The Minute After: Michigan

  • 03/08/2014 9:13 pm in

Thoughts on an 84-80 loss to the Wolverines:

In their final Big Ten contest of the 2013-2014 season, Indiana showed exactly what it was this year: A talented, yet flawed team that just never showed enough consistency to make it to the Big Dance as an at-large squad.

Indiana’s offense was terrific in this one. John Beilein never tossed a packed 2-3 zone at the Hoosiers, and so Indiana was able to play with confidence and to its strengths. It was easier for Yogi Ferrell to move around in the half court. He scored at the rim and from beyond the arc (4-of-8) and the attention he drew helped him set up his teammates (eight assists, tied for a season high) en route to 16 points. Troy Williams and Will Sheehey cut off the ball for scores as Ferrell found them. Sheehey chipped in two from distance for six of his 17 points, as IU shot 38.9 percent from 3-point range. Williams had a number of highlight dunks, none more emphatic than a first half slam over Jordan Morgan. He finished with 16 points. It was another strong game for the freshman, adding to his late-season offensive surge.

Stanford Robinson, who’s struggled at the line this season, hit all nine of his attempts for most of his 13 points. The Hoosiers notched an effective field goal percentage of 66.3 percent and scored 1.21 points per possession. In most games, this is enough to grab a victory. But Indiana also did what it’s done pretty much all season: turn the ball over in wild, silly ways. After just three turnovers in the first half, the Hoosiers coughed it up 12 times in the second half and ended the game with a 22.7 turnover percentage. There were bad passes, poor dribbles, travels — no good, horrible decisions abound. They played too fast and without poise.

It allowed the Wolverines, who, don’t forget, own the top offense in the conference, to come roaring back from their six-point halftime deficit to punch a lead out to 11 with 4:55 to go. It seemed they would run away winning this one. But Indiana never turned the ball over during the final five minutes as the offense continued to hum. A Stanford Robinson score tied it up at 75-all with 1:29 to go. But on the Wolverines’ ensuing possession, Nik Stauskas, who was much more effective in this one (21 points), broke down the defense, got Devin Davis to commit and stop his drive to the rim. This left Glen Robinson III open in the corner. He splashed the trey to put Michigan up three. Indiana would get within two after a Noah Vonleh 3-pointer with six seconds to go, but Stauskas sealed it with two late free throws.

Michigan scored 23 points off Indiana’s turnovers — 18 of which came in the second half — and notched 15 off second-chance opportunities by rebounding 34.5 percent of its misses. It also had a strong offensive performance as it ended the contest with 1.32 points per possession.

It was all just enough to sneak by the Hoosiers as the confetti rained and the nets were cut down.

Filed to:

  • Kent Thomas

    Wow, Kenny you really hurt my feelings with that one! It is always nice to know that there are real gentlemen like yourself who graduated from IU.

  • iuoiu

    Another real bright spot – we started 3 freshman, and had a 4th (Vonleh) play significant minutes. All 4 contributed in big ways, on the road against the outright BIG champs. Davis is really, really making next year look great (and yes it’s time to think like that).

    A real punch in the gut though for the team was in the 2nd half when Evan threw just a horribly lazy pass to Yogi resulting in a quick layup. A lot of our turnovers are of the moving too fast, doing too much variety which honestly are easier to stomach when you have a young team like this. This was not one of them, and made all the worse when it’s your Sr. making that pass. Not heaping on Evan, it was just one of those turning points that allowed UM to pull away.

  • iuoiu

    The only thing that would get away from next year being a big improvement would be if Vonleh leaves. It’s been obvious that the biggest single factor to this team’s struggles has been the lack of outside shooting from anyone not named Yogi. We could not stretch any defenses, and Noah suffered as a result of rampant double teams. Turnovers were an issue, but most of those came because we were forced to make “daring” drives to the hoop because it was our only strength. All it took was just ONE more guy to be a consistent threat from the outside and man what a different year we would be having.

