ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Michigan basketball is off to a 2-0 start this season, and it will look to stay unbeaten Thursday as it hosts Southern Mississippi at the Crisler Center.
Game time: 7 p.m. Thursday
John Beilein's team handled North Florida and Central Michigan in its first tune-up games, and Southern Miss is the last test before the Wolverines head to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational.
Southern Miss is 1-0 after a win over Southern-New Orleans. The Golden Eagles are coming off a difficult season in which they won just nine games and finished 6-12 in Conference USA play.
Michigan played with fire in its first two games. The North Florid game was tied with 11 minutes to go, and the Wolverines actually trailed CMU at the 12-minute mark.
How to watch: BTN2go
For the third time this month, Michigan fans will have to tune in online to watch their team play.
The Michigan-Southern Mississippi game will not be broadcast on television. Fans will either have to go to the Crisler Center, or watch on BTN Plus, a feature on BTN2go.com that requires a subscription.
An annual pass for one school on BTN Plus costs $79.95. It's $9.95 for a one-month pass.
According to the University of Michigan's official athletic site, the basketball team won't play another game that will be broadcast exclusively on BTN Plus.
If you don't have a BTN Plus subscription, you can follow along with the game through the live scoreboard below:
What to expect
Kentucky transfer Charles Matthews leads Michigan in scoring, despite a slow shooting night against Central Michigan. Matthews is averaging 16.5 points per game on 48.4 percent shooting.
Senior sharpshooter Duncan Robinson has scored 31 points in the first two games, though he was just 2-8 from beyond the arc against the Chippewas. Robinson is currently averaging four rebounds and three assists per game, which are well above his career numbers.
Michigan's star center Moritz Wagner has been as advertised so far, notching double-doubles in each of the team's first two games. Wagner scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds against North Florida before finishing with 10 points and 11 rebounds against Central Michigan.
When Wagner got in foul trouble against CMU, redshirt freshman Jon Teske stepped in and provided a huge spark. He played excellent defense in the paint, picking up two blocked shots, a steal and a rebound. He also chipped in four points on 4-4 shooting from the free-throw line.
Beilein will continue to figure out his point guard rotation between sophomore Zavier Simpson and Ohio transfer Jaaron Simmons.
Simpson dished out nine assists against North Florida and showed an ability to score against Central Michigan, racking up 13 points on 5-7 shooting.
Simmons has been quiet so far, but he made a critical three-pointer to put Michigan ahead for good against Central Michigan, and assisted on a Matthews triple the very next possession to give the Wolverines some breathing room.
With a trip to Maui on the horizon, Thursday's game against Southern Miss is critical for Beilein to get his crew ready for a higher level of competition.
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