ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan basketball's non-conference slate is set to end Tuesday night against Bryant at Crisler Center.
With that, the Big Ten season is right around the corner and this basketball team will need to stay sharp if it hopes to compete in the conference this season. Aside from the decisive victories over lesser opponents over the last few weeks, senior guard Caris LeVert acknowledges that the team hasn't played at its best so far this season.
He still believes the sky is the limit for this team.
"We're still getting better each and every day, we're still learning, so I think we have a very high ceiling," LeVert said. "Before our last game coach Val (Lavall Jordan) told us in the pregame talk that we hadn't had a really good game yet and in the last game I thought we had a really great game. If we can just keep continuing to put great games together like that, I think we'll start to see improvement."
Of course, a lot of that coming together helps by having a Derrick Walton Jr. out on the floor. As were the results on Saturday night, the team tied it all together to play arguably the best its played all season despite facing a lesser opponent.
What Walton can bring to the floor, as well as the team, has been missed according to LeVert.
"He's our floor general," he said. "When he's out there things run a lot more smoothly. We really missed him in the SMU game but he's really established his dominance in the last few games, he's really shown why he's the leader of our team."
In a sense, Tuesday's game against Bryant could be considered a tune-up game before the real challenge begins in conference play. However, there's games aren't schedule-fillers by any means, these are important to the team. LeVert recognizes that getting into midseason form and maintaining rhythm for certain players that need it will be important heading into the games that will make or break U-M's season.
"It's huge for us," LeVert said. "Establishing our rhythm as well. A guy like Zak that has really struggled in his shot, really looking forward to him knocking some shots down tomorrow, get his rhythm back a little bit. He's doing some other things great as well like rebounding and passing, I think he's really matured in that way. Getting everybody in rhythmn, Aubrey had a huge game that was big for his confidence going into Big Ten play. Just establishing guys that will need that confidence going into Big Ten play.