The Wolverine

November 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 41 of 83

42 THE WOLVERINE NOVEMBER 2018 BY JOHN BORTON M ost athletes want to be The Man. Nobody inside the Michigan basketball video room wants to be That Guy. There's a big difference. When you're That Guy, it means you were the weak link, the breakdown, the cog in the defense that went haywire, the key reason another team scored. It's a lonely feeling. The video doesn't lie, and those honing Michi- gan for increased defensive prowess are disinclined to look the other way. "Everybody is accountable on the floor," redshirt junior guard Charles Matthews assured. "Every time in film, we say, don't be that guy, mean- ing don't be the one getting singled out on the defensive end. "Everybody is going to have to contribute on that end. It takes all of us to win." Everybody did contribute to Mich- igan's run to the national title game last season. The Wolverines featured plenty of scoring, as always under John Beilein. They bedeviled oppo- nents with a three-point shooting big man in 6-11 German import Moe Wagner, now with the Los Angeles Lakers. They kept the turnovers down, as always, and kept the perimeter pressure up, offensively. But they did something else, given Beilein's added emphasis on the defensive end the past couple of years. They locked others up. Michigan's defense surrendered an average of 63.3 points per game, best 2018-19 BASKETBALL PREVIEW According to U-M assistant Luke Yaklich, defense starts with slowing down the opposing team's point guard, something the Wolverines are fairly successful at thanks to junior point guard Zavier Simpson (right, defending the ball handler). PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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