Guarding Caris LeVertSMU shot down the Wolverines superstar, holding him to four points on 1-of-9 shooting. A couple times, he was forced to pass a ball off when he clearly wanted to shoot. LeVert is aggressive and is great driving to the hoop, but SMU limited him in that area too. The Mustangs shared the duty of guarding him, but Sterling Brown was especially good. LeVert is a matchup nightmare, but the Mustangs kept him in check today. Michigan’s freshman big men predictably could not match his athleticism and finesse, and even though he didn’t kill it on the glass, Moreira did a good job of getting to the line. He showed a bit of a mid-range game too, although his foul shooting needs work.
TurnoversTurnovers were SMU’s other big issue last season, and the Mustangs had a few dumb ones Saturday. Justin Martin and Ryan Manuel each threw a bad pass to ruin a great transition opportunity, and SMU had 8 turnovers in the first 10 minutes of the second half, which was one of a few reasons Michigan got back in the game. SMU finished with 20 turnovers on the day, the second straight game with 20+.
SMU shot the ball exceptionally well in the first 15 minutes, but had a long stretch where they shot the ball poorly in the second half. The Mustangs also gave up a lot of rebounds in the second half, which sprung Michigan on a 12-1 run that erased a 10-point lead. Michigan entered the game ranked 298th nationally in rebounds per game. SMU hit the board harder in the closing minutes and limited any second-chance points for Michigan. Despite the sloppy half, the Mustangs clamped down in the final minutes by taking (and making) smarter shots and avoiding turnovers to spark a 17-0 run that preserved the win.