The 18th-ranked Boilermakers boast two 7-footers that play regular roles, are one of a select few teams in the country to not be out-rebounded once this season and are among the best shot-blocking teams in the nation.
Another home game, another top-25 team. Michigan has a chance to make up for its last two deflating home losses and kick start its season heading into the home stretch against a Purdue team that accomplished a similar feat with a statement victory over Michigan State on Tuesday.
Michigan got a career game out of its point guard, made 56% of its threes and had valuable contributions off the bench, but still needed to sweat out a road victory over Minnesota (6-18, 0-12 Big Ten).
John Beilein met with the media after Michigan’s 8-point win in Minneapolis. The Wolverines earned the much-needed victory, but they had to sweat it out after a late Gopher run cut the lead to 2 points in the closing minutes.
Michigan’s season was at a crossroads in Minneapolis on Wednesday as the Wolverines faced one of their first ‘must-win’ games of the 2015-16 season. After dropping back-to-back home games in deflating fashion, Michigan couldn’t afford to lose at Minnesota (6-18, 0-12 Big Ten). Luckily Derrick Walton was up to the task, leading the Wolverines to an 82-74 road victory to help right the ship despite a late game collapse.
Minnesota has been worried about wins all season, but it has only won a single game since November. The Gophers, 0-11 in conference play, have been close to stealing a win at times, but the Big Ten has been unforgiving in Richard Pitino’s third season in Minneapolis.
Sandwiched between games against No. 8 Michigan State and No. 18 Purdue, Michigan could catch a bit of a break at Minnesota. And with LeVert progressing, possibly even returning, the Wolverines just might get their swag back too.
Michigan heads on the road for a critical road test at Minnesota tomorrow as it looks to bounce back from back-to-back blowout home losses to Indiana and Michigan State. John Beilein, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Aubrey Dawkins met with the media on Tuesday to discuss the team’s mindset ahead of the road challenge.