The Minute After: Michigan

Thoughts on a 68-56 loss to the Wolverines:

Things did not start well in Ann Arbor this evening.

Indiana missed shots. It turned the ball over and allowed Michigan to have its way on offense. The Wolverines frustrated Cody Zeller down low. With 7:12 to go before half, the Hoosiers had only mustered eight points and were down 20. The road has not been kind to this team in Big Ten play. And here they were, struggling amidst the cheers of the opposing crowd once again. But Jordan Hulls came to play. He made threes; he made runners in the lane. And things began to settle. By half, the Hoosiers were (only) down 11 after turning the ball over on 29.9% of their possessions and lacking polish and poise for a long stretch before the break.

The second half began and Tom Crean made some changes. Out came Christian Watford from the starting lineup after only playing seven minutes in the first half. In came Derek Elston. In came Remy Abell for the injured Verdell Jones, Victor Oladipo for Will Sheehey. For the second straight game, Elston displayed how he’s capable of performing when he brings energy and focus (nine points on 3-of-4 shooting, two rebounds). He was key in keeping this one close in the second half. And when Crean inserted Watford back into the lineup, he rose to what was surely a challenge from his coach. He guarded Trey Burke well for a stretch, using his size to disrupt him. Hulls kept scoring (18 points, 6-of-12, 4-of-5 from three). Tim Hardaway Jr. was mostly inefficient on the offensive end for Michigan. And this game was well within reach for the Hoosiers.

But as we’ve seen of late on the road, the home team has executed when it matters and the Hoosiers have fallen flat. So after Watford split a pair of free throw to pull the Hoosiers within two (52-50) with 2:58 to go, that was as close as Indiana would get. Burke penetrated and dished to Hardaway, who made his second three (2-of-8) of the night. Michigan’s next possession was more of the same. Hardaway missed a lay-up, but Indiana allowed Jordan Morgan to snag an offensive rebound, similar to how the Hoosier let it slip away against Wisconsin late by giving up crucial rebounds to the opponent. Michigan ran some clock. Burke drove baseline on Abell and kicked to Hardaway Jr. in the left corner. He passed up to Stu Douglass on the left wing. Douglass drained a three. Indiana found itself down 58-50 with 1:47 to go and that was pretty much all she wrote, save for some desperation late fouling.

Another road loss for the Hoosiers. Another reminder that for all the improvements this team has showed from this season to last, winning on the road in the Big Ten remains an elusive proposition.

SOME NUMBERS

+ For the game, Indiana turned the ball over on 24.1% of its possessions (14 total). Michigan converted these miscues into 17 points. That’s 25 percent of the Wolverines’ points right there.

+ While Indiana allowed a key offensive rebound late in the game to Michigan, it actually did a great job containing the Wolverines there for most of the contest. Michigan only recorded three offensive rebounds the entire game (12.0 OR%). (Though, Michigan’s offensive rebounding is not a strong suit.)

+ Indiana had a below average night from beyond the arc, hitting just 5-of-14 (35.7%). If the Hoosiers fail to keep up their hot shooting from 3-point range, they’re going to need to find other ways to score.

  • Dick_Pepperfield

    Check the non-calls. That’s what I am talking about.

  • Dick_Pepperfield

    Well that is pretty simple smart guy, we will lose our road games and win our home games. Did you even read my post? Probably not, you are just ready to criticize my post without even giving it a thought. Watch and see for yourself  the rest of the season. You might just learn something

  • Dick_Pepperfield

    Well that is pretty simple smart guy, we will lose our road games and win our home games. Did you even read my post? Probably not, you are just ready to criticize my post without even giving it a thought. Watch and see for yourself  the rest of the season. You might just learn something

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    Yeah and had anybody else been able to play defense the way he did, we would have stoped them for scoring another eight points and been ahead at certain points and still lost by four?  Seriously, I get your point, sort of.  He was “disappointing” on perhaps his worst few plays.  But as an overall assesment of his relative worth in the game, “disappointing” is hardly the adjective I’d attach.  Sometimes you take a shot to keep them honest.  The coaching staff emphasized his need to improve his outside shot in the offseason, and while I agree it has not translated too well into the season, I really don’t blame a kid for trying to use it.  He is shooting only 21% from deep this year (but still a decent 48% overall).

    I guess what gets me is how many people on here are so convinced that Sheehey should start and Remy should play a bunch and VJII is terrible and VO is trailing off.  I read that stuff a lot.  To me, there is some truth to it.  I like Remy and Sheehey.  But there is also a lot of backup quarterback syndrome going on here too.

    The Inside the Hall consensus, as I see it, had a huge victory and a huge defeat.  Remy showed he could handle an increased role and bring a positive impact to the game.

    Our starting lineup, with VO hooked in favor of Will, had a terrible start to the game.  I’m not sure I’d put that completely on Will.  But I really though we missed VO in there from the start.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    I’ve actually thought that we have done a great job executing on timeout plays and in-bound plays this season (which is the only time a coach uses x’s and o’s for those that like to use the term too broadly as a nonsensical knock on Crean). 

    Last year, I was really frustrated with our inability to execute in those situations.  This year we have gotten great shots there and generally made them.  The difference I see is not the coach, same guy there, but we have more to work with in terms of talent.  As many have pointed out, this is not a team tied with the ’75 or ’76 squad for the most talented team we ever had at IU.  I think we will get even better at executing as our talent level continues to increase.

    If I did have a knock on Crean now, its that we don’t use enough of our timeouts to stop the bleeding or draw something up that will get us a bucket.  But I’ll probably be complementing him on letting our kids play through it next year when that works.

