The story of the game early on was sophomore center Courtney Sims. He flexed his newly found muscle on the inside and bulled his way to six straight points in the paint to put the home team up by that amount three-and-a-half minutes into the game. Sims indicated that effort down low is only a sign of things to come. "That is how our offense is now," said Sims referring to the emphasis on the low post game. "We see that we are a year older and a lot stronger with out post players. That's one of the things we concentrate on everyday in practice. We're going to be dominant down low. That is one of our goals, to be the best post team in the Big Ten."
Graham takes it up strong
Over the next eight minutes the Wolverines used a balanced inside-out attack to push their lead out to 13 points at 26-13. The entry feeds from the guards and high post men over the top of fronting Husky defenders was textbook. Even so, the visitors would not lie down.
Tech sophomore Radayl Richardson keyed an 11-7 run to close on the half to make the halftime score 33-34. The Detroit native led the Huskies with 9 first half points and was a perfect 4/4 from the field. The visitors' rebounding effort helped keep them in the game. Their 16 boards, including 5 offensive, were three more than the Wolverines were able to muster in the first half of play. That was a stat that Coach Tommy Amaker was definitely looking to turn around coming out of the break.
When the maize and blue came out of the locker room they were intent on getting things back on the right track, and they did just that. After Daniel Horton knocked in a three pointer for the opening field goal of the half, Brent Petway delivered two huge blocks on the defensive end that lead to two more baskets. Horton found Lester Abram open in close on consecutive plays to close out an 8-1run that made the score 41-25 with 16:06 left.
Petway continued to energize the team defensively with five second half boards after having none in the first. Horton also continued his good play, finding Abram open for three to make the score 44-27 with 13:23 to go. Still, the Huskies would not quit as they tried to claw back into the game with one final run.
Jason Marcotte and Dusty Wabiszewski each nailed three pointers to spark a 12-6 run to make the score 50-39 with 5:04 remaining. That, however, was as close as they'd get. Daniel Horton finished his strong opening game by putting the nail in the coffin with a 3-pointer to make the score 53-39 going into the media timeout at 3:43.
Coach Amaker substituted heavily from that point on and the young men that entered did an excellent job in relief. Freshman Ronald Coleman nailed his first basket as a Wolverine with 1:31 on the clock before the home team cruised to the 60-43 victory.
On the game the Wolverines were lead by Daniel Horton with 13 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds, and Courtney Sims with 13 points (6/7 shooting) and 8 rebounds. Raddayl Richardson paced the Huskies with 13 points and 7 rebounds. For more on the game, click the following links: (Boxscore, Notes,Quotes).
Daniel Horton was pleased with his team's opening performance. "I think we had great effort and played really good defense," Horton said. "We just wanted to come out and play better against them than we did last year. Last year we didn't do too well. This year was wanted to come out with more intensity and more energy and play better defense."
The Wolverines wrap up their exhibition schedule versus Wayne State on Wednesday night (7:05 tip) before opening the regular season in the preseason NIT on November 15th versus Binghamton.
Recruits spotted: Commitment K'len Morris and
recruit Deshawn Sims.