Defense earns Indiana win over No. 1 Michigan

IUUMITH0004Like it did last year, Indiana took down No. 1 at Assembly Hall on Saturday night. Only this time, no court storming was necessary.

While it will go down as an upset by the rankings, these are the kinds of games the Hoosiers are expected to win these days. That’s a credit to Tom Crean, who has rebuilt this thing from nothing.

No. 3 Indiana 81, No. 1 Michigan 73.

“Indiana is a heck of a team,” star Michigan guard Trey Burke said. “I’m glad we got an opportunity to play them tonight.”

I’ve been critical of Crean in the past for his occasional failure to make adjustments (See: Wisconsin), but he came up with a masterful game plan against the Wolverines. He figured Burke would get his, but Crean devised a defensive game plan to keep any other player from going off.

The Hoosiers almost completely took freshmen Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III out of the game, holding them to a combined 12 points on 4-of-16 shooting.

“They were locking down on Glenn and Nik, not letting them get the ball, and then putting good pressure on us,” said Michigan coach John Beilein.

Added Burke: “They kind of made us win the game just from the point guard and the center position. Indiana did a good job of denying them. It was tough getting them the ball.”

This is not the same team that so often won games because of its ability to outscore teams. With Victor Oladipo and Yogi Ferrell leading the charge, this Indiana team now prides itself on its defense.

When shots stopped falling as they occasionally did Saturday night, the Hoosiers’ defense kept a Michigan team full of offensive firepower from claiming the lead.

“We felt that the Indiana defense they saw last year was what they remembered,” Crean said, “and we wanted to give them something different because we did not guard them as well as we should have a year ago. We really wanted to prove to ourselves tonight that we were a much better defensive team against a team that’s that good.”

That defense is a big reason why wins like the one we saw Saturday night aren’t a surprise anymore. Indiana could put up the points last year, too. Its season ended in the Sweet 16 because it couldn’t stop Kentucky from scoring.

Saturday was a different story. Oladipo proved once again that he’s the nation’s best defender. He allowed only four points all night while guarding four different players, according to ESPN’s Jay Bilas. And one of those four players was Burke, who went for 25 points.

“I’ve seen a lot of players, and I don’t know if I’ve seen one quicker, faster and more athletic than Oladipo,” Beilein said.

Christian Watford, as he often does in big games, turned in a huge effort. He had 14 points and 10 rebounds, including nine big defensive boards.

Ferrell spent most of the game on Burke, and did an admirable job wearing him down. And Jeremy Hollowell, who continues to play better and earn more playing time as a result, was terrific in his time on the court. He had four points, four rebounds and three blocked shots in 10 minutes of action, and completely outplayed his freshman counterpart, Robinson III.

“Jeremy is really gaining confidence because he’s spending so much extra time outside of practice on his game,” Crean said. “Instead of sitting there and feeling sorry for himself, he became one of those guys that’s in the gym in the morning or in the gym at night along with his practice time.”

Last year, Indiana shocked the nation when it beat No. 1 Kentucky. This year, beating No. 1 Michigan is just a small accomplishment on the path to the ultimate goal.

“I hope when we meet at the end of the season,” Crean said, “we’re all playing for something really big.”

  • campy1

    Great team win. Props to Hollowell!

  • A_Schick

    Thank you for the credit given to Jeremy. He’s earned it as of late.

  • HoosierPat

    Hollowell is really coming along. He started out as a deer in the headlights, but now he looks like he belongs.

  • http://www.vccm.net/ iubase

    JH is more comfortable and quicker out there. He is playing unselfish and really asserting himself on D. Vic is amazing and sets the bar for everyone else. Jeremy is learning what it takes to be succesful at this level. Great team effort….
    I know people will nitpick the TOs and CTC will clean this up. They had great energy out there, and will develop more poise to stay in “the zone” (which they were in beginning the game), but this is a process and will take time. Basically, they played great but have the potential to be better….
    Great team effort – VOs energy fuels this and CZ, Cwat and Hull’s leadership shape it….CTC put these pieces in place….great team effort..
    oh yeah, props to Yogi as well….his development is impressive..I know the recruits see this….

