Friday, March 6, 2009

Michigan Game Preview-Regular Season Finale

Minnesota Golden Gophers (21-8, 9-8) vs. Michigan Wolverines (18-12, 8-9)

Set your alarm clocks for tomorrow morning as this game will be at 11 am. It is also Senior Night. Usually that is an emotional and intense thing but I don't see many tears shed for the departure of Jamal Abu-Shamala and Jon Williams. With Penn State's win over Illinois and Northwestern's drive onto the bubble, Michigan might need more than a win in this game to be in the tournament. That being said they need to win this game or it is over for Michigan. Here is there resume:

Wins to Showcase:
  • vs. Duke 81-73
  • vs. UCLA 55-52
Losses to Hide From:
  • at Iowa 60-70
  • at Penn State 58-73
Previous Result
Michigan thoughly beat Minnesota in the previous match-up. The problem wasn't Harris or Sims it was allowing Zach Novak, Stu Douglass, and Kelvin Grady to combine for 42 points when they average 17.6 points per game. Michigan hit 13 3-pointers shooting 46.4%. They average 32.7% from behind the arc on the year. That is worse than the Gophers. It is safe to say they will not shoot as well as they did in the previous game. The question is how much worse will they shoot.

The biggest problem for Michigan is taking the show on the road. They make the Gophers look like road warriors. They are 2-8 on the road this year with the two wins at Indiana and an overtime win at Northwestern. They average 60 points on the road versus 71.8 ppg at home. I know I have said that games in March come down to who needs it more and Michigan needs this more. However, I just don't see how a team that lost a must-win game at Iowa is going to come into the Barn and beat our ferocious defense that allows only 54.9 ppg at home. Tubby has this team seeing a chance to clinch a spot in the NCAA and the crowd should be able to help them accomplish this goal. I don't see the letdown happening at the Barn on Saturday.

Gophers 63, Michigan 56

Other News
  • The Gophers football team has had a good week on the recruiting trail. Early in the week they got the commitment of Antoine Lewis a cornerback from Illinois. He is listed as having 4.3 speed. That is obviously wrong but he should have good speed. They then finished the week getting the first 2010 commitment from the state of Minnesota by getting Jimmy Gjere an offensive lineman from Irondale. He is considered the 3rd best prospect in Minnesota behind Henderson and Beau Allen. He already had offers from Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio State. The rankings aren't out yet for the 2010 class but Lewis should be a 3-star and Gjere could be a 4-star recruit.
  • The Gophers basketball team has added a walk-on for the 2009 team. It added Dominique Dawson from Minneapolis Soutwest. He is a 6'7" forward who is averaging 21.9 ppg. He will not be getting any playing time and will be nothing more than a body but he is a big body that should help Mbakwe and Royce White in practice. He also might have the potential to contibute in a few years as he is big and athletic. He played wide reciever in high school catching for 34 passes for 664 yards and 8 touchdowns. He also wrestled as a freshman. If Bostick and Payton stick around next year which is questionable, the addition of Bryant Allen and Dawson will have 17 players on the roster. That is a lot of bodies.

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