The Michigan men’s basketball team has lost two of its first three Big Ten Conference games, and had to dig itself out of a sizable deficit to earn its only Big Ten win last week against an upstart Penn State squad.
Now, Michigan (11-5, 1-2 Big Ten) will look itself in the mirror when it plays Wednesday night at Illinois (11-5, 1-2 Big Ten). Illinois has had the same early struggles: in a 96-80 loss Saturday at Indiana, the Illini opened the game 0-for-8 from the floor and trailed 15-0. But the Illini hope to rectify its issues during its first home game in 10 days.
In a 77-70 loss Saturday to Maryland, Michigan cut the Terrapins’ lead to one point less than five minutes into the second half, and to two with about seven minutes left, but the Terrapins capitalized at the perimeter, going 10-for-15 on 3-point shooting.
Michigan basketball at Illinois game time, details
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Date: Wednesday, Jan. 11
Location: State Farm Center, Champaign, Ill.
The line: Michigan is favored by 1.5 points
Which TV channel broadcasts Michigan basketball at Illinois?
Big Ten Network will broadcast the game.
How can I watch Michigan basketball at Illinois online?
Big Ten Network will stream the game on BTN2Go.
How can I listen to Michigan basketball at Illinois on the radio?
You can listen on SiriusXM channel 81.
For Michigan basketball, 950 AM (WWJ-Detroit), 102.9 FM (WWWW-Ann Arbor) and 1050 AM (WTKA-Ann Arbor) are the primary stations. Click here for other Michigan radio affiliates.
Click here for Illinois radio affiliates.
Who is calling the Michigan basketball at Illinois game?
Play-by-play announcer Kevin Kugler and analyst Seth Davis will call the game for the Big Ten Network.
Illinois’ radio crew includes play-by-play announcer Brian Barnhart and analysts Deon Thomas and Doug Altenberger.
Michigan’s radio crew includes play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard and analyst Terry Mills.
Michigan basketball’s keys to the game
1. Stronger perimeter defense. Maryland went 10-for-15 from behind the 3-point line on Saturday, continuing Michigan’s frustrations with its long-range defense. Michigan is 14th in the Big Ten in 3-point field-goal defense percentage (41.4 percent — 104-for-251), and has given up at least eight 3-pointers in its last three games.
2. Take control of the game — don’t dig out of a hole. Penn State took a 36-29 lead on Michigan a week ago at halftime, but Michigan came back to win. Maryland, however, took a 10-point lead on Michigan in the first half Saturday and Michigan couldn’t erase that deficit. After Saturday’s loss, the Wolverines acknowledged they need a sense of urgency from the start of each game, not just when they trail.
3. More production on the boards. Maryland controlled this aspect in its win Saturday against Michigan, out-rebounding the Wolverines 33-26. Furthermore, Michigan showed a hesitancy to drive to the basket, instead opting to take the outside shots, but when the Wolverines went inside, they went 20-for-35 from the floor. Illinois forward Leron Black averages five defensive rebounds a game (6.9 overall) and had 15 rebounds in a 75-70 win Jan. 1 against Ohio State. D.J. Wilson is Michigan’s leading rebounder (6.7 per game).