No. 20 Michigan and Arizona State will have familiarity with each other when they play for the Legends Classic championship on Thursday at the Brooklyn Nets’ home arena in New York.
Michigan coach Juwan Howard and Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley faced each other in the 1992 NCAA championship game when Hurley and Duke defeated Howard and the Wolverines 71-51.
Michigan (3-0) will play against one of its former players — Arizona State point guard Frankie Collins.
The Wolverines defeated Pitt 91-60 in the first game Wednesday. Arizona State (3-1) followed with a 63-59 victory over VCU.
Collins, who led the Sun Devils with 15 points, four assists and three steals in the win over the Rams, played in 31 games with Michigan last year and started once. He averaged 11 minutes while producing 2.8 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists per contest.
When asked about playing for Hurley instead of Howard, Collins said, “It’s different.”
“(Hurley) can show me different situations, different things he sees as a guard,” Collins said.
Hurley lauds Collins as the leader the Sun Devils need after losing Remy Martin and Marreon Jackson the past two seasons.
“I know the guys love being on his team because he finds people and he’s thinking about playing like a point guard,” Hurley said of Collins. “And then he’s going to guard the heck out of the ball.”
Michigan’s Jett Howard, Juwan Howard’s son, had 17 points while making 6 of 8 shots from the field in the win over Pitt. Joey Baker and Kobe Bufkin added 14 points apiece.
Hunter Dickinson, the lone starter from last year who is back for Michigan, finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists on Wednesday. The Wolverines shot 72 percent in the second half and 58.3 percent overall.
Michigan amassed 21 assists, led by reserve Dug McDaniel’s eight. Bufkin added four assists.
“The thing that stands out to me is sharing the basketball,” Juwan Howard said. “It means, of course, that guys are being unselfish, finding the open man. Most importantly, they’re not forcing plays.”
McDaniel, a freshman playing behind starter Jaelin Llewellyn, had only two turnovers in 21 minutes after committing two in 14 minutes during Michigan’s 88-83 win over Eastern Michigan on Friday.
“As I keep playing games, the game slows down, I get more mature and get more used to the atmosphere and stuff,” McDaniel said.
Arizona State held VCU to without a field goal in the last 8:58 of its win. The Rams missed their last nine shots, enabling Arizona State to go on a closing 13-3 run.
The Sun Devils kept VCU to 17.4 percent shooting (4 of 23) from the field in the second half, including 1 of 9 from 3-point range.
Collins converted 7 of 10 foul shots.
Arizona State also struggled from the field, making 36.2 percent overall, 23.8 percent (5 of 21) from the 3-point range.
The Sun Devils made the trip to Brooklyn without starting forward Marcus Bagley, who is nursing head and hip injuries sustained last week against Northern Arizona.
–Field Level Media