  • sloan screen #45

    Give CTC credit for a great defensive gameplan. Yea Burke got his but their offensive flow was disrupted all night. Even though Hulls got beat by Hardaway a few times I thought he done a good job considering his limitations on D. Hollowell with 3 big time blocks was impressive. I differ with CTC on his last sentence. I hope we have it wrapped up before we have to go up there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/edward.gomez.90 Edward Gomez

    I’m liking the development of Jeremy Hollowell.

  • Kenneth234

    Hollowell certainly was bigger the moments in last nights game. I think his only mistake was the charge in the first half. Although, I think that the play could have went as a no call just as easily as it was called a charge, it still has to be chalked up as a mistake. However, outside of that, he was brilliant in comparison to his stretch early in the season.

    Defensively, I think Indiana showed that they are a top level defensive team as they did a very good job of making Michigan be nearly one dimensional. Taking Staukas (not sure of the spelling) and Robinson out of their games was a huge statement. Although Burke did hit some incredibly difficult shots to get to 20+, for the most part he was frustrated by Sheehey, Yogi, and Victor. I am not sure if there is another team in the country that can defend Michigan that way. Perhaps only Ohio St, Florida and Louisville would come close.

  • 5_Banners

    A couple things:

    1. Crean is a great coach. Anyone that says otherwise is simply not watching the games. Great gameplan tonight…I think thats how you beat Michigan again in Ann Harbor.

    2. It’s great to see Hollowell working extra hard on his game. It’s definitely showing on the court. Him and Elton could be x-factors going forward.

    3. If this team continues to play defense at a high level along with their offense, I don’t know many teams that will beat IU.

  • Southport65

    Actually Hulls guarded Stauskas most of the time and took him out of his comfort zone(3-10 and 1-5 from 3) as did Watford guarding Robinson(1-6). Stopping those two were huge but this was a team defensive win! You can’t say IU has not improved defensively any more. The numbers don’t lie.

  • pbat

    The charge should have been a no-call… or a flop. On the replay you could see Hardaway’s knees buckling before there was any contact.

  • http://twitter.com/HoosiersFTW David Yaraschefski

    I just flat out love this team. Regardless of how they end up doing at the end of the season, this has been one of my favorite IU teams to root for in a long time.

  • Eastwood88_2

    Only one time did he get around hulls to the basket. if it wasn’t for the moving screens hulls would have held him to 2-4 pts

  • sloan screen #45

    Hulls done a great job on Staukas. He did, I believe, get switched on to Hardaway a couple of times which is a huge mismatch. Cant blame Hulls there. This was probably one of the best defensive games Jordy has played IMO.

  • SCHoosier

    Jordy played him well..but Stauskas missed at least 3 wide open shots he normally hits. I think you can credit the game pressure, crowd etc.for that performance last night. At half time..UM grade Rose said “they need to get the ball to Robinson in a place he can do something with it.” IU/WAT defense made sure that never really happened.

  • HoosierPat

    I am often critical of Jordan Hulls, especially on defense, but I though he did a nice job guarding Stauskas last night. I was worried about that match-up because he has 6 inches on Jordy, but he was held to 30% shooting from the field.

  • PDXHoosier

    Great pressure defense by everyone last night, especially denying the ball to the wings. Sheehey did well against Burke, he just makes tough shots and that step-back is impossible to defend.

  • Mop Lady

    anyone know which recruits were at the game?

  • Mop Lady

    anyone know which recruits were at the game?

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Last night he looked like a deer jumping Michigan players!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Last night he looked like a deer jumping Michigan players!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Those of us who “occasionally” question coaching don’t question CTC’s game plans or motivation. It’s typically in game adjustments where he can get outcoached but only by some of the best coaches in the country!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    The worst charge call of the game was when Burke (I think) fell down before CWat even made his move! He was on the ground before there was any contact even made! Ridiculous and the charging call is the most overused call in basketball! It sometimes ruins great plays and good games!

  • Kenneth234

    Unfortunately enough, the flop was Michigan’s best defensive tool in yesterday’s game. And even more unfortunate, the referees’ were not skilled enough to realize they were flopping.

