No. 5 Michigan basketball didn’t play particularly well on either end of the court against the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday afternoon.
The Wolverines had 15 turnovers. They gave up a season-high 78 points.
It did not matter in the end.
It was the most points the Wolverines (10-0, 2-0 Big Ten) have scored this season.
Here are three takeaways from Michigan’s win.
Sloppy first half
Neither team could get into much of a rhythm. South Carolina (4-5) tried to speed up the game, and struggled immensely when asked to run half-court offense.
Michigan, meanwhile, kept turning the ball over. The Wolverines entered the game ranked No. 7 in the nation in turnover percentage, averaging nine per game; they had 11 giveaways in the first half.
That’s why, despite shooting 51.9 percent from the field and making seven more free throws than South Carolina, Michigan led 42-36 at halftime. The Wolverines looked like they would pull away after an 8-0 run near the end of the first half, but South Carolina countered with a 7-0 run.
Teske plays big
Junior center Jon Teske was all over the court.
Teske was consistently good defensively. His rim protection skills have been a huge reason why Michigan has the nation’s top defense this season.
South Carolina tried to test Teske inside, and he made it difficult for the Gamecocks to score, whether it was on post-ups or drives to the rim.
On one possession, Teske followed up a miss from Zavier Simpson with a put-back dunk. South Carolina went back down the court, got Teske in the air with a pump fake — and he still blocked the shot.
In the second half, Teske forced several misses at the rim as Michigan pulled away from the Gamecocks. He fell into foul trouble late, but finished with 15 points on 6 of 9 shooting with nine rebounds and three blocks.
Poole’s slow start is behind him.
In the first three games, the sophomore guard averaged 4.3 points on 4-for-17 shooting.
In the seven games since, he’s scoring 17.1 points per game on 41-for-71 shooting.
Poole was efficient against South Carolina, and finished with a career-high 26 points. He made 8 of 12 field goals and 6 of 7 free throws. It was his third 20-plus point game of the season.
Poole shook off three early turnovers to turn in his best offensive performance.
He grabbed five rebounds, drew plenty of fouls, and tallied four assists — including an alley-oop to Teske late in the second half.