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College Park, Md. — Michigan mentor John Beilein’s postgame presser took a short detour.

When answering a concern about junior guard Zavier Simpson, he wondered aloud wherever his “Captain Hook” moniker came from and looked around the home.

And when no 1 could place their finger on its origin, Beilein conceded: “That 1 can adhere. He is the captain and he’s got a hook.”

It’s a fitting nickname and 1 Maryland couldn’t dispel as Simpson showcased his management and patented shot all over Sunday’s 69-62 win that kept Michigan’s Massive Ten title hopes alive.

Initial, the working hook. Freshman forward Ignas Brazdeikis has witnessed Simpson knock down the shot plenty of periods in apply and in game titles over defenders of all dimensions.

But when Simpson used a display screen from junior middle Jon Teske out near the 3-place line and had Maryland significant person Bruno Fernando — one of the league’s top rated shot-blockers — right on his hip, Brazdeikis was between the masses who had to consider a second to sign up what just transpired.

Right after using a hesitation dribble, Simpson seemingly defied the legislation of physics by lofting a large-arcing hook over the 6-foot-10 Fernando that had the great combine of contact, precision and genius.

And for those people who couldn’t imagine it, Simpson did it a second time versus Fernando. Very same sky-large arc. Very same gentle kiss off the glass. Very same absurd degree of difficulty. Very same head-shaking outcome.

“I have in no way found that initially-50 % hook shot before,” Brazdeikis explained. “I was near the 3-place line and I was like, ‘Damn.’ I have comprehensive have confidence in and we have comprehensive have confidence in in him.”

Simpson knocked down two additional for great evaluate in the second 50 %, including 1 that came late in the shot clock and at a seemingly extremely hard angle over a leaping Maryland defender at complete speed.

“That child tends to make four skyhooks. Are you kidding me?” Maryland mentor Mark Turgeon explained. “I indicate, 1 I can get. But four? How terrific is he? I indicate, he’s the whole variation in the game.”

Offense or defense. On or off the courtroom. It did not issue. Simpson created his presence felt and Maryland could do absolutely nothing about it.

And that’s wherever the captain component of the equation comes into perform. In spite of Michigan’s rough taking pictures over the initially 30-furthermore minutes, Simpson steered the offense by means of choppy waters through two key runs late in the initially and second halves and dished out 10 helps.

He directed an additional disruptive exertion by stuffing Maryland’s leading scorer Anthony Cowan in a locker for the second time this period and holding him to 10 points on 4-for-15 taking pictures, including a 1-for-7 clip from further than the arc.

But even when Simpson was not on the flooring for a seven-moment extend right after picking up two fouls 85 seconds into the second 50 %, he in no way stopped leading.

“That was challenging period for us,” Brazdeikis explained. “We normally have to have X on the courtroom with us, but he was there for us on the bench. Whenever we had a timeout or a huddle he was there right with us. He is normally speaking what we should do.”

That was critical considering the Wolverines (26-4, 15-4 Massive Ten) had been taking part in in 1 of the most raucous and rowdy road environments all period. Tons of former Terrapins had been on hand to rejoice the program’s 100 many years. Colour-clad Maryland supporters filled the arena to the ceiling. The strength was pulsating properly before suggestion-off.

But, Michigan was in no way rattled, in no way shed focus and in no way cracked. The Wolverines had been continuous due to the fact they adopted Simpson’s stoic direct.

“He retains the workforce together,” sophomore forward Isaiah Livers explained. “I still can listen to his voice when wasn’t on the flooring. And you understood he when he was coming on that courtroom there was about to be some depth. Just about anything he did was with depth. Just how he was conversing he was extreme. I you should not know if you men see it in the game, but he’s an extreme dude and it gives us strength.”

So, it was no coincidence when Simpson checked again in following the beneath-12 media timeout — “Twelve (moment mark) is commonly my quantity with a dude with three fouls,” Beilein pointed out — and the game instantly flipped. The Wolverines went on a 12-2 run, held the Terrapins without a discipline objective for approximately 8 minutes and scored on seven consecutive belongings down the extend.

“I just consider there is a self-confidence variable when he’s out there,” Beilein explained. “He’s coaching me up what he would like to run. I request him a whole lot about what he’s seeing out there due to the fact I see some matters — but he’s been with us so long and won a ton game titles as a starter and his record is incredible — if he sees matters and he would like to do matters and he thinks it’s going to do the job, let us go with it.”

Additional Brazdeikis: “He does a terrific work of just calming us down, working the offense, slowing matters down, rushing matters up. He controls the speed definitely properly for us.”

And the variation Simpson makes on defense is simple, irrespective of whether it’s shutting his person down or disrupting dribble-drives with his brief fingers. He’s the glue that holds everybody accountable and it has a ripple impact on the other four on the flooring.

“It’s not just him guarding his person,” Livers explained. “He does all the intangibles. He’ll arrive help box out or even when I’m down reduced and he sees me battling, he’ll go seize that 50-50 ball. Clearly with that 1-on-1 you’re not likely to get previous Zavier like that, so his presence is big on the courtroom.”

On Sunday, Maryland and its followers had been just the most up-to-date to witness what transpires during a 40-moment showing of “Captain Hook.”

“He’s our chief,” Brazdeikis explained. “He’s 1 of the most talented players in the conference.”

Twitter: @jamesbhawkins