Location: Crisler Arena
Michigan (1-0) will host Houston Baptist (0-3) on Friday night. The Huskies hail from the Great West Conference and opened their season by losing 3 games in 3 days at the Rice Basketball Challenge last weekend. Houston Baptist lost to South Alabama, Sacramento State, and Rice. The Huskies shot a miserable 35% from the field and connected on just 2 of 47 three-pointers during the Challenge.
Their leading scorer is 6-foot-9 senior, Mario Flaherty who comes in averaging 12.7 ppg and 9 rebounds per game. Junior forward Andrew Gonzalez is averaging 10.7 ppg and senior guard Wendell Preadom is averaging 9.0 ppg and 2.7 apg.
This is Michigan’s final tune-up game before heading to Disney over Thanksgiving to participate in the Old Spice Classic. Coach John Beilein is expected to start the same line up that he did last week against Northern Michigan; Darius Morris, Laval Lucas-Perry, Zack Novak, Manny Harris, and DeShawn Sims. Beilein likes to bring sophomore sniper Stu Douglass off the bench as his first sub in.
Fresh off the second triple-double in school history, Manny “Fresh” Harris is the reigning co-Big Ten Player of the Week (sharing the honors with Evan Turner). Harris tallied 18 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists in Michigan’s season opening win. DeShawn Sims recorded his 7th career double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds.
In the season opening win, Michigan also received a boost from two highly touted freshmen. Darius Morris started at the point and scored 11 points, dished out 5 assists, and drew praise from Beilein for his defensive play. The Sporting News dubbed Matt Vogrich as the nations “Best Shooter” in the 2009 class. Vogrich did not disappoint as he connected on 5 of 5 three-pointers in 13 minutes of action. Senior Zack Gibson also came off the bench and shot a perfect 5 for 5 from the field as he scored 11 points in 14 minutes.
What to watch for: Michigan is a deep and versatile team. Every player on the roster is a threat from three-point land. What makes this team especially dangerous is that the players are a tight-knit group and very unselfish. In the season opening win Michigan had 24 assists on 35 made field goals, good for a 69% ratio. John Beilein has said if they can be in the 60-70% range that is “pretty darn good”.
Prediction: Michigan should thrash the Huskies. Final score 92-55
Notes: Feel free to join the Michigan Basketball Sound Off during the game. So far this season the Sound Off has been a lonely place. I’ll also be introducing a new stat when I recap this game.