Game 9: Eastern Michigan at Michigan Preview

Dylan Burkhardt

Update: The BTN Ticker is reporting that John Beilein will not be on the bench due to inner ear vertigo. Jerry Dunn will be the acting head coach. (Thanks to Giddings for the heads up)

Who: EMU (2-6) at Michigan (6-2)
Where: Crisler Arena
When: 4:00 PM ET
Preview: Stat Sheet
Radio: MGoBlue, WWJ-AM (950), WTKA-AM (1050)

Zack Novak

The Eagles will make the short bus trip into Ann Arbor to face a Michigan team coming off of one of their biggest wins in recent history. Eastern Michigan hasn’t beaten a division 1 team this year and their only wins have come against Marygrove College and Wayne State. Eastern’s best performance is probably a 1 point loss against an underwhelming Georgia team.

The leading scorers for the Eagles are Brandon Bowdry (14.4 ppg) and Justin Dobbins (11.4 ppg). Bowdry is a do-it-all forward who also averages 7 rebounds per game while Dobbins seems to stick to the paint. Freshman point guard L.J. Frazier (9.3 ppg) anchors things in the backcourt and averages 4.1 assists per game. Frazier is also the Eagles main deep threat, he is a 47% three point shooter and 16 of his 21 made field goals this year have been from long range. The other three point threats for EMU include Soloman Farris (8.8ppg – 45% 3pfg) and Zane Gay (6.3 ppg – 36% 3pfg).

As a team Eastern shoots the ball at an eFG% of 48.8, turns the ball over on 25% of their possessions, rebounds 33.3% of their missed shots, and has a free throw rate of 28.2. So in general they shoot a little worse than Michigan (51.2), turn the ball over a little more (19.7), get to the line a little less (31.5) and rebound about the same (32.9). They also tend to play just a bit faster than Michigan, averaging 66 possessions per game compared to Michigan’s 64.

Overall this is one of those games where Michigan just needs to take care of business. They have more talent than Eastern Michigan and need to control the tempo and set the tone early on in the game. For fans’ sake hopefully this game plays out a lot more like Norfolk State than Savannah State. Let’s hear your thoughts and predictions in the comments.

Zack Novak was profiled in the Free Press today:

That didn’t sit well with Zack Novak, now a freshman guard at Michigan. He had been one of the best players in northwest Indiana since his freshman season. Yet when the preview sections hit the newsstands, he didn’t make the preseason list of the area’s top-five players.

Novak’s reaction: “Oh, yeah? This guy is on that list? Well, I’ve got a little something for him.”

Both Zack and Stu have gone through very good stretches over the first couple games. I’m sure they will both hit a few rough patches in their first year of college basketball but it’s clear that they have a role on this team. Novak is averaging 6.6 ppg but is averaging 11.25 ppg and shooting 52.2% (12-23) on triples over the last four games. Novak has stepped up when Michigan has really needed a third option these last several games and it has paid off. For more on Novak the recruit, check out our interview from this summer.

Let’s hear your thoughts and predictions about Saturday’s game in the comments.

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  • Ken in Vegas

    Well, all signs point to a blow-out, but I think it’s going to be a tad closer than most will predict. At some point, EMU is going to get hot from three, and go on a little run. We still win by 13 and see a couple of minutes from Ben Cronin off the bench. I expect at least 20 points from DeShawn, as he should be brimming with confidence. Look for Stu to try and wrestle back some of the glory from Novak and hit a couple threes. Cronin goes 3-3 from downtown and dunks from the free throw line.

  • blueinflorida

    M 78
    EM 60

    Close in the first half but a second half run puts it away. I agree with Ken—I think Stu is going to have a good game and DeShawn should be flying around.

    On a side note *knock on wood*, one thing we haven’t had this season that we’ve had significantly in years past is injuries. Let’s hope that continues. Win these games and remain healthy is the plan.

  • Sheryl

    Here’s an article on Novak’s high school game they were talking about,bkbches.articleprint

  • Thanks Sheryl, I’m going to add a link to our interview w/ Zack from this summer as well.

  • Ky Fox

    I dont know too much about EMU, but from the looks of things this past week, we should edge them out in the coaching department. I think if we fly around and play our 1 3 1 fast and long like we did saturday we should really disrupt what they will try and do on offense. I would hope we jump ahead early so JB can get some guys like Stu, Zack, and Wright some extensive minutes. Get Ant in there and let him work on his new role on the team(banging inside, getting rebounds, putbacks, garbage/hustle points, popping out for no more than 2 three point attempts and hopefully they are closer to going in than they have been latley). I would love to see Ant start to step it up in the Physical department. I say JB’s bunch by 17

  • College Steve

    Michigan 77
    EMU 58

    THE NOVAK with 14
    Deshawn with 22
    Manny with 20
    Kelvin with 12

  • Kenny

    Agree with Ky that Wright should shape up his game following shepherd’s lead.

