NASHVILLE, Tenn. — “Exposed.”
That’s how Michigan coach Tommy Amaker described his team
after an 83-63 scrapping by undefeated Vanderbilt on Saturday.
The Commodores (5-0) dominated the Wolverines on the glass,
outrebounding Michigan 42-24 on the night. They double-teamed the
Wolverines in the low post, forcing long perimeter jump shots and
“When they double the post, we hope to find people that
are open to try and make them pay,” forward J.C. Mathis said.
“We weren’t able to do that.”
After two quick Michigan baskets opened up the scoring,
Vanderbilt took control of the game. With the home crowd on their
backs, the Commodores ran off 11 straight points. They didn’t
give up the lead the rest of the way.
During that early Vanderbilt run, the Wolverines (4-1) began
settling for jumpshots and turning the ball over to
Vanderbilt’s high-pressure defense.
Three-point shooting woes continued to plague the team as well.
They shot just 5-for-20 in the game from behind the arc for a
miniscule 25 percent.
The 6-foot-8 Mathis led the Wolverines with two 3-pointers.
Michigan’s three guards combined to hit just two.
“It certainly was a frustrating night,” Amaker said.
“Give Vanderbilt their credit. They made it very frustrating
for us. I think that their team is very strong, and they play very
Vanderbilt senior Matt Freije, the Preseason SEC Player of the
Year, overcame an uncharacteristically inept shooting touch early
on to score 22 points. He shot just 3-for-11 in the first half, but
was scrappy in the paint and earned repeated trips to the foul
line. He hit a game-high seven on the night.
As a team, the Commodores hauled in 17 offensive rebounds
leading to 14 second-chance points.
“I can’t remember when we were out-rebounded by this
much in a while,” Amaker said.
Guard Daniel Horton, already nursing a bruised right knee from
practice earlier this week, went down with 7:39 remaining in the
first half. He couldn’t put any weight on the leg as he left
the floor, an ominous sight for the Wolverines.
Horton returned to start the second half, but was never at full
Chris Hunter helped Michigan cut the Vanderbilt lead to five,
40-35, with a two-handed flush early in the second half. But that
was as close as the team got the rest of the way.
The Commodores stormed ahead with a 14-6 run. Dawid
Przybyszewski, or the “Polish Tower” as he’s
known to the Vanderbilt students, capped the spurt with a pair of
Michigan finished the game ice-cold from the floor. During an
eight-minute stretch in the second half, the team made just 2-of-9
shots from the field.
“Eventually we’ll be a good shooting team, at some
point,” Amaker said. “I thought that we would be
outstanding coming into this year but we haven’t displayed