No. 18 Michigan 59, Ferris St. 33
Trey Burke waited a little longer than expected to make his debut, and No. 18 Michigan needed some time before finally pulling away in its season opener.
Stu Douglass scored 14 points after making a surprise start at point guard, and the Wolverines overcame some early shooting struggles to beat Ferris State 59-33 on Friday night. Burke was supposed to start at point guard, but coach John Beilein said he was late to a walkthrough earlier in the day, so he made his first appearance as a Wolverine about midway through the first half.
''He'll learn from it,'' Beilein said.
Douglass, a senior, played fine in Burke's place, and Evan Smotrycz scored 14 points of his own. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 12 points for Michigan.
The Wolverines led only 22-21 early in the second half before going on a 13-2 run to open up a more comfortable margin. They later went on a 19-0 run that made it 57-32.
''I think it's fair to say that our defense is a little ahead of our offense right now,'' Beilein said.
Burke ended up scoring three points in 18 minutes. He was not made available to the media afterward.
''He's a very smart player, and he's fast,'' said Michigan's Jordan Morgan, who scored seven points. ''I think we can run better with him on the floor because of his speed, but Stu is more comfortable in the half-court offense. That's just experience, though, and Trey will get that.''
Daniel Sutherlin scored 11 points for the Division II Bulldogs.
The Wolverines finished last season strong, making the NCAA tournament and routing Tennessee in their first game there. They lost point guard Darius Morris, who left after his sophomore season and was a second-round pick in the NBA draft, but every other key player is back.
Expectations are pretty high in Ann Arbor, but Michigan looked ordinary for most of its opener. The Wolverines went 4 of 17 from 3-point range in the first half and finished 9 of 28 for the game.
''Just keep on running the offense, and the shots will come,'' Hardaway said. ''People were probably too excited.''
Michigan led 22-16 at halftime.
With the lead cut to one early in the second half, Hardaway made a 3-pointer, and Smotrycz followed with one of his own. A driving three-point play by Douglass made it 33-23.
It was Douglass' 59th career start at Michigan, so he was certainly in his element even if the move was unexpected. His 14 points doubled last season's scoring average.
''It's a long season - first game,'' Douglass said. ''It will definitely give me some confidence.''
With the score 38-32, Smotrycz made another 3-pointer to start Michigan's run of 19 unanswered points that put the game out of reach.
It was Michigan's first regular-season game at the renovated Crisler Arena, which has new seats and a new high-definition scoreboard.
Beilein left starters on the floor until the final minutes after the Wolverines struggled to put the game away. Michigan hosts Towson and Western Illinois next week before heading to Hawaii to face Memphis in the Maui Invitational.
Beilein had said Thursday that Burke would be the starter at point guard, and that he looked forward to bringing Douglass off the bench so the senior could focus more on shooting. But Douglass ended up in the starting lineup.
Michigan shot only 28 percent in the first half and was outrebounded 25-21 before coming out in the second half and turning the game into a rout.
''Michigan's length really hurt us,'' Ferris State coach Bill Sall said. ''They were really able to take away every shot we wanted. We were within six with something like eight minutes left, but they picked up their defense and took us out of the game.''