Michigan Basketball (8-0) will host Arkansas (4-3) on Saturday at the now fabulous Crisler Center. Tip is scheduled for 12:07 (EST) and the game will be televised on CBS.
Arkansas plays at a frenzied pace and averages 82.1 points per game which ranks 13th in the country. Their calling card is to force a lot of turnovers with their full court pressure defense. Defensively, the Razorbacks are a mess as they rank 300th nationally in scoring defense, 256th in field goal percentage defense, 260th in three-point field goal defense and 273rd in rebounding margin.
In their last game, an 81-78 win over Oklahoma on Tuesday, junior Marshawn Powell erupted for 33 points, six rebounds and ﬁve assists. For the season, Powell is averaging 16.1 points per game. Arkansas’ best player is sophomore point guard BJ Young. He leads the team in scoring (19.1) and assists (3.67). The Razorbacks do not shoot well from three-point range as they rank 285th nationally in made three-balls.
Michigan enters the game ranked #3 in both polls, shooting the ball very well, playing tough defense and oozing with cohesiveness. Trey Burke is the driving force on this team and has been simply outstanding, living up to his billing as the nation’s top point guard. He is averaging 17 points per game and ranks 8th in the country in assists (7.1). In the last three games, Burke has racked up 22 assists against 2 turnovers. As a point of reference, BJ Young has 22 assists on the season.
Behind Burke’s masterful floor game, the Wolverines rank 3rd in the country in field goal percentage (52.1) and 9th in three-point percentage (42.5). Leading the charge for the Wolverines in shooting prowess is freshman sensation Nik Stauskas. He leads the nation in three-point shooting, coming into the Arkansas game connecting at an outrageous 63.6% clip. Stauskas is 56.9% from the field and 88.9% from the free throw line.
In the last two games, Jordan Morgan has compiled 18 points and 18 rebounds. He combines with Mitch McGary to give John Beilein a formidable inside presence. Freshman Caris LeVert has supplanted Matt Vogrich in the rotation and looks very comfortable on the court. In Michigan’s win over WMU on Tuesday, he knocked down his first career field goal, a three-ball, as the shot clock expired. He later rimmed out a second three-pointer, but has a smooth shooting stroke. He is another long (6-fo0t-5), athletic player for the Wolverines.
With Burke and Spike Albrecht, the Wolverines have the ball handlers to negate Arkansas’ pressure. They have the shooters to expose the Hawgs porous defense and the rebounders to control the boards. The Razorbacks like to push the tempo which is just fine with the athletic Wolverines, who can get out and run with the best of ‘em. Watch for some from prolific dunks courtesy of Glenn Robinson III, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Jordan Morgan. In short revving things up against an efficient Michigan team, might not work out so well for Arkansas.
Predictions: So far this season Joe and I are both 8-0 predicting the outcome of Michigan Basketball games. We both like Michigan to improve to 9-0 with a victory in this game.
Joe: Michigan 82-70
Rob: Michigan 86-72
In the following videos, you will hear about some Bieber Fever in Michigan’s locker room. We asked Trey Burke and Jordan Morgan what they thought about all the Bieber fuss.
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