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While Michigan’s offense isn’t the best John Beilein has had at Michigan, one area where it is similar to previous teams is taking care of the ball.
The Wolverines turnover percentage of 14.7 percent is 14th in the country through ten games and is nearly four percent better than the national average. Michigan had an even lower turnover percentage heading into the South Carolina game, but against the Gamecocks, the Wolverines turned the ball over 16 times.
Taking care of the ball is drilled into the Wolverines every day in practice. Beilein focuses on making sure his players make the smart play.
“Coach Beilein’s drills, landing on two, keeping your head up and making the easy play,” sophomore forward Isiah Livers said. “We have a lot of land on two (feet) drills and make the right play drills.”
Taking care of the ball is an inherent part of Michigan’s offense. The Wolverines look to make the right pass on each play and Beilein doesn’t want the ball to stay with one person.
It’s isolation plays that lead to turnovers because a player is forced to create offense for themselves. Michigan looks to avoid those plays and keep the ball moving at all times.
“Just running our offense and finding the right man,” junior center Jon Teske said. “We know that the ball can’t stick and if there’s a man open we’ll get it to him. Every once in a while there will be turnovers, but you can’t have dumb overs. Moving the ball, sharing the ball and getting the best shot we can get.”
Michigan’s low turnover percentage comes from more than just drills and good ball movement. The Wolverines connectedness and strong team bond help them to not make turnovers.
“It’s more on the chemistry side,” Livers said. “Everybody gets along. Coach B talks about how we get along off the court. On the court, we all get along. We just know where each other are and what their response is going to be.”
Michigan’s chemistry has helped each player know where his teammates are at all game long.
“We’re all connected and know where each other is at,” Teske said. If someone drives down the lane, someone might be in the corner. We’ll always know that. In the pick-and-roll, they’ll always kind of know where I’m at. We just have that feel and that’s just from playing ball together for so long.”