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The No. 20 Michigan Wolverines (8-2) continue easing their way through the end of their pre-Big Ten schedule on Saturday when they host the Alabama A&M Bulldogs (2-3) at Crisler Arena.
The Wolverines are looking for their fourth straight win and along with ramping up their level of play. With only one game, against Bradley on Thursday, remaining before the Big Ten opener against Penn State on December 29th, it should be interesting to see if the extra practice time shows up in Michigan's play on Saturday after a sloppy win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in their last game.
Like UAPB, Alabama A&M also plays out of the SWAC and has only played five games so far this season, including scoring 100 points in a win over Talledega while also dropping a 37-point loss to No. 13 Alabama. The Bulldogs have an active offense without a lot of size, but they don't rely on the three-pointer for offense. A pair of 6'5" wing players instead lead the attack with senior Casey Cantey averaging 13.6 points per game and sophomore Demarquelle Tabb pitching in 11.8 points per game.
Michigan continues to lean heavily on Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke for offense but sophomore forward Evan Smotrycz has made his presence felt recently and should have room to go to work today. Smotrycz followed up his 20 point, 9 rebound effort against Oakland, with 16 points and 8 rebounds against UAPB. Michigan needs that type of front-court production to help even out their attack heading into conference play.
The 12:00 p.m. ET tip off will be televised on the Big Ten Network.