The Minute After: Michigan

  • 01/15/2011 10:43 pm in

Notes on an 80-61 victory over Michigan. Photo by Jamie Owens.

This team badly needed a strong defensive performance.

Tonight inside Assembly Hall, they brought just that — and more.

From the onset, the Hoosiers displayed intensity, emotion and aggression on both ends of the floor, all of which snowballed throughout the game to their eventual victory.

Indiana denied Michigan their first rebound until 10 minutes into the game. The Wolverines only managed 15 points in the first half. They only shot 36.4 percent from the field (20-of-55) and 29.2 percent from three (7-of-24).

The Hoosiers needed this game in so many ways. For their first Big Ten win. To snap their six-game losing streak, one that seemed like it never wanted to end at times. For pride.

But most of all, to prove to themselves, their coach and their fanbase that they’re better than they’ve been. That they are capable of contending in this conference, and capable of defending on their home court.

It’s been suggested this was perhaps a bit of a letdown game for Michigan after it played strong in losses to Kansas and Ohio State. Maybe there’s some validity to that.

Or maybe, for the first time in too long, Indiana finally put it all together for a victory.

Other thoughts:

+ Y’all have dogged VJII left and right this season, but no reason for that after this one. Sure, he had a few turnovers (four), but his offense was Vintage Verdell tonight — a mix of mid-range razzle dazzle and getting to the cup for some strong looks. Jones set the tone early with 14 first-half points, and finished with 24 for the game on 9-of-10 shooting (6-of-8 from the line) to go along with four assists and four boards.

Most importantly, along with many of his teammates tonight, he was vocal and showed some emotion.

+ Got to mention the job Jeremiah Rivers and Tom Pritchard did as starters this evening. Rivers posted a season-high eight point as he looked for his shot a bit more than usual. He was also a nice defensive agitator in the first half. Pritchard provided the screens necessary to free up his teammates for looks, and also snagged seven boards.

+ Christian Watford has been in a funk and lacked aggression during the losing streak, but he got after it right away tonight — yet another player that set a winning tone this evening. He did have some advantageous matchups, but nice to see him want it in this one. For the game, he went back to his double-double ways, posting 17 points on 5-11 shooting (1-of-4 from three,  6-of-6 from the line) and 10 boards.

+ Scary moment as Maurice Creek appeared to injure his right knee on a breakaway layup near the end of the second half. He did walk off the court on his own accord pretty shortly after he hit the deck, so hopefully it’s nothing too serious.

+ Lastly, if we want to nitpick, Indiana did have a little case of the turnovers this evening (16). Things got a little sloppy at times in the second half, but a win is a win is a win at this point, eh?

Filed to:

  • Diesel

    Ace, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen CTC hang around the court for an autograph session. Shake hands and to the locker room, what’s left to do? I don’t make anything of it, but it was a bit interesting that the camara followed him that far. Next game, I guess.

  • Diesel

    Ace, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen CTC hang around the court for an autograph session. Shake hands and to the locker room, what’s left to do? I don’t make anything of it, but it was a bit interesting that the camara followed him that far. Next game, I guess.

  • Diesel

    There need be no “youth” movement yet Ace. The team this season is basically the team next season minus Rivers plus CZ and AE. I loved the consistency in the lineup tonight.

  • Anonymous

    OK, I was wrong. Indiana will not win unless Jones and Watford each play 30+ minutes in every game, and play well. Hulls must also play 30+ minutes/game and play well. Rivers continues to play hard and to contribute, No one can question the heart and effort of Mo Creek. I thought that IU needed Oladipo and Sheehey on the court for major minutes (20+ min each). Last night they were hardly used: a combined total of 22 min, 1/1 FG, 0/2 FT, 1 reb, 2 pts, 1 A, 1 TO, 1 Blk, and IU won by 19. Tom Pritchard played very well, 7 reb in 25 minutes with no foul issues. We have seen how we play with energy, focus, and determination. We should NEVER accept less again!

  • Nimbi63

    Matt Roth averaged two points per minute played. No one else came close to that stat.

  • MillaRed

    The word has more than one meaning Andrew. Come on man.

    can·cer – ? ?Spelled [kan-ser] –noun

    1. Pathology . A malignant and invasive growth or tumor, esp. one originating in epithelium, tending to recur after excision and to metastasize to other sites.

    2. any evil condition or thing that spreads destructively; blight.

  • MillaRed

    I think this was one of coaches better games for a few reasons:

    – He shortened the rotation. Sorry Capo.

    – For the most part he stuck with the hot hands. Not sure why Creek was in there late especially after the injury. But Elston, VO and Will did not have it offensively tonight and those minutes were limited.

