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.
Indiana has teamed up with adidas and will debut new uniforms for Big Ten tournament play beginning next Thursday in Indianapolis.
Here are the full details:
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – IU Athletics and adidas have partnered to pay tribute to the unique history of IU basketball with special edition “Hurryin’ Hoosiers” Made In March basketball uniforms that will be worn at the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis on March 13th. These uniforms feature IU’s traditional cream and crimson color scheme, with the fabled “Hurryin’ Hoosiers” nickname placed on the inside collar of each jersey and on the back of the shorts. These Made in March uniforms will be worn exclusively during the Big Ten Tournament.
“Our players are excited to have something that will be unique to their time at Indiana,” said IU Coach Tom Crean. “Great traditions like the candy stripe pants, the script Indiana, and the names not being on the back of their jerseys, are timeless and we are proud to uphold those every day.”
The collection was created to provide the Hoosiers with adidas’ most advanced uniform system and basketball apparel technology so they can take on the challenges of the intense play of March.
Check out 24 photos by Jamie Owens from Indiana’s 70-60 loss to Nebraska at Assembly Hall in the embedded photo gallery after the jump. Purchase prints from J. Scott Sports.
Will Sheehey will be honored tonight at Assembly Hall after IU’s home Big Ten finale against Nebraska, but before the Stuart (Fla.) native addresses Hoosier fans with a speech, here’s a look at some of his more memorable moments in Bloomington:
An impromptu jam session:
Before ever taking the floor for an actual game, freshmen Will Sheehey and Victor Oladipo put on an unplanned dunk session in Cook Hall and the cameras were rolling to capture it:
Just a week before the season started, the Big Ten media released a preseason poll of where it projected the 12 teams in the conference to finish. Indiana was rated No. 6. At the bottom of that list: Nebraska.
Fast forward more than four months, and the end of the season is near. Indiana (17-12, 7-9) ranks seventh in the Big Ten standings. But tied for fourth in the league is Nebraska (17-11, 9-7), winners of eight of its past ten with just two games to go.
Tonight in Assembly Hall, those two teams will face off for the second time this season — and the first matchup was long before each team established where it is now.
“It’s going to be two teams battling for their NCAA tournament life,” senior walk-on Taylor Wayer said. “I think a lot of it is going to come down to who wants it more.”
Indiana coach Tom Crean walked into the locker room and saw Will Sheehey getting mobbed by his teammates.
It was Feb. 27, just six days ago, and the Hoosiers had just defeated then-No. 20 Iowa, 93-86, in Assembly Hall. And Sheehey, Indiana’s lone fourth-year senior on scholarship, had just recorded a career-high 30 points, along with three assists, against the Hawkeyes.
As Crean walked in only minutes after the buzzer, he saw his players “going crazy” for Sheehey. They were so excited, Crean recalled, for his career-best performance in one of his final games in Assembly Hall.
“He deserved it more than anyone,” sophomore Austin Etherington said.
But what caught Crean’s eye as the players congratulated Sheehey was the senior’s reaction to the attention. He deflected the praise to guards Evan Gordon and Yogi Ferrell for their passing and getting the Hoosiers open, controlled looks on a night in which a high-tempo game could have resulted in an ugly offensive effort. It’s exactly what Crean wanted to see.
On his weekly radio show Monday night, Indiana coach Tom Crean talked about his four seniors on this year’s roster heading into Wednesday’s senior night against Nebraska.
Below are Crean’s entire comments on Evan Gordon, Jeff Howard, Taylor Wayer and Will Sheehey:
“Evan Gordon is a guy that wanted to be back at Indiana, has a great future in front of him. And I just wish we would have been able to coach him longer because he would be even more indoctrinated into what we’re trying to do. But he’s getting better, he’s working at it and he’s spending time improving. And with his intensity level this high, we’re a better basketball team.”