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Slippery Rock vs. Michigan: Wolverines not taking Rock lightly

Michigan opens its season Friday against Division II Slippery Rock.

Kevin C. Cox

The No. 5 Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team opens its season Friday night at home against Division II Slippery Rock at 8:30 p.m.

The Wolverines' No. 5 ranking is the highest preseason ranking its had since 1993, according to the Associated Press.

Even though Slippery Rock is a D-II team, Michigan coach John Beilein knows to not take the Rock lightly:

"This will be an extremely, extremely talented Division II team, a team that with some breaks can win a Division II championship," Beilein told the Detroit Free Press on Thursday. "They return four of their five starters, the fifth player is very good as well."

Michigan is coming off a 24-10 overall record last season and tied for the Big Ten regular-season championship. The Wolverines lost their NCAA tournament opener to Ohio, but it was still one of the best seasons in Michigan's recent memory.

The Rock went 17-10 overall last season. In conference play, Slippery Rock finished 14-8 but lost to Mercyhurst College in the PSAC Championship.