The Minute After: Michigan

  • 02/08/2015 4:07 pm in

Thoughts on a 70-67 win over the Wolverines:

Tom Crean said it yesterday. Despite a depleted roster, he knew Michigan would still bring it.

“They’re missing some players but they’re not missing their coach, they’re not missing their staff, and they’re not missing their system,” Crean said. “And when you have that, you’ve got a chance to be very successful.”

And successful enough the Wolverines were. Despite Indiana often having a field day in transition, exploiting some considerable matchup advantages in the backcourt and hitting 41.2 percent from distance (7-of-17), the Hoosiers just were never ever to jump on the bike and fully break away. Up 11 after a Nick Zeisloft triple at the 14:00 mark, Michigan stormed back with an 11-4 run to cut the lead to four at 55-51 with 10:51 to go.

The Hoosiers punched it back to nine after a Yogi Ferrell 3-ball at the 8:38 mark. But the Hoosiers went 5:10 without a field goal (from the 5:41 to :30 mark) to end the game. Couple the field goal drought with some incorrect calls from the officials in favor of Michigan late, and it allowed the Wolverines a shot to tie the game on their final possession. But Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman’s open corner 3-point attempt missed. The Hoosiers hung on for the victory.

Michigan essentially played offense right on pace with the Hoosiers. Indiana’s 7-of-17 mark from distance wasn’t much different from Michigan’s 6-of-13 performance. The Wolverines’ effective field goal percentage just eclipsed IU’s (56.5 vs. 56.1). Both teams were 15-of-20 from the line as Michigan’s free throw rate (43.5%) was a touch better than IU’s (40.8%). Indiana notched 34 points in the paint. The Wolverines had 30. The Hoosiers scored 1.18 points per possession, while Michigan poured in 1.13.

Where things differed: Indiana was a little too sloppy with the ball today, as it surrendered the ball on 23.5 percent of its possessions to Michigan’s 18.5 percent. Bad Troy Williams reared his head in the first half as he got a little overzealous in transition and turned the ball over four times. He atoned in the second half by not turning it over once on his way to 20 points, eight boards and a number of emphatic dunks and putbacks. Ferrell also fell asleep on an inbounds and let Abdur-Rahkman steal the ball from him at halfcourt, though he missed the layup on the other end which would have cut the lead to just two with 10:27 to go.

Indiana rebounded 48.1 percent of its misses to Michigan’s 26.9, but Michigan actually scored more second-chance points (17-14). Though Collin Hartman’s late offensive board at the 2:54 mark lead to two James Blackmon Jr. free throws. He made one which helped keep the distance at three on Michigan’s final possession.

Ferrell had a number of nice drives for finishes at the cup on his way to an efficient 7-of-13 performance which included 2-of-3 from distance. In 38 minutes of action, he scored 18 points and dished out six assists. Though he did have three turnovers. Blackmon Jr. got off to a great start and entered the break with 12 points. He was aggressive and didn’t seem to show any lingering signs of his ankle injury. However, he only posted one point over the final 20 minutes — the aforementioned free throw.

Hamilton Southeastern product Zak Irvin got it going in the second half and Indiana didn’t have a lot of answers, though the Hoosiers did keep the final shot of the game out of his hands. Irvin was 7-of-13 in the second half and hit 3-of-4 from distance. He had a game-high 23 points.

A little too close for comfort. Room for improvement remains. But these Hoosiers continue to find a way to win single-digit games despite not closing all that well. And most important: They’re winning enough to keep themselves firmly in the hunt for a return to the tourney and a top half of the Big Ten finish.

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  • TomJameson

    I thought they had to call a foul before determining what level it was. So, that means I’ve learned 2 things today already! I’m ready to go back to bed and call it a day! LOL

  • IU diehard from CT

    Dude, I like your posts but I just can’t agree with everything you said. You are not down on the floor. The camera us not on crean at all times. He lets officials know, just not in a manner we are accustomed to seeing.

  • Jimmy Johnson

    Compared to years past when we had multiple teams in the top 10 and among the top seeds in the NCAA. Lunardi’s lastest has Wiscy a 2, Maryland a 5 which will probably drop, then 2 7’s, 2 8’s and a 9 seed. Its just a bunch of average and mediocre teams beating each other up.

  • MillaRed

    Crean is one of the worst coach’s I have seen working the officials. This has been the case from day 1. And if we ever get deep into the tourney it could cost us. When he is paired against guys like Ryan and Izzo we are at a disadvantage.

    Nice guys finish last when it comes to the officials. We rarely get home cooking in Assembly Hall.

  • Kyl470

    It was a crazy situation. Had they called a foul for an overly aggressive block out I would have been ok with that. But to give him a technical which gave them two more free throws plus the ball was too much for me.

  • What Crean meant to say is that not only was Michigan going to bring it, but weren’t going to be able stop it. I just don’t understand why this group can’t play defense. It’s amazing that we’re in a tie for 2nd place in spite of really not being able to stop anybody. What does that say about the B1G this year?

  • IUMIKE1

    I think him doing something along the lines of what I’ve said will go a long ways in doing just that, and that is what I’m wanting as well and what I don’t think has been the case in a lot of instances. I think making sure that fairness, impartiality and consistancy is where the officials keep the game, also is a way to make sure we get our share of calls go our way when it comes to calls that could go either way, play on situations, etc, etc.

  • IUMIKE1

    If everybody agreed with everything everybody else said places like this would be pretty dull ? lol Granted I’m not down on the floor and yes, the camera isn’t on Crean at all times, but the fact that the camera IS on him a lot, especially right after a controversial call, and IMHO that gives us a pretty good idea of how he is reacting at certain times, at all times, no, but they are numerous enough to establish how he generally reacts after bad calls in my opinion, even the REALLY bad ones. Due to a certain situation in my past I had to learn to read lips and while I have not had to rely on that particular skill for some time now I can still do it well enough to catch what he is saying just about any time he is on camera and saying something. Am I able to see and read everything he says, no, but again, it is enough to establish a pattern IMHO. Other coaches get their point across to the refs with enough forcefulness that it leaves no doubt where they stand on the correctness a controvrsial call that was made and if they feel like there has been more than their fair share of calls that have gone that way. Simply questioning the call and leaving absolutely no doubt if it’s right and if it should be different from that point forward are two different things. Again, IMHO, Crean is not one of those that leaves no doubt. I’m not saying that he needs to be the second coming of RMK when it comes to this subject, in fact I’d rather he didn”t go that far. I think somewhere in between lies the place he needs to be.