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Scouting Report: Michigan at MSG

<B>No. 10 Arizona (2-1) vs. Michigan (3-0)</B><BR> <B>Date:</B> Wednesday, Nov. 24 2004<BR> <B>Time:</B> approx. 9:30 p.m. EST<BR> <B>Location:</B> Madison Square Garden (19,763), New York, N.Y.<BR> Join us during the game in the <A href="">CHAT ROOM</A> for analysis, updates and fan interaction.

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Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
Pregame: 4:30 on 1290 a.m. (Brad Allis, Pete Delgado, John Schuster, Ryan Radtke, Joe Nehls)
Postgame call-in show: 1290 a.m. approximately 30 minutes after the end of the game.
TV: ESPN (Dave O'Brien/Len Elmore)
On-line: Arizona All Access (subscription required)

Michigan at a glance: Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Coach: Tommy Amaker 51-42 (119-97 overall)
Starters Returning: 4
Leading Scorer: Dion Harris (18.0)
Leading Rebounder: Courtney Sims (8.3)
Leading Assists: Daniel Horton (5 apg)
FG%: Brent Petway (56.3%)
3-PT FG%: Horton (43.8%)
Last Meeting: Michigan edged the Wildcats 73-71 at home in 1996. The Cats lead the all-time series 5-2.
Last Time Out: Arizona fell to Virginia 78-60. Michigan cruised past Sacramento State.












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OVERVIEW: The Wolverines are a team that is in a similar situation to Virginia. Coach Tommy Amaker came into Ann Arbor with a lot of hype, but has not managed to lead the Wolverines to the NCAA Tournament in his three years with the program. In fact, the Wolverines have not been in the NCAA Tournament in a decade. Now the Wolverines need to get back into the Big Dance or the program will be looking for a new coach. The Wolverines are a strange team. They are loaded with athletes, but don't score a lot of points. This is a team that look like they should be able to run, but then they keep the scores down low.

The inside game is solid. They don't have the bruisers that Virginia had, but they have a lot more height. Courtney Sims and Brent Petway are terrific shot blockers. The 6-11 Sims averages three a game, while the 6-8 Petway averages four a contest. Sims is a big athletic post player who is similar to Channing Frye, while Petway is an amazing athlete and leaper. Graham Brown and Chris Hunter give the Wolverines additional size. Brown is a 6-9, 255-pound bruiser. He missed the Sacramento State game, but is expected to go against the Cats. You can bet he'll try to disrupt Frye by pushing him around. Hunter is a solid presence on the inside, but doesn't put up a whole lot of numbers.

The backcourt is the real strength of this team. Daniel Horton is a solid point guard who gets overlooked in the Big-10. He is a solid assist man and is one of the Wolverines best scorers. At 6-3 he has very nice size and should prove to be an interesting match-up for Mustafa Shakur.

Dion Harris has been described as "instant offense" and in the early part of the season he has been just that. The 6-3 shooting guard has had consistency problems in the past, but he has thrived as a starter this year. He is a solid scorer at 18 a game and can hit from the outside (38.9%).

Lester Abram has struggled this year, but led the Wolverines in scoring last season. This season he is shooting a paltry 22.7% and has yet to connect on a three-point shot. Walk-on Sherrod Harell will see time at the point and true freshman Ronnie Coleman sees quality minutes as well.

Michigan has the athletes to run with Arizona, but they won't. They want to slow things down and try to frustrate the Wildcats on defense. They will probably try and take a few pages out of Virginia's playbook, but they don't have as many wide bodies as the Cavs did.

Arizona wants to get out early. If the Cats can build up an early lead the Wolverines could be in trouble. They don't score a lot of points and are not a very good three-point shooting team. Horton and Harris can hit from the outside, but that is about it. If they have to have the threes to get back in the game, they are in trouble.

The Wildcats need to show some enthusiasm early. They cannot come out flat or else the Wolverines will pounce. They also need to knock down some early shots. If the Cats are hitting early they are in good shape, if the Cats can't knock down shots they have a tendency to panic.

KEY MATCH-UP: Daniel Horton vs. Mustafa Shakur. Shakur has struggled with good guards in the past. He was taken out of his comfort zone by Virginia's Sean Singletary and Horton will try to do the same. At the same time, Horton must play well against Shakur. If the Wildcat point guard can disrupt the flow and make Horton do things he doesn't want to do, then the whole Wildcat defense will succeed.

OUTLOOK:Once again it comes down to pace. If Michigan keeps the score down, then the Cats will have their troubles. If the Cats can get out and run they should slowly distance themselves from the more deliberate Wolverines. Both teams have a lot to prove. The Cats are reeling after an ugly loss, while Michigan wants to show folks that they are back.

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