January 12, 2013

McCormick: U-M can win at OSU

Former Wolverines and present ESPN college basketball analyst Tim McCormick takes a look at the showdown between Michigan and Ohio State, and whether this weekend could produce U-M's first loss.

Here's McCormick…

On the Ohio State game: "I like Ohio State. I don't love them. They are extremely reliant on Deshaun Thomas. I feel like if somebody can make his life miserable, and keep him around 16 points, there are a lot of unproven parts that Thad Matta is relying on.

"I think Michigan will be able to compete and keep the game close, have a chance to win. Going to Ohio State is really difficult. There is no doubt about that. But Michigan should walk in feeling like it's the better team.

"They played, recently, Iowa, Nebraska, some of these teams whom they didn't fully respect. They knew they were better. This is an opportunity where you wake up in the morning on game day and you just feel the butterflies in your stomach a little bit, that something special is there - the opportunity to do great things.

"I think we'll see Michigan's best ball in quite some time."

On who might match up against Thomas: "Glenn Robinson is a special talent. I think 10 years from now, we will look back at this team, and if you identify who becomes the best player, it's going to be Glenn Robinson.

"His length, his quickness, his attention to detail, is really advanced for a young player. That's a good opportunity for him."

On the motivation factor for Trey Burke, going back home to a team that did not recruit him: "There is no doubt. He's also going up against someone in Aaron Craft that … he and [Indiana's] Victor Oladipo are the two best on-ball defenders in the Big Ten.

"Michigan and Ohio State split last year. The game Ohio State won, Burke was shut down by Craft. When Michigan won, Burke had a big game. I do think that's a key match-up.

"Trey seems like he's playing well and hard against everybody, but this one is even more of an opportunity for him to shine."

On a key for a Michigan win: "Points in the paint are going to be really important. Neither team has much of a post game. I do think Thad Matta is going to have his guys ready. They're good defensively.

"To go on the road and rely on making threes and perimeter shots is tough. Whoever is able to get to the rim and have paint points is going to win."

On whether this will be Michigan's first loss of the year: "No. I think Michigan wins. Ohio State is not quite as good as we've seen. I think N.C. State beats Duke. I think that Michigan, on Monday, is No. 1 in the country."

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