for the opportunity to overwhelm an opponent by simply walking onto the court.

Redshirt junior Charles Matthews will be key if Michigan is to make another deep tournament run

If everything had gone as planned, Matthews would be in the NBA right now. His expectation was to follow in the footsteps of John Wall, Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns.

He didn’t.

More than five years after he committed to Kentucky with intentions of becoming the next great one-and-done lighting college basketball on fire, Matthews is the captain of a Michigan basketball team with national championship aspirations, finally ready for one last go-around.