It was former St. John’s star, NBA All-Star, and TV analyst Mark Jackson, currently coaching the Golden State Warriors, who famously said it most succinctly: “Hand down, man down.”
If you don’t get a hand in a three-point shooter’s face defensively, the opponent is going to make a living from distance, and that’s what No. 2 Michigan did in its 94-66 blowout victory over Northwestern on the road Friday night.
The Wolverines shot an astounding 13-of-22 from three-point range (59.1 percent) as a team and improved to 14-0 on the season and 1-0 in conference play.
The backcourt combination of Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr., led the way for Michigan, scoring 23 and 21 points respectively in the victory. They combined to shoot 8-of-11 from behind the arc. All five starters scored in double figures and forward Jordan Morgan tallied a double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Michigan now remains one of four undefeated teams in the country, standing alongside Duke, Arizona, and Wyoming. Arizona escaped in overtime against Colorado earlier this week, likely further solidifying the Wolverines as the nation’s No. 2 team.
The trio of Burke, Hardaway, Jr., and Glenn Robinson III have been the engine for Michigan all season, helped along by the three-point shooting of Nik Stauskas and the inside presence of Morgan and freshman Mitch McGary.
After coming out of the non-conference undefeated, the Big Ten schedule will be daunting, being part of arguably the nation’s best conference. Sunday brings a matchup with an unranked but tough Iowa team, before Michigan has a stretch of seven games, of those five of which feature ranked opponents.