The Michigan Wolverines Men’s Basketball Team, Squad 99, will tip-off the season tonight with a home exhibition matchup against the Wayne State Warriors. The two teams met last season in an exhibition game where the Wolverines bested the Warriors 79-60. Find out what to expect from tonight’s matchup after the jump!
The basketball boys are back and once again Michigan has added many new fresh faces into the mix. If you have a moment to tune into BTN Plus tonight at 7p.m., you will have an excellent chance to see many of these new youngsters play.
Caris LeVert, Derrick Walton, and Zak Irvin are all big returners for the Wolverines this season, and will have an opportunity to flash their skills tonight against the under matched Warriors. Newcomers Aubrey Dawkins and Kam Chatman are two names you need to familiarize yourself with as they could be a big part of the production this season from the wing position. As for the bigs, expect to see a lot of Max Bielfeldt, Mark Donnal , and D.J. Wilson tonight, as well down the stretch.
According to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) 2014-15 Preseason Poll, the Wayne State University men’s basketball team is predicted to finish third in the South Division of the conference.
Sophomore guard Clark Bishop, who averaged 7.8 points a game last season, was voted to the All-GLIAC Second Team and could be someone to keep an eye on tonight in Ann Arbor. The Warriors will also be happy to have Michael Lewis back in the rotation this year after an injury caused him to miss 21-games a year ago . The redshirt sophomore guard averaged double digits, and even recorded a double-double in just three games last season.
Playing the Wolverines will give the Warriors a true “big game” experience, and prepare them for what is usually a brutal GLIAC conference schedule.
What to Expect
This is a scheduled as an exhibition game for a reason. It should not, and will not be close. The game gives Michigan a chance to shake out the early season jitters and get comfortable on its home court. Wayne State has an opportunity to play on a big stage against a powerhouse program, and try to get things rolling before they attack their non-conference schedule.
Prediction: Michigan 82, Wayne State 60
Michigan handles Wayne State with ease but not by too huge of a margin, as they will eventually incorporate the bench mob into the rotation. I expect to see the starters for most of the first half, but on the pine cheering during the final twenty minutes of the contest. LeVert and Irvin will lead all scorers, and Derrick Walton will have eight beautiful assists.
Also, the staff at TBHR has a Squad 99 team preview in the works, so stay tuned for that!
Derek Devine is a contributing blogger for TBHR. Follow him on Twitter here!