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Michigan Wolverines Basketball Ready For Trip To Penn State

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Junior center Jon Teske is scoring 9.1 points per game this season.
Junior center Jon Teske is scoring 9.1 points per game this season. (USA Today Sports Images)

In contention for the Big Ten title, Michigan needs every victory it can get.

Heading on the road to Penn State Tuesday night, the Wolverines look to sweep the Nittany Lions and avoid dropping a game against one of the worst teams in the Big Ten conference. Earlier this season, Michigan defeated Penn State at home 68-55, but going to Penn State is never easy.

“You just have to be ready to play,” junior center Jon Teske said. “Every team in the Big Ten is good. We’ve been watching a lot of film of them and they’ve had a lot of close games against a lot of good teams. They’ve been right there. They just haven’t executed down the stretch, the last three, four minutes of game.”

As the Wolverines hit the home stretch of their season, they are hoping to have their offense tick up, just like it has in many other seasons under head coach John Beilein. For Teske, seeing the improvement comes down to hitting their shots.

“We just have to knock down our open shots,” Teske said. “When we’re open, shoot the ball with confidence. We have to be able to pass the ball and hit the guy in the open hands and be able to knock down shots. Those are going to fall. Just trying to get out in transition, that’s when we’re at our best.”

Michigan’s offense against Wisconsin wasn’t amazing, but it got the job done against the Badgers.

“The first half, we were struggling a little bit, but give credit to their defense,” Teske said. “Fortunately enough, we were able to knock down enough shots down the stretch. Charles hit a lot of big time shots down the stretch, he was very clutch. We scored enough.”

The Wolverines offense could get going against the Nittany Lions Tuesday. While the game may appear to be a trap game after the big victory over Wisconsin, Teske doesn’t see it as such.

“I don’t necessarily believe that,” Teske said. “It happens after you win the big one or you have a big game coming up. You just have to focus on this game. Penn State is a very good team. Going to their place, it’s a tough place to play. Last year, I think we only won by three, four points and they were playing at an elite level.

“We have to be ready to play hard, smart and execute the gameplan.”

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