The Minute After: Michigan

  • 12/02/2017 3:20 pm in

Thoughts on a 69-55 loss to the Wolverines:

The narrative heading into this one, and sure, the reality too, was the Hoosiers were beginning to find their stride under Archie Miller. The turnovers were down. Coach K told reporters after his team’s Wednesday win you could tell by watching film Indiana was improving game by game.

So it came as a surprise, then, that Indiana fell so flat early in this one, essentially putting itself in too deep a hole to ever get out of — despite some brief hope early in the second half. The Hoosiers were straight up lackadaisical over the first several minutes of the contest. They made poor decisions on offense with a host of long 2-point attempts. They didn’t move the ball well or find any flow. Bad turnovers ran rampant. On the other end, Michigan was feasting on an Indiana defense it exploited for wide open 3-pointers.

Indiana fell behind 16-2 and Miller could be found on the sidelines each time his team got beat on defense, palms out and shrugging, wondering what the heck was going on.

Indiana only mustered .64 points per possession the first half, and it might have been less had Juwan Morgan not continued to play with supreme aggression. His work over the last several contests has been nothing sort of brilliant as he continues to assert himself as the lone IU player playing with consistent high energy. Morgan got after it in the post with a number of back-to-the-basket moves for scores and ended the afternoon in Ann Arbor with team-high 24 points, nearly accounting for half of Indiana’s total of 55. Morgan also added eight rebounds, an assist and a block.

Still, despite the abysmal start, Indiana never folded. The Hoosiers never looked disinterested. They didn’t give up. In fact, after getting down 14 early, they settled at a 14-point loss in the end, meaning they played Michigan pretty much even the rest of the contest. There was hope early in the second half that Indiana would at least make a game of it down the stretch. After a Morgan and-1 at the 14:51 mark, the Hoosiers trailed by just five.

But here came the Wolverines from beyond the arc again — where they scored 33 of their 69 points for the afternoon — with a Duncan Robinson triple. A Jon Teske jumper followed. Another 3-pointer, this time from Eli Brooks, dropped in after that. Michigan quickly ripped off an 8-0 run and the Hoosiers were down double-digits (13) just as quick as they’d gotten it to within five. They never got closer than nine the rest of the game.

While Indiana had nine turnovers for a turnover percentage of 28 percent in the first half, it was much better with the ball after the break. By game’s end, the Hoosiers’ turnover percentage settled at 17 percent. Maybe not quite where Miller is wanting it, but a respectable number nonetheless. Outside of Morgan, no other Hoosier scored in double figures. Several missed a number of bunnies around the rim. De’Ron Davis had just four points on 2-of-7 shooting and his matchup defensively against a mobile Moritz Wagner was less than ideal.

Indiana gets some home cooking on Monday night when Iowa comes to town. The Hoosiers would be wise to get off to a better start.

(Photo credit: Dustin Johnson, UMHoops.com)

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  • HoosierHillbilly

    Was kind of disappointed in this performance. I understand there would be a let down after Wed. Guys worn out, tough road game, and going in as underdogs, but I didn’t see a lot of passion or effort from anyone other than Morgan.
    I don’t want to question coach Miller but would’ve liked to see him put some guys in that didn’t play much in the Duke game after we got off to a slow start. May have made the seniors refocus on the game at hand.
    We are doing much better taking care of the ball and the defense is still a work in progress so hope they play better on Mon. Like Bilas said after the Duke game, if they bring that games effort they will win a lot of games this year. It just wasn’t there today.

  • MK

    Rob Johnson just doesn’t have it anymore. The kid can barely dribble.

  • Larry Brown

    Didn’t see it thank God, but sounds like the o ky guy who showed up was Juwan. CH rebounded really well. Otherwise …. Deron looks like an NBA prospect one game and gets destroyed the next. RJ gets off 4 shots. Just don’t know about this team

  • Slappy

    He gassed after playing like a beast against Duke. It happens, and needs to be recognized and coached for. Unfortunately, with Newkirk and Davis also having dead looking legs, that’s a lot to try to replace in one game. Although, I actually wonder if Newkirk has been battling a hamstring or tendonitis, he really has looked off balance a lot of the year. When he is vertical with the ball in open court or bringing it up, look at his body, it actually looks crooked like he is favoring the leg.

    Anyway around though, when three rotation guys bottom out on the same night, it is just a dumpster fire. We don’t have the depth yet to deal with that kind of night.

  • cbags05

    A few steps forward, one step back. It’s possible some of these guys saw Duke game as a moral victory.

  • Ole Man

    One step forward, a few steps back.

  • MK

    He didn’t have it against Duke either. This isn’t the same kid who couldn’t miss as a freshman. I think it’s a confidence thing, he looks extremely timid like he doesn’t want to make a mistake. I actually
    Love his game, just wish he was playing with more confidence out there.

  • MikeinNC

    I do wonder if it might make sense to have a little shorter leash on RJ and Newkirk. In situations like today I don’t see much downside in pulling them in favor of ia couple guys with a little more fire and/or gas in their tanks.

  • Vernon Aldrich

    This wasn’t the same De’ron that banged with Duke…Wtf?

  • Vernon Aldrich

    Understand the feeling. Wasn’t the same De’Ron that banged with Duke…IOWA has gotta get done. Aljami’s post-game comments are encouraging: “Get the ball moving faster within the system.”