ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Friday night's game at the Crisler Center brought up various feelings on both benches. For the Beilein's father John was coaching against his son, Patrick. The family was together huddled in white shirts that read "Michimoyne" to celebrate one cause: The Beilein's.
For Caris LeVert, it was a moment of relief. Finally, after a long wait and a season cut short due to injury, he was able to play significant minutes in a basketball game against another team. Even if that team practically mirrored his own.
"It was kind of funny during the game because we were calling the same plays," LeVert said. "We were going down and calling a play and they would call it out because they knew we were running it and they would come down the opposite way and run it. It was a different feeling in that aspect."
Weirdness or quirkiness aside, LeVert's play boosted the Wolverines to a 74-52 exhibition victory against Le Moyne. LeVert finished the night with 22 points, four rebounds and three assists.
"It felt great," LeVert said. "I had some pregame jitters coming out in the starting lineup and stuff but it felt great getting going. The crowd was really good to us today."
LeVert might've had jitters pregame but it also appeared that he mad a moment during the game as well. Streaking down the cord and preparing to unleash a thunderous dunk, the ball appeared to fly from his hands as he crashed onto the hardwood. Something that LeVert said earned him a scolding from his head coach. On top of that, it was the first missed dunk during a game in his entire basketball career.
Although Beilein was happy to not see any injuries and come away with a victory, it doesn't mean he was very happy with the team's performance. It seemed to be a tale of two halves. With U-M shutting down the Le Moyne offense in the first half, with the Dolphins going on a field goal drought that eclipsed 10 minutes. In the second half, the three-pointer was hitting for Le Moyne at a much higher rate, shooting slightly better (39%) than the Wolverines (32%) from beyond the arc.
Despite the game being an exhibition, Beilein knows his team will have to be better going forward.
"I loved our defensive numbers at halftime and I hated our offensive numbers," Beilein said. "The second half it flipped on us. The offenses for both teams were much better and it's because the defense probably wasn't. So we'll learn from the video today. I am so excited, more excited than anybody in this room, to be up at about 6 a.m. and watch a whole bunch of video so I can be ready for our 12 o'clock video session.
"We got to get better."
U-M's next game will be at the Crisler Center against Northern Michigan November 7 at 7 p.m.