AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Unafraid of and in fact embracing of a game that involves getting up and down the floor, Michigan will have to walk the balance beam with precision Saturday afternoon against a VCU team that will encourage speed, force turnovers, and as they call it, create "havoc."
"Playing at your own pace is key," said Michigan assistant LaVall jordan. "Sometimes that will be fast and attacking, sometimes it will be slow and poised and maintaining composure and going where you want to go and pulling back when you want to pull back is key."
Without their normal starting point guard, out with the flu last night, Akron played right into the hands of the Rams pressure, coughing the ball up 21 times in an 88-42 undressing.
While a lot of the onus will fall on Michigan sophomore and all-american point guard Trey Burke to bust through the press, every Wolverine will share responsibility to contribute and take care of the ball at this level of college basketball.
"All five guys being connected," said Jordan. "There's no one man press breaks and they do a good job of trying to surprise you with doing some different things to try to give them the ball."
Burke said Friday he was experiencing a little soreness after hitting the floor hard in Thursday night's win over South Dakota State. Come Saturday, he expects VCU to really look to get him off his game.
"The challenge is just playing patient, really,” said Burke. “You know, we haven't played a lot of teams in the Big Ten that press the way that they do. Well, we haven't played anyone.
“So we just have to play patient, play smart, and limit turnovers. They score off of turnovers really well, and you know, they call their defense havoc. So we just have to try not to allow them to force havoc and just play patient, play at our own pace.
No matter what surprises VCU has in store for Michigan, the Wolverines won't be in the business of changing who they are or what has gotten them to this point.
"We're always in attack mode regardless of who we're playing," said Jordan. "Maybe they'll try to get you going a little faster which we may not mind, sometimes, but there will be times throughout the game where we want to take our time, get it up, and execute some half court offense."
To watch video of GBW's one-on-one interview with LaVall Jordan, press play below.