ANN ARBOR — Charles Matthews can score 25 points, as he did on Saturday, or he can score three, as he did against Northwestern.
Michigan won both games.
Ignas Brazdeikis, Michigan’s leading scorer, had just four points on Saturday.
It didn’t matter.
Jon Teske has led the Wolverines in scoring and been held scoreless.
Again, no big deal. Michigan has found a way to 11-0 without relying on any one or two players to fill up the scoring column.
“I think that’s good,” head coach John Beilein said after Michigan’s 70-62 win over Western Michigan on Saturday. “We’ve had guys who have had 20 (points), now weren’t close it, and could be the guy next time. You have a good team when you have several guys who are scoring options.”
Brazdeikis leads Michigan with 15.8 points per game. Matthews is next at 14.3, and Jordan Poole is not far behind at 13.4. Four others average between 4.3 and 8.3 points per game. That’s not unusual distribution, but the fact that Michigan’s top scorers have fluctuated so wildly at times without it affecting the team’s success is impressive.
Matthews scored more on Saturday than he had in the previous three games combined. “There’s not a school anywhere where the coach is just dialing up one player for most of the shots,” Matthews said after the game. “So I might have a lot of shots this game, JP (Poole) might get most of the shots next game, Iggy (Brazdeikis) might get the majority of the shots next game.
“Coach B switches the game plan day in and day out. We’ve got a selfless group of guys and we don’t care about that. As long as we come out with the win, we’re all happy.”
Michigan’s five starters, minus the 7-foot Teske, can create their own shot. All can shoot 3s. And they’re unselfish.
In three separate games, Poole has attempted five field goals, a low number for someone with his offensive repertoire. He understands.
“If somebody’s going and they’ve got a lot of shots falling, you want them to keep it going,” he said Saturday. “Charles had it going today. We were able to find him in his spots. He was being extremely aggressive getting to the basket, getting free throws and layups. I wouldn’t say we think about it. Anybody can have a big game.”
Beilein isn’t worried about shot distribution or egos. “It’s hard to dial up four guys,” he said. “When we feel we have a matchup or we’ve got a guy hot, we dial him up more.”
Through Michigan’s perfect start, opponents haven’t known who that guy will be.