Finally a game that Michigan should run away with easily. We were dominating Northwestern for the first 30+ minutes of the first meeting and our offense looked great all around. Then we took the pedal off the metal too soon and Coble went crazy. Northwestern almost beat a distracted Indiana team but they still should be no worry for Michigan Tuesday. Maybe the Wildcats are improving as they have lost their last two games by a combined 5 points.
It’s probably a pretty safe bet that Coble will score at least 20 points but Michigan should be able to neutralize the rest of the Northwestern lineup. Where Michigan looked best in their last contest against the Wildcats was on offense. They played lights out offense for about 30 minutes in Evanston, making shots, making cuts, playing true Beilein ball. Hopefully a game against Northwestern is what this team needs to get its offense back in gear because Saturday was simply a sickening offensive performance.
I expect Ant Wright to get the start again at the three, but at this point who knows. The production at the wing position has basically been reduced to nothing. Although both Wright (7 pts, 7 boards) and Shepherd (8pts, 4reb, 5ast) had solid games last time against Northwestern.
One thing to mention is that this is the teams 3rd game in six days. The team looked tired against Illinois and you can bet that the fatigue is really starting to affect these kids. Only one starter (Ekpe) on the team has played major minutes for an entire college season.
Luckily we don’t have to worry about Northwestern invading Crisler but you can sure bet that a 9pm Tuesday night game over Spring Break against Northwestern will be just about empty (update: The snow is only going to make this one worse, crowd is going to be embarassing tonight).
UMHoops Prediction: Michigan 80 – NW 63 – The Wolverines get a confidence boost and coast to a solid win before a big test at Penn State this weekend.