Many wondered how the University of Michigan basketball team would fare after losing head coach John Beilein to the NBA this summer and replacing him with first-time head coach (and former Wolverine) Juwan Howard.
Safe to say, any doubters have been silenced.
The Wolverines rolled past No. 8 Gonzaga to win the Battle 4 Atlantis – after also having taken down Iowa State and thrashing No. 6 North Carolina.
“I'm sure we're on the map now,” Michigan coach Juwan Howard said. “A lot of teams are looking and seeing Michigan as a name that's out there. When you beat teams like Creighton and Iowa State as well as North Carolina and Gonzaga, you're no longer under the radar.”
With the win, Michigan joins Big Ten rival Wisconsin as the only Big Ten programs to win the eight-team, three-day event since it began in 2011.
Junior forward Isaiah Livers, who was named to the All-Tournament team, had 21 points on 8-for-11 shooting. Senior center Jon Teske, who was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, finished with 19 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.
“Coming out the half, usually most coaches want to adjust and control the game as much as possible,” said Livers. “We're lucky enough to have a coaching staff where they let us dictate our own (shots) coming out of the second half and then we'll rely on his (Howard’s) words.”
The Wolverines are now 7-0 on the year; how far can they go?