Feb. 15, 2017
The University of Michigan men's basketball team (16-9, 6-6 Big Ten) will host Big Ten leader No. 11 Wisconsin (21-4, 10-2 Big Ten) on Thursday (Feb. 16) on U-M's Social Media Night. After the Badgers claimed a 68-64 victory at the Kohl Center on Jan. 17, Crisler Center is set to host the rematch at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
MAIZE & BLUE QUICK NOTES
Derrick Walton Jr. was named the Big Ten co-Player of the Week on Monday (Feb. 13) after helping U-M to wins over Michigan State and at Indiana. He averaged 22.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists while shooting 60.9 percent (14-for-23) from the field, 83.3 percent (5-for-6) from three-point range and a perfect 12-for-12 from the free-throw line.
After joining U-M legends Gary Grant and Jalen Rose in U-M's 1000P-400R-400A club, Derrick Walton Jr. is two rebounds away from starting his own club -- the 1000P-500R-400A club. He currently has 1,249 points, 498 rebounds and 404 assists.
Walton has scored 20-plus in each of his last five games, averaging 23.0 per contest. He has added 6.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game during the stretch.
Michigan continues to lead the country with the fewest turnovers per game (9.4). U-M has had 10 or fewer turnovers in 18 games. The Wolverines are fifth in the nation in fewest fouls per game at 15.2.
U-M is shooting a record pace 79.2 percent on free throws -- three percentage points better than the 2013-14 squad's record of 76.2 percent. That percentage puts the Wolverines fourth in the nation and tops in the Big Ten.
A CATEGORY OF ME, MYSELF & I
Derrick Walton Jr. needs two rebounds to become the first and only Wolverine to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 400 assists. He has 1,249 points, 498 rebounds and 404 assists in his career to date.
In fact, if Walton reaches the three levels, he will be the 13th Big Ten player to do so among the 14 league teams.
» B1G's 1,000-500-400 List
1: Steve Smith, Michigan State (1987-91): 2,263-760-453
2: Johnny Rhodes, Maryland (1992-96): 1,743-704-437
3: Erick Strickland, Nebraska (1993-96): 1,586-503-414
4: Cookie Belcher, Nebraska (1997-2001): 1,552-536-477
5: Jeff Horner, Iowa (2003-06): 1,502-563-612
6: Greivis Vasquez, Maryland (2006-10): 2,171-647-772
7: E'Twaun Moore, Purdue (2007-11): 2,136-611-400
8: Evan Turner, Ohio State (2008-10): 1,517-682-414
9: Talor Battle, Penn State (2008-11): 2,213-625-517
10: Draymond Green, Michigan State (2008-12): 1,517-1,095-425
11: Tim Frazier, Penn State (2010-14): 1,543-523-641
12: Denzel Valentine, Michigan State (2013-16): 1,645-856-639
13?: Derrick Walton Jr., U-M (2014-17): 1,249-498-404 (needs two rebounds)
HOW ABOUT SOME WOLVERINE TIDBITS
In his last two games Xavier Simpson went 4-for-5 from the field with a career-best-tying seven points in the win over Michigan State (Feb. 7). In the 10 previous Big Ten games he was just 2-for-12 and 1-for-8 from deep.
The battle for the most steals is heating up. Derrick Walton Jr. leads with 23 after his three at Indiana (Feb. 12). Moritz Wagner and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman have 22 each, while Zak Irvin checks in with 21. Not far behind is Xavier Simpson with 19. U-M has 142 this season for a 5.7 per game average.
Zak Irvin averages 12.6 points per game, scoring in double digits in 19 games. In 129 career games, he has recorded double digits in 77 contests. This season he has a season best of 23 points against Virginia Tech (Nov. 30). He has 12 20-plus point games in his career and 41 with 15-plus points.
D.J. Wilson has 37 blocks this season. That already is the most by a Wolverine in nine seasons. The last Wolverine to post more than 37 swats was during U-M coach John Beilein's first season -- Ekpe Udoh (92, 2007-08). The most in between then was Mitch McGary's 28 during the 2012-13 season.
Michigan has 234 three-pointers this season with six Wolverines already posting 20-plus. Derrick Walton Jr. leads U-M with 61, while Duncan Robinson has 46. The list rounds out with Zak Irvin (32), Moritz Wagner (29), Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (28) and D.J. Wilson (25).
With 25 points against Indiana (Feb. 12), Derrick Walton Jr. has 1,249 (33rd all-time) and passed Trey Burke (1,231; 2012-13) in the win over the Hoosiers. Walton needs 156 points to crack the all-time top 25, which is held by current radio analyst and 1989 national champion team member Terry Mills (1,405; 1988-90).
THE SERIES WITH WISCONSIN
Thursday night's game will be the second meeting of the season and the 163rd overall meeting in the series, which U-M leads 91-71.
Michigan fell to the Badgers, 68-64, in the two teams' first meeting of the season, Jan. 17, 2017, at the Kohl Center. Zak Irvin led the Wolverines with 20 points and six rebounds, while Derrick Walton Jr. added 15 points.
In the last meeting at Crisler Center, 40 minutes was not enough as Wisconsin defeated Michigan, 69-64, in overtime on Jan. 24, 2015. Walton led U-M with 17 points and five rebounds.
Michigan's last win over Wisconsin came on Jan. 18, 2014, as Nik Stauskas and Caris LeVert had 23 and 20 points, respectively, in a 77-70 win in the Kohl Center.
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE BADGERS
Wisconsin comes to Ann Arbor after a 66-59 home loss to Northwestern (Feb. 12). Nigel Hayes led the Badgers with 13 points while Ethan Happ had seven rebounds and five assists.
Happ leads Wisconsin, averaging 14.2 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. He also has a team-best 50 steals and 28 blocked shots. Hayes (13.6 ppg) and Bronson Koenig (13.4 ppg) also are averaging in double figures in scoring. Koenig leads the team with 64 three-point field goals.
Wisconsin is 4-1 on the road in Big Ten play heading into tonight's game. The Badgers earned wins over Indiana (75-68), Minnesota (78-76), Illinois (57-43) and Nebraska (70-69) while falling to Purdue (66-56). The Badgers also have a neutral-site win over Rutgers (61-54, OT) in Madison Square Garden.
Michigan will finish the week with the first of four road contests out of the final five games, starting the stretch at Minnesota (Sunday, Feb. 19) at 6 p.m. CST on BTN.
The Wolverines will head to Rutgers for the one and only time this season on Wednesday (Feb. 22) at 7 p.m. in Piscataway, New Jersey. Tipoff is at 7 p.m., and the game will be televised on BTN.
Communications Contact: Tom Wywrot