What to Expect: Michigan

  • 01/04/2012 10:12 am in

The No. 12 Hoosiers are back at it in Assembly Hall on Thursday night for a meeting with No. 16 Michigan. Indiana will be looking for its second consecutive conference win while the Wolverines seek their first true road win.

The game will be shown on ESPN2 (Dave O’Brien and Dan Dakich) and broadcast on the IU radio network (Sirius 91/XM 91):

Like several teams in the top 25, Michigan’s national reputation to-date is based more upon their finish last season (round of 32 loss to Duke in the NCAA Tournament) and a strong preseason ranking. That’s not to say Michigan isn’t a good basketball team. They are. But without a marquee win and a 2-0 start in the league at home against Penn State and Minnesota, the jury is still somewhat out on this group.

The meat of the Wolverines’ non-conference slate consisted of a third-place showing in the Maui Invitational (beat Memphis and UCLA with a loss to Duke), a road loss at Virginia in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, a neutral court win over Oakland and a home win over Iowa State. All in all, Michigan owns a pair of top 50 RPI wins (Memphis and Minnesota) and eight wins over teams outside of the RPI Top 150. We’ll know a lot more about John Beilein’s team in the next four days as they’ll follow up Thursday night’s trip to Bloomington with a Sunday home game against Wisconsin.

MEET THE WOLVERINES

Stu Douglass and Zack Novak may be the vocal leaders, but the productivity in Ann Arbor stems primarily from a solid nucleus of underclassmen. The centerpiece is sophomore Tim Hardaway Jr., who we pegged for All-Conference honors before the season. Hardaway is off to a solid start — 15.6 ppg — but has struggled from 3-point range. He connected on 36.7 percent of his 3-point shots a season ago, but is hitting at just a 29.5 percent clip thus far.

Joining Hardaway Jr. in the backcourt is freshman point guard Trey Burke (pictured), who inherited the task of replacing Darius Morris. Through 14 games, Burke is arguably the Big Ten’s second-best rookie behind Cody Zeller. He’s scoring in double figures (14.0 ppg) and is fifth in the conference in assist rate (29.8 percent). His stellar play in Maui raised his profile to the point where he’s now considered among the top 100 prospects for next summer’s NBA Draft by Chad Ford of ESPN.com. Both Burke and Hardaway Jr. excel in transition and are worthy of drawing the defensive assignment from Victor Oladipo.

Michigan’s most improved player is sophomore forward Evan Smotrycz, who is hitting close to 55 percent of his 3’s and is the Big Ten’s third-best defensive rebounder. Fouling has been a problem for Smotrycz (5.1 FC/40), which has limited him to 24.7 minutes a night. Sophomore big man Jordan Morgan is Beilein’s best offensive rebounder with fellow sophomore Jon Horford out indefinitely, but isn’t much of an offensive threat. And the aforementioned Douglass and Novak, who have combined to take 110 3-point shots, are a big reason that 36.7 percent of the Wolverines points are coming from distance.

A QUICK GLANCE AT THE POMEROY NUMBERS

(Note: Rankings through Monday’s games.)

Indiana is the superior team when you dig into the KenPom.com numbers, but the Wolverines do possess an efficient offensive punch. Michigan is the only Big Ten team ahead of the Hoosiers in effective field goal percentage and they’re the best 2-point shooting team in the country at 58.1 percent. Toss in the fact that such a high percentage of their points come from behind the 3-point line and this is clearly a team that has the firepower to win. The Wolverines are struggling to get to the foul line which is a positive given the fact that IU’s opponent free throw rate is on the rise.

Conversely, can Michigan muster up the defensive effort to slow down the Hoosiers? The Wolverines haven’t guarded the 3 particularly well and IU should have some favorable matchups in the paint with Zeller going against Morgan and Watford going against Smotrycz.

CREAN FOCUSED ON TRANSITION

A few quotes from Tom Crean on Michigan from his radio show on Monday night, via Dustin Dopirak of The Herald-Times:

– “Trey Burke, their freshman guard, is just explosive.”
– “We gotta be very concerned about the 3, but also how they get them. We have to get back and stop the ball.”
– “They really, really run well on your turnover.”
– ‘The transition defense is crucial. I haven’t seen a team that runs better.”
– “Michigan wants to run on misses and makes.”
–  “We want to defend the 3, but at the same time we’ve got to step penetration.”

