College Park, Md. — Michigan was without one of its key pieces again as it kept pace in the Big Ten race.
Redshirt junior wing Charles Matthews was sidelined for the second straight game and sat out Sunday’s 69-62 win at Maryland with a right ankle injury.
Before the game, Michigan coach John Beilein reportedly told CBS, which was televising the contest, that he hopes to have Matthews ready by the postseason. That implied Matthews could also miss the regular-season finale at Michigan State on Saturday.
Following the game, though, Beilein said that Matthews hasn't been ruled out for the rivalry rematch and his status remains day-to-day with an ankle sprain.
"Absolutely not," Beilein said. "He just couldn't play today. It's a week away, why would we do that? There's no way."
Matthews was wearing a walking boot on his right foot earlier in the week, including on the bench at Thursday's home finale against Nebraska, and was seen walking into the Xfinity Center in one. But during the game Sunday, Matthews shed the boot and was dressed in sweats and Jordans on the sideline.
According to Beilein, Matthews was able to do more in practice on Saturday and has been wearing the boot to simply help speed up the recovery process.
“He’s wearing the boot only because that’s the therapy he should have while things calm down," Beilein said.
Matthews, the team's third-leading scorer (12.8 points) and top wing defender, suffered the injury last week against Michigan State when he stepped on a player’s foot early in the first half.
With Matthews out, sophomore forward Isaiah Livers slid into the starting lineup for the second consecutive game. Livers finished with 11 points and made three 3-pointers — none bigger than his dagger with 54 seconds remaining — in 36 minutes against the Terrapins.
And for the second straight game, Matthews was active and engaged as a player-coach. According to Beilein, Matthews was the "mouthpiece" for the team during every timeout and was even the first one to notice Maryland was cross-matching at the three and four positions on defense.
The off-the-court assists didn't go unrecognized by his teammates.
"He's definitely a guy I always listen to a lot," freshman forward Ignas Brazdeikis said. "Anything he says to me, I always have open ears and it definitely helps having him. Obviously it's a massive loss not having him on the court, but he does what he can off the court.
"Every second of it he's embracing and doing whatever he can for us to win, and that means the world to us. Having him out there and supporting us off the bench is really fun, and it's important for us."
Michigan is tied for second for the most regular-season wins (26) with the 1992-93 team. The program record is 27 set by the 1985-86 squad.
... Michigan had all five starters finish in double figures for the first time since Jan. 10 at Illinois.
... Junior center Jon Teske recorded his third consecutive double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds to push his total to six on the season.
... Junior guard Zavier Simpson has dished out at least 10 assists three times in the last four games.