The Texas Longhorns finished their three day stint in the Bahamas with a loss. Michigan's offense was just too much for a Shaka Smart's men, and the Longhorns fell to the Wolverines 78-72. This loss brings Texas' record to 2-3 so far this year.
Michigan led from the first minute, when Aubrey Dawkins got things going with a three. It would be the first of 14 three pointers made by coach John Beilein's team, who connected on 56 percent of their threes and 60 percent of their twos. Caris LeVert led the way with 19 points, but it was a fairly balanced effort; four Wolverines scored in double figures, and five connected from beyond the three point arc.
A hot start and then a strong close to the first half helped Beilein's men claim a 12 point lead after the first 20 minutes. But Texas would battle back, deploying a full court press during the second period, and Isaiah Taylor closed the margin to a one with a little more than four minutes left.
But LeVert and Zak Irvin,combined to score nine points in the next five possessions, and Michigan maintained control of things for the rest of the game.
While Michigan shot the ball better, the Texas shooters finally got things going from long range. Smart's team combined to go 10-26 from three.
The Texas offense was not the problem. The Longhorns simply could not get enough stops to win.
- When Michigan is on, they are really on. There aren't many teams who can put points on an opponent like the Wolverines, who killed the Texas D the night after dropping 102 on Charlotte. That is what a top ten offense looks like. I am not sure what a team can do defensively when faced with an opponent that puts four perimeter shooters (mostly 6-6 or taller) on the floor at all times, spaces and cuts with precision, and moves the basketball. I guess you just have to key on something you can take away, and hope the other things don't get you.
- Caris LeVert is an All-American candidate for a reason. His combination of size, shooting ability, vision, and court awareness makes him a very difficult match up for the 6-3 guys who typically are forced to guard him. LeVert got the best of Demarcus Holland on Friday.
- Texas' free throw shooting was not good. The Longhorns went 8-19 from the stripe. It would be a bit unfair to say that free throw shooting cost Texas the game (the Horns would have needed about 85 percent free throw shooting just to tie the game), but it certainly didn't help.
- Isaiah Taylor played a pretty good game, getting to the rim (he was 6-9 on layups), dropping eight assists on only one turnover, and scoring 18 points.