Michigan Basketball: 3 predictions for Wolverines against Minnesota

Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Syndication: Detroit Free Press /
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Michigan basketball will host Minnesota for its Big Ten home opener on Saturday and here are three predictions for the Wolverines and Gophers. 

The Wolverines early foray into Big Ten play will end on Saturday with a home game against Minnesota and a chance to improve to 2-0.

Michigan basketball destroyed Nebraska earlier this week in one of the Wolverines’ best performances to date. Terrance Williams and Brandon Johns scored a combined 42 points and Michigan knocked down 15 3-pointers.

The Wolverines have started to address those spacing issues which plagued the team in some of its early losses. However, two games is not a trend.

Caleb Houstan’s production from deep is becoming a trend and he will be important again on Saturday. Minnesota is undermanned in this game.

The Golden Gophers don’t have a big who can match the size of Hunter Dickinson and under first-year head coach Ben Johnson it will be a work in progress.

But Minnesota does present some matchup problems such as Jamison Battle at the four or Payton Willis at point guard. Battle is an Isaiah Livers type of four who can really shoot the ball. He averages 17 a game, while Willis is just under 17.

The Gophers score 70.8 points per game and are 92nd according to Kenpom, as well as 257th in the nation in adjusted tempo. Michigan has a big advantage inside with Dickinson and it should be able to have a major edge on the boards too.

Can Minnesota win the 3-point shooting battle? That will be interesting and we look ahead with three predictions for the Wolverines and Gophers.

Hunter Dickinson keeps rolling

The first question that Minnesota is going to ask itself is how we will deal with Hunter Dickinson? Charlie Daniels will likely get the task of guarding Dickinson but at 6-foot-9, that’s going to be a big challenge.

Hunter has developed the use of a right hand, he can hit the little floater and he’s made four 3-pointers over the last two games.

Teams are going to have to start defending his jump shot and in this game, the Gophers are going to have to stop him in the post.

Michigan has been doing a better job of getting him touches and eventually, the Gophers are going to have to double.

That will lead to some Dickinson assists and it’s easy to foresee another double-double for Dickinson, even though his scoring numbers haven’t necessarily been his biggest contribution.

His ball movement and defense have been outstanding. That all continues.