Dec 30, 2011; Durham, NC, USA; Western Michigan Broncos center Shayne Whittington (21) shoots over Duke Blue Devils forward Mason Plumlee (5) during the second half at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke beat Western Michigan 110-70. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan Basketball: Western Michigan at Michigan -- Preview

Posted at 5:45am — 12/4/2012

Michigan Basketball: Western Michigan at Michigan — Preview

Western Michigan vs. Michigan
Tuesday — Dec. 4, 2012
Crisler Center
Big Ten Network

The Western Michigan Broncos are on a six game win streak and have an overall record of 6-1. The wins include Loyola of Chicago, South Florida, Oakland, and Maryland Eastern-Shore.

The Broncos have four main contributors that fans should watch for Tuesday. Shane Whittington is a red-shirt junior averaging near 10 points and over 8 rebounds per contest. He is a 6’ 10” center.

A second contributor is Nate Hutchinson, a senior forward averaging over 13 per game. Third is Darius Paul, a big 6’ 8” freshman forward averaging over 11 points and 6 rebounds per game. Last is Brandon Pokeley, a large senior guard also averaging over 11 points per game.

The Broncos are outscoring the opposition by nearly 10 points a game and have been very strong on the boards averaging 37 rebounds a game, an impressive amount. The shooting has been average with the team field goal percentage being at 44 percent, but the Bronco defense has allowed only about 38 percent by the opposition, again an impressive figure. The three point shooting is right at the 37 percent mark, a figure that is the break even point for three point shooting being an asset.

Again, Michigan will face a sizable opponent that can hit the boards. Michigan will need to get a lead early and control the game’s pace. Coach Beilein will probably again tinker with offensive options and combinations. It will be important for the Wolverines to better execute the offense when the game is at the break point.

Note that Bradley had a horrible three-point percentage going into the Michigan game but the Braves were effective from the three-point area. Michigan in the second half chased the ball and did not rotate to challenge the shooter.

Running with Michigan may be a little dangerous for Western, so one could expect the Broncos to follow a similar strategy that Bradley executed Saturday, run when it is advantageous and pound the ball inside in the half-court offense.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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