Shorthanded U-M Blows Out Nicholls State

Michigan was without starting point guard Derrick Walton and reserve big man D.J. Wilson, but that did nothing to level the playing field for visiting Nicholls State. The Wolverines blasted the Colonels 91-62. Caris LeVert paced five Wolverines in double figures with 24 points.

Michigan headman John Beilein admitted to be a little nervous heading into Saturday’s match-up with Nicholls State.  Not because the visitors were particularly dangerous, but because he the Wolverines went into the contest without starting point guard Derrick Walton.  That concern probably didn’t last long thanks to the presence of a savvy veteran named Spike Albrecht.  The junior point guard was more than up to the task, notching 10 points, seven assists, three steals and zero turnovers to help guide Michigan to a 91-62 victory.
After Michigan fell 4-0 to start the game, Albrecht had a hand in the Wolverines’ first 11 points.  First he nailed a triple, then assisted on a triple and a deuce by Kameron Chatman, before finding Zak Irvin for another three.  That keyed a 15-2 run that push the lead to nine, and the home team never looked back from.

Caris LeVert was the offensive star of the afternoon pouring in 24 points on 8/12 shooting (including 5/6 from three). He led five Wolverines in double figures on a night where all of the freshman sans Austin Hatch played double digit minutes.

Ricky Doyle was again the standout among the first-year Wolverines.  The bruising big man was a spark-plug off the bench with 15 points that born of him throwing his weight around in the post.  His effort thus far has definitely got the attention of his head coach.

"I love some of the energy he provides coming off the bench. He was plagued by injuries in September and October and that kept him from getting a rhythm. He did some of these things in Europe too; we love that big right-handed jump hook. That is a thing of beauty for every basketball coach in America.

Most coaches would probably envy the Wolverines’ efficiency on the night as well, as the home team shot 32/58 (55.2%) from the field and 14/30 (46.7%) from three.  They’ll try to carry that accuracy over to Tuesday evening’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge match-up with Syracuse. Tip-off is scheduled 7:30 pm EST and will air on ESPN.

Game Notes

• The Maize and Blue held the Colonels to 41.1-percent shooting from the floor (23-of-56), forcing 14 turnovers in the process.

• U-M grabbed a season-high 13 offensive rebounds while out-rebounding the Colonels, 36-24.

• Michigan has 84 assists (14 per contest) to just 55 turnovers (9.2 per contest). The Wolverines have recorded an assist on 53.2 percent (84-of-158) of all made field goals this season.

• Roughly 35 percent of U-M's offense has come via the long ball. U-M is shooting 44.5 percent (53-for-119) from beyond the three-point line as a team. Zak Irvin leads U-M with 19 total triples (3.2 per game), while Caris LeVert has 13 through six games.

• Ricky Doyle tallied career highs in points (15 on 6-of-8 shooting) and rebounds (six).

• Kameron Chatman also notched a career high in points (11) and rebounds (eight) and connected on his first two three-pointers as a Wolverine.

• Under John Beilein, the Wolverines are a perfect 13-0 when scoring more than 90 points.

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