  • bball

    I think we get a lot of fastbreak opportunities off turnovers, shooting cools off a little and they keep it pretty close.

    I think part of the closeness will be Beilein experimenting a little with different lineups, testing Cronin out, and maybe working on man-to-man defense.

    I hope Stu, Gibson and Ant all have good games and Shep continues to get confidence!

    Michigan by 12
    Go Blue!

  • Sheryl

    Here’s a small article about Zack’s freshman-year game against Harangody he mentioned in your summer interview (glad the links shorten now Dylan!).

    It’s game day. :) Go Blue!

  • Old Style

    I hope Michigan runs up and down the floor and wins easily. But this feels like a classic trap game. Michigan by 3.

  • Voice of Reason

    Ironically enough, EMU is better than Savannah State in spite of their record. I just hope that Michigan plays like they are better than EMU.

  • BJ

    If we win by ___ we will be in the top 25

  • Teams need to lose in the top 25 for us to be ranked. I don’t think we will be ranked until after New Years and that’s if we keep winning.

  • Giddings

    Just saw at the bottom of the BTN screen that Beilein will not be on the bench today due to Inner Ear Vertigo. Jerry Dunn will be the acting head coach. Let’s hope JB gets better quickly, but at least it happened for EMU and not Duke.

  • bball

    Whoa…just saw them talk about it briefly on BTN too. Vertigo is no joke…hopefully its just due to an ear infection. Luckily we’re in the lightest part of the schedule. Hope he feels better soon!

  • BJ

    We Are Penn State!

    Get well coach B, fire up coach D!

  • Forty

    Dunn’s squad pwns n00bs

  • BL11

    anyone watching the butler v osu game??? If so this gordon hayward kid was someone beilein really liked…lighting it up vs osu right now.

    Also noticed that ebuka must be redshirting for a not very good georgia team…so beilein might have known a little something that our fan base didnt.

    M wins won for beilein…and because they are the better team…rusty at the start but 15-25 pt victory.

  • Ebuka is RSing at UGA. Watts is getting garbage time at UNC (expecting him to contribute to that team would be a bit ridiculous). Cassity is struggling at St Louis (playing about 20minutes per game and has made 2 shots all year). Klay Thompson is averaging 11 and 5 at WSU. Trapani is avg 13 and 7 at BC.

    I would have really liked to have one of those last two. Overall I think Beilein’s talent evaluation was pretty damn good last year.

  • College Steve

    Funny when people were ripping Beilein for offering THE NOVAK instead of Watts.

  • terrelle pryor

    is this game gonna be streamed ionline anywhere?

  • MRH

    Sorry for the off topic post, but Dylan– your site looks beautiful on my iPhone. Did that take a lot if work to set up? I wish mgoblog would follow suit.

  • Dave

    anyone know where to watch the M v EMU game online?

  • We’ve had a request to host a Live Blog over at the WLA. Is there any interest? I’m assuming Dylan’s at the game….

  • WTHEF?

    Its on but I can’t get it to work – anyone know if there is some trick to make it work or if I need to update something?

  • Ok, it’ll be up in a few minutes.

  • Dylan

    Emu up 7 with 11 to go. Manny picked up his second foul on a charge

  • Dylan

    30-30. Cj and kelvin with some huge threes.

  • Dylan

    Merritt at the buzzer for three makes it 44-34. Some huge plays from shep cj kg and dave got
    michigan back in control.

  • Kevin in GR

    Nice to see some guys (Grady, Shephard, Merritt, Lee) step up without much help from Sims/Harris today. Should give them a confidence boost and help in the long run. They look to be getting it going before the half :)

  • Forty

    I’ve never seen manny this yappy

  • jg


  • That guy is a CHUUUUUUUUUMP.

  • Manny Fresh

    Best half of Manny’s short career?

  • Ken in Las Vegas

    Big Ten Network. Worst analyst crew in the history of sports television?? Holy moly, it’s nausiating.

    Sick second half performance from Manny. Awesome to see everybody get involved today. I agree, that is very important for the confidence and chemistry of this team moving forward. Everybody was hitting their threes. (Except Ant, who still contributed.) Props to CJ, Dave, Gibson, Puls, and even Stu for finally hitting a three. No, minutes for Cronin, so he is an obvious lock for the red shirt.

    We won by about twice as much as I expected and continue to give me hope for a top 3-4 finish in the Big Ten.

  • jg

    going m2m the second half was a good decision on Dunn’s part, the spacing and rotation in the 1-3-1 in the first half was way off without Beilien on the sidelines.

    the last ten minutes of that game was just fun to watch. Puls for 3? merrit alley-oop? awesome