Michigan remains dangerous

Despite losing its past to games, Arizona remains cautious of Michigan. Read on to see why Sean Miller thinks Michigan is still dangerous and more.

Even though Michigan has lost its past two games, the Wolverines may actually be more dangerous than had they won them.

"The hungrier team I believe always has an advantage," Sean Miller said. "Michigan has a tremendous amount of pride and has an excellent coach. They’ve been in Big 10 championship games, Final Four games, they expect to make the tournament and advance in the tournament, and there are guys in that program and coaching staff that have been in the winner’s circle for a long, long time.

"You get hit with a couple of early setbacks, they are not going to panic or self-destruct, they are going to correct and get stronger. We just don’t want it to be against us."

In order to make sure that does not happen, Miller wants to make sure that the Wildcats are focused on the task at hand.

"The way that we guard against that isn’t to worry about how they are going to be, but to make sure that from our perspective we have had great practices, that our guys off the court are handling their academic workload, and making sure that the preparation for Michigan is excellent and on Saturday afternoon making sure we are playing really hard and together," he said.

"I know they have lost a couple recent games, that happens, especially when you lose the talent they have lost. They do have a different type of team, no question some really good players, and they are going to hit their stride this year and be a really good team. I just don’t want it to happen Saturday."

When looking at Michigan, the key to containing the Wolverines is to shut them down at the three-point line.

"It starts with defending the three-point line," Miller said. "They make nine three-point shots per game. That puts them roughly in the top 30 in the country in terms of points beyond the arc in games. The percentage of points they score behind the arc is tops in the country.

"When they are at their best, if you average nine made threes, you have plenty of games where you are making 12, 13, 14 threes in a game and that’s a lot. It’s the great equalizer."

Michigan's success from three is due in large part to the fact that it has numerous players that can make them.

"They have a number if players that can shoot them. Caris LeVert and Zak Irvin really stand out. Irvin can play the four or the three. LeVert is really like a combo guard, but he can play any one of the three guard positions. It’s not one player, it’s probably four guys on their team who I would consider prolific three-point shooters.

"They are great in transition, where some teams like Gonzaga thrives in the transition game of getting the ball close to the basket and mixing in a three, Michigan is three-point shots from the corner and three-point shooting in transition. The more you worry about that, then that opens up a few drives or post ups."

In addition, Michigan can be dangerous defensively as well.

"They know what they are doing on that end," Miller said. "They are predominantly a man to man team and very aggressive defending ball screens. They force turnovers, switch at times, shoot the gap in passing lanes.

"LeVert is very long and can change the game with steals. If you want to negate their three-point shooting, clearly we always hope we can do well on the offensive glass and get the ball close to the basket."


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