Preview: Michigan Wolverines Look to Rebound in Big Ten Play by Defeating the Purdue Boilermakers

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, the Michigan Wolverines will take on their Big Ten Conference foe in the Purdue Boilermakers. Both teams enter tonight’s matchup after losing their previous games.

No.19 Michigan (10-4) is entering the game after being dominated by Cassius Winston and the Michigan State Spartans. On the flip side, Purdue (9-6) is coming into the game after suffering a blow out loss to the Illinois Fighting Illini.

Both teams will enter Ann Arbor looking to bounce back in conference play. As of now, the Wolverines sit in tenth place in the Big Ten, while the Boilermakers are in eighth.

Obviously, Thursday’s game could go either way for both teams. Thursday’s game is a must-win as teams enter the bulk of their conference play.

Here’s what to expect and how to watch the game:

Michigan Wolverines Game Information:

No.19 Michigan Wolverines vs. Purdue Boilermakers

When: Thursday, January 9, at 7 p.m. ET.

How to watch: FS1

Keys to the matchup: Michigan will enter tonight’s game with a 1-2 conference record and last Sunday’s loss against the Spartans in the back of their minds. On the other hand, the Boilermakers are trying to forget their loss against the Fighting Illini.

One of the keys for Michigan is to get Jon Teske involved early in the battle of the bigs. Teske will likely be matched up with Matt Haarms who is averaging 11.5 points per game. Clearly, Zavier Simpson is a focus point, but Head Coach Juwan Howard needs a big game from his bench.

In order for this Michigan team to be successful in the latter part of the season, the bench needs to gain confidence. Purdue does not have a lot of depth and they rely heavily on their starters.

Tonight’s game will be an excellent opportunity for Howard to insert Austin Davis, David Dejulius and Adrien Nunez early. However, it is critical that Franz Wagner gets going early.

Wolverines: Defense

Ultimately, the Wolverines play solid team defense. But the team tends to struggle with quick point guards or high energy big men. Purdue does not have either or but conference play always brings the best out of teams.

The Wolverines need to use this game in order to make some adjustments to the defensive and offensive side of the floor.

Tomorrow’s game is significant for Michigan because they need to start collecting conference wins. A win will help Michigan get back on track and refocus for the upcoming conference play schedule.

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