basketball Edit

Three takeaways from Michigan's dominant victory over Minnesota

Michigan got on top of Minnesota early in the team's Big Ten opener in Minneapolis on Thursday night, and Juwan Howard's squad cruised to a 90-75 win to advance to 1-0 in Big Ten play and 6-3 overall. Here are three takeaways from the beatdown of the Golden Gophers.

What a bounce back performance

Coming off the heels of two close, heartbreaking losses to Virginia and Kentucky over the last week, there was plenty of pessimism heading into the Big Ten opener against Minnesota. However, the Wolverines quickly quieted any doubts with an energetic start against the Golden Gophers.

Hunter Dickinson scored Michigan's first seven points as the Wolverines jumped out to a hot start. After Dickinson got the ball rolling, the flood gates opened. Kobe Bufkin, Dug McDaniel and Jett Howard all joined in on the action as Michigan put this one to bed early.

It's only December, and Minnesota isn't exactly a college basketball powerhouse, but Michigan's performance on Thursday night is by far the best of the season, and to see the team so energetic after two tough losses is a sign of good things to come going forward. This team, at least now, knows how to deal with adversity and channel it toward the next play, the next half or in this case, the next game.

Dug McDaniel is ready to go

After it was announced earlier this week that starting point guard Jaelin Llewellyn would miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL, Michigan was left with only one way to turn at point guard. Dug McDaniel was the next man up, and he did nothing but impress on Thursday night.

The 5-foot-11 freshman had only played sparingly throughout the first eight games of the season, as he was seen as Llewellyn's backup, but he proved that the Wolverines certainly won't take a step back with the Princeton transfer done for the season.

McDaniel finished with an incredibly impressive stat line of 15 points on 5-6 shooting with seven assists and three steals. He proved that he can fill the empty void at the point guard position, and Michigan fans should be excited about the development of the talented freshman throughout this season and going forward.

Big Ten play begins with a win

It may not have felt like a very important game, but this was the first game of a Big Ten schedule that features 20 games throughout the season. It's a long season, and there are still 19 more games to go, but beginning the Big Ten slate with a win is very important for a Michigan team that hasn't looked great to open the 2022-23 season.

Michigan took care of business against a poor Minnesota team that is still rebuilding under second-year head coach Ben Johnson. The Wolverines left no doubt as they put opposing Big Ten teams on notice with a 90-point outing.

For Michigan, it's very important to win these games that are expected to be wins at the beginning of the season. Dropping winnable games to inferior Big Ten opponents is a recipe for a poor seed in the conference tournament, and it leaves the door open for a chance at missing the NCAA Tournament, but Michigan took care of its business tonight.

The Wolverines have a nine-day break for final exams before they return to the floor against Lipscomb at the Crisler Center on Dec. 17. They will then take on North Carolina and Central Michigan before Big Ten play resumes on New Year's Day when Maryland visits Ann Arbor.

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