Ann Arbor, MI – The IUPUI Jaguars will try to shock the nation as they head to the Crisler Center for a NIT Season Tip-Off game versus the powerful Michigan Wolverines.
The Jaguars began their season with a 67-54 victory over Utah Valley at home on Friday. IUPUI finished last season 14-18 overall and 7-11 in Summit League action under Todd Howard, who is now in his second season as the program's head coach. Howard's squad forced 18 turnovers and limited Utah Valley to only 38.9 percent shooting in its season opening win.
Michigan began the season ranked fifth in both national polls for the program's highest preseason ranking since the 1993-1994 season. Coach John Beilein's team did nothing to make voters second guess their belief in the Wolverines as they ran past Slippery Rock of the Division II level for a 100-62 victory in the season opener. Michigan managed to convert 12-of-19 attempts from three-point range and hold a 42-31 edge on the boards in the contest.
IUPUI is 0-1 all-time against Michigan, having lost 84-79 on Jan. 4, 2003 at Crisler Arena.
The Jaguars have a new leader on the floor as Purdue transfer John Hart was the clear go-to-guy in the team's offense versus Utah Valley. Hart finished the game with a team-high 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting and also added four assists and two steals to his stat line. Junior center Mitchell Patton played well on the inside, providing 15 points and seven rebounds. Greg Rice and Donovan Gibbs netted 10 points each. Rice dished out a team-high five assists and Gibbs pulled down nine boards.
The Wolverines have arguably the best backcourt in the country with Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. back for a second year. Burke was one of the most impressive freshman in the nation last season which led to him being tabbed a Preseason All-American. Hardaway Jr. has been consistent since stepping on campus and scored his 1,000th career point in season opener. The combo combined for 46 points versus Slippery Rock. Burke dished out a team-high eight assists while Hardaway Jr went 5-of-5 from beyond the arc and grabbed 10 rebounds. Glenn Robinson III was impressive in his collegiate debut with 10 points and eight boards.