Michigan's first game of the year wasn't as tricky as head coach John Beilein thought it might be, at least for the better part of 30 minutes. Junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr. helped keep the Wolverines a step ahead of Slippery Rock with a big first half and continued his fine play in the second on his way to a double double in a 100-62 win.
The Rock matched the Wolverines possession for possession in the first 10 minutes after U-M jumped to a 4-0 lead, outworking U-M on the glass for several second chance opportunities. They knocked down a pair of triples in the first six minutes, the second giving them a 15-14 lead, before back to back triples from Hardaway (12 first half points) and sophomore point guard Trey Burke gave Michigan a five-point lead.
Hardaway went 3-for-5 from the floor, 2-for-2 from long range, and worked the glass (seven rebounds, six defensive) in an extremely well rounded 17 minutes. Burke wasn't at his best, going only 3-for-10 from the floor with four turnovers, but he notched eight points and four assists in the stanza.
Freshman big man Mitch McGary played only four minutes after picking up two quick fouls following his entry at 14:38, but redshirt sophomore Jon Horford provided a spark in his absence. He notched a putback three-point play to put U-M up 23-17 and took a charge at the other end on the next possession.
U-M started to pull away with 4:31 remaining in the half on a shorty by freshman Glenn Robinson III (eight first half points), extending the lead to as many as 16 before taking a 44-30 lead into the break.
Slippery Rock worked inside for the first four points of the second half before Hardaway answered with an emphatic slam, cutting and taking a pass from Burke to flush it with one hand. Robinson hit a jumper to put Mihcign aback up 14, and Hardaway extended it to 18 with a potential four-point play, nailing a triple in transition while being fouled. He missed the free throw, but hit a triple from the top his next time down to make it 54-34 at 16:43.
Burke started to heat up six minutes into the second half, hitting a midrange jumper and a drive and finish to keep U-M up by 20. Robinson hit Matt Vogrich with a nice bounce pass in transition after a Slippery Rock answer to keep the margin more than comfortable.
McGary didn't take long to pick up his third foul, pushing off on a rebound only 20 seconds into his second half action. He did notch a steal to lead a break that concluded with an alley oop from Burke to Hardaway in transition, and the Wolverine were off to the races.
Hardaway all but iced it with a defense rebound, outlet to Burke and step in three to make it 70-44. He completed the double double on the following possession with his 10th rebound, giving him 25 and 10 at the 9:25 mark.
A Vogrich triple made it 77-47 with just under six minutes remaining. Nik Stauskas later scored three of his seven on a long triple and freshman point guard Spike Albrecht followed with a steal and finish, McGary with a putback slam to continue the rout. Guard Eso Akunne also scored five straight down the stretch.
Hardaway finished with 25 and 10 and Burke added 21 and eight assists for the Wolverines. McGary finished strong with nine points and nine rebounds.
A Max Bielfeldt tip in with 10 seconds remaining allowed the Wolverines to hit the century mark.