The Wolverine

February 2020*

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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FEBRUARY 2020 THE WOLVERINE 47   MICHIGAN BASKETBALL Sometimes it has worked and some- times it hasn't, but there have been a number of combinations used this year. "I look at the game and I read the game and how situations are thrown at us, and I mix and match with some different types of lineups," Howard said after going with his small lineup down the stretch in a double-overtime win over Purdue Jan. 9. He played freshman Franz Wagner at power forward to provide some of- fense. "It's not the last time we'll use Franz at the 'four' spot," he explained. "We also practiced it. Franz was prepared to play that position. They didn't have both bigs in, and I needed another ball handler as well as a shooter. I knew at times on the defensive boards we may get beat on the glass, but Franz was in there scrapping. They all were." They were gassed at the end, espe- cially senior center Jon Teske. They all played every minute of the last two overtimes in addition to the last 9:13 of regulation, but it worked. They pulled away to start the second overtime, and withstood some terrible free throw shooting and Purdue resolve to hold on. The Wolverines didn't have the same good fortune in games at Minnesota or Iowa. Howard opted to play redshirt junior center Austin Davis significant minutes, especially down the stretch against the Hawkeyes after sophomore forward Brandon Johns fouled out, and promptly got handled down the stretch in a 90-83 loss. It's very likely more of the small-ball lineups will be used in those situations going forward, especially when junior forward Isaiah Livers returns from an injury that sidelined him since Dec. 21. "That group is very dynamic," How- ard said. "They have five skill guys. Franz is a very skillful guy that can put the ball on the floor and shoot with good length. He also defends very well, which he's not given enough credit for. "[Junior guard] Eli Brooks can shoot the ball and create off the ball screen. [Senior] Zavier Simpson, [sophomore] David [DeJulius], we all know they're good off ball screens, too. It's a hybrid lineup. I'm not saying I'm always go- ing to it every time … just got to read the time and situations." — Chris Balas BRANDON JOHNS CONTINUES TO GET OPPORTUNITIES Michigan sophomore forward Bran- don Johns got his first Big Ten start in rather familiar territory — his home- town. Johns, an East Lansing, Mich., native, took injured forward Isaiah Livers' place in the lineup and tied a career high with 12 points in an 87-69 loss to Michigan State Jan. 5. MICHIGAN'S 2019-20 BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date Opponent (TV) Result/Time (ET) Nov. 5 Appalachian State (BTN) W, 79-71 Nov. 12 Creighton# W, 79-69 Nov. 15 Elon^ W, 70-50 Nov. 22 Houston Baptist W, 111-68 Nov. 27 vs. Iowa State& W, 83-76 Nov. 28 vs. North Carolina& W, 73-64 Nov. 29 vs. Gonzaga& W, 82-64 Dec. 3 at Louisville! L, 58-43 Dec. 6 Iowa W, 103-91 Dec. 11 at Illinois L, 71-62 Dec. 14 Oregon L, 71-70 (OT) Dec. 21 Presbyterian W, 86-44 Dec. 29 UMass Lowell W, 86-60 Jan. 5 at Michigan State L, 87-69 Jan. 9 Purdue W, 84-78 (2OT) Jan. 12 at Minnesota L, 75-67 Jan. 17 at Iowa L, 90-83 Jan. 22 Penn State (BTN) 7 p.m. Jan. 25 Illinois (FS1) 12 p.m. Jan. 28 at Nebraska (ESPN/2/U) 7 p.m. Feb. 1 vs. Rutgers@ (BTN) 4:30 p.m. Feb. 4 Ohio State (ESPN/2) 7 p.m. Feb. 8 Michigan State (FOX) 12 p.m. Feb. 12 at Northwestern (BTN) 9 p.m. Feb. 16 Indiana (CBS) 1 p.m. Feb. 19 at Rutgers (BTN) 7 p.m. Feb. 22 at Purdue (ESPN/2) 2 p.m. Feb. 27 Wisconsin (ESPN/2) 7 p.m. Mar. 1 at Ohio State (CBS) 4 p.m. Mar. 5 Nebraska (FS1) 6:30 p.m. Mar. 8 at Maryland (FOX) 12 p.m. Mar. 11-15 Big Ten Tournament$ (BTN/CBS) TBD # Gavitt Tipoff Games; ^ Battle 4 Atlantis/Mainland Bracket; & Battle 4 Atlantis/Championship Bracket in Paradise Island, Bahamas; ! ACC/Big Ten Challenge; @ at Madison Square Garden in New York City; $ at Indianapolis Sophomore forward Brandon Johns is averaging 4.9 points and 4.0 rebounds per game this year, and is seeing increased time due to the injury suffered by Isaiah Livers. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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