Michigan coach John Beilein speaks to the media after the 83-55 win over Chattanooga on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018, at Crisler Center.
Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press
Michigan basketball continued its hot start to the season with a 83-55 win over Chattanooga at Crisler Center on Friday afternoon.
The Wolverines (6-0), No. 9 in the latest AP poll, didn’t trail once all game and took a double-digit lead early thanks to a combined 28 points first-half points from the front-court trio of Isaiah Livers, Ignas Brazdeikis and Jon Teske.
Here are three takeaways from Friday’s game.
U-M coach John Beilein has said that he envisions Livers, a sophomore forward, playing the role that ex-Wolverines forward Duncan Robinson did last year.
Livers can come off the bench and spell Brazdeikis at power forward. Or he can replace Teske at center, allowing U-M to play small.
Livers is a dedicated defender who entered Friday’s game averaging 1.2 blocks and 1.0 steals per game. None of his offensive stats are overly impressive — except for his 3-point shooting.
Through the first five games of the season, Livers shot 9 of 17 (52.9 percent) on 3s. Against Chattanooga, he made two of his three attempts.
It might be hard to sustain that pace. Still, Livers’ shooting is one of the reasons why he has been such an effective player this year.
Brazdeikis’ scoring consistency
U-M’s talented 6-foot-7, 215-pound freshman paced the Wolverines with 20 points on Friday.
It’s the second consecutive game Brazdeikis has led Michigan in scoring, after he dropped 20 against Providence last weekend.
He has scored in double figures in five of U-M’s first six games. Against Chattanooga, Brazdeikis picked up an early foul in the opening minutes of the game and took a seat on the bench.
No matter. He scored plenty later in the first half and early in the second, getting to the rim while hitting a pair of 3s.
Beilein was able to play with different lineups in the second half. One group featured three guards — Zavier Simpson, Eli Brooks and David DeJulius — along with to Livers and Brazdeikis.
Later, there was a lineup featuring DeJulius, Brooks, Brazdeikis, freshman forward Brandon Johns and center Austin Davis.
Friday was Davis’ return to the court after he left last week’s Villanova game with an apparent lower-body ankle. He sat out the team’s next two games against George Washington and Providence.
Contact Orion Sang: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @orion_sang.