    – He called a great timeout to stop a late run.

    On the minus side, we did nothing to take the ball out of Morris’ hands late and that got a little irritating.

    Overall he contributed to the win without question.

  • If part of what’s holding Creek back is mental (which it likely would be after that type of injury), I think Crean put Creek back in the game to try and help Creek break through any barriers of fear of re-injury. We were up, and even though the game wasn’t 100% sealed by that point, I think it’s important for Crean to demonstrate his confidence in Creek, which will help Creek regain some of his lost confidence.

  • Anonymous

    He went back in briefly…for one quick press breaker to test out the knee. Surprised to see him get back in so quickly, but glad to see Crean put him in to build confidence going forward.

  • MillaRed

    Yes I got that too PhD and other coaches may have done the same. I just don’t think he was very effective in this game anyway so why risk it? Either way no worries. Mo’s TOs and air balls were hard to watch. He def is struggling right now.

  • MillaRed

    Yes I got that too PhD and other coaches may have done the same. I just don’t think he was very effective in this game anyway so why risk it? Either way no worries. Mo’s TOs and air balls were hard to watch. He def is struggling right now.

  • MillaRed

    Yes I got that too PhD and other coaches may have done the same. I just don’t think he was very effective in this game anyway so why risk it? Either way no worries. Mo’s TOs and air balls were hard to watch. He def is struggling right now.

  • kentuckyhoosier

    YES . WELL DONE

  • It was tough to watch last night, but he’s shown flashes of his former self in certain games this season. I think he has to keep playing if we’re going to get him back to his former self before the season ends (and maybe win a game in the B10 tourney?). He didn’t suck on D last night, so that was nice to see. Mo is going to be a big part of our success next year, but I don’t think we can wait for him to get his confidence back next year — we need that to happen this season. If he has a break through this year, it will pay massive dividends for 2012.

  • MKH

    not to be a debby downer but I’m still not a VJIII fan…All we ever base his worth on is points, he is still a bad defender and and a terrible, terrible passer…that is his biggest weekness. he throws so many bad passes, poor angles, at peoples feet and even worse he constently misses the open man…our offense would run much more smoothly if he could and would pass…it doesn’t hurt as much when his shot is falling but watch how many open players he misses, especially off the roll

  • Anonymous

    the hall went absolutely silent, with a collective gasp and mouthing of oh no

  • Anonymous

    If you don’t score points, you can’t win the game, so I think he was pretty important last night. He also played some pretty good defense the first half on Morris, so I wouldn’t say he’s a bad defender when he sets his mind to it. He did miss a lot of people on the roll, specifically Elston a few times when he was wide open cutting to the basket.

  • LDIU

    Kelin,

    I generally agree with all you say and do so again except:

    To put Hulls and Roth in same sentence as Alford is quite premature. Please remember that Alford shot “lights out” against the best of the best…….not just a very average college team like Michigan. Alford was the target of everyone IU played and worked his — off to get open. I do agree that Hulls and Roth are very good shooters……..let’s just hope they can continue the good shooting for the balance of their careers.

    All in all a very good win and the crowd was awesome. The 16 turnovers were about the only real negative. Hard work at every level pays dividends and last night IU played very hard. I only hope that this hard work continues by all. If they do, then good things will surely happen.

  • Diesel

    One of our better FT shooters and another ball handler on the floor would be my guess.

  • Diesel

    Loop, I can always appreciate someone owning up to a wrong. Big Tom played very well with only the 3 fouls in 25 min. Unless there is something unforeseeable, I think we found our starting five last night.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Diesel, we are all in this thing together, GO IU! Did anyone else notice that IU defended the high ball screen in a different fashion? The “Big” dropped back and the perimeter defender was expected to stay on his man. I think that this really helped Pritch, and he really came to play last night.

  • Anonymous

    The team looked MUCH better last night. I gained much confidence in Coach Crean’s and his assistants’ coaching ability by seeing the marked improvement in several areas.

    -AGGRESSIVENESS
    -moving w/o the ball on offense
    -less dribbling on offense
    -more energy
    -all around much better on defense.

    Though it may seem very minor, one area that still needs improvement is the way this team closes out on shooters on the perimeter. They ALL leave their feet when closing out, which may not seem bad, until the opponent starts shot faking and they get a bunch of wide open 3’s. Minor fundamental errors like that can cost this team a win.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I’m not saying bench anybody. I’m just saying to spread it around a little better to get VO 18-20 minutes and Will 13-15. It is the future and they will be here longer than Roth, TP, and Jones so they do need to continue to get valuable minutes.

  • Anonymous

    But he gave up 5 defensively, a 3 and a lay-up. So only 1 net point in 3 minutes. That works out to + 13 for a 40 minute game. And this was Roth’s best game by far.