  • Noah stays = preseason top 5. Noah leaves we are as bad as we were this year unless the big ten weakens.

  • BluegrassHoosier

    It seems like CTC teams don’t improve during the year. What you see in November is what you get in March. Yes, players make improvements like VO, Yogi, etc. but much of their great strides are from off season efforts. Pitino’s teams are just the opposite.

  • iuoiu

    You’re assuming the play was drawn up for Stan to get a 3, which just doesn’t seem logical. Most plays at this level are not that simple – instead you’ll have multiple options built into the play. Stan most likely was down the list of those options (behind Yogi and Will at least), but was feeling good and made a quick decision to take the shot. Definitely not the guy we want taking that shot, but that’s unfortunately how it worked out. At least he does not shy away from the spotlight which will be key in the future.

  • David Macer

    Which bad teams? Nebraska had a great season. Penn State beat teams at the top. Our only bad loss could be Northwestern.

  • SCHoosier

    Hated the loss and the TO’s that caused the loss. But I have to give props to the Coaches and team…IU could have phoned this one in..they didn’t and played hard (if not always smart) to the end. Congrats to Stan on his Ft shooting .Hard to believe that a team could play as well as IU did the first half..shoot in the 60% range for the second half and still lose the game. Yet another sad story where TO’s and giving up a wide open three at crunch time ruined a strong effort. Stauskas worked much harder to get open that he did in B-town. Officiating sucked for both teams….and the “new rules” have become selectively enforced and are a total joke. If that foul on Davis at 2:34 was a foul..it can be called every possession of every game in every league in the country. IU beat itself again though..that’s what is hard to handle.

  • Kenneth234

    Perhaps, but Northwestern was playing their best basketball of the season at that point and rattled off several road wins during that same stretched. So one can easily say that wasn’t a bad loss either. Just a loss.

  • Kenneth234

    Since Noah evidently spent a great deal of time off the court wearing a boot because of his foot. Perhaps we never really seen the best of him either. Perhaps this is yet another reason why Noah would want to return, because the reasons you mentioned above never allowed him to showcase all his abilities, and also he could also showcase added athleticism that he could not show with the condition of his foot. Maybe a solid month of rest will allow Noah to heal properly and make the impact that could make him a number 1 pick overall in next years draft.

  • Et_Tu_Brutus

    Nice post. Just a few more points in a few games and…

    Crean is a good coach, Williams, Robinson, HMP will be much-improved next year. Yogi will be a much more consistent and forceful floor general, and the addition of 3 sharpshooters will really open up the floor for our bigs to operate.

    Noah should declare for the draft as I see some very good big men coming into the college ranks. Though I don’t believe he is fully ready for the NBA, I also believe this is the best draft for him to maximize his signing bonus and salary.

  • jmoney

    Excellent effort by the Hoosiers. A couple fewer turnovers in the second half and we could’ve had this one. Gotta love seeing the young guys stepping up late in the season. Troy is starting to blossom, and if he develops an outside game he’ll be unstoppable. Devin had another great outing. I love his toughness and tenacity on both ends of the floor. I don’t know why Stan was the one to take that late 3, but I can understand the mentality the way he was draining free throws. I hope we can make deep runs in both the B1G tourney and whatever postseason tourney we end up being invited to. It’s been fun to watch the last couple of weeks, and I think we could make some noise before it’s all said and done.

  • Et_Tu_Brutus

    Agree. With or without Noah, we’re going to be a very good team.

  • iuoiu

    I’ve been thinking the same with his recent injury. Even yesterday he was definitely taking it easy getting down the court so it’s still bothering him. Before injury I was probably thinking he had a 60% chance to stay, I’m upping that to 80%. He’s young (for his class), likes school, and has great reasons to believe they can be great next year.

  • HoosierFan76

    Illinois has been playing some good ball as of late. They’re not an easy out, either.

