Game 11: No. 1 Arizona Wildcats (10-0, 0-0 Pac-12) vs. Michigan Wolverines (6-3, 0-0 Big Ten)
Date/Time/Location: Friday, Dec. 14 at 10 a.m. (MST) at Crisler Center (12,697 capacity) in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Television: CBS (Jim Nantz/Greg Anthony)
Radio: Arizona IMG Sports Network (Brian Jeffries/ Ryan Hensen)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 92; XM 190
Game Notes: Arizona, Michigan
Meet the Coaches
Arizona’s Sean Miller enters his fifth year as head coach of the Wildcats after five seasons at Xavier (2004-2009). Over the course of his 10 seasons as a head coach, Miller possesses a 226-90 (.715) record including a 106-43 (.711) record at Arizona. His 96 wins were more than any other current Pac-12 head coach or Arizona head coach had in their first four seasons with their team. He has led his teams to four conference championships (2007-2009, 2011), two Sweet Sixteens (2009, 2013) and two Elite Eights (2008, 2011). Before taking over as head coach for the Musketeers, he served as assistant coach for Wisconsin (1992-1993), Miami (Ohio) (1993-1995) and Pittsburgh (1995-1996) and was the associate head coach at N.C. State (1996-2001) and Xavier (2001-2004). He attended Pittsburgh from 1987-1991 and his .885 career free throw percentage currently ranks 10th all-time in NCAA Division I. He was inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Hall of Fame in June 2012.
Michigan’s John Beilein is in his seventh year as head coach of the Wolverines after stints at Erie Community College (1978-1982), Nazareth College (1982-1983), Le Moyne College (1983-1992), Canisius College (1992-1997), Richmond (1997-2002) and West Virginia (2002-2007). Over the course of his 36 seasons as a head coach, the 60-year-old Belein has a 679-406 (.626) record, including a 128-88 (.593) record at Michigan. He ranks in the top-10 in victories among active Division I head coaches and has had winning records in 30-of-35 seasons. He also ranks fourth on Michigan’s all-time wins list and in 2008-2009, led them to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in over a decade. He has a 13–6 record in the NIT and a 13–7 record in the NCAA tournament, with one Final Four appearance. Beilein played college basketball at Wheeling College (now Wheeling Jesuit University) from 1971-75.
The Wildcats are ranked No. 1 in the nation, according to the most recent AP Poll, and are the first Pac-12 team to reach that position since Jan. 6, 2006. It will only be the Wildcats’ second road game this season. They defeated San Diego State 69-60 on Nov. 14.
Arizona’s height allows them to attack the glass on both ends of the court. Their frontcourt of 7-foot center Kaleb Tarczewski, 6-foot-8 forward Brandon Ashley and 6-foot-9 Aaron Gordon has been a large part of the reason why the Wildcats rank first in the nation in rebounding percentage (58.7). They average 6.5 rebounds, 6.6 and 8.5, respectively.
The trio has also been getting it done on the offensive end, as Ashley averages 12.3 points per game, Gordon averages 11.9, and Tarczewski averages 9.7 points. They rank second, third and fourth behind guard Nick Johnson, who leads the team 15.7 points per game.
Johnson, along with point guard T.J. McConnell, form one of the best starting backcourts in the country. McConnell averages 7.4 points, 6.7 assists and 1.8 steals per game.
The primary players off the bench for the Wildcats are Gabe York and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who are averaging 7.6 points and 9.1 points per game, respectively. York is shooting nearly 40 percent from behind the 3-point line and Hollis-Jefferson also averages 5.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.
Those seven players combine to average 73.7 points per game, which makes up 95.2 percent of Arizona’s scoring.
The Wolverines have won 37 of their 39 games at home, including four this season by an average of 39.3 points. However, they are 2-23 all-time against No. 1 teams. Michigan dropped out of the top-25 after a 79-69 loss to Duke last week.
Michigan’s starting five of guards Nik Stauskas, Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton Jr. and forward Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary account for 80 percent of the Wolverines’ scoring. Stauskas leads the team with 18.9 points and has hit half of his 48 3-point attempts. LeVert scored a career-high 24 points against Duke and is averaging 13.9 points per game.
In order to win, the Wolverines will need to neutralize the Wildcats’ size and play the 6-foot-10 Jon Horford and 6-foot-8 Jordan Morgan alongside the 6-foot-10 McGary. McGary, who leads Michigan in rebounding with 8.9 rebounds per game, also leads the team in steals with 2.1 rebounds per game.
Arizona vs Michigan Series History
The Wolverines and Wildcats have played eight times in their schools’ history, with Arizona winning six times. Saturday’s game is the first time the two teams have played in Ann Arbor, Mich., as six games have been played on neutral courts and the other two were played in Tucson, Ariz. The Wolverines’ only two wins over Arizona came on the road in 1957 and in a neutral-floor game at The Palace of Auburn Hills in 1996, which was later forfeited due to sanctions. The Wildcats won the last meeting 61-60 at Madison Square Garden in the 2004 NIT Season Tip-Off.
Topics: Aaron Gordon, Ann Arbor, Arizona Wildcats, Arizona Wildcats Basketball, Brandon Ashley, Caris LeVert, Derrick Walton Jr., Follow, Gabe York, Glenn Robinson III, Index, Jodan Morgan, John Beilein, John Hortford, Kaleb Tarczewski, Michigan Wolverines, Mitch McGary, Nick Johnson, Nik Stauskas, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Sean Miller, T.J. McConnell