Central Michigan Chippewas (1-0 SU) at Michigan Wolverines (1-0 SU)
Central Michigan didn’t have much of a test in their opener last Thursday, facing Siena Heights. They took care of business, winning 108-48. The Chips still have questions coming off a 16-16 season and just 6-12 in the MAC. They return two starters to Keno Davis’ squad. Michigan is coming off an easy 86-66 home win over North Florida at home on Friday. These teams haven’t met since 2012 and will meet in Ann Arbor on Monday night.
Where is Siena Heights?
Siena Heights is a Division II member and they reside in Michigan. Not to be confused with Siena College, located in upstate New York. The Saints were just overwhelmed by Central Michigan by 60 points. Sophomore forward Kevin McKay led the way with 22 points off the bench for the Chippewas. Star forward Cecil Williams added 21 points and 11 rebounds with five steals in 24 minutes. Williams should have a big senior season after testing the NBA waters last season. The 6-6, 210-pound win averaged 8.0 points and 6.0 rebounds, while shooting 43.8 percent from beyond the arc last season for the Chips.
A lot is expected of David DiLeo, the 6-7 wing, who is the top returning scorer. DiLeo averaged 8.5 points and 5.0 rebounds last season while shooting 37.6 percent from beyond the arc and 84.8 percent from the line. He scored 10 points but missed all seven of his three-point attempts in the first game.
Slow star for Wolverines ends up with 20 point win
John Beilein won’t like the way Michigan played in their first half against North Florida They were up 32-30 at the half and down 18-11 early in the first half. Replacing starters like Derrick Walton Jr., Zak Irvin and D.J. Wilson won’t be easy. They accounted for 39.5 points per game and 14.6 rebounds per game. Fortunately, Michigan has 6-8 senior forward Duncan Robinson (7.7ppg) back along with Moritz Wagner (12.1ppg). Robinson was very good against the Ospreys, scoring 21 points and grabbing seven boards, while Wagner added 18 points and 12 rebounds on 8 of 17 shooting.
Charles Matthews, a 6-6 Kentucky transfer, added 20 points on 9-of-19 shooting. They also brought in 5-11 point guard Jaaron Simmons, a grad transfer from Ohio University. He’s the first grad transfer in Beilein’s 10-year tenure at Ann Arbor. Simmons averaged 15.9 points and 6.5 assists for the Bobcats, though he had just two points in 10 minutes in the first game. Sophomore Zavier Simpson ran the point and did quite well, with nine assists and two turnovers in 18 minutes.
Central Michigan is:
- 5-1-2 ATS last 8 as an underdog of 13.0 or greater.
Michigan is going to be a pretty good team eventually. But they are going to have some problems early on. Central Michigan isn’t an easy or automatic win for the Wolverines. This should be a competitive non-conference game.