Michigan Basketball will host Central Michigan on Saturday night at Crisler Center. Tip is scheduled for 7pm and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Central enters the game with a 7-5 record and an 0-2 mark against the Big Ten (losses to Iowa and Nebraska). They will feature an offense that puts 5 shooters on the floor. Their leading scorer is senior guard Kyle Randall who averages 15.9 points, 4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. As a team the Chippewas are a model of inefficiency. They rank 285th nationally in field goal percentage (40.2). They rank 149th in three point percentage (34.4). Opposing teams shoot a comfortable 46.5% against Central which ranks 304th nationally.
The #2 ranked Michigan Wolverines are off to the second best start in school history with a perfect 12-0 record. This will be their first game since they defeated Eastern Michigan back on December 20th. The players were granted an unprecedented 4 days off between those games so they could celebrate the holidays with their families. So it will be interesting to see what, if any, effect the long layoff has on the Wolverines.
Michigan ranks 5th nationally in field goal percentage (51.1) and 7th in three-point percentage (41.1). The Wolverines rank 2nd in the Big Ten in scoring offense (79.4) and 3rd in scoring defense (57.2). An element that has been lacking from previous John Beilein teams at Michigan was rebounding. Michigan can now clean the glass with the best of them. They’ve only been out-rebounded once this season and rank 4th in the Big Ten in rebounding margin.
Trey Burke is the driving force on this team. He ranks 3rd in the conference in scoring (17.4) and 1st in assists (7.1). The sophomore point guard runs Michigan’s offense like a maestro, creating a symphony on the hardwood with his brilliant play. Freshman sensation, Nik Stauskas leads the country in three-point shooting (55.7%). The Wolverines are a balanced team with many scoring options. They have 4 players averaging double-figures in scoring; Trey Burke (17.4), Tim Hardaway Jr. (15.8), Nik Stauskas (13.4) and Glenn Robinson III (11.4).
With a win, Michigan will finish the non-conference portion of their schedule undefeated for the 8th time in school history and the first time since the 1985-86 season.
Predictions: So far this season, Joe and I are both 12-0 predicting the outcome of Michigan Basketball games. We both like the Wolverines to roll in this one.
Joe: Michigan 82-59
Rob: Michigan 88-58
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