    As much as I like Bob Knight, I kind of have to assume anybody making some comment like yours above “Class of 73,” about “Crean not being Bob Knight” or suggesting he needed to play to coach, isn’t really giving the guy a real chance.  Change is good my friend.  Remember that or you’ll get left behind by the Movement.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    And can we get a “Stand Up Old People” chant going, just to clear the air.

  • IULaw79

    me too. 

  • IUJeff

    Go back to your PUke boards Lafayette_Joe. You are not fooling all of us here. You are just trying to stir sh_t. 

    Last I checked Michigan has played the toughest schedule in the land, is a top 25 team, and they were at home. 

    The fact that we had the game within 2 with about 3:20 to go means that CTC was right not calling a TO in the first half.

    The clapper comments do not come from IU fans. Go away.  

  • Hoosier in Ohio

    If Crean  knows how to coach than why with 9 minutes to go after Indiana battled back and to get within 2 point did Crean substitue 4 of the 5 players. Two of which were freshman. Within 2 minutes Michigan had scored 8 straight points and had the lead back up to to ten before Crean could get a decent line up back in. Why not rotate the substitution like he had for the first 10 minutes of the half??   
    No wonder we couldn’t score in th last 5 minutes we ran one play, high pick for Hulls. That is normally a good play but you can’t run the same paly 15 times in a row and expect to score. The other team wiil adjust.
    Why not go high low with two of the big guys or clear one side for OC or Hulls to drive. Anything but that dripple dripple offense.
    The next thing is our defense, why does every team we play score layup after layup in the first half. Is it because our  players are slow and not athletic? No, it’s because IU’s coaches can’t teach defense. OV and Will are best at moving their feet and getting in front of the offensive player. VJ doesn’t guard anyone, our week side player either doesn’ commit or he over commits and leaves his man wide open for a three. Hulls tries but  the big guards shoot right over him.There is a reason we our last in the big ten in defense and it’s not the players but some really bad coaching.
    Indiana will never win big ten games on the road until they learn how to play defense. Michingan State at Illinois shot 22 % this week and only lost the game by one point. If Indiana would shoot 22% at Illinois they would lose by 50.

  • Jon McClain

    very well said.

  • Jon McClain

    very well said.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I read your post.  You said the games were basically predetermined and the Big Ten was pretty much run by the equivalent of Vince McMahon.  What happened during the Penn State game?  Did we flip the script on the conference and go against what was predetermined?  How about when Iowa won at Wisconsin?  Or when Purdue won at Northwestern? 

    If (and I know it’s a big if) IU wins another road game this season are you sticking to your theory that IU loses “simply because we are the road team”?

    I understand what you are saying and it’s not going over my head.  I just think saying the games are basically predetermined is incorrect.  

  • Outoftheloop

    IU is 2 losses away from a truly GREAT season so far, MN at home and Nebraska on the road! Get a grip on reality. Take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning.

  • Outoftheloop

    So who are you talking about-”unathletic”? Zeller, Oladipo, Sheehey, and Abell are great athletes. Watford at 6’9 is a gifted athlete. Jones at 6’5 is a long and very coordinated athlete. Elston is a real athletic 6’9. That is 7 of our top 9 players-Hulls and Roth- just shoot lights out. The problems are well documented: defense, rebounding and toughness. But most importantly is consistency! Jones, Watford, Hulls, Elston, Oladipo, and Sheehey can only be counted on to play really well 50% of the time. That will not lead to victories on the road in the B1G!

  • Outoftheloop

    OK then give the Coach credit for the 17 wins!

  • Outoftheloop

    I would say that those games were “up for grabs” not “for the taking”. You seem to forget that there is another Division I basketball team with 13 scholarship athletes there trying to do the same thing!

  • Outoftheloop

    OK I “blame” Crean for being 17-6 after the abyss of rebuilding in 4 years and getting IU into the NCAA Tourney! Sounds like “praise” not “blame” to me.

  • Outoftheloop

    You are correct, they are only the #20 best team in the US, not one of the top #5! But that is pretty good for a turn-around in 3 1/2 years!

  • Outoftheloop

    We lost by 2 to MN on a day when no one on our roster played very well! The only loss at home so far this season (13-1). I am afraid that you “don’t have a clue”.

  • Outoftheloop

    A clever use of a time-out might be worth 1/10 point. Since you only get 4 per half, it is still not worth 1 point/game. You win or lose by scoring and stopping the other guy. Only the players on the court can do either. A really good game coach might help instill leadership and confidence and make some good adjustments during the game. The players have to “do it”. Right now no one on this team can “do it” consistently. Buckner, Thomas, Alford could and did. But only Jones is a senior, so everyone else on this team has at least another year to improve and “get it done”!

  • Outoftheloop

    Good points Ace.

  • Outoftheloop

    Yes, I always thought that Brebuf was a tough road game, while the brats are so tasty in Madison WI. Oh, you meant it the other way around.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Good thing about that is that we would all feel better about the team had they beat Neb and Minn and lost to pUKe and OSU but the voters and NCAA selection committee wouldn’t.  Those losses still aren’t to teams outside the RPI top 100 and I’d rather have the two signature wins with losses to those guys at this point.  It’s actually probably a blessing in disguise, although I would’ve preferred the signature wins and wins against those two schools!

  • Schipp

    It is clear your are great at analyzing a game.  When you can point out to everyone how IU doesn’t consistantly breakdown on defense, I would love to hear your point of view.  But I guess I just have to settle for you telling us we didn’t play very well.  Great insight! 

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