The Wolverine

April 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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APRIL 2019 THE WOLVERINE 29 R edshirt junior Charles Matthews is widely regarded as one of the best defensive players in the Big Ten, if not the country. That's why his omission from the Big Ten All-Defen- sive Team came as such a shock to his teammates, as well as head coach John Beilein. Last year, Michigan sophomore Zavier Simpson's absence from the All-D squad motivated him to be even better. He made the team this season, joined by Maryland's Bruno Fernando, Michigan State's Matt Mc- Quaid, Purdue's Nojel Eastern and Penn State's Josh Reaves, the confer- ence's Defensive Player of the Year. "That was surprising, but that's al- ways been a great motivating factor for everybody," Beilein said of Mat- thews' snub. "People are watching a different game than I'm watching ob- viously with Charles. He's had some rough offensive moments, but the guy has never had a bad defensive game, and he's taking care of everybody. "How many people were on that team? Five? And he's not one of the five best? Besides Zavier, there must be four really good defenders out there. That's all I can say." Big Ten coaches, not the media, vote on the All-Defensive Team. Matthews didn't have much to say on the snub in the weeks leading up to the postseason, still nursing an an- kle injury suffered in the first meeting with Michigan State before returning for the Big Ten Tournament. Teammates, however, predicted he would come back even stronger, and he did, dominating defensively in a Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal win over Iowa March 15. Junior center Jon Teske, also left off the All-Big Ten Defensive Team, noted all of the omissions could have the same effect as it did on Simpson last year. He dominated last year 's Big Ten Tournament from his position af- ter picking up extra motivation from being left off the list of honorees. "I know a couple of the guys are talking about it, and it will definitely be a chip on the shoulder," Teske said. "But at the end of the day, it's over with. It doesn't matter. You can't do anything about it. We're just going to go out and play our game." Matthews averaged 23 minutes per game in three Big Ten Tournament contests while working his way back, averaging 5.0 points per game. He admitted that playing the second half of a home game with Michigan State Feb. 24 was "dumb," but he wanted to try to be there for his team in a 77-70 loss to the Spartans. "I don't think I'm a macho man or anything, but I've got some toughness to me," he said. "It wasn't the best de- cision at the time, but you get so lost in the game … and just wanting to be out there for your teammates." He did admit after the win over   MICHIGAN BASKETBALL Charles Matthews Returns From Injury With Motivation Matthews ranked third on the team in steals (31) and fourth in blocks (12) despite missing three contests late in the year due to an ankle injury, and his value on the defensive end of the court goes beyond those numbers. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL 2018-19 MICHIGAN MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date Opponent (TV) Time (ET) Nov. 2 Northwood (BTN+)^ W, 90-58 Nov. 6 Norfolk State (BTN)* W, 63-44 Nov. 10 Holy Cross (BTN+)* W, 56-37 Nov. 14 at Villanova$ W, 73-46 Nov. 17 vs. George Washington# W, 84-61 Nov. 18 vs. Providence# W, 66-47 Nov. 23 Chattanooga W, 83-55 Nov. 28 North Carolina& W, 84-67 Dec. 1 Purdue! W, 76-57 Dec. 4 at Northwestern! W, 62-60 Dec. 8 South Carolina W, 89-78 Dec. 15 Western Michigan W, 70-62 Dec. 22 Air Force W, 71-50 Dec. 30 Binghamton W, 74-52 Jan. 3 Penn State! W, 68-55 Jan. 6 Indiana! W, 74-63 Jan. 10 at Illinois! W, 79-69 Jan. 13 Northwestern! W, 80-60 Jan. 19 at Wisconsin! L, 64-54 Jan. 22 Minnesota! W, 59-57 Jan. 25 at Indiana! W, 69-46 Jan. 29 Ohio State! W, 65-49 Feb. 1 at Iowa! L, 74-59 Feb. 5 at Rutgers! W, 77-65 Feb. 9 Wisconsin! W, 61-52 Feb. 12 at Penn State! L, 75-69 Feb. 16 Maryland! W, 65-52 Feb. 21 at Minnesota! W, 69-60 Feb. 24 Michigan State! L, 77-70 Feb. 28 Nebraska! W, 82-53 Mar. 3 at Maryland! W, 69-62 Mar. 9 at Michigan State! L, 75-63 Mar. 15 vs. Iowa% W, 74-53 Mar. 16 vs. Minnesota% W, 76-49 Mar. 17 vs. Michigan State% L, 65-60 Mar. 21 vs. Montana+ (TNT) 9:20 p.m. Mar. 23 vs. Nevada or Florida+ TBD ^ Exhibition; * Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame Tipoff Tournament, Campus Round; $ Gavitt Tipoff Games; # Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame Tipoff Tournament in Uncasville, Conn.; & ACC/Big Ten Challenge; ! Big Ten Game; % Big Ten Tournament at Chicago; + NCAA Tournament at Des Moines, Iowa

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