  • Anonymous

    I am with you Ace, but tonight we won and the freshmen were a non-factor.

  • HoosierMitch

    CW must improve his ball handling skills before he can be a good three

  • Anonymous

    can you post the email address you are going to use?

    i am all for the student section getting rowdy and causing the opponent to get off their game; however, it needs to be done in good taste. i would have liked to see CTC take the mic and tell them there is no place for that inside the hall. (do i get extra points for using that in a sentence?)

  • Anonymous

    can you post the email address you are going to use?

    i am all for the student section getting rowdy and causing the opponent to get off their game; however, it needs to be done in good taste. i would have liked to see CTC take the mic and tell them there is no place for that inside the hall. (do i get extra points for using that in a sentence?)

  • Maybe we should only use diseases from the game Oregon Trail so that way nobody gets offended… although “Morris is a dysentery” doesn’t sound right…

  • BFowler

    Team:
    -Great TEAM win.
    -That was the best TEAM defense all season
    -Great TEAM shooting and TEAM rebounding
    -Great TEAM hustle and bodies on the ground going after loose balls
    -Best post play all season.

    Individually
    -I really felt VJ III played his best game. Did not force anything and took what the defense gave him. (assist/to ratio was 1:1)
    -I really felt TP played his best game. Although I will say that I noticed he is our best interior defender all season.
    -Finally, some big shots were hit, Jordan I am looking at you.

    Seemed wierd that VO and Will are still getting 1-3 minutes at a time, but it worked Saturday.

    Michigan is just a good match-up for us.

    Still need work on turnovers, but I will complain another day!

  • MillaRed

    Diesel I am beginning to to think Mo’s continued recovery this off-season is
    the most important aspect of how our Hoosiers play next year.

    With another year of maturity for Verdell, a healthy Mo, CWat, Jordy and
    Cody, it just seems to me we can get that tourney bid. Man I hope Cody plays
    some D!

    For the record, as you and others saw last week (aka MillaNegative) I was
    hoping for better play from the team because I knew we were capable of such
    a thing. And we did so vs. Michigan.

    See, I am no dummy……….

  • MillaRed

    You make a good point atrain. I think Cody will have an easier transition if TP is manning the 5 spot. You can just see the upperclassmen eyes light up when there is a FR defending them in the paint.

    That creates the mismatch with CWat at the 3 and gives us a better rebounding and defensive front line.

    Problem is someone sits between VIII, Jordy and Mo. This is a good problem to have. Plus with AE our depth even gets deeper. A luxury we have not seen in quite some time.

    Point being, with only CWat in the paint to help Cody I foresee struggles there.

  • Chrisatkinson67

    Funny! Or from the deep south…”Morris gives his team the vapors!”

  • MillaRed

    There just isn’t anyone else on the team that can drop 24, 4 and 4. Not even close. Especially the way Verdell does it. The deadly mid-range game we so rarely see in college hoops.

    I would love to see some consistency out of VJ. He would be a great player. But for now he’s the best option we have by far. He was the best player on the floor Saturday. But he needs to bring it every game.

  • stonaroni

    I think VO and WS should both get 15 minutes a game. If VO or WS get hot and are a difference maker in a particular game, give them more min. However, next year, I think AE is going to cut into minutes from WS, VO, Roth, Mo, and DE.

    And CZ will totally replace DE and Capo (if he is still here) and cut into TP and some CW minutes if he doesn’t play well.

    My point is, the bench will be much deeper next year with 2 better players. So, VO and WS are getting solid minutes, but I do not think they are the ones who the program will be built around.

    IF CTC goes smaller, then we still have CZ, and CW in the mix. VJ and Hulls will be on the floor a lot so you will have AE, VO, WS, and Mo trying to fill that #3. If we go tall, the same guys are fighting with VJ and Hulls at #2.

    I think one thing is for sure next year. We will bot see Roth in with 4 minutes to go and IU down by 12, it will be Etherington. When TP is struggling or in foul trouble, CZ will slide to C, CW to #4 which means DE will see less minutes.

    And, I loved seeing JR playing a big the past few games on post D. I could see WS/AE playing that role well defensively next year allowing them to get more minutes. Both AE and WS are strong 6’6″ players who have played many different positions in high school coming thru the ranks. both are versatile players. What WS has in hops, AE has in shooting range. It is these guys along with VO who will help make us a challenge to match up against from 11-12 thru 2013-14. When Buss gets here and can play the #2 with Mo and VO, Yogi can play the point with Hulls. AE and WS can play the #3, CW can play the #4 with CZ. And, HP mans the middle with Jurkin. This team will be rock solid.

