|Michigan vs Hillsdale College
Saturday, Nov. 15 | Ann Arbor, Mich. | 2:00 p.m. EST | ESPN3
||Field Goal %
||3-pt FG %
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|N. Stauskas (17.5), G. Robinson III (13.1)
||Tim Dezelski (22.9), Kyle Cooper (13.5)
|Mitch McGary (8.3), Jordan Morgan (5.0)
||Tim Dezelski (9.6), Kyle Cooper (6.2)
Michigan doubled up Wayne State 86-43 in its only exhibition on Monday, getting 16 points from Caris LeVert and 13 from Zak Irvin. More importantly, John Beilein was able to get six new freshmen into the game to get their feet wet and work out some nerves. The nerves were certainly there as Kameron Chatman airballed his first two three-point attempts while others missed layups and free throws. The best moment of the night, however, belonged to Austin Hatch, who scored the first point of his college career, drawing a standing ovation when he sank a free throw.
On Saturday afternoon, the young Wolverines get a chance to gain further experience against similar competition, but this time it counts.
Only 70 miles southwest of Ann Arbor lies tiny little Hillsdale College, a small liberal arts school of less than 1,500 students. Despite being just five percent the size of Michigan’s undergraduate enrollment, the Chargers will travel to Ann Arbor for the season opener for both teams.
Hillsdale went 18-9 last season and 14-8 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, the same conference as Michigan’s exhibition opponent from Monday, Wayne State. Hillsdale finished seventh in the conference, three spots ahead of Wayne State, and beat the Warriors 69-67 in their only matchup. As the seventh seed in the GLIAC Tournament, Hillsdale ended its season with a 67-47 loss to eventual champion Findlay.
This season, Hillsdale has to find a replacement for All-GLIAC first team forward Tim Dezelski, who averaged 22.9 points — which ranked third in the conference — and 9.6 rebounds — which led the conference — per game. He became the only player in NCAA Division II to reach 600 points, 250 rebounds, and 100 assists.
The go-to role will now fall on junior forward Kyle Cooper, a preseason All-GLIAC North Division second team selection. The 6’7″, 225-pound Northville native was the team’s second-leading scorer (13.5 points) and rebounder (6.2 rebounds) a year ago. The only other returning starter is point guard Zach Miller, a 5’8″, 165-pound junior from Chicago, Ill, who averaged just 4.3 points and 1.2 rebounds.
Junior center Jason Pretzer will be the biggest man on the court at 7’0″, 250. He averaged 3.3 points and 1.7 rebounds in 8.3 minutes per game. Despite his size, he blocked just three shots all season. The other big man is Rhett Smith. The 6’7″, 225-pound junior played just 3.5 minutes per game last season, averaging 0.6 points and 0.7 rebounds.
The Chargers were picked to finish fourth in the GLIAC North Division this season behind Michigan Tech, Grand Valley State, and Lake Superior State. Statistically, Hillsdale was pretty similar to Michigan last season, as you can see in the chart above. But with so many newcomers on both teams and the disparity in level of competition, that doesn’t mean much.
Expect John Beilein to mix and match rotations similar to Monday, hoping to gain more consistency and cohesion with his young guys, but since this one counts, he’ll stick with the starters a bit more.
The game will not be televised, but will be shown on ESPN3. For those unable to access ESPN3, you can follow @SamSedlecky on Twitter for live updates. If you are going to the game, make sure to get there early for the 2013-14 Big Ten Championship banner ceremony.