ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Michigan men’s basketball team plays its first return game of the Big Ten season when it faces Maryland on the road Thursday night.
The Wolverines thumped the Terps, 81-46, in the first matchup of the season at the Crisler Center on Jan. 1. UM has won five straight — and nine of its last 10 — against the Big Ten foe.
The game is also a Homecoming of sorts for a trio of Wolverines. Hunter Dickinson, Terrance Williams II and Dug McDaniel all Hail from the DMV area.
Michigan associate head coach Phil Martelli met with members of the media on Wednesday morning to preview the upcoming game against Maryland. Here is what he said:
On what Michigan can take from the blowout against Maryland at the Crisler Center:
We had great attention to detail defensively. We didn’t honor their shot fakes. We were very conscious of Young getting to his left hand. Challenged Carey on his 3-point shooting. Limited their transition. So all the defensive Fundamentals and obviously starting the game, whatever it was, 16, 17-0 helped us, but we were very sharp defensively that day, and we’ll have to be the same. They’re a little bit different team at home. Their last home game they beat Ohio State and we have to be aware now — a young team playing a team a second time where you beat them, you can’t have any slippage.
And then there’s always the factor of three kids going home: Hunter, T-Will and Dug. Sometimes young players when they go home play for the wrong reasons. They play and worry about the people who are in the stands rather than the players who are with them on the court.
On the Homecoming for Hunter DickinsonTerrance Williams II and Dug McDaniel:
Well the three of them, in some ways are blessed in that they have families that are able to get out and see them play at other places. So it’s not like the first time going home. And the way the trips are organized, it’s not like they’re going to wander around. You know, you’re not going to get a report that Hunter is in the Cafeteria at DeMatha on Thursday afternoon. So we keep that part tight.
And again, you have to go back to these experiences that these guys have had where they’ve played all over the country — not just in high school, but in summer basketball. The two older guys, Terrance and Hunter, I have a pretty good sense that it’s going to be quote unquote business as usual. With Dug, we will continue to take his temperature but he is excited about going home which is nice.
On Northwestern postponing its game due to Covid after facing Michigan:
First thing is I thought we were past this. Second of all, we’ve been there done that. And the third thing that pops into my mind is Michigan will make sure that we are well taken care of, well prepared. And Chris Williams and the Athletic staff and the Doctors and and everybody is ahead of the curve. So it’s a blessing to be part of that Michigan culture that thinks of the players first, which is what has to happen in this case.
Is Will Tschetter making a positive impact with his minutes:
Great point. The game is slowing down for him. I’m amazed at how vocal he is defensively. And offensively, it’s starting to get slower. … His stroke is pure. The 3 going in at Iowa, that lifted it. They still have to slow down. He had a turnover at the top of the key the other day, which if he just freezes for a second, he’s going to be able to throw the ball over the extended hands of the defense. And it’s all due to work — he just puts in work and work and work. And it’s not just his shot, but he looks at the Offensive patterns. He understands the scouting report. The future is bright for him.
It is if Michigan is more comfortable with the ‘4’ spot with Tarris Reed and Will Tschetter improving:
I still think it’s evolving. And it’s game by game. It’s, what’s the right matchup? And then what are the right sets that we can run? So we’re spending a lot of time continuing to build the playbook and to say okay, if Tarris and Hunter are playing together, what can we run? What can’t we run? And what are we comfortable with? What are the players comfortable running?
I would say our depth is still evolving, our lineups are still evolving and they will be really predicated on game by game matchups. You get into this situation with Maryland and we have to have a plan. If they put Donna Scott at the ‘5,’ what is our plan? And that’s what we work on every single day.