Michigan Basketball: 3 things to watch vs Nebraska

Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Syndication: Detroit Free Press /
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7 PM ET. 5-4. 488. 5-3. 485. Michigan -7. ESPN2. Tuesday, Dec 7th

The Michigan basketball team will open up Big Ten Conference play against an underwhelming 5-4 Nebraska Basketball Team. U-M looks to start Big Ten play on the right foot.

Michigan’s dominant performance against San Diego State is one of the very few dominant performances that the Wolverines have showcased this season. With Moussa Diabate most likely out due to the flu, Michigan is going to need to bring out its A-game against Nebraska.

Nebraska is coming off back to back grueling losses to NC State (4 OT) and dropped its first conference game on the road to Indiana. Nebraska has had just as tough of a schedule as Michigan basketball has in the opening stretch of the season.

Michigan’s looking to extend their winning streak to two tonight as they open as a 7 point favorite. Michigan has been trading wins and losses back and forth since the middle of November trying to find stable footing.

Let’s look into some key things to watch for during the Michigan vs Nebraska game.

1. How will Michigan control Bryce McGowens?

Bryce McGowens has been a shining beacon for the Nebraska Cornhuskers this season, averaging just above 17 points per game with seven rebounds and two assists. This is going to be Michigan’s first true playmaker they’ve faced in a while.

His success was limited against Indiana mostly in part due to Indiana being on top of him at all times, forcing tough shots which explains him shooting 24% from the field (season-low). Defensively we know this Michigan team has been anything but excellent with the exception of a few games, but if they want to win they’ll need to limit Bryce’s opportunities to make big plays.

Bryce is not a big deep ball threat, while he can hit one or two 3-pointers a game, he gets you driving and with his pull-up shot. Similar to James Harden in previous years, he gets a big chunk of his points from the line. Earlier in the year against the Southern Jaguars, Byrce went 10-10 from the line which was responsible for more than 50% of his points.