Big First Quarter Helps Wolverines to Win in Italy Opener
Aug. 17, 2014

Boxscore | Photo Gallery | Michigan in Italy
Austin Hatch Takes the Court (SnappyTV)

Site: Rome, Italy (Stella Azzurra)
Score: Michigan 99, Perugia Select Team 60
Next U-M Event: Tuesday, Aug. 19 -- vs. Vicenza All-Stars (Vicenza, Italy), 8:30 p.m. CEST/2:30 p.m. ET

ROME, Italy -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team opened its four-game Italy exhibition tour using a 39-point first quarter and a 27-point, 11-rebound performance by sophomore Zak Irvin (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern HS) to help the Wolverines cruise to a 99-60 victory today (Sunday, Aug. 17) over the Perugia Select Team at the Stella Azzurra Arena.

In addition to a double-double, Irvin finished the game 10-for-13 from the field, including a perfect 5-for-5 from long range, with four assists and two steals. Junior Caris LeVert (Pickerington, Ohio/Central HS) had 11 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals, while sophomore Derrick Walton Jr. (Detroit, Mich./Chandler Park Academy) had 10 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Freshman Kameron Chatman (Portland, Ore./Columbia Christian HS) had 12 points, three rebounds and three assists, while freshman Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (Allentown, Pa./Catholic Central HS) had 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists, and freshman Ricky Doyle (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) had 12 points going 6-for-7 from the field with four dunks.

Michigan got out the gates early, using its size on the perimeter and early rebounding and transition scoring to jump out to an early 13-3 lead. Irvin's 17 and Chatman's nine first-half points helped the Wolverines extend their lead to 26 points (39-13) at the end of the first quarter. The Maize and Blue's lead grew to 36 at the break, 64-28, as U-M used an inside-outside game throughout the second quarter.

The third quarter continued to be strong for the Wolverines, led by Irvin's additional 10 points and Doyle scoring eight of his 12 points. The fourth quarter saw U-M score just 10 total points. Perugia hit several three-pointers in the second half and played the Wolverines nearly even, 35-32.

As a team, Michigan shot 62.7 percent from the field (37-for-59), 52.4 percent from three-point distance (11-for-21) and 70.0 percent from the free throw line (14-for-20). The Wolverines finished with 23 assists, 16 turnovers and 14 steals.

Michigan now travels to Verona, Italy, where the Wolverines will stay for the next few days prior to their next two games. Next up for U-M on its Italian tour will be a Tuesday (Aug. 19) game against the Vicenza All-Stars Tip in Vicenza, Italy. The game is slated for an 8:30 p.m. CEST (2:30 p.m. ET) tipoff.


Austin Hatch played the final three minutes of the second half.

D.J. Wilson (finger) and Max Bielfeldt (hip) did not play.

• Today's game was played under FIBA rules with a 24-second shot clock and four 10-minute quarters.


Michigan Head Coach John Beilein
On the opening victory on U-M's Italian exhibition tour ... "Offensively, that first quarter was not what I was expecting. With us playing so well offensively that led to us playing so well defensively. You don't know what to expect in games like these. The first quarter was probably a little above what I thought we would do. The last three quarters were a little more predictable for a team on a trip like we are on."

On what he learned that will help going into the next game ... "We will have 48 hours before our next game. This film will be invaluable. There will be plenty of it that will coach the coaches on what we have to teach better. The second part is we will have a chance to sit down with players on the train tomorrow when we go to Verona. It will be just a great teaching tool."

On Austin Hatch getting into the last three minutes of the game ... "It was a special moment. Austin even led us in the fight song after the game was over. It's something he has worked very hard for. It was a great moment for our team; however, it was truly special for Austin and his grandfather, Jim, who was here in the stands."

U-M Freshman Austin Hatch
On getting into the game ... "(long pause) As you can imagine it has been a heck of a journey to get here. Playing basketball at the University of Michigan has been my goal since I was a little kid. It was unreal to be here and to have actually played a game. I really feel like I have that game under my belt now and I really feel like a Michigan basketball player."

On almost getting an opportunity to score ... "I am not going to take a shot if it is not the right point in the game. For example if I have an open three and I have a teammate who is open under the basket, you better believe I am going to be passing it to him. Yeah, it would be cool if I made a three. It would be a good story, but I am about my team and my teammates."

On leading the team in 'The Victors' ... "It was unreal. To lead the team in the fight song after the game is a big tradition. I learned that early on in the recruiting process and watched U-M sing it a lot on my visits. I always thought to myself, 'I hope someday I am in position to be able to do that.' Just like everything else that happened today, it was just unreal to be able to do that."

U-M Sophomore Zak Irvin
On his opening 27-point, 11-rebound game ... "I really shot the ball well today; however, I have to give my teammates credit because they were looking for me and getting me the ball. The big thing for me was getting to the hole, and I was able to do that. I was able to score inside and outside. It was a great start for us, a great game, and hopefully we can keep this going."

On U-M's red-hot first quarter ... "We came out shooting the ball really well. That just speaks volumes for our team. We are all looking for each other and playing unselfish basketball."

On how this team progressed ... "We are a growing team. There were a lot of things that went well today, but there is plenty we still have to work on. We can do better communicating and on the defensive end. We came out to Italy and had a great game, but we also just have to enjoy and really take in everything on this trip."

On Austin Hatch getting into the game ... "It was great to see that, especially after everything that Austin has been through. To see him step out onto that floor just meant so much. I have known Austin since the eighth grade so to see him out there playing was just incredible. I hope he is able to do that a lot more during this trip and beyond."

U-M Freshman Ricky Doyle
On playing his first game in a Michigan jersey ... "It was a lot of fun. Finally getting out there with all these guys was a great experience. There is a lot more to come. It's going to be a great year."

On Austin Hatch getting into the game ... "He has been through so much and for him to be out here with us, it is phenomenal. He is part of our family. He is one of our brothers. Seeing him going out there was just as important to all of us as it is to him."

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423

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