Northern Michigan hoops coach breaks down UM, MSU

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor — Northern Michigan has played them both.

So, what are the differences between Michigan and Michigan State?

“Really, two different teams,” Northern Michigan coach Bill Sall said. “That’s kind of the tale of the tape, when you look at it.”

Northern Michigan lost to Michigan State, 94-53, last week, and lost, 70-44, on Friday night at Crisler Center.

Both games were exhibitions for Northern Michigan; Friday was a regular-season game for Michigan.

“Michigan certainly has more length,” Sall said. “I think State hurt us more on the rebounding. I was very happy with us tonight, that we got outrebounded by (23), and we held serve tonight.

“That’s not as much of a point of emphasis here.”

Michigan State outrebounded Northern Michigan, 55-32, last week, and it was a 32-32 tie Friday night.

That’s no surprise. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo always has harped on rebounding, while Michigan coach John Beilein’s team was the worst rebounding team in the Big Ten last year, though it would seem to be better this season.

“They’re both going to have very good seasons,” Sall said. “They’re both two well-coached teams.

“I’m excited to watch them play on TV instead of having to coach against them. How’s that for an answer?”

Michigan State is ranked 13th in the nation in the Associated Press poll, and Michigan 25th.