What grade would Tim Hardaway Jr. be receiving on a report card for Michigan's opening round NCAA tournament games?
Perhaps no team in the 2013 NCAA tournament had a more impressive opening week than the fourth-seeded Michigan Wolverines.
The Maize and Blue pulled away from the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in the second half of their round of 64 clash. Michigan led by just four at halftime but led by as many as 17 points in the closing 20 minutes. The Wolverines eventually came away with a 71-56 victory.
Just over a day later, the Wolverines abused the VCU Rams' Havoc defense, which ranks first in the country in forcing turnovers. Michigan turned the ball over just 12 times and shot 51 percent from the floor to rout the Rams 78-53.
With the first week of action in the books, it is time to pass out report card grades for all of the Wolverines.
Jon Horford's inability to finish at the rim hurt his grade.
Overall Bench Grade: B
There have not been too many highlights from the Michigan Wolverines bench players during the 2013 NCAA tournament, but each of the reserves has turned in quality minutes when given the opportunity to contribute.
True freshman point guard Spike Albrecht stood out from the group against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits and VCU Rams. The Crown Point, Ind. native dished out three assists, grabbed two rebounds and knocked down 1 of 2 field goals for three points in just 20 minutes.
Redshirt junior power forward Jon Horford also played well in Michigan's opening-round win over South Dakota State. Horford made his only shot, snagged four boards and had a steal against the Jackrabbits.
The 6'10", 250-pounder struggled in the rout of the Rams, though. Horford went 0-of-1 and committed one turnover and a personal foul in just five minutes of action.
Lanky freshman shooting guard Caris LeVert failed to capitalize on the few chances he had to make plays. LeVert missed all four of his shots, which led to head coach John Beilein limiting him to 10 minutes in the first two rounds.
For the most part, Michigan's bench did nothing detrimental. However, the lack of significant plays makes it hard to give the group more than a B grade.
Overall Player Grade: A
There is no question who the Michigan Wolverines' most valuable player was during the rounds of 64 and 32. Freshman power forward Mitch McGary is playing better than ever and dominated the smaller lineups of the South Dakota State Jackrabbits and VCU Rams.
McGary made 16-of-20 shots, scored 34 points and hauled in 23 rebounds, seven of which were of the offensive variety.
The frosh looked great running the floor in transition for the Wolverines and is rotating much better at the defensive end.
There is still plenty of work for McGary to do on defense before he will become the elite big man Michigan fans are hoping to see. Still, McGary made some significant strides forward over the weekend and has earned a near-perfect mark.
The Kansas Jayhawks frontcourt, mainly senior center Jeff Withey, will be a tough test for McGary this Friday. Thankfully for the Wolverines, though, McGary is playing his best basketball at the right time.
Glenn Robinson III is blossoming into an NBA prospect quicker than expected.
Overall Player Grade: A
Nobody's NBA draft stock is rising faster than Glenn Robinson III's after the opening week of the 2013 NCAA tournament. The Maize and Blue faithful were more than a little excited to see Robinson have back-to-back breakout performances at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
Entering the round of 64, Robinson had scored 10 or more points just once in the Michigan Wolverines' past six games. Robinson finally pushed himself over the hump.
The freshman small forward hit 8 of 9 shots, including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc, for a game-high 21 points in Michigan's 15-point win over the South Dakota State Jackrabbits.
For an encore performance, Robinson hung 14 points on the VCU Rams. The 6'6", 210-pounder also grabbed 15 total rebounds in the two victories.
Inconsistency has plagued Robinson for much of the season, though. The real indicator of whether or not he is NBA-ready will be whether or not he sustains this level of play on Friday against the Kansas Jayhawks and potentially in the Elite Eight.
Robinson's outstanding postseason debut deserves nothing less than an A grade.
Nik Stauskas is struggling to knock down shots for the Wolverines.
Overall Player Grade: C
Perhaps the best sign for the Michigan Wolverines throughout the first two rounds of play in the NCAA tournament is the fact they were able to win handily, without any production from freshman shooting guard Nik Stauskas.
Since Michigan's win over Penn State in the first round of the Big Ten Conference tournament, Stauskas has been off the mark shooting the basketball.
The Canadian sharpshooter went 5-of-14 in the Wolverines victories over the weekend. Stauskas' three-point shot, which is his most prized trait, would not go down either. The 6'6", 190-pounder was 1-of-8 from distance.
Although Stauskas managed to score eight points in each game, his lack of efficiency could come back to hurt Michigan the deeper it goes in the NCAA tournament.
The Wolverines will need Stauskas to start hitting open shots again in order to make a run at a national championship.
Overall Player Grade: A
Like several other Michigan Wolverines, junior shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. picked the perfect time to come to life.
Hardaway started to find his stroke during the Big Ten Conference tournament, and after two dominant performances at the Palace of Auburn Hills, he is finally living up to expectations.
The Miami, Fla. product demanded the ball several times against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, which is a great sign for Michigan going forward. The supreme level of confidence helped Hardaway drill 8 of 13 field goals and 5 of 7 three-pointers in the win over the Jackrabbits.
The first team All-Big Ten performer did not stop there either. Hardaway came back with a 5-of-11, 14-point effort to help guide the Wolverines past the VCU Rams and into the Sweet 16.
In order for Michigan to topple the Kansas Jayhawks, it will need Hardaway to keep knocking down an array of shots.
There is no denying how impressive Hardaway's performances were in the rounds of 64 and 32, though.
Trey Burke found ways to contribute, despite a shooting funk against South Dakota State.
Overall Player Grade: B+
The Michigan Wolverines found out they could still win an important game without sophomore point guard Trey Burke scoring more than 15 points last week.
Although Burke only scored six points on 2-of-12 shooting, the Big Ten Player of the Year still found other ways to lead the Wolverines to a victory over the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Burke notched seven assists and blocked two shots in the win.
It was the first time Burke failed to score more than 10 points in a game this season.
On Saturday, Burke nearly returned to form by knocking down 6 of 14 shots for 18 points. The pride of Columbus, Ohio dished another seven assists and provided Michigan with a steady hand to consistently break the VCU Rams' full-court pressure defense.
Not even Burke's off-night could keep him from receiving an above average grade for the opening rounds. The Wolverines still got more than enough out of Burke to win decisively, and the potential NBA lottery has constantly proven he is more than just a scorer.