Michigan coasts to win over Delaware State

Posted at 3:52 PM, Dec 12, 2015
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- After Michigan's disappointing 82-57 loss at SMU last week, assistant coach LaVall Jordan came into John Beilein's office with the game tape.
He had spotted six or seven instances when big men were wide open underneath the basket and the Wolverine perimeter players didn't feed it inside.
Offensive distribution was the primary focus in the days leading up to Michigan's 80-33 bounce-back win over Delaware State Saturday afternoon -- and it showed.
The Wolverines (7-3) racked up 23 assists on 32 field goals against the Hornets, working the ball around the half-court offense seamlessly. They had just 12 assists at SMU.
"That's who we have to be," Beilein said.
With a newfound focus on passing, six Wolverines finished in double digits, including Caris LeVert, with 15 points. Zak Irvin added 12 points and eight rebounds, Duncan Robinson and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman chipped in 11 points and Ricky Doyle and Kameron Chatman finished with 10.
"That's awesome, and what a way to get some confidence back, because I think some people lacked confidence against a really tough SMU team," Andrew Dakich said. "We had a long conversation at dinner last night, kind of calling people out and telling them, `You have to pick it up.' It's not necessarily about making shots. You can only control two things: your attitude and your effort. And we did that today."
The Hornets (0-9) struggled to find any space inside against Michigan's taller, more physical lineup, settling for tough jumpers all day. Delaware State shot just 24 percent from the field.
Michigan opened a 20-point lead at halftime, and controlled the second half. The Hornets managed just one field goal in the first 18 minutes of the second half.
Without much resistance from the Delaware State defense, the Wolverines scored from all over the court, working the ball inside to Doyle and outside to a multitude of shooters. LeVert, Robinson and Rahkman each finished with three 3-point field goals.
The Wolverines shot 52.5 percent from the field, including a 40.7-percent from 3-point range.
"Looking for each other makes everything a lot easier, especially in our type of offense," Chatman said. "We have a lot of great passers and shooters on the team."
Delaware State: The Hornets are now 0-27 against current members of the Big Ten, including 0-5 against Michigan. Delaware State also lost at Nebraska earlier this year. ... Have started 0-9 after going 18-18 and making the CBI Tournament last year. The Hornets are struggling to replace Kendall Gray, who led the country in rebounding and was named the MEAC Player Of The Year and Defensive Player Of The Year.
Michigan: It was the first game since 2002 the Wolverines had six double-digit scorers in one game. ... Derrick Walton, Jr. missed his third game in a row with an ankle injury. Walton warmed up but did not see the court Saturday. The Wolverines are 2-1 without him, including last Tuesday's 82-58 loss at SMU. ... Duncan Robinson went 3-of-5 from three point range. He currently ranks third in the nation in three-point shooting, hitting 58.8 percent of his attempts.
With Walton still nursing his ankle and Albrecht in street clothes, the Wolverines needed someone to fill in at point guard.
Beilein went with Andrew Dakich, son of Dan Dakich, despite the fact that the walk-on hadn't seen any playing time yet this year.
And he filled in admirably, scoring four points on 2-of-3 shooting in 20 minutes.
"He has a lot of Spike in him," Beilein said. "I thought today, he tried to do a little too much on a couple plays. But I have a lot of confidence in him right now, because I watch it every day."
"I told coach right from the beginning, `If you need me, great. If not, I'll take a step back and help anyone I can,' " Dakich added. "It was just a mentality of being out there and having fun."
This was the Wolverines' first game since Spike Albrecht announced he was stepping away from the game due to a series of nagging injuries.
Albrecht, who gained fame for his gutsy performance in the 2012 National Championship game against Louisville, has struggled this year after undergoing surgery to repair his hips in the offseason.
Albrecht tried to participate this year, but his injury held him back. Before stepping away, he was averaging just 8.6 minutes and 1.9 points per game. But he will stay with the team, and Beilein believes his vision from the bench will be an asset.
"I've seen him down there on the bench all year, and I knew it wasn't the Spike Albrecht I was used to putting in there," Beilein said. "It's different, but I think he can really help us in a different way. ... A young coach on the floor."
Delaware State travels to Grand Canyon on Tuesday.
Michigan hosts Northern Kentucky on Tuesday.