Michigan (13-5, 3-3) heads to Penn State (14-5, 3-3) for a critical game on Tuesday night. Tip off is scheduled for 9pm and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network. Michigan comes in on a two game skid. Penn State had lost two straight before winning at Indiana for the first time ever on Saturday. The Nittany Lions have also defeated Northwestern and Purdue at home. They are led by Talor Battle 18.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg, and 5.4apg. Battle gets a lot of help from Jamelle Cornley (14.7 ppg and 6.6 rpg) and Stanley Pringle (14.4 ppg). I watched bits and pieces of Penn State’s last two games and in both contests Talor Battle appeared to be playing through a nagging ankle injury.
I think Michigan matches up much better with Penn State then they did against Ohio State’s long, athletic squad. That being said it will be a difficult task for Michigan to walk into the Byrce Jordan Center and walk out with a win.
The Wolverines will need DeShawn Sims to bounce back from back to back rough games. They will also need somebody else to step up and help out. It could be Zack Novak, Stu Douglass, Laval Lucas-Perry, Zack Gibson, Kelvin Grady or anybody. But somebody has to help take some of the load off Manny and DeShawn.
I don’t want to sound overly dramatic here but at certain points in a season teams will be at a crossroad. I think our beloved Michigan Wolverines are at such a crossroad. Three out of the next four games are on the road (at Penn State, at Ohio State, and at Purdue) with a home game against Northwestern coming up on Saturday. I really think a win at Penn State will help launch them down the right road. I think they need to win 2 of those 4 games because once that stretch is over they get Penn State at home, then travel to Connecticut and host Michigan State. The season could fall apart in a hurry if they can’t rally. With all of that being said they simply have to follow the old adage and take them one game at time. I think they can knock of the Nittany Lions but it will take a very good team effort to get the job done. It’s like Coach Beilein has been saying if you believe in what you are doing you can beat anybody.