Michigan basketball coach John Beilein speaks to the media on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, in Ann Arbor.
Nick Baumgardner, Freep
There aren’t many questions surrounding the Michigan basketball team right now.
And that should hold true over the next three games.
The fifth-ranked Wolverines (10-0) will play their first game in a week when they host Western Michigan (5-4) on Saturday (2 p.m., Big Ten Network).
On Dec. 22, U-M will play Air Force. Eight days after that, Binghamton will visit Ann Arbor.
The Wolverines will be heavily favored in all three games.
Here are three things to watch for when the Wolverines play the Broncos.
Another test for Teske
Junior center Jon Teske has had some tough matchups in the last two games. Northwestern’s Dererk Pardon and South Carolina’s Chris Silva each presented a different challenge for Teske.
Teske, perhaps the most important player on the team this season with his presence on both ends of the court, will get another test in Western Michigan center Seth Dugan.
A senior who is 7-foot-1 and 240 pounds, Dugan averages a team-high 17.7 points and 10.1 rebounds and is shooting 59.8 percent on 2-point field goals.
Michigan coach John Beilein mentioned Friday that Dugan was on the Wolverines’ radar as a recruit coming out of high school.
“Seth Dugan, who we recruited four years ago, is really developing now in his senior year to be like a Big Ten-type center,” Beilein said. “At least his numbers would show that.”
Stretching out rotation
U-M’s rotation goes seven deep, and then available minutes drop off a cliff.
This stretch, before the team resumes conference play in January, is the perfect opportunity for players such as freshmen forward Brandon Johns and point guard David DeJulius to enter the rotation.
The Wolverines should have no problem with WMU, Air Force or Binghamton, which means there will be plenty of playing available for the bench. And Johns and DeJulius happen to be the two players who are closest to entering the rotation.
Beilein says he feels much more comfortable than he did in November, and appears to be ready to give some fresh faces a chance over these next few games.
Can Poole keep this up?
Sophomore guard Jordan Poole has been the team’s best player on offense over the past three games, averaging 20.7 points per game.
Poole has upped his scoring by shooting more effectively from outside. He’s up to 46.9 percent from the 3-point line on 49 total attempts after hitting 4 of 7 against South Carolina.
He has been a key cog of the offense along with freshman forward Ignas Brazdeikis in recent games, after taking more of a secondary role earlier in the season.
Prediction: Michigan 75, Western Michigan 50
Contact Orion Sang: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @orion_sang.