Opponent Preview: Michigan

Minnesota hits the road to take on the Michigan Wolverines after winning two straight games at home including a thrilling upset of No. 8 Purdue. Saturday's tip-off at Crisler Arena is set for 6:00 p.m. and will be televised by the Big Ten Network.

No. 19 Minnesota (14-4, 3-3) vs. No. Michigan (11-8, 1-5)
Ann Arbor, Mich. – Crisler Arena
6:00 p.m. CT – Big Ten Network (Eric Collins, Jim Jackson)

Quotable

"No, I don't think we have anybody's number and nobody's got our number. The teams have changed every year. Hopefully we can shoot the ball well, execute and defend their inside-out game." – John Beilein on beating Minnesota four straight times

PREGAME NOTES

Season to Date: Michigan enters Saturday's contest with a 11-8 (1-5 Big Ten). After starting off the season with an 11-3 record the Wolverines have skidded to five straight losses including back-to-back thrillers against two top-3 teams. Michigan took the then No.3 Kansas Jayhawks into overtime before losing 67-60. They followed up losing to arch rival No. 2 Ohio State, 68-64.

Coaching Preview: John Beilein is in his 4th season as the head coach at Michigan where he has compiled a 57-61 record. In 33 years as a collegiate head coach, Beilein has manufactured 20 or more victories 15 times during his career. He is also the only active coach in college basketball to record 20 wins at four different levels: junior college, NAIA, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division I.

Series History: Michigan leads the all-time series with Minnesota, 77-58. The Wolverines have won four straight contests against the Golden Gophers. Minnesota has not faired well playing in Ann Arbor, winning only 19 times over the course of the series.

Last Meeting: Michigan defeated Minnesota, 71-63, on Feb. 11, 2010, at Williams Arena. DeShawn Harris lead the Wolverines with 27 points on 12-for-18 shooting while adding seven rebounds. Manny Harris chipped in 20 points and seven assists. The two teams played to a 27-26, Wolverine lead at halftime before Michigan outscored the Gophers 44-37 over the remaining 20 minutes for the victory.

Stats to Watch: Overall, Michigan is third in the Big Ten in free-throw percentage shooting 71.8 percent. The Wolverines two players in the top-10 in the conference in free-throw percentage. Zach Novak is sixth in the conference at 83 percent while Tim Hardaway Jr., ranks ninth in the league shooting 80.7 percent from the stripe.

Tim Hardaway Jr. is the second-leading scorer in the Big Ten among freshmen, averaging 11.1 points per game. Hardaway trails only Ohio State's Jared Sullinger who averages 17.6 points per game.

Guard Darius Morris has recorded five point-assist double-doubles this season. Morris was named Big Ten Player of the Week following his 26-point, 12-assit outing against Bryant on December 23.

Projected Starters:
23 Evan Smotrycz (6-9, 225, Fr.) – 6.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg
52 Jordan Morgan (6-8, 240, r-Fr.) – 8.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg
0 Zach Novak(6-4, 210, Jr.) – 9.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg
4 Darius Morris (6-4, 190, So.) – 15.7 ppg, 7.1 apg
10 Tim Hardaway Jr. (6-5, 185, Fr.) – 11.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg

Background:
Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.
Enrollment: 58,089
Conference: Big Ten
Nickname: Wolverines
Colors: Maize and Blue
Coach: John Beilein (4th season)


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