Michigan Basketball (22-7, 14-3) will host Indiana (17-13, 7-10) on Saturday at the Crisler Center. Tip is scheduled for 6pm and the game will be televised on ESPN.
The Wolverines have already clinched their first outright Big Ten Championship since 1986. Meanwhile, Indiana is sitting on the wrong side of the bubble and in desperate need of stealing a victory against Michigan. That will be no easy task as the Wolverines are 44-4 at home over the course of the last three seasons.
A month ago, the Hoosiers rattled Michigan at Assembly Hall in a 63-52 Indiana victory that was made possible by an absurd shooting night from Yogi Ferrell (7-8 from three point range). Since that game, Indiana has posted a 3-5 record, included a 1-3 mark on the road.
The Hoosiers achilles has been the fact that they turn the ball over at a staggering rate of 15 times per game, which ranks them 332nd in the country for most turnovers per game. Indiana is also plagued by inconsistency. However, in Ferrell and freshman forward Noah Vonleh, they have star power.
It’s great to be a Michigan Wolverine
Since losing the aforementioned game at Indiana, Michigan has surged to the tune of a 6-2 record. In typical fashion of a John Beilein coached team, the Wolverines are peaking at the right time. With the Big Ten title in the bag, Michigan will have a first round bye in next week’s conference tournament. Depending on how they fare in Indianapolis, Michigan’s NCAA Tournament stock should continue to soar.
The dynamic duo of Nik Stauskas and Caris LeVert has paced Michigan with their outstanding all around play. Stauskas, who is the frontrunner for Big Ten Player of the Year, is averaging 17.3 points, 3.5 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game. He’s shooting 49% from the field and 46% from the beyond arc. He’s also become a big time shotmaker as he is consistently hitting clutch shots for the Wolverines.
Caris LeVert, who is a bundle of fast twitch moves and relentless effort, is averaging 13.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game. With his lanky frame and long arms, he is very versatile and is a menace on defense. He’s a big reason why Michigan has already claimed the outright Big Ten Championship and why they are capable of a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.
However, the beauty of this team is not just the terrific play of Stauskas and LeVert. It is the unselfishness that every player on the roster plays with. It is the obvious fact that these guys love playing together and love seeing each other succeed. It doesn’t matter who takes the big shot, there is complete trust in every player from every other player and this extends to the coaching staff as well.
This contest marks the final home game of Jordan Morgan’s Michigan career. Morgan, who is on pace to break the school record for games played, is averaging 5.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. He’s also shooting a team-high 67.4% from the field. Morgan, who was named to the Big Ten’s All-Defensive team last year, is once again playing great defense for the Wolverines.
Expect the fans and team to make Morgan’s final home game a memorable one.
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