Jan 9, 2014; Lincoln, NE, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Derrick Walton Jr. (10) holds the ball away from Nebraska Cornhuskers guard Deverell Biggs (1) during their NCAA mens basketball game at the Pinnacle Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dave Weaver-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan Basketball: Penn State at Michigan -- Preview

GBMWolverine Basketball TidbitsPosted at 12:00pm — 1/14/2014

Michigan Basketball: Penn State at Michigan — Preview

Beware The Not-so-Lowly Lion

What: Penn State at Michigan
When: Tuesday, 1/14/2014, 8:00pm
Tip Off: 8:06pm
Arena: Crisler Center
TV Coverage: BTN (DirecTV Channel 610) — TV Crew: Dave Revisine & Jim Jackson.
U-M Radio: Detroit: WWJ (950AM) | Ann Arbor: WWWW (102.9FM) — U-M Radio Crew: Matt Shepard & Terry Mills.
Satellite Radio: Sirius: 119 | XM: 192 |

Penn State may be zero and four in the Big Ten standings, but do not equate the Michigan 3-0 record and Penn State 0-4 into an automatic win for the Wolverines.

Jan 8, 2014; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Patrick Chambers and Penn State Nittany Lions guard Tim Frazier (23) look on during the second half against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Bryce Jordan Center. Minnesota defeated Penn State 68-65. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O

Penn State does not go down to the mat easily as evidenced by last Saturday’s close home loss to Indiana. Still, the Wolverines are at home Tuesday and are better rested with more preparation time. The last factor must be discounted somewhat since every Big Ten team has a donkey choking size file on every league opponent, ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Penn State plays with attitude. This team knows the dilemma and drill. The Nittany lions do not fold the tent easily and must be worn down and well defended to be placed under the boots heal.

Michigan does not play as good of defense as does Penn State. Penn State does not have the offensive talent of Michigan. Penn State fights hard for the offensive rebound, a couple of Michigan players have that trait.

Jan 9, 2014; Lincoln, NE, USA; Michigan Wolverines forward Glenn Robinson III (1) takes a shot over Nebraska Cornhuskers guard/forward Shavon Shields (31) during their NCAA mens basketball game at the Pinnacle Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dave Weaver-USA TODAY Sports

The worst thing Michigan could do Tuesday is let returning star Tim Frazier and his backcourt mate John Johnson get off to a fast start. If Michigan continues to sag off of the perimeter shooter and provide little opposition to the shot, Frazier and Johnson could have really big nights. Keep these two down; scoring wise, and Michigan could have a very good night.

With the recent evidence of Michigan seeming to provide the opponent’s best player with opportunities for big games, the smart choice is to believe Frazier will put up some big points, inside and outside. He probably needs in the twenty range for Penn State to win. Johnson can provide plenty of points. He is a bad match-up for the larger wings Michigan plays. On the other hand, he can give up points at the other end to the high scoring wings.

Michigan will probably see a grind it out strategy from the Penn State team. The Lions will hope that the turnover margin is low; sometimes this happens. Penn State always looks to the opponent’s weaknesses and this means rotation of defense and rebounding. Penn State is very good at understanding offensive concept and will pass the perimeter then break the defense down. The guys will hit the bounds. Michigan’s big guys may get some points getting down the floor if the Lions do not snatch the board.

Jan 9, 2014; Lincoln, NE, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach John Beilein during their NCAA mens basketball game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at the Pinnacle Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dave Weaver-USA TODAY Sports

Do not fall asleep in this league. For Michigan, success means playing better defense and being patient with the outside game. It is allowed by rule to involve the inside players and attempt to drive the ball. This game presents an opportunity, more so than games coming up on the schedule. There are still a couple of guys who shoot first and ask questions later. That is ok only if the ball drops through the net.

Penn State knows the team is not going to win the league title and should play with a looseness and stubbornness that plays to the Lion’s favor. Michigan, even at 3-0, knows this is a must win game.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Doc4Blu

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