Michigan Basketball: Central Michigan at Michigan — Preview — Compass Run Completed
Michigan plays Central Michigan at Crisler Center tonight completing the directional compass of the Michigan MAC schools. Central is 7-5 and has lost to Nebraska and Iowa. There have been no signature wins for the Chippewas this season, but Michigan certainly would more than fill that criteria.
Michigan comes off a much deserved holiday rest. Usually, some rust entails such a layoff. Central’s break has been a few less days.
Michigan most likely will do nothing different in this game, simply getting in good game time before the Big Ten season starts next week. Look for Caris LeVert to maybe get a few more minutes of playing time in different scenarios for the purpose of Coach Beilein deciding what his role will be entering the conference season.
Again, it is stated here that this may be a good time to work on the inside game in a purposeful manner, instead of just letting what happens happen. This is another opportunity to continue working on help defense and recovering to the off shooter.
Central Michigan is led by quick senior guard Kyle Randall, who is averaging near 16 points per game. He has a very good all-around game and is actually averaging 4 rebounds a game.
At the other end of the roster spectrum, John Simons, a 6’ 8” freshman forward, is doing very well averaging about 10 points and five rebounds a game. Blake Hibbitts is another young freshman forward who has enjoyed a nice statistical start to his college career. He is averaging near nine points per game.
The other primary scoring options for Central Michigan are freshman guard Chris Fowler and senior forward Olivier Mgaigoto, both averaging about 6 points a game.Central Michigan is averaging 67 points per game and is shooting 40 percent from the field. Foul shooting is fairly strong at 72 percent. The three point shooting is about 34 percent, which is the break even point for this strategy being effective. John Simons and Chris Fowler, as well as Mgaigoto, can heat it up if given the chance. With the shooting at only 40 percent, and the 3-point shooting at 34 percent, it would be logical for Central Michigan to launch plenty of threes. Michigan has had for years a trend of allowing the opposition many easy looks around the arc. However, if Central launches many bombs early and misses most, Michigan will be provided the opportunity to run and obtain an early knockout opportunity.
Central Michigan will play between eight and ten players. This means fresh legs and fouls to give. Michigan can counter with an equally deep rotation, missing only Horford.
Michigan will simply let the game come to them, running when the chance exists and relying on Trey Burke to call the shots most of the time in the half-court set. The Burke-Randall match-up could be of interest.
If awake and the offense is working, Michigan should win with a reasonable cushion. But one never knows for sure.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff
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