THE JOURNEY

Burke had his journey to Ann Arbor documented in a YouTube series and here he is scaling the stairs at Hoover Dam in Westerville, Ohio:

QUICK FACTS ON MICHIGAN

All-time series: Indiana leads 100-55
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Student Enrollment: 41,674
Established: 1817

(Photo credit: Dustin Johnson of UMHoops)

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  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Besides a W, the most important thing personally I would like to see tonight would be excellent post entry passing on offense, and perimeter defense that locks down outside shooting. If we do these two well I predict Hoosiers 85 Wolverines 69.  Indiana should get to the free throw line frequently with our advantages in the post.

  • Anonymous

    I’d say VO on Burke since he is their primary ball handler and VJIII on Hardaway.

  • InTheMtns

    Milla, I know as a coach you’re upset with this, so you’ll be glad to know that Cal hasn’t changed his mind nor is he now agreeing with his players.

    Give a watch to the video in R. Bozich’s column. It’s pretty clear Cal doesn’t agree with the players. It appears to me that he believes they lost the game because they gave IU an opportunity they should have been able to deny IU. He shakes his head at the players’ attitude of “lucky shot” and when speaking about their attitude, he says “we’ve got a long way to go with this group.”

    To be clear, we still hate pUKe though.

  • jcopey

    We’ve split with Michigan over the last two years (2-2) and almost beat them at their place last year.  We beat them 80-61 at Assembly Hall last year – for whatever reason it just seems we match up well with them.

    I’m expecting VJIII on Burke and Victor on Hardaway, Jr.  Put Jordan on Douglas/Novak, and adjust as the game play dictates.

    Watford & Zeller definitely can do some damage with their matchups.

  • What to Expect.  An IU victory

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Was this a late decision to broadcast tomorrow night on ESPN2? There is no tv information on the pocket schedule that came with my tickets for some games I bought. It is not on the Dishnetwork program guide and was curious.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Was this a late decision to broadcast tomorrow night on ESPN2? There is no tv information on the pocket schedule that came with my tickets for some games I bought. It is not on the Dishnetwork program guide and was curious.

  • Anonymous

    You probably want to call the ticket office at IU and confirm that your tickets are ok. If you’re in Ohio as your name suggests, you don’t want to drive all the way to Bloomington only to be turned away if there’s something you can do beforehand.

  • Devout Hoosier

    The schedule has 7/9pm and no TV network listed.  That’s the wallet foldout schedule the university handed out.

  • Devout Hoosier

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratings_Percentage_Index
    “RPI = (WP * 0.25) + (OWP * 0.50) + (OOWP * 0.25)
    where WP is Winning Percentage, OWP is Opponents’ Winning Percentage and OOWP is Opponents’ Opponents’ Winning Percentage.
    The WP is calculated by taking a team’s wins divided by the number of games it has played (i.e. wins plus losses).
    For Division 1 NCAA Men’s basketball, the WP factor of the RPI was updated in 2004 to account for differences in h”

  • InTheMtns

    I’m with ya, stonaroni – this could be a perfect game for Remy. He’s a freshman so one never knows, but it seems like he’ll be able to penetrate and finish against UM. Could be a great game for him.  I’d love to see either Matt or Austin light it up from 3-land, but I’m also hoping we score lots of points in the paint. That includes both feeding the Z and others playing at the rim.

  • Anonymous

    Agree. I think an easy victory. IU by 20. Not much has changed for UM since last year. Maybe Burke, that’s it. They have nobody to stop CZ and CW. They will have to double CZ, and if you don’t know by now, IU is the one the best in the country at shooting the 3. You all what CZ does for our offense as a whole. Sorry Burke, CZ is best FR in B1G. Hell, I think in the country. All my opinion, of course.

  • RPI is a very simple statistical ratings system that doesn’t take margin of victory into account. It ranks teams based on winning percentage (weighted 25%), opponents’ winning percentage (weighted 50%), and opponents’ opponents’ winning percentage (25%), with a simple correction for road and home games. This system does not weight teams well until a team plays a significant number of conference games, as the non-conference schedule doesn’t provide enough data points to adequately rank teams and the strength of non-conference schedules tend to vary widely, creating weird anomalies. KenPom and other statistical systems are able to counter these problems by incorporating offensive and defensive efficiency statistics, which have more predictive value than simply looking at wins and losses.

  • Anonymous

    I would think that UK (and OSU) fans would be pulling for IU now. Doesn’t their “L” look more respectable if we keep winning? Or..they can just keep spewing barf about us not being very good, which degrades their own team.

  • Anonymous

    I would think that UK (and OSU) fans would be pulling for IU now. Doesn’t their “L” look more respectable if we keep winning? Or..they can just keep spewing barf about us not being very good, which degrades their own team.