  • 5_Banners

    I agree and I’m not saying people cannot question what Crean does game to game, but after the Butler game, a lot of people were touting Stevens as the better coach and Crean needed to be replaced by Stevens.

    I really think Crean is a great coach and time to time, he will get “out-coached” i guess but I wouldn’t trade him for Izzo, Stevens or any other coach. JMO

  • IUJeff

    I would not trade him for any other coach either but don’t kid yourself, CTC is not on Brad Stephens level yet.
    It is 2 national championship games in a row and multipe league titles, versus a final four appearance.
    Those calling for CTC to be replaced by BS were wrong.

  • http://www.babytown.com/ OceanArcher

    I’m not sure how this will go down as an upset When we were 8 point favorites @ game time. We should have won and we Did and we covered the spread

  • http://www.babytown.com/ OceanArcher

    I’m not sure how this will go down as an upset When we were 8 point favorites @ game time. We should have won and we Did and we covered the spread

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Justin-Albers/726287260 Justin Albers

    They were never eight point favorites…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Justin-Albers/726287260 Justin Albers

    Plus, I clearly said: “upset by the rankings.” Last time I checked, No. 1 is higher than No. 3.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Stauskus missed some wide open shots, thus some of it was a poor shooting night.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Stauskus missed some wide open shots, thus some of it was a poor shooting night.

  • http://www.babytown.com/ OceanArcher

    They opened @ -5 then went to -8 @ game time on sportsbetting.com. spread may differ with other bookies. Youre right 3 beating 1 is an upset by rankings.

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    The spread was -5 at tipoff.

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    The spread was -5 at tipoff.

  • dfitz

    Hoo….Hoo…Hoo’s #1

  • http://www.facebook.com/shawncongo Shawn Congo

    UM grad?!? Did Jalen go back & get his degree?!?

  • SCHoosier

    Beats me..I thought he had..made enuff in the pro’s doesn’t really make a difference does it?

  • HoosierKen73

    True, but an argument could be made, he was out coached in both of them… Especially two years ago.. They really just did not show up for that game.. I would say two failures in a row at that level, isn’t something I would like to have Crean emulate… JMO…That’s nearly as bad as the three coaches that have gone to the super Bowl four times and always lost… Not really something you can be proud of… JMO…

  • HoosierKen73

    I agree with you on crediting it to game pressure.. but I think crowd noise may be largely overplayed. Don’t get me wrong, I think it helps us get ‘jacked up’ for and during the game..but nearly to a man when the Michigan guys were asked about the crowd noise, they generally said, crowd noise is something you learn to expect on the road in the Big 10. They said yes, it was louder.. but didn’t feel it bothered them at all. Ergo.. I think it’s a big help to the home team… but has only moderate effect in taking the other team out of their game.. JMO…

  • HoosierKen73

    I don’t think he did…get his degree that is… So you really can’t call him a U of M grad..if he didn’t graduate. He is a ‘homer’ though…for sure. Did you see b4 the game he was about the only one on Game Day that picked the Wolverines. It was pretty cool that Digger said something like.. “If ya come in here ranked number one, you’d better get ready to leave with your tail between your legs.. LMAO… Don’t remember exactly how he said that, Thought it was pretty cool coming from Phelps.

  • HoosierKen73

    I don’t think he did…get his degree that is… So you really can’t call him a U of M grad..if he didn’t graduate. He is a ‘homer’ though…for sure. Did you see b4 the game he was about the only one on Game Day that picked the Wolverines. It was pretty cool that Digger said something like.. “If ya come in here ranked number one, you’d better get ready to leave with your tail between your legs.. LMAO… Don’t remember exactly how he said that, Thought it was pretty cool coming from Phelps.

  • marcusgresham

    Almost as cool as them reminding Digger of the score after his first trip to the Hall.

  • marcusgresham

    Almost as cool as them reminding Digger of the score after his first trip to the Hall.

  • marcusgresham

    Wow, I thought Hollowell was pouting and certain to transfer. Seems like a lot of people need to give up reading the tea leaves.

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