After falling into the consolation bracket of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational with a narrow loss to LSU, Michigan looks to bounce back Tuesday against Division II Chaminade at the Lahaina Civic Center. The Wolverines blew a late lead and fell 77-75 to LSU in Monday’s first-round game despite a career-high 28 points from junior guard Charles Matthews.
The loss cost Michigan the opportunity to face No. 12 Notre Dame in the semifinals, but there were some bright spots for coach John Beilein’s young squad including the play of 6-11 forward Moritz Wagner, who made three 3-pointers and finished with 24 points, seven rebounds and three steals. “Mo is one of the finest young men I’ve ever coached ever, and that’s in 40 years,” Beilein told reporters. “He’s just a great personality on our team. He wants to win. He loves basketball. Very young still, a 20-year-old junior. But he really has such a huge upside, and pleasure to see every single day whether it’s on the court or off the court.” Moritz faces his next test against Chaminade, which opened tournament play with Monday’s 83-56 loss to Notre Dame.
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ABOUT MICHIGAN (3-1): Matthews, who began his career at Kentucky before sitting out last season, looked like a difference-maker Monday against LSU while making 10 of his 17 shots and grabbing eight rebounds. Beilein is hoping someone takes the lead in the battle at point guard between sophomore Zavier Simpson, graduate transfer Jaaron Simmons and freshman Eli Brooks, but all three struggled against LSU. Beilein is also seeking more consistency from center Jon Teske, a 7-1, 255-pound sophomore who recorded his first career double-double last week but was held scoreless in eight minutes Monday.
ABOUT CHAMINADE (2-1): After opening with wins over Alaska and Alaska Anchorage, the Silverswords trailed Notre Dame by six early in the second half but were unable to keep pace with Fighting Irish seniors Matt Farrell (27 points) and Bonzie Colson (23 points). Forward Erik Scheive had a season-high 17 points while guard Austin Pope added 11 for the Silverswords, who were picked to finish sixth in the Pacific West Conference preseason coaches poll. Forward Brett Reed, one of seven players on the roster listed at 6-7 or taller, made his season debut Monday and had seven rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench.
1. The winner faces VCU or California in Wednesday’s fifth-place game.
2. Chaminade is hosting the Maui Invitational for the 33rd year, with its best finish coming in 1984 when the Silverswords were runner-up to Providence.
3. Michigan is 61-3 when scoring at least 80 points under Beilein.
PREDICTION: Michigan 79, Chaminade 61