  • cooper

    Key is can Hulls stop the penetration on D and can he penetrate and feed the post on offense. It’s really what every game comes down to. For the most part You know what you will get from Wat and Zeller and the good and bad that comes with VJ and VO. You just don’t know if Hulls can do anything on D or do anything on offense but shoot.

  • Every game scares me. 

  • Derbus

    http://espn.go.com/videohub/video/clip?id=7422305&categoryid=2378529
    How many fans thought we’d be where we are right now???    Gratitude to the hoops gods!!!  lmao

  • Hoos13rs

    I was pleasantly surprised will Elston’s D on Sullinger. Never would have expected he could shut him down or even slow him down. 

  • Eyes_of_silver

    Here’s something I don’t get.  Everybody gets concerned that this guy or that will abuse Jordy  when he’s on d.  And what they keep forgetting is that this is a two way street.  Maybe Jordy abuses them when he has the ball.

  • Eyes_of_silver

    Here’s something I don’t get.  Everybody gets concerned that this guy or that will abuse Jordy  when he’s on d.  And what they keep forgetting is that this is a two way street.  Maybe Jordy abuses them when he has the ball.

  • Anonymous

    I not too young to remember 75 and 76 (and before).  Those were the days my friend, we thought they’d never end. That would be great lyrics for a song.   Call the obvious charge on Walton and he sits in lieu of Downing.  IU probably hangs another banner in 73.  Sorry if I sound like a UK fan; the refs did us in, but unlike the UK zombies, I don’t profess that for every loss, but sure do on this one.

  • Lawinohio

    Turns out, I misread the tickets.  They said 9PM all along, which makes me truly question my reading comprehension skills lol 

    Thanks for the response and concern!

  • Lawinohio

    Turns out, I just misread the tickets, as seemingly impossible as that sounds lol

  • CreamandCrimson

    Thank you!  I watched the video and didn’t see where people were getting the view that Calipari was agreeing with his players.  The players feel IU was lucky, Calipari feels Kentucky gave IU an opportunity and IU took it (he’s right).  Everyone needs to actually watch the video clip before they rip Calipari or the Kentucky coaching staff.  

  • CreamandCrimson

    Thank you!  I watched the video and didn’t see where people were getting the view that Calipari was agreeing with his players.  The players feel IU was lucky, Calipari feels Kentucky gave IU an opportunity and IU took it (he’s right).  Everyone needs to actually watch the video clip before they rip Calipari or the Kentucky coaching staff.  

  • Anonymous

    Good snag with VJIII.  I think he adds a lot to the team, but in the last 5 minutes of the game he needs to be pass first.  he is running the point for a reason, to get the ball to CZ, shots to CW and 3’s to Hulls.  CTC has to reign him in.

    He made the great drive against UK, but he passed it that is why we won.

  • Anonymous

    Good snag with VJIII.  I think he adds a lot to the team, but in the last 5 minutes of the game he needs to be pass first.  he is running the point for a reason, to get the ball to CZ, shots to CW and 3’s to Hulls.  CTC has to reign him in.

    He made the great drive against UK, but he passed it that is why we won.

  • Anonymous

    Duke beat Michigan…and Duke just lost to TEMPLE.  I’m probably not the only one, but I LOVE to see overrated Duke lose against a subpar team such as Temple.  🙂

    IU has played extremely well at home this year, and I don’t believe that will change tonight.  I hope that the HALL will be rocking!  GO IU

    IU by 9

  • Anonymous

    Don’t forget that, on the night UK had 5 guys taken in the first round of the NBA draft, Calipari said, “I’d like to say it is the biggest day in the history of Kentucky’s program,” which means getting five guys paid trumps any of the seven championships the school had previously won.

    Don’t compare him to Jerry—Jerry wants to win more than anything. Maybe he doesn’t necessarily go about it the best way, but that’s all Jerry wants is to win.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll take 1.
    And the only time I’m for Duke is if they’re playing NC or the demon seed UK.

  • Anonymous

    Well said.  It was awesome last year when pUKe tried to honor Cal with his 500th win..oh wait, you mean we can’t count those vacated wins from Memphis and UMass?  I’m glad the NCAA actually stood up and said something about it.

  • Anonymous

    Well said.  It was awesome last year when pUKe tried to honor Cal with his 500th win..oh wait, you mean we can’t count those vacated wins from Memphis and UMass?  I’m glad the NCAA actually stood up and said something about it.

  • Frank

    Agreed! I saw that game against UCLA. It was an awful call. Here lately I have gotton to know Walton a bit. We email back and forth and I asked him about that call. He doesn’t answer. I don’t hold it against him tho – it was the referee.

