Ever since its 0-6 start, not much has gone wrong for the Michigan men’s basketball team. With seven consecutive wins, the Wolverines will now enter the Big Ten season above .500. But they might be missing a key component as they work to continue this turnaround.
Junior Bernard Robinson sat out Saturday’s victory with a strained left knee and might miss Wednesday’s Big Ten opener against Wisconsin. Robinson, who came out for warm-ups, decided to sit out because of pain.
“Bernard’s knee had given him trouble yesterday, so we gave him a day of rest in practice with hopes that he would be ready to play today,” Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said. “We expect him to be back in the lineup when we begin the Big Ten season against Wisconsin. I think you can see that we missed his ability to handle the ball and create offensively off the dribble.”
Robinson said he hopes to play on Wednesday, but he doubts, unlike Amaker, that he will be ready for action.
“It just takes time,” Robinson said. “They say it’s not too serious, but I mean, it could be two weeks.”
Robinson had played in 69 consecutive games prior to sitting out Saturday’s game.
Senior Gavin Groninger and freshman Sherrod Harrell were both used against IUPUI to make up for Robinson’s absence, but they did not bring the same defensive intensity or offensive ability to the table. In a combined 52 minutes, the two went 2-for-11 from the field with 11 points.
If Robinson cannot play Wednesday, the offensive burden will fall on guard Lester Abram. The freshman has the ability to create his own shot, and has played sound defense of late. Abram stepped up against IUPUI with a career-high 20 points, but picked up a few silly fouls and was forced to sit during crucial moments of the game.
Robinson had scored in double figures for three straight games, and was instrumental in leading the Wolverines over UCLA at Pauley Pavilion Dec. 28.
Coming alive: Michigan freshman point guard Daniel Horton was named Big Ten Player of the Week Dec. 29 following his dominating performance against UCLA. Horton nailed seven 3-pointers on his way to 24 points – the third time he has broken the 20-point barrier this season. Earlier that week, Horton had 13 points, six assists, and a career-high three steals in Michigan’s win over Eastern Michigan.
Horton has showed no signs of cooling down, scoring 17 points against both San Francisco and IUPUI.
Westward bound: Sophomore Dommanic Ingerson announced over the break that he would be transferring to the University of San Francisco. Ingerson played in every game last year for the Wolverines, but injured himself in Michigan’s second exhibition game and didn’t receive any playing time after that this season.
Ingerson told Amaker about his intention to transfer from Michigan Dec. 3, just before the Wolverines dropped their fifth game of the season to Central Michigan.
“We are thrilled to have a talent like Dommanic come to San Francisco,” San Francisco coach Philip Mathews said.
King me: With 23 points Saturday, Michigan senior LaVell Blanchard moved past Fab Five member Jimmy King into 12th place on the all-time Michigan scoring list with 1,562 career points. Groninger also caught King, but in another category. Groninger tied King for fourth on the all-time 3-pointers attempted list with 347.