November 1, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines forward Mitch McGary (4) drives to the basket on Northern Michigan Wildcats guard Terry Nash (15) in the second half at Crisler Center. Michigan won 83-47. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Michigan Basketball: Slippery Rock at Michigan -- Preview

Posted at 12:00pm — 11/9/2012

Michigan Basketball: Slippery Rock at Michigan — Preview

Riddle me this? How can a game that is official, not be official? Here is a real puzzler: the Friday game of the two sister schools is an exhibition for Slippery Rock and an official season opener that counts on the record for Michigan. Slippery Rock is Division II and has some control over what is an exhibition game and what is not.

Slippery Rock took out Navy in its other exhibition game, 79-56. Navy is building from scratch after a 3-26 record last year.

So, there will be no pressure on slippery Rock Friday, but there should be none on Michigan as well; just take care of business.

The Rock, as the common local terminology goes, plays in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and returns four starters from last year’s 17-10 team. Like every decent team in American basketball, The Rock has some scorers. Forward Devin Taylor is a scoring threat and a good rebounder as is senior center Luiz Santos. Tabari Perry may be the best scorer on the team by year’s end. All three are very capable of double digit scoring.

Slippery Rock is not a big team, size wise, per say, but the best athletes on the team have sufficient size to compete at a higher level.

Michigan will do little to nothing to prepare for Slippery Rock. All preparation will focus on continuing to develop an offense, tinker with offensive combinations, work on getting the ball to the player in the best position, and hopefully work is done on improving rebounding and defense.

Slippery Rock and other Michigan opponents are no longer in a position where shutting down one or two Michigan players will take the Wolverines out of the offensive game plan and jeopardize chances of winning. Burke can get hot, Hardaway can get hot, Robinson can get hot, Stauskas can get hot, and guys like Morgan and McGary will get some scraps to feed every game. And if Slippery Rock chases hard around the perimeter, one would hope the ball goes inside.

November 1, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (10) shoots the ball in the second half against the Northern Michigan Wildcats at Crisler Center. Michigan won 83-47. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

That option has pained Michigan the last few years, either through not having an inside game or not using it. Not using the inside game could eventually be detrimental to the season’s success.

Tougher competition is coming soon and it will be important that the young Michigan team develops poise and toughness.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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