Tip: Tuesday at 7pm
Location: Crisler Arena
Michigan (5-5) has one more game to play before kicking off the Big Ten season on New Years Eve. On Tuesday night the Coppin State Eagles (5-4) out of the MEAC will face Michigan for the second time. The last time these two teams played was in December 2005.
Ron “Fang” Mitchell has been the head coach at Coppin State for 23 years. He has two returning starters from last year’s team that finished 13-19. The Eagles have not played since December 12th when they lost 69-43 at West Virginia. Their 5 wins have come against Lincoln, West Virginia Tech, Washington Adventist, and Loyola (MD). Not exactly a who’s who of college basketball.
Lenny Young, a 6-foot-2 freshman guard, leads Coppin State in scoring (12.8 ppg). The Eagles are scorching the nets to the tune of 39% shooting from the field this season. Their 31% three-point shooting is actually better than Michigan’s, which is a paltry 28%.
Michigan showed some positive signs in the loss at Kansas and will need to build on those Tuesday night. Notably, DeShawn Sims played well and did all of his damage in the paint. Darius Morris had a coming of age game. He shook of the fact that he did not start the game. When he did check in he air-mailed his first shot, a three-pointer. He could have easily crumbled at that point. Instead he played his best ball of the season the rest of the game.
The Wolverines battled on the boards and played with some conviction on defense. One thing John Beilein needs is for Zack Novak and Stu Douglass to zero in from beyond the arc. The pair has combined to start the season 20 for 82 (24%) on three-pointers. These guys have to start knocking down some of those shots.
Michigan has amped it up defensively these last few games and will have to continue to that trend. The Wolverines are at their best when they are wreaking havoc on defense and causing turnovers that lead to easy buckets. Michigan also needs a third scorer to compliment Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims.
Prediction: Michigan should roll in this game. Michigan 76 Coppin State 54
Eric Puls has left the team to concentrate on his academics.
Michigan ranks third nationally in turnovers per game (10).
- Manny Harris: 21.6
- DeShawn Sims: 15.9
- Laval Lucas-Perry: 6.9
- Manny Harris: 8.0
- DeShawn Sims: 7.4
- Zack Novak: 4.7
- Manny Harris: 4.5
- Stu Douglass: 2.5
- Darius Morris: 2.4
- Manny Harris: 2.0
- Zack Novak: 1.6
- DeShawn Sims: 1.3
- Manny Harris: 15-52 (29%)
- Laval Lucas-Perry: 13-38 (34%)
- DeShawn Sims: 12-34 (35%)