The Michigan Wolverines will be looking for consistency tonight as they host the Northwestern Wildcats at Crisler Center at 8:15 PM on BTN.
Game to game we hear broadcasters talk about how tough it is to rebuild a program after losing five starters to the NBA from a Final Four team two years ago. I understand completely, but it is time for us to move on as fans, and time for John Beilein and his squad to put it in gear. The last thing the Wolverines can afford is to drop another game on their home court tonight. If shots are not falling, they will have to play tenaciously on defense and keep the Wildcats out of the paint and locked up around the perimeter.
Sure, it is still early, but I think tonight is a must win for Michigan. It would be nice to see the Wolverines blow past the Wildcats, and it would take a near perfect game in order for them to do so.
At a glance…
|RECORD||10-7, 3-2 Big Ten||10-7, 1-3 Big Ten|
|PPG||Caris LeVert 14.8||Bryant McIntosh 12.4|
|REBOUNDS||Caris LeVert 4.8||Alex Olah 7.2|
|ASSISTS||Caris LeVert 3.5||Bryant McIntosh 4.5|
Northwestern comes off of an overtime loss against Michigan State on the road, and will be looking to break a three game losing streak. Look for true freshman Bryant McIntosh and seven-footer Alex Olah to be key factors in tonight’s matchup. Tre Demps can be a threat from deep, but Caris LeVert and Zak Irvin should be able to keep him in check.
Coach Chris Collins would love a quality conference win on the road to keep his Wildcats from falling out of Big Ten championship picture completely. His squad is excellent at cleaning up the glass on the defense end, and running clean ball screens for high percentage opportunities on offense. He has seen his guys improve from last season, but the Wildcats still have a lot to figure out on both sides of the ball.
Michigan starts hot and never looks back. Smart team basketball will allow the offensive production to be distributed evenly. Expect a joint effort on the defensive side of the ball as well. The Wolverines will need to force turnovers, fill the lanes in transition, and finish at the rim tonight if they want run away with this one.
Michigan 64, Northwestern 52
TBHR’s Derek Devine can be followed on Twitter @TheDerekDevine.