The Wolverine

February 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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FEBRUARY 2021 THE WOLVERINE 41 eight opponents to shoot 35 percent or better from long range, the Wol- verines clamped down and haven't allowed an opposing squad to shoot better than 35 percent from long range since, with Wisconsin (32.1) being the only team that connected on 30 percent or more of its looks from deep. It all started with an emphasis on contesting jumpers in practice fol- lowing the aforementioned game in College Park, Md., with head coach Juwan Howard acknowledging the problem, identifying the solutions and making sure it carried over onto the floor in games. "Yes, we did win the game at Maryland, but I wasn't happy at all about how we guarded the three- point line as of late," Howard said after his Wolverines beat No. 19 Northwestern by 19 points and held the Wildcats to just 27.8 percent from downtown. "Today, we worked to get to their shooters. As you saw, they have a roster full of excellent three-point shooting. "… Our job was to make sure that we did not lose them, keep our head on a swivel, contest without fouling, and — most importantly — have bet- ter activity on and off the ball." After its first six contests in Janu- ary, U-M ranked 14th nationally in three-point defense over that span, only conceding a 25.2 clip from deep by its opposition. After being tabbed at 28th nationally in adjusted defen- sive efficiency following the Dec. 31 game, according to, the Wolverines have vaulted up the rankings and sat at No. 4 in the coun- try just after defeating Purdue Jan. 22 and holding the Boilermakers to 30.8 percent overall and 2 of 12 (16.7 percent) from long range. — Clayton Sayfie MICHIGAN IS NOTCHING BLOWOUT VICTORIES, TIME AFTER TIME U-M had a 17-point lead over No. 9 Wisconsin when it ran through the Blavin Tunnel and into the halftime locker room at Crisler Center Jan. 12. The Wolverines went on a 14-0 run in the half's final 6:19 to give them- selves a significant lead. While a team can sometimes get complacent due to being up by so much, U-M has been able to finish teams off … and blow them out. "Just give credit to the guys for just staying locked in; not getting too emotionally high on thinking that the game is only played with 20 min- utes," head coach Juwan Howard said after the 77-54 blowout of Wis- consin in which U-M outscored the Badgers by six points in the second half. "I heard guys in the locker room reminding each other that we still have 20 more minutes to play. They look at the score as being 0-0, and it's good to hear it's coming from the players, holding each other account- able instead of the coaches having to say it. "There are times I go into halftime and I only have to say some of the things that I was prepared to say be- cause guys already have addressed it amongst each other." With that triumph, U-M became the first team in college basketball history to beat three straight ranked opponents by 19 or more points, with Northwestern Jan. 3 (85-66) and Minnesota Jan. 6 (82-57) having been the prior two wins. Additionally, the Wolverines have claimed eight of their 13 victories by 17 or more points, and are posting an average win margin of 16.8 points, not in- Howard's Wolverines became the first team in college basketball history to beat three straight ranked opponents by 19 or more points, when it blew out Northwestern, Minnesota and Wisconsin in early January. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL 2020-21 U-M MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date Opponent (TV) Results/Time (ET) Nov. 25 Bowling Green W, 96-82 Nov. 29 Oakland W, 81-71 (OT) Dec. 2 Ball State W, 84-65 Dec. 6 Central Florida W, 80-58 Dec. 9 Toledo W, 91-71 Dec. 13 Penn State* W, 62-58 Dec. 25 at Nebraska* W, 80-69 Dec. 31 at Maryland* W, 84-73 Jan. 3 Northwestern* W, 85-66 Jan. 6 Minnesota* W, 82-57 Jan. 12 Wisconsin* W, 77-54 Jan. 16 at Minnesota* L, 75-57 Jan. 19 Maryland* W, 87-63 Jan. 22 at Purdue* W, 70-53 Jan. 27 at Penn State* Postponed Jan. 30 Indiana* Postponed Feb. 3 at Northwestern* Postponed Feb. 6 Michigan State* Postponed Feb. 11 Illinois* (ESPN) 7 p.m. Feb. 14 at Wisconsin* (CBS) TBA Feb. 18 Rutgers* (FS1) TBA Feb. 21 at Ohio State* (CBS) TBA Feb. 27 at Indiana* (FOX) TBA Mar. 4 Iowa* (ESPN/2) TBA Mar. 7 at Michigan State* (CBS) TBA Mar. 10-14 Big Ten Tournament^ (BTN/CBS) * Big Ten game; ^ at the United Center in Chicago BTN — Big Ten Network; FS1 — FOX Sports 1

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