The Michigan basketball team kicked off its tour of Europe yesterday with a 69-63 loss to Gent, a professional team from Belgium. The Wolverines led for most of the game, but were done in by some poor shooting (23-66 from the field, 6-26 from three) and two 13-2 runs by the Belgian squad. Zack Novak led the team with 17 points and six rebounds, and freshman Tim Hardaway Jr. added 13 points on 5-7 shooting. The whole box score (recorded unofficially by the team) is below:
If that box score doesn’t look familiar, you haven’t been watching Michigan basketball the past year — with the big runs on both sides, the poor shooting, and the high percentage of attempted threes, this box score could have been taken from any number of games last year. John Beilein released this statement after the game on his new website:
It was a tough outcome tonight (losing 69-63 to Gent) from the standpoint that we had the lead by 10 points or so with about five minutes left in the game. But our kids really had some great moments and had some really good spurts. Down the stretch Gent was just older, more experienced, more physical, they made some big shots and we missed some pretty good looks.
Overall I would give us a C+ for the day. There were some really good things and particularly good play from freshmen Tim Hardaway and Evan Smotrycz, and redshirt freshman Blake McLimans. For the first time with the lights on I thought they did pretty well. It was a tough day shooting for some of our guys but they’ll bounce back. They’ve got great attitudes and games like this will go a long way in helping us to grow as individuals and as a team.
Michigan will get a chance to avenge their defeat to Gent when they play fellow Belgian-league squad Charleroi this afternoon (1 pm EST). I’ll have an update when the team releases a box score, and make sure to check out UMHoops for more coverage of the team’s tour of Europe.