Dickinson Leads Michigan Over Eastern Michigan

Hunter Dickinson was unstoppable. But it almost wasn’t enough.

Michigan came into the game as 17.5 point home favorites, but they struggled early on and almost didn’t recover. Almost. Dickinson got 31 points on 13/17 and added 7 rebounds in 32 minutes; Terrence Williams also added 18 points and 11 rebounds. The rest went terribly awry.

Michigan looked sloppy. They looked like a different team than the scrappy, underdog version of Michigan that we saw just 8 months ago. Part of that is because they lost 4 of their 5 starters, but they kept their best player: Hunter Dickinson.

For last year’s Michigan team, it took a while for them to find their rhythm, and it was almost too late when they did. But they managed to sneak into the field as an 11 seed, and they made some noise before a Sweet Sixteen exit.

A lot of credit goes to Eastern Michigan. They came into Little Caesars Arena, also having lost 4 of their 5 starters from last year. Instead of playing sloppy basketball, they played to the best of their abilities as Emoni Bates scored 30 points on 12/19 shooting. Noah Farrakhan also added 19 before fouling out.

Part of the problem for Michigan has been their lack of consistency at Point Guard from year to year. Juwan Howard’s “rent a point guard” strategy has not worked out from the better, and it shows.

In 2020, Michigan got Columbia transfer Mike Smith, who did well and led Michigan to the Elite Eight. In 2021, Devante Jones transferred from Coastal Carolina and didn’t do well in the first half of the season; however, he recovered and managed to put together a solid second half of the season.

He got injured in the NCAA Tournament and was replaced by Frankie Collins. Collins gave Michigan a spark, but he transferred to Arizona State over the offseason.

This year, Howard brought in PG Jaelin Llewellyn from Princeton. Through two games, Llewellyn has not played well. It’s probably too early to judge, but if he keeps playing badly, it’s going to be tough for Michigan to make any kind of a run. Llewellyn needs to turn things around. If he does, Michigan should make a complete 180 from almost losing against Eastern Michigan.

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