  • JerryCT

    It strikes me that we enjoy the few wins so much we ought to have :

    + A Minute After

    + A Next Day After

    + A 2 days After

    + A 3 days After

    ……………………… etc

    HOPEFULLY we will have the freeze frame stuff to enjoy as well.

  • stonaroni

    I think TP and CZ will rotate the C position based solely off of TP foul trouble. And CW can rotate to the #4. I don’t think we lose that much because WS, SE, and VO can all rebound.

    I think the DE ship is setting sail.

    And CW was very strong on the blocks on Sat. Good to see. His shot has been poor lately so he got his points in the paint like he should. If he can keep this mentality, he will get his every night out.

  • InTheMtns

    Extra points granted for the sentence.

    Coaches aren’t allowed to “take the mic” and address the crowd any more. Not sure of the exact rule or even why there is such a rule, but they no longer are allowed to do it.

  • MillaRed

    If Pritch defends like he did last weekend, his spot may be secure for good.
    I just can’t see Cody out there on an island against the experienced bigs in
    the conference. You may be right though.

  • BFowler

    I have to say, I never expected an Oregon Trail reference on this web site. Brings back 4th and 5th grade…..Thanks for the memories.

  • Having a 100% Mo next season will be the biggest change in our team after the addition of CZ. We need the guy that was shooting at a fantastic clip from long range, was not a defensive liability or a turnover machine, and could be counted on in crunch time.

    Not to get too ahead of myself, but I would also give great importance to the offseason development of VO and WS. Not only offensively, but will either of them be able to step into JR’s role of premier (and versatile) defender? Based on how AE guarded Shabazz Muhammad in AAU play this summer, maybe we could have two or three lock-down defenders instead of just one.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like a plan to me.

    I just don’t want this to turn into an “old farts” versus “young punks” type of issue. We are all IU fans and therefore should adhere to some sort of a common standard for how we fans represent our university.

    With that said, I have as much disdain for those who sit on their hands, leave early or chant obscenities. That behavior is not worthy of the tradition we all claim to honor which is IU basketball.

  • marcusgresham

    That just sounds like the campfire scene from “Blazing Saddles”

  • marcusgresham

    I said several weeks ago, in response to someone lamenting the fact that we only have two signees for the next season (and one of them not a high enough profile for the liking of whomever the writer was,) that Creek being a year removed from this injury will be the equivalent of adding a juco All-American.

  • marcusgresham

    The best thing that could happen to Verdell is to spend the off-season being hounded in pick-up games by Eric Gordon.

  • stonaroni

    Don’t want to see it either. CZ is a PF, a true PF.

    But, the kid may be 7′ tall by next winter and if he has to slide into the #5 for 10 to 15 min a game and slide out to the #4 10 to 15 min/game, this team will be far better next year.

    What Cody may lack in size/experience, he can gain by knocking down the 15′ jumper while playing the C position. So while he is at C, the entire floor opens up, whereas when TP is in, he is strictly married to the blocks.

    Just think that look, rotation, will give us some flexibility and the ability to adjust during games that we lack right now.

    I think that itself lends us 2 more W’s next year. A deeper team is 2 more W’s and the experience factor should be a +3. If this team can get to 15 wins this year, I would think the 2011-12 team could snag 21 or 22 wins. maybe a few more if they gel.

  • stonaroni

    Don’t want to see it either. CZ is a PF, a true PF.

    But, the kid may be 7′ tall by next winter and if he has to slide into the #5 for 10 to 15 min a game and slide out to the #4 10 to 15 min/game, this team will be far better next year.

    What Cody may lack in size/experience, he can gain by knocking down the 15′ jumper while playing the C position. So while he is at C, the entire floor opens up, whereas when TP is in, he is strictly married to the blocks.

    Just think that look, rotation, will give us some flexibility and the ability to adjust during games that we lack right now.

    I think that itself lends us 2 more W’s next year. A deeper team is 2 more W’s and the experience factor should be a +3. If this team can get to 15 wins this year, I would think the 2011-12 team could snag 21 or 22 wins. maybe a few more if they gel.

  • MillaRed

    No doubt. Still yet maybe start Pritch and then move CZ to the 5 and play
    him with the 2nd unit. With his frame I expect decent minutes as a frosh.

    IT’s hard to believe but that 15 footer you speak of from the 5 is
    immeasurable. It changes the entire offense.

  • Diesel

    Yes, I agree on Mo. To me it still says a lot about our limited talent that a guy on one leg can come in and contribute this season, so to have him as an impact player for next season would be huge. I also like PhD’s comment about filling the JR void (who thought we’d say that last season) with possibly WS or VO, personally I think it would be WS of the two.