Click HERE to sign up for a subscription to TheWolverine.com and get your FREE gift code for $99 in Michigan apparel and gear!
This was the offensive game Michigan had been waiting to whole season for.
Coming into the Big Ten opener against Purdue, the Wolverines’ offense was on the brink of a breakout and against the Boilermakers, they finally did.
In Saturday’s Big Ten opener, Michigan hit 13 threes and steam rolled Purdue 76-57 at the Crisler Center. Sophomore forward Jordan Poole led the way for Michigan with 21 points and five threes.
“We’re just confident,” Poole said. “We practice so much. In practice game situation threes and we know the looks we’re going to get. We’ve got guys like John and (Zavier) and Isiah staying after practice and shooting threes because we know that it’s a huge part of our game. Being able to knock down those shots from the one to the five is definitely huge.”
For as good of a start to the season Michigan had, it was a completely new season with conference play beginning. They wanted to continue their strong play against Purdue.
“We wanted to start 1-0, just giving us a jump start to the season,” junior center Jon Teske said. “It’s kind of like a new season a little bit. They got a taste of it today.”
Teske got in on the three-point shooting parade of Michigan, making his first two threes of the season. Before Saturday, he had missed his first ten attempts from deep.
“It felt good,” Teske said. “I knew where I was at. After I hit that first one, it felt good to see that second one as well. I’m just going to keep shooting.”
His coaches are completely fine with having their big guy shoot the three.
“They have all the confidence for me to take it,” Teske said. “I’m not going to force anything. It was open within the offense.”
Purdue coach Matt Painter after the game said that he tried to recruit Teske to Purdue, but Teske said he felt like Michigan was a better fit for him. Painter said Teske has come a long way from his freshman season.
Teske he credits the strength and conditioning staff with helping him take the leap. He stayed at school the past two years working on his body. His ability to play significant minutes without getting gassed has been a huge boost for the Wolverines.
While Teske hadn’t hit a three before this afternoon, he had shot threes a lot in high school.
“It was always there, just trying to feel it out,” Teske said. “Knowing my role, freshman and sophomore year I really didn’t have to do that. I know I have to score more. Been working on it all summer.”
Teske shooting threes opens up the rest of the court for his teammates.
“It’s definitely a huge boost because I feel like Jon is the type of guy when he hits a three, he’s like, yeah I can shoot too,” Poole said. “Being able for him to have the swag now and have the confidence to knock it down is exciting to see.”
With the Wolverines undefeated as the calendar turns to December, the team is playing more together than ever.
“It starts in the summer as soon as the freshman get here our team bonding stuff,” Teske said. “We love to talk about stuff other than basketball. I thinks that’s what connects us, off the court, we just love hanging out with each other as well.”
Michigan is 8-0 and Painter thinks they can win all different ways.
“They’ve come so far, not just defensively, but more of a mindset,” Painter said. “They have a more of a grind it out mindset. They can outscore you, but they also can grind it out.”