Right now, the Michigan men’s basketball team might be thankful there is so much attention on the school’s unbeaten football squad, given the hoops team hasn’t gotten off to the start it hoped.
The Wolverines are 4-1, but dropped out of the national rankings following a blowout loss to Arizona State on Thursday followed by an overtime win at home Sunday against Ohio.
The Wolverines hope their home contest against Jackson State on Wednesday night will offer a chance to play up to their own expectations.
Despite struggling against Ohio, Michigan coach Juwan Howard said he actually saw some growth in his team in the way it rallied from a 57-50 deficit with 7:48 remaining in the game.
“We could’ve easily had doubt in our eyes,” Howard said. “But our guys found a way down the stretch. It’s a sure sign of growth.”
With several guards and wing players still trying to adjust to expanded roles, Michigan as expected has relied heavily on junior center Hunter Dickinson, who is averaging 20.4 points and 9.0 rebounds a game so far this season.
Freshman Jett Howard is the only other player averaging in double figures at 14.4 points per game.
Jackson State is 0-3 to start the season following a 94-91 loss at Arkansas-Little Rock on Sunday.
The Jaguars, who were picked to finish seventh in the league’s preseason poll, also lost at Abilene Christian (65-56) and at Tulsa (85-79).
Jackson State is coached by Mo Williams, a former NBA All-Star who is in his first year at the helm of the program.
“The SWAC is way underrated,” Williams told the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette recently. “We got some really good basketball teams in our league.”
The Jaguars so far this year have been led by sophomore guard Ken Evans, Jr., who is averaging 18 points a game.
Senior Trace Young is the only other player for Jackson State averaging double figures in scoring at 15 points per contest.
–Field Level Media