2008-2009 Season

Game 5: Norfolk State at Michigan Pre Game

Who: Norfolk State @ Michigan
Where: Crisler Arena
When: 8:30 PM EST
Radio: MGoBlue, WWJ-AM (950), WTKA-AM (1050), WCHB-AM (1200).

Norfolk State makes the trek from Virginia up to snowy Ann Arbor for tonight’s late tip off at 8:30 ET. This is the first ever meeting between Norfolk and Michigan and it appears to be a winnable game as the Wolverines look to build on their New York City momentum. Game preview courtesy of StatSheet.

Looking down Norfolk State’s roster the main scoring threat is Michael Deloach. The 6’0″ guard is off to a hot start early averaging 25 points per game and shooting 50% from three point range along with 7.5 rebounds and 5 assists per game. Deloach is complemented by wing man Corey Lyons, Lyons is averaging 16 points per game but also an astonishing .1 assist to turnover ratio.

Aleek Pauline, Brandon Monroe, and Joseph Dorsett-Jeffreys (of Maize Rage infamy) round out the starting line up averaging a combined total of 12 points and 11 rebounds per game. Freshman Kyle O’Quinn (7ppg, 4.5 rpg) and James Williams (4.5 ppg) as well as senior Kevin Worlsey (4.5 ppg) appear to be the main options off the bench. Because Norfolk State is averaging only 12.5 assists per game and 17.5 turnovers I would expect to see the 1-3-1 early and often as Michigan tries to get in passing lanes.

As for Michigan, this team is full of confidence after their win over UCLA and it shows in the press:

“That’s a big point for our confidence, beating the No. 4-ranked team,” Harris said. “I felt like our team was confident before, but now it’s to another whole level.”

However Beilein claims the team is staying grounded and practice and still working hard:

Coach John Beilein said he put the players through a grueling practice Sunday — “You’d have thought we lost two (in New York),” he said — and has told them that these opponents don’t care about a national-attention grabbing win.

CJ also updated his blog after the trip to New York City, the focus of the team seems to be to trust the system and go all out for 40 minutes.

What I mean by this is, we need to trust what we have been taught to do on the court by our coaching staff. Trust in our system got us a 1-1 record versus two top five teams in the country. The system we have in place is designed for us to have success. Without question we have done a better job of this so far this year, but we still have a ways to go.

The problem with this week is that Norfolk State and Savannah State are perfect trap games. If coming off a big weekend in New York City and looking ahead to a big game at Maryland wasn’t enough of an issue, it’s also Thanksgiving. It’s important for Michigan to come out and execute, they can’t afford a slip up here.

Let’s hear your predictions in the comments.

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