Ann Arbor, MI – Michigan and Xavier faced off for the first time since Round 1 of the 1989 NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines went on to win their only championship that year. Tonight did not go as well.
Xavier beat Michigan 86-70 by dominating the glass in the second half and stopping everyone on Michigan other than future NBA first-rounder Caris LeVert.
The first road game for Xavier and the first real test for Michigan turned into a free throw contest in the first half as both teams reached the bonus with more than 10 minutes to go.
LeVert single handedly kept the Wolverines in the game with several shot clock beating plays and seven boards. LeVert’s 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting led all players at the half. His only mistake came at the end of the half when he fouled Xavier’s Myles Davis on a three pointer.
Xavier’s standout player of the first half was forward Jalen Reynolds. He plays even bigger than his 6-10, 238-pound frame. He emphatically called for the ball in post on most possessions and rightfully so given the way he bullied his way to the block.
While Reynolds needs work on his lefty post moves, he made up for it by creating contact and nailing 7-of-9 free throws with good form. On defense, Reynolds didn’t have much to do as Michigan rarely went down low to their big men. On one play though, Reynolds stuffed a Ricky Doyle dunk from behind.
Xavier’s other first half performer was 6-4 guard Remy Abell. He was aggressive attacking the basket and finished through contact to the left and right. One concern about his game is a rather long release on his jumper, but he does display good form and knocked down one triple.
The hustle play of the first half came from the Musketeers sophomore Guard JP Macura. After a missed free throw by a teammate, Michigan came up with the board. Then Macura snuck up behind the Wolverine for a phenomenal strip and flung the ball back to a teammate as he was falling out of bounds. Macura also showed zero hesitation from distance and knocked down a couple that quieted the crowd.
The second half remained close until Xavier’s Edmund Sumner checked back into the game. This was also a homecoming for Sumner as he received Mr. Basketball in Michigan 2 years ago with Detroit Country Day School. He was also a McDonalds All-American and showed why.
Sumner is a lanky and rail thin 6-6 and 183 pounds. He put his long stride and quick first step to good use by constantly beating his man of the dribble. He is capable of being a combo guard as he easily found his teammates for dump off dunks after he drove or kick out threes.
LeVert did his best to keep Michigan in it, but the Wolverines were miserable at boxing out in the second half. Musketeers backup forward, James Farr, finished with 12 rebounds while 6-6 guard, Trevon Bluiett had nine. LeVert finished with a season high 29 points.
This article was written by Jack Vlasic, a correspondent and scout for NetScouts Basketball. You can subscribe to our RSS feed from the upper right corner of our home page, follow us on Facebook, or on twitter.
Any international players interested in coming to the USA to play in college, prep school or high school can contact us here. We are looking for interns and sales associates. If you’re interested contact us and forward your resume.