Michigan trainer Juwan Howard place the emphasis on shield against the very first time his whole team practiced this year.
It paid large dividends Friday night.
“They did a fantastic job. It wasn’t simple because Trevion (Williams) is among the greatest bigs in this summit and also among the very best in the nation,” Howard said when asked particularly about Michigan’s article play. “I understand tomorrow they are likely to wake up sore since they got it. This is an old-school, Big Ten kind of sport. The Big Ten has always been a physical summit and tonight’s match was actually about physicality.”
By winning their fifth straight in the show, the Wolverines (13-1, 8-1 Big Ten) maintained their stranglehold on the seminar lead.
However, this one came with some trepidation following Purdue’s top 3-point shot, Sasha Stefanovic, tested positive for COVID-19. Another evaluation Wednesday affirmed the first outcome.
Boilermakers coach Matt Painter explained the group’s protocols needed Stefanovic to put on a mask in their bus excursion and airplane ride back from Ohio State earlier this week and the senior guard wasn’t about anyone else later he returned to campus. No other players tested positive and following Howard stated he talked with his players separately, the match was played.
Livers, for one, stated he’d was anxious about acting — before being advised of those precautions Purdue took.
And without Stefanovic about the perimeter, the Wolverines took complete advantage by packaging it in and adventuresome Purdue to acquire against the perimeter.
Even though Trevion Williams led the Boilermakers with 14 points and 11 rebounds, he still did not have sufficient support from the supporting cast since Purdue’s four-game winning streak ended. The Boilermakers (11-6, 5-4) shot just 32.1percent and missed all six 3-point efforts in the first half as Michigan jumped into a 34-21 lead.
“We did not have good guard play tonight. It was not like our inner men played well, possibly,” Painter said. “But we did not have great guard play. We had 14 turnovers and it felt as though it had been 24.”
Purdue made its first two 3s in the second half and cut the deficit to 42-3, however, the Wolverines responded with six straight points and never permitted the Boilermakers to get shut again.
Michigan: Yes, the Wolverines have among the country’s highest-scoring offenses. However, if Michigan’s shooters have an off-night, their shield is much more than capable of having a direct effect. It is a mix few teams have — and also a reason that the Wolverines are a legitimate Final Four contender.
Purdue: Even though the Boilermakers was the Big Ten’s most popular group, they sputtered with no Stefanovic. Big Ten protocols can induce Stefanovic from the following two matches, and coach Matt Painter should discover a remedy — quickly.
With wins over Maryland and in Purdue this week, the Wolverines will not go anywhere but up from the Top 25. The larger question is if wins at Michigan State, Ohio State and Indiana will probably be sufficient to propel the Boilermakers to the positions for the first time all season.
Michigan: Livers has had six consecutive games in double figures. He also had 10 rebounds and three assists… The Wolverines let a season-low 21 points in the first half, two fewer than Wisconsin scored before this month and held Purdue to its lowest total point total at home this year.
Purdue: Williams has 12 directly double-doubles. … Williams, Eric Hunter Jr. and Jaden Ivey would be the only players to create over two baskets. … The Boilermakers dropped to 6-1 at home this year though they’ve have played more matches than every other Electricity Five school.
Ivey substituted Stefanovic at the lineup and had 12 points, five rebounds and five assists but was nowhere near as effective as Stefanovic.
Michigan: Requires an eight-day break before hosting Indiana following Saturday.