When you shoot 35 percent, give up 84 points to one of the worst offenses in the Big Ten and lose to a team that had just two conference wins, it’s tough to find many positives in a road trip.
But if there was one bright spot in Saturday’s 84-70 loss to Purdue Saturday, it was the play of some of Michigan’s less-heralded players.
With wing Lester Abram and guards Dion Harris and Jerret Smith all remaining in Ann Arbor, Michigan coach Tommy Amaker called upon senior Hayes Grooms and freshman Jevohn Shepherd to fill in.
The duo didn’t disappoint.
“Different guys really came in and competed hard for us,” Amaker said. “I thought with Hayes Grooms and Jevohn Shepherd, I can find some good things with players that normally wouldn’t have had the opportunity, and I’m pleased with that.”
Shepherd put forth a solid showing in his first career start. Amaker often looks to the young Canadian when he needs a defensive specialist. Shepherd’s offense, however, usually leaves much to be desired.
But Saturday, this was not the case, and Shepherd went for nine points. He showed toughness and tenacity on the glass, grabbing six boards. On one play, Shepherd pulled down three offensive rebounds –