December 30, 2008

Inside the numbers: Michigan

MADISON, Wis. - For the second consecutive year, the Wisconsin men's basketball team will open its conference schedule on the road at Michigan. This time around, it seems the Wolverines are much better than the squad the Badgers beat three straight times a season ago.

Before the Badgers start the defense of its conference crown, takes a look inside the numbers of Wednesday afternoon's game:

60: Should the Wolverines topple the Badgers, it will be the programs 60th conference opening win in its history.

53: With a win, the Badgers would claim its 53rd conference opening win in school history. Overall, UW has a 52-51 record in that category, including a current five-game winning streak in openers.

67%: So far this season, UW's top four scorers Trevon Hughes (12.6 ppg), Marcus Landry (12.1 ppg), Jason Bohannon (11.1 ppg) and Jon Leuer (9.8 ppg) comprise nearly two-thirds of the Badgers scoring per game.

72%: Meanwhile, Michigan's four leading scorers Manny Harris (19.8 ppg), DeShawn Sims (17.2), Laval Lucas-Perry (11.3 ppg) and Zack Novak (5.8 ppg) are responsible for 72 percent of Michigan's scoring.

+4.2: Michigan's superstar sophomore Harris has averaged 19.8 points per game this season. That is 4.2 points better than his average at the same point in the season a year ago. Overall, his team has improved from 4-8 entering conference play in 2007, to 10-2 in 2008.

44…and counting: Harris has started every game in his collegiate career which has now reached 44 consecutive games. This season, he is shooting 46.5 percent from the field and to complement his league leading scoring, he leads Michigan with 5.1 assists per game.

20/20: Michigan's junior forward Sims has been stellar this season as well. In fact, against Florida Gulf Coast University, Sims became the first Wolverine player in 31 years to score 20 points and haul in 20 rebounds in a single game.

25: Jon Leuer has been a beast off the bench for the Badgers this season by leading the Big 10 non-starters in scoring. It was at Crisler Arena a season ago that Leuer had his breakout game as a Badger by scoring a career-high 25 points.

1.78: Although Leuer comes off the bench he still leads the team in scoring efficiency. The sophomore averages one point for every 1.78 minutes of action, good enough for fifth in the Big 10.

Tied for 4th: Wisconsin is currently tied for fourth in the nation with the best road record over the past three seasons. Only Memphis, North Carolina and Butler have posted better records than UW's 18-6 mark.

72-9: Wisconsin has a 72-9 record under current head coach Bo Ryan when they hold its opponent to 50-59 points. Last season against Michigan, the Badgers held the Wolverines to only approximately 50 points per game in its three wins.

86: Landry is has now moved into a tie with former Badger Andy Kowske for eighth place all-time for blocks. By adding 11 more to his 86 career blocks, he would move into the school's top five for that category.

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