One thing no one was sure about heading into this season was how the Wolverines would play on the road.

After all, Michigan didn’t exactly set the world on fire last year during the Big Ten season, especially away from Crisler Arena. The Wolverines won only three road games last year — against Indiana (finished last in the Big Ten), Minnesota (7th) and Northwestern (9th). They also lost on the road to Iowa, which finished 10th.

And although it fought valiantly against Kansas, Michigan laid eggs against Utah and Indiana, the latter of which was without its leading scorer.

“I think the biggest thing is that when the other team goes on a run we need to keep our poise, and that’s where we need to become more solid,” sophomore Zack Novak said. “Rather than coming down and saying ‘alright, they’re making a run, we got to make this spectacular play,’ we got to make the solid play and just tighten up.”

At 8-6 (0-2 Big Ten), the Nittany Lions are having a similar season to Michigan’s — crushing losses to inferior teams and trouble on the road. Granted, Penn State is significantly less talented than the Wolverines (1-1 Big Ten, 7-6 overall). After junior Talor Battle, a Cousy Award finalist, who’s averaging 18 points per game, no other Lion is scoring in double digits.

“He’s the challenge,” Michigan coach John Beilein said of Battle. “But they have a lot of players they can score with, and they’ve surrounded him with more shooters, just like they had in the past.”

Checking Battle will be the true road test, and tonight fans will see if the Wolverines’ guards are prepared.

Freshman Darius Morris said Michigan needs to keep a consistent mental edge and play together.

“Obviously we need to do more than we have been doing on the road,” Morris said. “I think it’s going to take a solid 40 minutes. We can’t just play one half together.”

Notes: Sophomore Jordan Dumars, son of Detroit Pistons legend Joe Dumars, is officially walking on to the team. Dumars can practice with the team but will not be eligible to play until the second semester of next year… freshman Darius Morris was wearing an Allen Iverson-esque sleeve at practice yesterday and said it was due to elbow tendinitis, an ailment that he said dates back to high school. He will be fine to play against Penn State.

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