Michigan sophomore Graham Brown had a chance to get his second season as a Wolverine off to a dramatic start.

With his team trailing 36-35 in the Michigan basketball team’s Maize and Blue scrimmage on Saturday, Brown had an open look from the free-throw line to win the game.

But the big man showed why his specialty is the inside game, as he bricked the potential game-winner, and the Maize pulled out a one-point win.

“As soon as I let go of it, I knew it wasn’t going to happen,” Brown said of his shot. “I just tried to grab a little last-minute heroics. I thought it might go in at first, but then reality set in and I saw where it was going.”

More important than the actual outcome, though, was the chance for the Wolverines to play in front of the Crisler Arena crowd before the exhibition schedule begins next Nov. 8 against Michigan Tech.

The game marked the first appearances for the Wolverines’ four-man freshman class of John Andrews, Dion Harris, Brent Petway and Courtney Sims.

“When you first get out here, it’s real exciting,” Sims said. “It’s totally different from practice – you see a whole bunch of people out here cheering, it’s a lot different. I think it’ll help us (once the season starts).”

Center Chris Hunter thought the game showed how well the freshmen have been progressing.

“I think they looked great out there,” Hunter said. “Courtney’s definitely playing well in the post; Dion is knocking down shots and playing good defense; Brent is everywhere. They’re playing great.”

Harris led the freshmen with eight points and three assists for the Maize team, which was paced by wingman Lester Abram’s 10 points. Senior tri-captain Bernard Robinson showed flashes of why he is one of the favorites for Big Ten Player of the Year, posting a game-high 14 points for the Blue squad.

Brown, despite the final miss, chipped in six points and six rebounds, while point guard Daniel Horton added seven points and three assists.

The scrimmage took place shortly after Michigan’s football victory over Purdue, meaning the atmosphere amongst the announced 5,189 fans was more jovial than last year, when the game succeeded Iowa’s rout of the Wolverines in the Big House.

While the 20-minute game was the first time the Michigan fans were able to take in the Wolverines, Michigan has been practicing since early October. That benefit came thanks to coach Tommy Amaker’s scheduling of three games in Canada over the University’s fall break. The result on Saturday was a smoother, cleaner game than last year’s Maize and Blue scrimmage.

“I think I’m in great shape since we’ve practiced about 16 times already,” Hunter said. “I think we’re getting in a good rhythm.”

 

 

 

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