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November 29, 2013
What To Watch For: U-M vs. Coppin State
Michigan plays Coppin State in Crisler Arena Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. Here are the keys to the game:
To put it mildly, the Wolverines did not shoot well from the floor in their last appearance, a 63-61 buzzer-beater loss to Charlotte in the championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Shots were not falling almost from the get-go, and the Michigan shooters never found a groove, especially from outside.
The Wolverines shot just 19-of-61 from the floor (31.1 percent) and a miserable 5-of-23 (21.7 percent) from the three-point range against the 49ers.
Michigan's usual three-point shooters were ice cold all game. Sophomore guard Nik Stauskas, who led the team with 20 points and shot 6-of-13 from the field, went 1-of-5 from downtown. Freshman guard Zak Irvin went 2-of-7, sophomore point guard Spike Albrecht was 1-of-4, sophomore guard Caris LeVert was 1-of-5.
Sophomore forward Mitch McGary even tried his best to get the Wolverines out of their shooting slump, attempting (and missing) and three-point shot.
Encouragingly, Michigan was still in the game and in position to win at the end, even with the terrible shooting numbers.
But the Wolverines can't shoot like that and expect to win enough games to have the season they're hoping for this year.
Michigan is back in the friendly confines of Crisler Arena Friday afternoon against a veteran-laden Coppin State team before Tuesday's big showdown at Duke in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.
The Wolverines need to get their shooting number back in order in this one before they head for Cameron Indoor Stadium.
2. Stauskas and Robinson
In the loss to 49ers, Stauskas, at times, single-handedly put the Michigan offense on his back to help the team fight through some of its shooting struggles.
He was putting together a great game before he came down awkwardly on his ankle when he tried to go up to the hoop in the second half.
Stauskas didn't come out of the game, but he was visibly in pain, limping and grimacing throughout the rest of the game.
Sophomore forward Glenn Robinson III also suffered an injury in Puerto Rico. He forced a turnover in the game's opening minutes against Charlotte, raced down the court and was fouled pretty hard on his way up to the basket.
Robinson came down hard on his tailbone - and didn't get up for a while. He shot his free throws - but didn't play much longer, checking out of the game and not returning.
When Michigan coach John Beilein talked to members of the media Wednesday afternoon, he said the Wolverines hadn't done much more than lift weights and stretch Monday and Tuesday, so he wasn't sure how bad the players' injuries were.
Stauskas' ankle doesn't seem too bad, but there was some swelling.
Robinson has a bone bruise - but it could have been worse.
How will Stauskas and Robinson look Friday? Will they even play Friday? Time will tell.
Through their first six games, the Wolverines are allowing opponents to shoot 41.7 percent from the floor (144-of-345). That number has to go down.
Currently, Michigan ranks 136th nationally in opponent field goal percentage.
Coppin State, which upset Oregon State in Corvalis 78-73 earlier this season, is currently shooting 37.8 percent from the field.