A month after Hoosiers stop Wolverines, teams to rematch in Ann Arbor

  • 03/08/2014 7:44 am in

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Just over a month ago, then-No. 10 Michigan came into Assembly Hall on a 10-game winning streak. It left with a 63-52 loss, its third straight defeat at the hands of the Hoosiers and one of Indiana’s four wins over ranked opponents in the 2013-2014 season.

Since then, the No. 12 Wolverines (22-7, 14-3) have gone on to win the outright Big Ten regular season title. The Hoosiers (17-13, 7-10), meanwhile, have continued their up-and-down season — most recently losing by 10 points, at home, to Nebraska on Wednesday.

That 31-game regular-season slate ends today at 6 p.m. in the Crisler Center, as both teams face each other, once again. But the Hoosiers don’t expect a similar matchup to that on Feb. 2.

“They’ll adjust and we’ll adjust,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said on Friday. “That’s part of it. They’ll have different things and we’ll have different things. We’ll just see what happens when the game comes.”

During that February game, the Wolverines’ first loss of the Big Ten season, the Hoosiers held the nation’s No. 3 offense to its lowest-scoring output of the season. In fact, it’s the only time this season the Wolverines were held below 60 points.

That game, the Hoosiers employed certain switches on defense that baffled the Wolverines — that according to Michigan coach John Beilein.

“There’s specific ways you have to play Michigan,” freshman Devin Davis said. “We’ve been preparing for it since the Nebraska game, but they have great floor spacing. We’ll all have to guard as a team and come in with Indiana toughness.”

It’s well-documented what the Wolverines do successfully on offense — they have the No. 1 rank in the Big Ten in effective field goal percentage (56.8), 3-point field goal percentage (41.4), 2-point field goal percentage (53.7) and free throw percentage (76.9). 54.9 percent of its field goals are off assists — second in the Big Ten, as well.

And in the Hoosiers’ first game against the Wolverines, they held Michigan to a points per possession rate more than 0.2 below its conference-play average and held its leading scorer — Nik Stauskas (17.3 points per game) to just six points.

Since then, Michigan has scored at least 70 points in five games, including three of its past four, and scored its most points since Dec. 28 (vs. Holy Cross) in a Tuesday, 84-53 win, at Illinois.

“They drive the ball and penetrate so well that if you over-help on that penetration, they carve you up,” Crean said. “And that’s easier said than done, I know, as far as defensively.”

And the Hoosiers admit stopping that for a second time today will not be easy against the Big Ten champions, which have only lost twice at home all season.

“We have got to do a great job defensively in that game all the way across the board,” Crean said. “They run a lot of different actions and they put everybody on the court that can score.”

Crean unsure of Vonleh’s playing status 

Freshman Noah Vonleh is once again questionable for today’s game with left foot inflammation that has caused him to miss the Hoosiers’ past two games.

Crean said that Vonleh was participating in practice “some” on Friday, though he wouldn’t go as far to say his star freshman would be likely to play. He did say that on Tuesday before the Nebraska game, though Vonleh told Crean on Wednesday that he was not comfortable with playing.

“I fully thought that he’d be a go the other day, but he just wasn’t,” Crean said. “So we’ll just have to wait. I know he wants to play, but we’ll just have to wait and see until tomorrow.”

Filed to:

  • Alford Bailey

    Is there any more specific info. on what is causing the foot inflammation?

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Did CTC say he will make adjustments? Must be a 5 guard lineup instead of playing Hanner & Noah together! Lmfao

  • BMusic

    I’m looking forward to this. We have a team of high-caliber young men. Fighters. They’ve shown they can step it up for the big game. And while our season isn’t hanging in the balance, it’s a chance to show what we’re made of. We’ve shown we can compete with anyone at home, and it would be a sign of growth to show that we can go do it on the road. A statement win. The biggest of the season, and something to build on for next season.

    Let’s go get it done, Hoosiers!

  • kaponya44

    I am a bit worried that this particular game will be a blowout loss given the impact of the Nebraska loss on any at-large tourney chances, but I do agree this is a GREAT opportunity to make the “statement” you mentioned.Not to mention it being another chance to respond to adversity and build a tiny bit of momentum for the BTT.

  • MillaRed

    Coach mentioned it was season long right? Can’t remember. Wonder if that injury affects his draft entry possibilities at all.

  • Court Storming Hoosier

    NV’s injury increases his chance of leaving IMO. He could be protecting himself from further injury so he isn’t hurt during the draft. I think the same thing is happening at Kansas with Embiid. This is all speculation of course, and I really hope he stays. I just don’t think he will when he is projected 5th or 6th in the draft, and staying/playing just increases his chances of getting hurt more.

  • Robert J Morgan

    If Ind could get 1 point for every 10 dribbles, they would be 20 points ahead. Started out passing then then the inevientable dribble

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Down by 9, 6 minutes to go & CTC is running a spread offense. Dakich cals it IUs chaotic offense! Lol

  • Kent Thomas

    I know you guys all love Yogi but in my opinion he is a major part of the problem and NOT a major part of the solution. He either dribbles away the clock at mid-court or drives the lane on a mission to no where or makes some kind of hope-and-prayer, errant pass. If only he tries for the NBA after this season or decides to concentrate on scholastics and withdraws from the basketball team.

  • Gregory Spera


  • Dave Carnes

    Don’t you read the recruiting boards” The player you speak of is Gods gift to basketball.