  • MeniscusDiscus

    Bottom line: We lost. We were there at the end – AGAIN – with a real chance to win and ended with a broken play and Robinson(?) throwing up a 3? Then Ferrell fouling way too early sending them to the line because…he assumes we can’t play defense? That is just plain bad ball. Coach call that or Yogi? I don’t know.

    We have lost far too many winnable games during crucial crunch time. Can’t get a ball inbounds. Broken or non-existent plays. Curious substitutions.

    Sure, we looked great and Davis and Troy are gonna be monsters next year, but when it comes down to it, you measure success in wins, not in how pretty things looked during a loss.

    See ya in the stands in Indy.

  • Mr. Mitchell

    who are we? as long as we beat up on a PUke or pUKe im happy.. Wait.. check the schedule. Back to the Future.

  • SCHoosier

    Robinson’s three was the second option on that play..not a “throw up.” The UM player driving the ball (Stauskas?) was tightly defended with NV ready to block behind the defender. Davis fudged his coverage in the corner moving to the ball..leaving Robinson alone in one of his “sweet spots” Driver got him the ball and there’s another 3pt nail in the IU coffin. Some coaches preach “no corner threes”..other coaches win games with good shooters. end of story.

  • Bruce

    Agree. Morgan scores first 8pts because no way Davis can guard him. And hp on bench. Really?

  • Bruce

    Yea. We had a good big guy. Left to rot on bench. Bye bye

  • dwdkc

    On second thought you are probably right, the TOs hurt, but his playmaking was terrific. Despite the errors the overall movement and energy were enough to beat all but a handful of teams. More of this kind of performance and the year would have looked very different.

  • KmanCRK

    No doubt, especially the way they came roaring back in the last 5 minutes. For those saying these kids haven’t improved this year, that was a testament that they’ve improved drastically. They didn’t hang their heads when down 11 with under 6 to play. Great to see them competing for 40 minutes. Can’t wait to see what they do this week.

  • Ole Man

    Thanks, David. I’m right like a broken clock; about twice a day 🙂

  • Tharnid Wanderer

    Agreed

  • William Hagenmaier

    NIT here we come maybe we will play ky in assembly hall ya think calipari would show up????

  • William Hagenmaier

    totally inexcusable to lose to those three at home

  • William Hagenmaier

    why dont these teams play a zone against indiana?? thats the way to beat em

  • Walton

    I do give CTC credit for recruiting when IU was way down, but I don’t think it is as tough to recruit to IU as most other schools. A lot of coaches would have better success here.

  • Walton

    A little off topic, but Crean has yet to bring in a “power forward” type player – a big wide body that can bang down low. These players seem much fewer these days, but we need more toughness, intimidation, something….

  • MeniscusDiscus

    Yo-ga. Since when is Stan our 3-point Man? Really? Stan? Our Outside Shooting Man? Stan, our Go-To 2nd Option? Only in a Crean drawn-up play.

    Have him drive to the basket for a 2 and a foul for a possible 3pt play, yeah. But you say having him bang away from distance was the way to go – plenty of time on the clock, too?

    Straight from Tommy Crean’s “How To Lose In Crunch Time” playbook.

  • MeniscusDiscus

    I’ll reply AGAIN since it was DELETED.

    Yo-ga. Since when is Stan our 3-point Man? Really? Stan? Our Outside Shooting Man? Stan, our Go-To 2nd Option? Only in a Crean drawn-up play.

    Have him drive to the basket for a 2 and a foul for a possible 3pt play, yeah. But you say having him bang away from distance was the way to go – plenty of time on the clock, too?

    Straight from Tommy Crean’s “How To Lose In Crunch Time” playbook.

  • MeniscusDiscus

    So the below comment posted AGAIN.

  • MeniscusDiscus

    Okay. What is with the Vladamir Putin censonship on the board?

    Twice deleted comments? Explain, or make a comment. Or just don’t like different opinions?

  • MeniscusDiscus

    Thanks, Vlad. Comments back up!

    Now, can you do something about that Ukraine mess?