Breakdown: Arizona vs. Michigan

Arizona will travel for its final road game of the non-conference season on Saturday when it heads to Michigan. Read on for a complete positional breakdown, statistics between the teams, and a score prediction.



Arizona at Michigan
Dec. 14 at 10 am
TV: CBS
Crisler Center

ARIZONA

MICHIGAN
Overall Record 9-0 (1.000) 6-3 (.666)
Location Record 1-0 (1.000) on the road 4-0 (1.000) at home
Scoring/G: PF&PA(Rank) 77.8(89) 59.1(9) 80.3(58) 62.1(28)
Rebound Margin/G: RM(Rank) 14.1(2) 5.9(52)
Steals/G:
S(Rank)
5.0(284) 6.4(157)
Assists/G: A(Rank)
15.9(40) 16.4(26)
Field-Goal Percentage: FG%(Rank) 50.0(22) 46.4(101)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 3FG%(Rank) 37.6(70) 38.6(51)
Field-Goal Percentage Against: FG%(Rank) 36.8(9) 41.7(116)
Ranking: Coaches' Poll #1 #25
Ranking:
AP Poll
#1 N/A

RPI

12 (.6643) 143 (.5147)
Point Guard

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
PG: T.J. McConnell (6-1, 195, Jr.) vs. Derrick Walton Jr. (6-1, 185, Fr.)

Walton Jr. is an interesting case, because there is obvious talent there, but he battles some inconsistency. For instance, he played poorly against Long Beach State, but came right back and put together a 15 point, six assist, four rebound game against Florida State. Walton is a solid player and one that is going to be able to match up with McConnell relatively well. However, we're going to give it to Arizona here because of that consistency and the fact that we think McConnell bounces back from his struggles last game.

Shooting Guard

ADVANTAGE: Even
SG: Nick Johnson (6-3, 200, Jr.) vs. Caris LeVert (6-6, 185, So.)

It will be interesting to see if Johnson guards LeVert or Stauskas, but we're going to just play it by natural position. LeVert is another player that battles inconsistency, but can be a nightmare to guard when he gets going, as shown by his 24 points against Duke. Johnson has struggled a bit in his past two games, but obviously he is capable of bouncing back quickly.

Small Forward

ADVANTAGE: Michigan
SF: Aaron Gordon (6-9, 225, Fr.) vs. Nik Stauskas (6-6, 205, So.)

The only team to really shut down Stauskas this year was Duke and it only allowed him to take three shots from the field, as he made none. We would assume Arizona is going to treat Stauskas a lot like it did Jabari Parker in that it is going to throw a lot of bodies at him, try to be physical, and generally just take him out of his game. Gordon is good enough defensively to be able to contain Stauskas, but it will not be easy. It's hard not to give the advantage to a guy averaging 19 points per game on 51 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent from behind the arc.

Power Forward

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
PF: Brandon Ashley (6-8, 230, So.) vs. Glen Robinson III (6-6, 220, So.)

Robinson is an example of a player that should have entered the draft when his stock was high, but Trey Burke really made him who he was last season. Robinson is averaging a point more this year, but on two more shot attempts and on 44 percent from the field compared to 57 percent last season. The talent did not go anywhere, but Robinson does not have the help he needs in showing it. Robinson should have difficulty guarding the bigger Ashley and getting his own shot as well but, once again, Ashley needs to be careful of foul trouble.

Center

ADVANTAGE: Even
C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 235, So.) vs. Mitch McGary (6-10, 255, So.)

Both are probably more similar than people think, despite McGary getting more national attention. Both average the exact same amount of points and McGary averages two more rebounds per game. He may also be a bit more agile, which is why he is able to get a steal or two per outing. The assumption is here is that both players are going to have similar production and we would be really surprised if the game came down to this specific matchup.

Bench

ADVANTAGE: Michigan
Bench: It's becoming harder to give Arizona the advantage in this category, despite how well Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has played. Michigan will likely go eight deep and while none of them may be spectacular, there is some danger there. Freshman Zak Irvin is averaging seven shots in 17 minutes per game while only shooting 42 percent from the field, but he is capable of getting hot from behind the arc. Jordan Morgan weighs in at 250 pounds and will likely play minutes to counter Arizona's size, as will Jon Horford.
Coaching

ADVANTAGE: Even
Coaching: Sean Miller vs. John Beilein

Beilein is one of the best coaches in the country and a lot of that has to do with how well he has gotten his zone defenses to work. Rarely do you see his team lose a game because he was outcoached and we don't expect that to happen on Saturday. There are numerous factors at play for this game, but coaching is likely going to even out.

Outcome

ADVANTAGE: Michigan
78 76
Prediction: Man, this is a tough one. On paper, Arizona is probably the better team, but Michigan is more talented than the early season has indicated. This is a team plenty capable of beating Arizona and you can make the argument that since it is at Michigan, this will be Arizona's toughest game of the entire season. We don't see either team getting blown out and this feels like a game that is going to come down to one mistake or a late shot. In that situation, we will give the advantage to the home team.


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