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3 Michigan basketball players in for a big game vs. Iowa

Michigan basketball is going to need a big game out of some of their stars if they want to beat the Hawkeyes.



University of Michigan men's basketball coach Juwan Howard makes his first public comments to the press since his suspension during a press conference at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor on Wednesday, March 9, 2022.

As Michigan basketball prepares for their battle versus Iowa tonight, there’s no doubt they are in need of a big game. While the Hawkeyes aren’t necessarily having the best season, Michigan isn’t either.

The teams will battle it out on the court at 7:00 p.m. EST and no matter the outcome, all fans are sure to be in for an absolute show.

Hunter Dickinson

This has to have been the most obvious choice I could have made, but Hunter Dickinson is by far the most important player for Michigan basketball tonight.

When Dickinson is at his best, the Michigan basketball team is at its best. Not only does this ring true on offense but defense as well, as Dickinson currently leads the team in points-per-game (18.7), rebounds-per-game (8.2), and blocks-per-game (1.7).

The offense runs through him, and generally, if he struggles to get the ball, the offense struggles to score. The team has plenty of playmakers, but Dickinson is by far the biggest one, both literally and figuratively.

On the defensive side, Dickinson will need to not only get rebounds but also shut down the middle of the paint. If the Wolverines are to come away tonight with a victory, it will be because they prevented any easy baskets for Iowa and fed Dickinson the ball.

Jace Howard

This game could go one of two different ways. Either Michigan basketball will accept this game as a shootout and leave their offensive specialists in, or they will take a more defensive approach.

If the Wolverines elect to take the latter approach, expect Jace Howard to see more minutes than usual. On the season, Howard is averaging around 7.7 minutes per game, but if he’s going to get an increase in minutes in any game, I could easily see this being the one.

Howard is widely known as one of the best defenders on the team, and his talents may very well be needed against a team like Iowa. The star of the show for the Hawkeyes is star forward Kris Murray. Murray is averaging around 20.9 points per game and has scored as many as 32 points in one outing.

The Wolverines will need all hands on deck to keep him contained, and Howard very well may be the man to do it.

Joey Baker

If Joey Baker is going to have a breakout game at any point soon, this would be the game to have it. Iowa has one of the best offenses in all of college basketball, and if Michigan wants to beat them, they will need to score against them.

Iowa currently ranks 22nd in scoring offense (81.4 ppg), while Michigan ranks just 120th (74.9 ppg). On the flip side, Iowa is ranked 251st in scoring defense (72.1 ppg), while Michigan ranks slightly ahead at 173rd overall (68.7 ppg).

If the Wolverines are to take down the Hawkeyes, they will need to take advantage of Iowa’s less-than-stellar defense. Iowa currently sits at 10-6, and they have scored over 80 points in eight of their games so far.

This is where Baker comes in. He is by far the Wolverines’ best 3-point specialist on the team, and if Dickinson can work his magic in the paint, open shots will be more than available to Baker. We know he can knock his shots down with the best of them at this point, but he needs the minutes to prove it.

If these three players have big games tonight, expect the Wolverines to come away with the win versus the Hawkeyes. This would be huge if Michigan basketball can pull it off. The Wolverines scored just 53 points in their most recent outing against Michigan State, so a big offensive performance would do wonders for this team.

A recent graduate from Kalamazoo College, Tyler has four years experience in sports writing. He currently works as assistant editor for Blue By Ninety and specializes in a variety of sports such as football, swimming and diving, and basketball.