When their elite center, Mitch McGary, was a late scratch for Michigan’s match-up with Stanford in Brooklyn on Saturday, things looked bleak for the Wolverines’ prospects to grab a big non-conference win. However, they pulled things together with a balanced attack, and snatched an impressive, 68-65 victory away from the Cardinal.
In McGary’s absence, Michigan received big games from their “other” two big-time players in the form of Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III. Stauskas, the sophomore sharpshooter from Canada, didn’t have an elite shooting night by his standards (4-11 FG, 2-7 3-PT), but he got to the line repeatedly (9-9 FT), and his 2 free throws with 8 seconds remaining pushed the Michigan lead to the final margin of 3 points.
For Robinson III, this was a break-out game in many ways, as the son of former NBA All-Star Glenn Robinson (aka the “big dog”) added 17 points and 6 rebounds. Robinson has been ridiculed at times for a lack of aggressiveness, but he was very assertive throughout this game, using his 10 field goal attempts in an efficient way and creating space for others once Stanford’s defense clamped down on him.
It certainly wasn’t a pretty game for John Beilein’s team, though, as Michigan was outshot from the field, from 3-point distance, and from the free throw line in the game. To overcome that, Michigan took care of the ball in a big way (only 8 turnovers), and they made crucial plays when the clock wasn’t on their side. For Stanford, this is an unfortunate loss, but Johnny Dawkins and company traveled a long way to play the game, and they battled for the entirety of 40 minutes against a team that many consider to be one of the more talented clubs in the country.
The Wolverines won’t reach their ceiling unless Mitch McGary is on the court and playing effectively, but they showed their depth with an impressive, short-handed win.