(Nick McCutcheon/UM-Dearborn Athletics)

By JERAMY STOVER, Sports Editor

As the University of Michigan-Dearborn men’s basketball team gets ready to take on the conference part of their schedule they are beginning to find out what their team is made of.

With a 4-2 record through the first half dozen games of the season, the Wolverines have already faced some tests.

Four of their first six games have come on the road and their last two games have come down to the wire testing the Wolverines’ resilience.

Senior forward Marcus Williams said his team has a grind it out mentality and that it has helped them be successful so far.

“I feel like that we just are a grinding team, we know how to grind out wins, we’re very resilient in the end, a lot of people stepped up and made big plays down the stretch and just feel like we’re a very resilient team,” Williams said.

While one of his senior leaders said the team knows how to grind out wins, head coach Taylor Langley said his team needs to learn “how to close out games” in order to be more successful.

But when asked what he’s learned about his team so far Langley referred to the balance his team brings to the court.

“I think we have good balance, I like our rotation we have a lot of different guys who can score and contribute and other ways, rebound, shoot, defend I mean everybody has a purpose and I think our balance is gonna be our strength this season,” Langley said.

A big reason for the Wolverines’ effective balance is two players who could start on most teams in the conference, Alex Hagel and Ashton Curd.

Hagel is the first forward off the bench and can nearly shoot like a guard. The sophomore is averaging 9.8 points per game 4.2 rebounds per game and is shooting 35 percent from three point range.

Curd is the spark of energy every coach wishes he had to bring off the bench to keep his team dangerous when dipping into the rotation. Curd is averaging 8.7 points per game so far and is second on the team in blocks with seven. The redshirt junior also has a pleasant 18 to 10 assist to turnover ratio.

Langley is really enthused about Curd’s athletic ability and loves the energy he brings to the floor when called upon.

“When Ashton is locked in and really focused on the task at hand I think he’s one of the best guards in the league he’s so athletic and so tough he plays so hard,” Langley said.

Even though UM-Dearborn knows some things about themselves there is still a lot of season left and plenty of room to grow. The Wolverines will find out a lot more about themselves on Wednesday when they welcome No. 3 ranked Davenport to the Fieldhouse.

UM-Dearborn fought back against the Panthers last year and lost by just seven points after being down by 19 at the half.