Men's Basketball

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Months ago, during Michigan’s media day, associate head coach Phil Martelli raved about freshman forward Franz Wagner.

Sophomore forward Colin Castleton is averaging just two points per game in the last six games.

As a unit, Michigan’s frontcourt hasn’t developed on the defensive end. Opposing Big Ten post players are averaging a staggering 29.8 points on 55 percent shooting against the Wolverines.

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I’ll preface this by saying: I hate writing about recruiting. I hate the speculatory, veiled insinuations. I hate the underlying transactional tomfoolery that is so abundant it’s best left unsaid. Grown adults begging (and paying) teenagers to come play for them.

Senior center Jon Teske struggled to contain Minnesota's Daniel Oturu in Sunday's loss.

MINNEAPOLIS — A Big Ten center had a huge game against the Michigan men’s basketball team. Again.

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Despite a fast start and halftime lead, Michigan men’s basketball lost to Minnesota on the road this Sunday, 75-67.

Senior guard Zavier Simpson scored 19 points, but Michigan struggled to keep up with Minnesota big man Daniel Oturu, leading to a closely contested loss.

Senior guard Zavier Simpson took a career-high 18 shots against Purdue on Thursday.

Simpson took over the game in the second half, pouring in 18 second-half points on 7-of-11 shooting to propel the Wolverines past the Boilermakers, 84-78, in double overtime.

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In a back-and-forth slugfest characterized by sloppy basketball, a tense second half and two thrilling overtime periods, the Michigan men’s basketball team clung onto the narrowest of leads to steal away a win from Purdue in double overtime, 84-78.

Senior guard Zavier Simpson's play has a strong bearing on Michigan's success this season.

With junior forward Isaiah Livers and his 13.6 points per game now sidelined indefinitely, the Wolverines are at a crossroads. senior guard Zavier Simpson will always be at the offense’s helm, but the team’s best output comes when he’s orchestrating the scoring, not creating it. While he may be the team’s third-leading scorer, making up for Livers’ lost production needs to fall on Brooks, freshman wing Franz Wagner and sophomore guard David DeJulius.

The Michigan basketball team was unable to stay close against Michigan State on Sunday with Isaiah Livers (not pictured) missing the game with a groin injury.

On Sunday against Michigan State, all of Michigan’s warts were magnified without Isaiah Livers. From its lack of experience in intense road games to its mid-20 rankings in both adjusted defensive and adjusted offensive efficiency, the Wolverines still have a long way to go to meet the expectations they set for themselves in November.

Sophomore guard David DeJulius shot 3-of-9 from the field in Sunday's loss at Michigan State.

After Sunday’s loss against Michigan State, sports columnist Connor Berennan pegs the loss on Michigan’s shooting difficulties.

Citing top scorers struggling shooting performances, the Wolverines went only 5-of-23 from 3-point range in their 87-69 loss.