Duke (8-0) vs Michigan (5-2)
Ann Arbor, Mich. - Crisler Arena
TV: ESPN / Tip: 3:30 PM EST
Program Vitals Conference: Big Ten Nickname: Wolverines Colors: Blue and Maize Head Coach: John Beilein (2nd season) Career Record at Michigan: 15-24
Projected Starters: 12 Anthony Wright (6-6, 235, So.) – 4.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg 32 Zack Gibson (6-10, 220, Jr.) – 4.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg 1 Stu Douglass (6-3, 175, Fr.) – 4.4 ppg, 2.7 apg 3 Manny Harris (6-5, 185, So.) – 21.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 4.1 apg 15 David Merritt (6-4, 170, sr.) – 2.1 ppg Key Reserves: 34 DeShawn Sims (6-8, 235, Jr.) – 14.7 ppg, 7.9 rpg 44 Kelvin Grady (5-11, 170, So.) – 4.0 ppg 0 Zack Novak (6-5, 210, Fr.) – 5.6 ppg, 2.0 rpg 22 Jevohn Shepherd (6-5, 215, Sr.) - 4.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg
Storylines For Michigan:
How They Got Here:
Duke has continued to get stronger with each passing game. After the Blue Devils defeated Michigan in New York, they returned home for easy wins over Montana and Duquesne before traveling to preseason Big 10 pick Purdue on Monday. There Duke overwhelmed the Boilermakers on both ends of the floor, rolling to an impressive victory. After starting the season a perfect 3-0, the Wolverines have split their last two games with both losses coming to ACC opponents. In addition to the loss to Duke, Michigan fell to Maryland in College Park as part of the ACC/Big 10 Challenge
This will be the 27th meeting between the Blue Devils and Wolverines with Duke holding a commanding 19-7 series lead. Duke has won the last seven meetings and a majority of the games have not been close. Over the previous six game period, which includes games in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2007, the average score has been 99-72 in favor of Duke. The seventh game, played this season in New York, was somewhat closer with the Blue Devils winning 71-56.
Duke point guard Greg Paulus continues to rehab from an injury to his right forearm.
Defensively Michigan Will Slow You Down:
Michigan runs just two traditional guards most of the time and take pride in using their perimeter athleticism to play a 1-3-1 zone, though they have shown a willingness to drop into a more traditional man-to-man system.
It's the same system Beilein has been using at each of his coaching stops and the one he hopes will help restore the Wolverine program to its once proud status among the nation's elite. The second year Michigan head coach will hope the man-to-man style will be able to slow down the Blue Devils as he looks for his first victory against Duke. To this point the defense has allowed just two of seven opponents to top the 64 point plateau.
Make Sure To Lookout For...
Sophomore scoring guard Manny Harris - a 6'5 slasher out of Detroit Michigan and former four star prospect in the class of 2007, has emerged as the team's best all around player as a sophomore. Harris was named MVP of the Ann Arbor Regional of the 2K Sports Classic benefi ting Coaches vs. Cancer after putting up a combined 28.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 5.0 assists in the two games while shooting 66.7 percent from the field, 57.1 percent from the perimeter, and 87.0 percent from the foul line. In the first match up against Duke Harris scored a game high 25 points (6-of-12 from the field, 11-of-12 from the free throw line) but was held off the boards (just two rebounds).
Michigan's other big weapon is power forward DeShawn Sims - another former four star prospect out of the class of 2006. Sims comes off the bench as the team's sixth man, but has emerged as the most consistent scorer inside - averaging 15.7 points and 8.0 rebounds. A season ago he earned honorable mention for all-conference honors while averaging 12.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game as a sophomore. In the first matchup with Duke Sims was the only other Wolverine to hit double-figures in scoring, but, like Harris, Sims was rendered ineffective on the glass (4 boards in 29 minutes).
Contrasting Styles of Play:
In the first matchup it was obvious that Duke wanted to push the tempo, but Michigan was perfectly happy to slow it down and "ugly up" the game. The result was a defensive affair which favored Duke in a big way. The Blue Devil D held the Wolverines to just 35% shooting from the field, though Michigan did a good job taking care of the basketball - logging 14 assists against 12 turnovers. Perhaps the biggest advantage the Blue Devils enjoyed was on the glass where Duke recorded 40 rebounds compared to 28 for Michigan.
Last time it was a combination of Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler, and Gerald Henderson that took control of the game on offense for Duke. Noticeable were the struggles of Jon Scheyer who went just 1-of-7 from the field on his way to 8 points. Since that time Scheyer has found his shooting range and has 13.3 points per contest while shooting 45% from the perimeter. Look for Scheyer to rebound and for Duke to build on the experience gained against Purdue of playing in a hostile environment. In New York the Blue Devils did a good job of turning the Wolverines into a two man show of Harris and Sims. Look for an increased defensive assignment on Harris and look for Duke to take control and move to 9-0 on the season