Cleveland State to have hands full against Michigan
NOV 13, 2012 9:57a ET
So far, Trey Burke and Michigan are putting on stunning shooting displays, especially from beyond the arc.
That means Cleveland State's defensive success could be coming to an abrupt end.
Burke looks to capitalize on another seemingly overmatched opponent as the No. 5 Wolverines meet the Vikings for the first time in 15 years Tuesday night in the NIT Season Tip-Off.
Burke has hit 17 of 32 field goals and half of his 12 3-pointers while adding 17 assists through two games, opening the season with 21 points in a 100-62 victory over Division II Slippery Rock on Friday.
The sophomore guard followed that up by connecting on 8 of 15 from the floor - 4 of 7 from beyond the arc - to total 22 points with a career high-tying nine assists in Monday's 91-54 romp over IUPUI.
The winner of this contest will face either Pittsburgh or Lehigh in a semifinal matchup at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 21.
"Just to be able to beat a good IUPUI team, and face a good Cleveland State team (Tuesday) to go to New York, that even gets me more excited," Burke said.
The Wolverines (2-0) are likely thrilled with their shooting so far, converting 58.7 percent from the field while making a staggering 25 of 40 3s in an uncharacteristic high-tempo offense.
Using a half-court offense under coach John Beilein last season, Michigan averaged 66.3 points and finished in the bottom fifth in the nation in field-goal attempts per game (52.3).
This season, the Wolverines have scored 90 points or more in consecutive games for the first time since doing it three straight times in November 2000. They've attempted 121 field goals in the victories.
Michigan has won all eight meetings with Cleveland State, but the teams haven't met since Nov. 19, 1997.
The Wolverines have been hot from beyond the arc, but the Vikings have held their first two opponents to 13.8 percent (4 for 29) from 3-point range and 37.0 percent overall.
Despite that success, Cleveland State (2-0) needed overtime to get past Bowling Green 79-73 on Monday.
"We probably train harder than any team in the country. That's who we are - we work hard and we train," said coach Gary Waters, who signed a seven-year contract extension last week. "When you get down to the last minutes and get to overtime, you need the extra. I thought our guys had the extra that allowed us to pull the game out.
"We have to do some extra things because we're going to play a great team (Tuesday)."
Cleveland State is 5-11 in 16 meetings against ranked opposition in six seasons under Waters, but it used stifling defense to beat No. 7 Vanderbilt last November in Nashville. The Vikings held the Commodores to 35.3 percent shooting while forcing 21 turnovers.
They'll likely need another strong shooting performance from Tim Kamczyc, who went 5 for 10 from 3-point range to score 21 points Monday. The senior hit both of his 3s three days earlier, when he totaled 12 points as Cleveland State cruised to a 92-49 victory over Grambling State.
Guard Charlie Lee has made 12 of 17 field goals through two games, totaling 34 points while adding 17 assists.