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Two players expected back for Michigan’s showdown with MSU

The Wolverines host the Spartans on Saturday with a maize out at the Crisler Center.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Nebraska Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines host the 10th-ranked Michigan State Spartans on Saturday in Ann Arbor. It is sure to be a rowdy environment at the Crisler Center as fans plan to maize out the Spartans. Michigan will need all the help they can get from the crowd in this big rivalry game as the Wolverines have dropped their last two games and currently sit at 7-6.

Michigan was short-handed against Rutgers on Tuesday as Brandon Johns, Zeb Jackson, Frankie Collins and Terrance Williams did not play. Head coach Juwan Howard had no updates on who will be available Saturday, but he did mention two players who missed the Rutgers game will be back.

Due to COVID concerns and protocols, it has been a bit of a tough stretch for Michigan trying to practice.

“We haven’t been good to go 100%.” Howard told the media on Friday. “We’ve just been figuring out ways to navigate through what we’ve been dealt with from COVID and the protocols. We’re trying to stay afloat and stay ready; day by day we keep working to try to get to that point. I’ll be honest with you, it’s frustrating, it’s frustrating for us all in the sports world and out of the sports world.”

Both Michigan and Michigan State have been surprises this year. The Wolverines began the season ranked fourth in the nation, while the Spartans were unranked. Now, Michigan State sits at No. 10 while Michigan is the unranked team.

For Michigan, every game is beginning to feel like a must win as the losses have been piling up. An upset win over over a top 10 rival in front of a rowdy crowd in Ann Arbor could be exactly what this team needs to turn the corner. However, a loss against a top 10 rival in front of that crowd in Ann Arbor could be the start of a rough couple of months for the Michigan basketball team.