    Do you remember the poster of Walton with his arm around Buckner walking off the floor after the game? I think it was the second most popular poster during that era. The top one was of course Mark Spitz with the 7 gold medals around his neck.

    For those of you who were around “back then” they used to turn the lights down low before the game and the band would play “Come on without – Come on within – you  ain’t seen nothing like the might Quinn” and Quinn Buckner would lead the team out onto the floor. Still raises the hair on the back of my neck just thinking about it. What a start to a home game.

    Go Big Red!

  • Yinka Double Dare

    Duke also beat Michigan State. 

  • Axiom Police

    Duke beat Michigan State, too, and who did they beat?

    God, I love college basketball.

  • Megan Saillant

    So we’re still unsure about Sheehey?

  • Anonymous

    Sure do remember, do you remember the old field house? Was there when UK beat us with McGinnis & Downing.
    I saw George in the high school allstar game in Lou; think he had 53 and 32.  What a night. That was after the KY kid said McGinnis was overrated.

  • Anonymous

    Frank, if you get an opportunity, would you email me, I have a question you may be able to help me with.
    thanks,
    jackj100@yahoo.com

  • Anonymous

    I was there, too, as a freshman.  George called timeout just as one of our players went up for a shot and drained what would have been the winning basket.  Instead we lost in OT.

  • WALT

    IU needs to play like it is their house and  dispatch UM quickly.  Last nite, saw a little of Ill and NW, and Iowa and Minn., hate to seem or feel cocky, but sure a lot different than last year. Their place or ours.  IU wins. 

  • Yimyames

    Where’s a good spot to eat and have a beer pregame?

  • CorMan

    Crean said in the Herald Times that he is improving but still questionable for tonight’s game.

  • CorMan

    IU by 11 – game will be in the 70s-80s.

  • CorMan

    What I really miss is as a child waiting around the TV for when the game was to begin and hear that sweet old lady humming the IU fight song while mopping the hallway of some campus facility…THAT was a magical feeling…..I wish I could find that on UTUBE or somehow get ahold of it.  Does anyone know?

  • randy

    yimyames, are you a louisville fan? nice my morning jacket (jim james, solo) reference as a user name!

  • Anonymous

    Can’t go wrong with Yogi’s on 10th

  • InTheMtns

    Off topic, but in case you missed it, CollegeInsider.com named Tom Crean as the recepient of their Jim Phelan mid-season coach of the year award. Of course, the FULL season is what really counts, but it seems like a nice honor.

    INDIANA’S TOM CREAN RECEIVES MID-SEASON HONORS

    BOSTON (MA) — After leading Indiana to a 12-0 start, Tom Crean earns the Jim Phelan award mid-season coaching honors.

    Most experts expected very little from the Hoosier’s this season, but instead they are off to the best start since the 1975-76 season when Indiana went 32-0 on their way to the national title and the last undefeated season in NCAA Division I.

    After two home wins to the start the season, Indiana went on the road and beat Evansville. It was the first road victory for the Hoosiers in over a year. Wins over Butler, NC State and Notre Dame followed but the biggest win came on Dec. 10 when the Hoosiers knocked off No. 1 ranked Kentucky.

    After spending nine seasons as the head coach at Marquette, Crean is now in his fourth season at Indiana.

    The Jim Phelan award is presented annually to the top Division I coach in college basketball. The award is named after Jim Phelan who coached his entire career at Mount Saint Mary’s University. He led the Mountaineers to the 1962 NCAA Men’s Division II Basketball Championship. When he retired in 2003, after coaching for 49 years, he amassed 830 wins (overall record of 830-524) in over 1,300 games in all divisions. In those 49 years, 19 of his teams amassed 20 or more wins in a season.

    The winner of the 2012 Jim Phelan Award will be announced on March 30 in New Orleans, site of the NCAA men’s basketball championship. Previous
    recipients include Stew Morrill (Utah State 2011), Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh
    2010), John Calipari (Memphis 2009), Bo Ryan (Wisconsin 2008), Tony
    Bennett (Washington State 2007), Ben Howland (UCLA 2006), Tubby Smithc
    (Kentucky 2005) Phil Martelli (Saint Joseph’s 2004) and Mark Slonaker
    (Mercer 2003).

  • Jackj100

    I remember that also, I was in the UK end zone and saw the shot rip through the net and thought the game was over.  A few seconds later, discovered George had called time out.  Bummer.

  • Anonymous

    Loved that song.
    Here you go:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdsCEFA1Ln0