Michigan Basketball pushed their winning streak to 10 on Thursday night with a 75-66 victory over Purdue. Below you will find the player grades for the Wolverines. Feel free to leave some feedback in the comments.
Derrick Walton: A
The freshman point guard is starting to make the transition from ball handler to a player full of confidence in his ability to shoot, drive, and pass in John Beilein’s offense. Until recently, this Wolverines team was missing a player with the closers mentality that Trey Burke had last year. Walton is starting to fill that role with big shots: half court buzzer beater against Nebraska, and-one dagger and clutch free throws against Michigan State, and in this game a coast-to-coast layup to end the first as well as a step back three to stretch Michigan’s lead to 17.
Nik Stauskas: B+
Coming off multiple accolades as player of the week, Stauskas continued his high level of play. The development of his ability to get to the basket has proved to be the best thing that happened to Michigan basketball all offseason. His confidence is deservedly through the roof and he caused problems for Purdue all night driving and dishing. He did, however, only have one rebound sometimes seeming to eager to get a transition bucket as opposed to helping his teammates crash the boards, which has been a slight problem for the Wolverines all season.
Glenn Robinson III: B
When he wants to be, GRIII can be the most lethal scorer on the court. The only problem is it often seems like he doesn’t want to be. Early in the game, he seemed content to ball handle and distribute from the perimeter. While efficient at scoring, he only attempted 3 shots in the first half and 6 total (LeVert and Stauskas had 6 in the first half alone). Everyone loves the selfless superstar but they would appreciate a selfish Glenn.
Caris LeVert: A
LeVert was an animal on the boards all night, making people forget Mitch McGary even existed by hauling down 9 rebounds in the first half and 2 in the second. His shooting in the first half was skeptical at best, going 1-6 and laying enough bricks to build a small European city. But his mental resolve shone through all night in terms of hustle plays: getting back to block and contest transition layups for the Boilermakers all night and shaking off his first half shooting to go 4-5 in the second recording his first career double-double with 14 points and 11 boards.
Jordan Morgan: B-
It wasn’t a poor statistical performance for Morgan, finishing with 6 rebounds and 11 points on 4-6 shooting. But he lacked consistency in rebounding and the Boilermakers were able to grab 16 offensive rebounds. Even as a 5th year senior, he is developing a chemistry with this young backcourt that allows him to be found for easy dunks and lay ups. His 3 turnovers to 0 assists isn’t exactly ideal, especially for a big man in Beilein’s offense where almost all 5 players touch the ball every possession (Morgan played 27 minutes, Jon Horford played 12 and had 2 assists).
Albrecht, Irvin, and Horford combined for 31 minutes and went a combined 5-6 from the field. When you can rely on bench players to come in and score 12 points so efficiently with only 2 turnovers, you have an ideal rotation as a coach.
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