Michigan's exhibition tour in Europe got off to a pretty rocky start. While the sights and sounds of Belgium and France were no doubt nice, on the court Michigan wasn't playing all that well. Poor shooting and good competition resulted in a 0-3 start for the Wolverines before things got turned around for the final game.
Going up against Mons on Thursday, Michigan jumped out to a 19-point halftime lead. Mons made a run and started coming back, though, tightening things up before Michigan made a couple of late shots to extend the lead enough to hold on. Michigan ended up winning by a score of 80-74, and Matt Vogrich led the Wolverines in scoring with 22 points. He went 4-of-7 from three-point land and 8-of-11 from the field. Tim Hardaway was the only other Michigan player to score in double digits, netting 14 points.
Here are the other three scores from Michigan's exhibition tour:
Game One: Gent 69, Michigan 63
Game Two: Charleroi 90, Michigan 60
Game Three: Oostende 70, Michigan 55
Although some people started jumping off the bandwagon already because of Michigan's struggles in the first few games, it is important to remember that the Wolverines' opponents were professional teams. One actually had former Michigan State player Chris Hill on it, so it's not like the competition was inferior. While it is fair to look at some of Michigan's shooting issues and worry a bit about the upcoming season, it's not like Michigan got taken to the woodshed by a bunch of nobodies without talent. Plus, Michigan had to play under different rules than they're used to, so that too likely added to their issues in the first few games.
While some issues were certainly raised during this exhibition tour, the good news is that these games were only exhibitions. The coaches and players alike can spend the next few months getting those issues rectified before the actual season begins.