LAHAINA, Hawaii — Following a narrow 59-54 win over Western Illinois last week, Michigan coach John Beilein couldn’t seem to offer any meaningful insight regarding the Michigan basketball team’s offensive struggles.

“That’s the thing, we’ve got to get better at and fight through,” Beilein said. “Maybe we need to get outside of Crisler for a couple games and then we’ll make some shots and come back hot as can be.”

Typical coach speak, right?

Or maybe everyone just underestimated Beilein instead of taking him at his word. Beilein’s thoughts carry plenty of merit now, following the Wolverines’ 79-63 win over UCLA, which came after previous 73- and 75-point outings — each a season high at the time.

Wednesday’s win over the Bruins gave Michigan (5-1 overall) a third-place finish in the Maui Invitational.

Like their previous games against Memphis and Duke, the Wolverines seemed to be clicking on offense, but Wednesday’s offense was more diversified. Instead of relying on freshman point guard Trey Burke and sophomore guard Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan saw other scorers step up.

Senior guard Zack Novak scored a career-high 22 points, which led all scorers in the game — the first time this year that Hardaway or Burke didn’t lead the Wolverines in scoring.

Novak was nearly flawless from the field, shooting 7-for-8 from the field and knocking down four of five shots from the behind the arc.

“We see this in practice quite often,” Beilein said of Novak. “What he’s added to his game right now is an in-between game. So guys get to him, he’s going to take a dribble and jump it in. So big for him to be able to do that.”

Novak’s shooting touch rubbed off on the entire team, which shot 29-for-47 from the field (61.7 percent) and 50 percent from 3-point range in one of Michigan’s best offensive outputs in recent memory.

“That’s kind of how we want to play,” Novak said of the Wolverines’ 47 shots. “(That) just tells me we were working the offense. We were getting good looks. When we do that, we’re pretty good shooters and we’re going to knock them down.”

Hardaway continued his strong offensive showing in Maui, scoring 20 points to match his average during the three-day tournament.

Although Burke’s five points were relatively quiet, he finished with five assists and again kept his turnovers to a low, with three.

When the Wolverines left Ann Arbor, questions were abuzz surrounding Michigan’s struggling offense. Many wondered if it would take the offense a full year to click under a new point guard, similar to what happened with former guard Darius Morris two years ago.

But after three straight strong offensive performances — both by Burke individually and as a team — it seems that Morris is a long-lost memory with Burke at the helm.

“The timing of what we do is really important,” Beilein said. “When you have your quarterback (Burke) and you really understand that timing, we see more and more (transition baskets). The other guys are getting more comfortable with (Burke).”

Lost in the big storylines of Burke and Hardaway was a solid tournament from sophomore forward Jon Horford. Horford, who started the season’s first game before it became apparent he wasn’t yet ready to be a regular, scored 12 points and collected seven rebounds against the Bruins (1-4).

Horford was the most recent Wolverine to step up in the post, following redshirt sophomore Jordan Morgan’s 12-point performance Tuesday against the Blue Devils.

“Jon just got to the right place at the right time,” Beilein said. “Jon’s taking baby steps everyday. They’re in the right direction, but that was big for us to have him.”

Michigan will depart from Hawaii on Thursday looking very different from when it landed as a team averaging just under 61 points per game. After averaging nearly 76 points in Maui, the first half of Beilein’s prophetic statement proved to be true.

And if the offense stays hot, Beilein’s meaningless words will start sounding a lot more like words of wisdom.

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