As a side-note, I was happy for Juwan Howard, Jr., to have a big game at Crisler. I’m sure he would have liked to have things work out differently in recruiting, and he’s turned himself into quite a good player.
Okay, first, I thought Donnal looked pretty good. He hit a mid-range jumper for the 2nd game in a row, had a nice block, generally provided decent help defense, and had a nice back-door pass (as did Bielfeldt). He did miss a lefty lay-up and could’ve gone up stronger on that one. But between him and Bielfeldt, I’m feeling pretty good that we can at least put out someone solid for 40 minutes, and there aren’t that many teams, especially on the upcoming schedule, who can take advantage of any weakness there. We’re clearly limited a bit there right now - Bielfeldt was stuff badly when he tried a post move - but I’m hopeful we can improve in that spot as the year goes on.
Second, Walton, Irvin, and LeVert are not just all very good, they’re guys to go to battle with, as the saying goes. They are tough, willing to take the big shot, all while generally keeping composure.
Third, the lineup with Albrecht and Walton seems a pretty good fall-back when we go that way. Again, I’m not sure there are that many teams that can really punish us for going small.
Fourth, Detroit shot over 47% from three, over ten points higher than their average so far, while we shot below our average, especially until late – all in a nothing-to-lose game for them, one that they were probably particularly amped for, in a not-much-to-gain game for UM.
Obviously, there still are concerns, primarily at the 4 and 5 spot, and we’re still getting some early-season yips out of the way, but I didn’t feel so panicky after watching the game like others clearly did. We should know a bit more over the next couple days.