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DETROIT — Really, it was a simple play. But Moussa Diabate made it look comfortable.

Late in the second half, with Michigan up by 30, graduate guard Devante’ Jones passed the ball to the 6-foot-11 freshman running down the lane. What happened next shouldn’t be too surprising: Diabate went up and dunked it right in front of the Wayne State student section, immediately turning to his bench and flexing.

Diabate kept this energy up when, just a possession later, he swatted the ball away from a driving Wayne State player.

It was the Moussa Diabate experience on Friday night at the WSU fieldhouse as Michigan went on to win, 87-54.

But, it wasn’t just Diabate.

It was the first game action for Michigan’s highly-anticipated No. 2 overall recruiting class. And except for freshman guard Frankie Collins — who was out with a groin injury sustained in the team’s scrimmage against DePaul last week — there was an extended look at all of them. 

Isaiah Barnes and Will Tschetter

Freshman forwards Isaiah Barnes and Will Tschetter didn’t see a ton of playing time, but they did see the floor. They combined for 10 minutes and in that time scored one and two points respectively.

Kobe Bufkin

Freshman guard Kobe Bufkin, though, made an impact in his 17 minutes. Bufkin was the second guard off the bench, following senior guard Adrien Nunez, and he looked comfortable in his role.

While Bufkin didn’t score many points, his presence was felt on the defensive end, getting his arms in passing lanes and coming up with steals.

Caleb Houstan

Freshman forward Caleb Houstan was the only freshman to appear in the starting lineup, which was expected. Houstan started the game looking like someone playing in the confines of their role.

“Caleb?” Howard sat up. “He looked like a man who’s been playing here for a long time. He just knows how to play, fits right in and doesn’t try to do too much.”

That was the story of Houstan’s game. His perimeter shot wasn’t falling — only shooting one for four — but he still made an effort to drive to the basket and draw fouls. His offense never truly got going but he finished with 10 points and five rebounds.

Moussa Diabate

One of the most talked about name’s all preseason for the Wolverines, Diabate did not disappoint. He co-led the team in scoring with 14 points while tallying five rebounds and three blocks on top. Michigan got a little bit of Diabate everywhere on Friday night, and this was only a self-described “C maybe a C+” game from the big man. 

The low grade Diabate gave to himself can probably be attributed to his turnovers — a statline he also co-led with four. But, even still, Diabate showed everyone a taste of what his freshman year could look like for the Wolverines. 

And they want more.

“It’s inspiring to watch,” Howard laughed as he talked about Diabate with a grin. “A freshman that plays with that tenacity and plays with that effort? That’s what makes him so special because he’s going to play hard no matter what.

“I’m happy that Moussa’s on our side.”