Scouting Report: Michigan

Michigan comes to Assembly Hall one of the top offensive teams in the conference with the talented back court of Nik Stauskas and Caris LeVert. But exactly a year ago, the Hoosiers knocked off the No. 1 team in the country as the Wolverines fell to IU 81-73 in Bloomington.

Here's a look at Sunday's Indiana opponent:

Michigan Wolverines (16-4, 8-0)

Last time out: W, 75-66 vs. Purdue Thursday

Michigan grinded out a win at home against Purdue at home to extend the team's win-streak to 10 games, including an 8-0 start in the Big Ten this season. The Wolverines were led by a first career double-double by sophomore guard Caris LeVert, who scored 14 points while pulling down 11 rebounds, while fellow sophomore guard Nik Stauskas scored a game-high 16 points.

The Wolverines came out of the gates quickly and grabbed the team's first double-digit lead at 16-6. Purdue stormed back with an 11-0 run to edge ahead 19-18. The Boilermakers would lead for the last time in the game at 21-20 before Michigan's 13-4 run pushed them into halftime with a 37-29 advantage.

In the second half, Purdue came within six points early before another 13-4 run by Michigan put the game out of reach. The Wolverines shot 61 percent (28-of-46) from the floor and 54 percent (7-for-13) from beyond the arc.

2012-13 season

Record: 31-8 (12-6 in the Big Ten Conference)

The Wolverines started off last season even stronger than this year's campaign, winning each of their first 16 games, including victories against N.C. State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and Kansas State and Pittsburgh in the NIT Season Tip-Off. They eased into the Big Ten portion of their schedule with wins against Northwestern, Iowa and Nebraska before falling to Ohio State on the road, 56-53, for the team's first loss of the season.

After rolling off four more wins, Michigan hit the gauntlet of the team's conference slate, playing IU, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State in the span of 11 days. The Wolverines lost all three road games (IU, Wisconsin and Michigan State). In the final six games, they lost in surprising fashion to Penn State on the road before falling to the Hoosiers again in the final game of the regular season in a thriller that ended with a jumper by Cody Zeller with 13 seconds left to take a share of the Big Ten regular season title out of Michigan's hands.

The Wolverines secured a No. 5 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and cruised to a win in the first round against Penn State, but they fell in the quarterfinals to Wisconsin 68-59 and entered the NCAA Tournament a No. 4 seed. Michigan won its first two games against South Dakota State and VCU with ease before taking down No. 1 seed Kansas in overtime in the Sweet 16. A 20-point rout of Florida took the Wolverines to the Final Four where they defeated Syracuse and it's vaunted 2-3 zone.

In the National Championship game, Trey Burke got into quick foul trouble, but a memorable first-half run by Spike Albrecht kept the Wolverines behind just a point at halftime. In the second half, though, Louisville pulled away late and defeated Michigan 82-76.

What they do well:

The Wolverines come to Assembly Hall with one of the conference's most potent offenses, but their efficiency may be what's most impressive. Michigan leads the conference, shooting 49 percent from the field, making 15 more shots than the Hoosiers this season in one fewer game and taking 72 fewer shots in the process.

Michigan also holds claim to the best 3-point shooting team in the conference, shooting 39.5 percent as a team with four players who have taken at least 35 shots from beyond the arc averaging better than 40 percent. While making nearly half of their shots every game, the Wolverines also manage to take care of the ball well, turning it over fewer than 10 times. Combined with their strong guards in Stauskas and LeVert, they rank at the top in the conference in assist/turnover ratio at 1.6 – 15.3 assists a game with only 9.6 turnovers. The Hoosiers rank last.

Star players:

G Nik Stauskas, So.

Stauskas has emerged this season as a serious challenger to Michigan State's Gary Harris for Big Ten Player of the Year, averaging slightly more points per game (18.4 to Harris's 18.3) as the leader of the hottest team in the Big Ten.

Stauskas's skills lie beyond the 3-point line, where he leads the conference in shooting averaged (45.9 percent) and is tied with Wisconsin's Ben Brust with the most made per game (2.6). The sophomore guard also dishes off nearly four assists per game to facilitate the rest of his high-scoring team while turning it over just 1.6 times per outing.

G Caris LeVert, So.

After playing an extremely minimal role last season, playing just 10.8 minutes per game and scoring just 2.3 points per contest, LeVert has jumped in as Stauskas's partner in Michigan's back court. He's embraced the role well.

He tied a career-high in points with 24 against Duke in the team's third loss of the season while Stauskas struggled with just four points. Over the past four games for the Wolverines, LeVert has been playing arguably his best basketball of the season, hitting double-digits three of those games while averaging nearly nine rebounds per game in those strong offensive performances.


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