The Michigan Wolverines will travel to Washington D.C. to face off against the George Washington Colonials in their first game of the Air Force Reserve Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament at noon on Saturday afternoon.
Michigan enters this game with all the momentum on their side after defeating the national champion Villanova Wildcats handily on the road 73-46 to advance to 3-0 on the season. Charles Matthews and Ignas Brazdeikis were the only Wolverines to score in double digits with 19 and 18 points respectively. Zavier Simpson played a key role on the defensive side with five steals, Matthews added three blocks, and Brazdeikis grabbed seven rebounds in what was an elite defensive effort by the whole team. Michigan’s defense forced 21 turnovers and held an eighth-ranked Villanova team to 32 percent shooting allowing only 17 points in the first half.
Through three games, Matthews and Brazdeikis lead the team in scoring averaging 16.3 points a game. Sophomore, Isaiah Livers leads the team in rebounding hauling in 6.7 rebounds a game. Zavier Simpson is averaging a team-high six assists per game. Michigan is currently second in the country in scoring defense allowing their opponents 42.3 points per game.
George Washington Colonials
The Colonials enter the matchup on the opposite end of the spectrum, winless in their first three games of the season. George Washington visited fifth-ranked Virginia in their last game and was defeated 76-57. Junior guard DJ Williams led the Colonials in scoring with 17 points and sophomore guard Terry Nolan Jr. added 13 points. Arnaldo Toro grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Virginia held the Colonials to 17 points in the first half, but George Washington surprisingly outscored Virginia 40-34 in the second half.
Nolan Jr. and DJ Williams lead George Washington’s offensive attack with 13 and 12.5 points per game respectively. Arnaldo Toro leads the Colonials in rebounding, averaging 9.3 rebounds per game. The Colonials had a disappointing start to the season with an overtime loss to Stony Brook blowing a 22-0 lead to start the game and followed that up with losses to Siena and Virginia.
Look for the Wolverines to dominate this game from start to finish against a weak and sluggish George Washington squad. Michigan looks to further prove that they are indeed the team to watch out for in the Big Ten this year. Expect John Beilein to rotate in some fresh faces in the second half and give his freshman, not named Ignas Brazdeikis, some playing time. Michigan will cover the spread and await the winner of Providence and South Carolina in the next game of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.