No. 25 Michigan will try to rebound from a woeful offensive performance when it hosts Mount St. Mary's on Sunday in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The Wolverines (4-1) played well while shooting 52.9 percent from the field in a 76-54 victory over SMU in the championship game of the 2K Classic at New York's Madison Square Garden on Nov. 18. But five days later, Michigan shot 19.2 percent from the field, including 7.7 percent (2 of 26) on 3-pointers, while committing 16 turnovers in a 61-46 loss to South Carolina on the Gamecocks' home court.
South Carolina's ability to overplay defensively and deny passes seemed to disrupt the Wolverines' attack.
"We tried to dial everybody up we could but when they won't let guys get the ball, we've got to find better ways to get them the ball," Michigan coach coach John Beilein said, according to the Detroit Free Press. "Our guys coming off the bench are going to grow and our starters have to just understand a little bit better how to attack teams like this."
Derrick Walton Jr. scored 15 points, but no other Michigan player had more than five.
"I see us practice every day," Beilein said, according to the Free Press. "I know we've got to grow. New York was good. We're 4-1, the sky is not falling. But we do have weaknesses we've got to get better at."
The Wolverines have four players averaging double figures in scoring led by Walton at 14.2 points and Zak Irvin at 12.6 points.
Irvin was 2 of 13 for five points before fouling out against South Carolina, and he hopes to get his offense back against Mount St. Mary's, which is 1-5 and in the midst of a tough nine-game road trip that includes games against West Virginia, Iowa State and Arkansas as well as Michigan.
"I believe in our team," Mount St. Mary's coach Jamion Christian said of the schedule. "Over the past four seasons, we've consistently challenged ourselves without fear in our non-conference schedule. By doing this, we have become the most consistent program in the Northeast Conference.
As iron is molded in the fire, so will our team. When I see this schedule, I see a head coach who believes in his team's ability to be great."
Christian likes to call his team's style of play "mayhem," with the Mount looking to fast break at every opportunity and force a fast-paced game throughout, hoping to wear down opponents.
Elijah Long scored 27 points in an 80-71 loss to Texas-Arlington on Wednesday and leads the team in scoring at 15.5 points per game.
However, the key player for the Mount is 5-foot-5 Junior Robinson, the shortest player in Division I basketball this season. A second-team All-Northeast Conference selection last season, Robinson is averaging 9.5 points this season.
Mount St. Mary's, which was picked to finish fourth in the Northeast Conference, got its only win on Nov. 18, a 78-76 overtime victory over George Mason.
The Mount will have their hands full against Michigan, which is looking to regain its shooting touch before hosting Virginia Tech on Nov. 30.