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February 5, 2014

Hoops Gameday: Nebraska at Michigan

Nebraska Cornhuskers

vs. Michigan Wolverines
Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 - 5:30 p.m. CT
TV: Big Ten Network / RADIO: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network

Michigan Wolverines (16-5, 8-1 Big Ten)
Streak: Lost 1
Last Game: Lost to Indiana 63-52
G Derrick Walton Jr. (hit game-winner with 23 seconds left vs. Nebraska) Fr. 6-1 185
G Nik Stauskas (leads team with 17. 8 ppg on 45% shooting from 3-point range) So. 6-6 205
G Caris LeVert (scoring 12.0 ppg with 3.8 rpg) So. 6-6 185
F Glenn Robinson III (second on team with 13.1 ppg and 4.3 rpg) So. 6-6 220
C Jordan Morgan (had 15 points vs. Nebraska) Sr. 6-8 250

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (11-9, 3-5 Big Ten)
Streak: Won 2
Last Game: Defeated Indiana 60-55
G Tai Webster (leads team with 2.4 apg) Fr. 6-4 194
G Ray Gallegos (has a 3.6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio) Sr. 6-2 182
G/F Terran Petteway (ranks second in the Big Ten with 18.2 ppg) So. 6-6 209
F Shavon Shields (had 11 points and set career highs with 4 assists and 4 steals vs. IU) So. 6-7 219
C Walter Pitchford (scored 11 points in win over the Hoosiers) So. 6-10 234

Defend the 3

Michigan has definitely slowed down its offensive tempo quite a bit from the run-and-gun style it used to get all the way to the national championship game last season. Rather than push the ball down the floor at every chance, the Wolverines have opted for a slower, ball-control approach that limits the number of possessions for both teams. When UM is at its best offensively is when it gets hot from beyond the arc, as it leads the Big Ten shooting 39.1 percent from 3-point range and averaging a league-best 8.2 threes per game. Nebraska must contest every perimeter shot and not let Michigan get into a rhythm.
Attack the paint

Despite playing without All-Big Ten center Mitch McGary (back surgery) for all of Bg Ten play, the Wolverines have been able to hold their own down low with guys like Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford filling McGary's shoes. There's no question that UM is limited in its front court depth without McGary, but Horford and Morgan have done an admirable job of picking up the slack, combining 13.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game while shooting 76 percent from the field. Morgan had an especially big game the first time around against NU, scoring 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting.
Get it done on the road

Nebraska's season has been saved thus far by its incredible home-court advantage at Pinnacle Bank Arena, as the Huskers are an impressive 10-1 at home this season. However, they've been equally unimpressive when they leave Lincoln, going just 1-9 in road games thus far. In fact, NU hasn't won away from PBA since Nov. 24, 2013, against Georgia at the Charleston Classic, and that wasn't even a true road game. Michigan is 9-1 at the Crisler Center, and that one loss came to then-No. 1 Arizona. Sure, Nebraska gave the Wolverines all they could handle early this year in their 71-70 loss at home, but it has to play the same way on the road.

Nebraska head coach Tim Miles on if Nebraska's first game against Michigan changed the way he's prepared his team this week:

"I always watch a game and I look at my notes. I take a whole bunch of notes from each game afterwards and where they graded out. At the end of the day, we have to guard better. It was a good offensive night for them, and I thought a tough defensive night for us, and they had still been better like nine or 10 other times. They're such a good offensive team. We've just got to get them off balance. How we tweak our defensive game plan is going to the most important, and how do you get to (Nik) Stauskus? If you can get him off-kilter, now maybe you've got a crack at them."
Miles on if he's put any extra emphasis on defending shots from the entire floor after Michigan's half-court shot right before halftime last time out:

"We worked on stopping one-inch layups a lot harder than that. But at the same time, we know we've got to guard them from everywhere. Hell, they can make them from anywhere. They've proven that."

Michigan 70-59

Nebraska NEWS


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