Led by 26 points and nine rebounds from Indiana commitment Trey Lyles, Arsenal Tech notched a 85-59 road win over Decatur Central on Wednesday night. The win moved the Titans, who will travel to Ben Davis on Saturday, to 5-3 on the season.
Inside the Hall was in attendance and caught up with Tech coach Jason Delaney and Lyles afterward. You can view the high-definition interviews in the embedded media players below:
Note: We’ll have highlights from the game early next week.
Rules are here, for those unfamiliar. Christian Watford was the Michigan State Pick to Click and Victor Oladipo was the Ohio State Pick to Click. Full standings will be posted after five games.
Pool for Michigan: All players are eligible to be picked.
Picks are due by 8:45 PM ET on Thursday.
A few reminders:
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2013 Warren Central junior and IU commitment Devin Davis Jr. scored 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds on Tuesday night as the host Warriors beat Lawrence North 56-52 in overtime.
Inside the Hall was in attendance and we’ve compiled over four minutes of video of Davis in the embedded media player below:
You can listen to Michigan coach John Beilein discuss Indiana over at UMHoops.com.
The No. 12 Hoosiers are back at it in Assembly Hall on Thursday night for a meeting with No. 16 Michigan. Indiana will be looking for its second consecutive conference win while the Wolverines seek their first true road win.
The game will be shown on ESPN2 (Dave O’Brien and Dan Dakich) and broadcast on the IU radio network (Sirius 91/XM 91):
Like several teams in the top 25, Michigan’s national reputation to-date is based more upon their finish last season (round of 32 loss to Duke in the NCAA Tournament) and a strong preseason ranking. That’s not to say Michigan isn’t a good basketball team. They are. But without a marquee win and a 2-0 start in the league at home against Penn State and Minnesota, the jury is still somewhat out on this group.
The meat of the Wolverines’ non-conference slate consisted of a third-place showing in the Maui Invitational (beat Memphis and UCLA with a loss to Duke), a road loss at Virginia in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, a neutral court win over Oakland and a home win over Iowa State. All in all, Michigan owns a pair of top 50 RPI wins (Memphis and Minnesota) and eight wins over teams outside of the RPI Top 150. We’ll know a lot more about John Beilein’s team in the next four days as they’ll follow up Thursday night’s trip to Bloomington with a Sunday home game against Wisconsin.
MEET THE WOLVERINES
Stu Douglass and Zack Novak may be the vocal leaders, but the productivity in Ann Arbor stems primarily from a solid nucleus of underclassmen. The centerpiece is sophomore Tim Hardaway Jr., who we pegged for All-Conference honors before the season. Hardaway is off to a solid start — 15.6 ppg — but has struggled from 3-point range. He connected on 36.7 percent of his 3-point shots a season ago, but is hitting at just a 29.5 percent clip thus far.
Joining Hardaway Jr. in the backcourt is freshman point guard Trey Burke (pictured), who inherited the task of replacing Darius Morris. Through 14 games, Burke is arguably the Big Ten’s second-best rookie behind Cody Zeller. He’s scoring in double figures (14.0 ppg) and is fifth in the conference in assist rate (29.8 percent). His stellar play in Maui raised his profile to the point where he’s now considered among the top 100 prospects for next summer’s NBA Draft by Chad Ford of ESPN.com. Both Burke and Hardaway Jr. excel in transition and are worthy of drawing the defensive assignment from Victor Oladipo.
Michigan’s most improved player is sophomore forward Evan Smotrycz, who is hitting close to 55 percent of his 3’s and is the Big Ten’s third-best defensive rebounder. Fouling has been a problem for Smotrycz (5.1 FC/40), which has limited him to 24.7 minutes a night. Sophomore big man Jordan Morgan is Beilein’s best offensive rebounder with fellow sophomore Jon Horford out indefinitely, but isn’t much of an offensive threat. And the aforementioned Douglass and Novak, who have combined to take 110 3-point shots, are a big reason that 36.7 percent of the Wolverines points are coming from distance.
Zeller is the centerpiece of the turnaround. He’s the most complete big man in the freshman Class of 2011, and the most efficient player in the Hoosiers’ rotation, averaging 14.2 points per game on 64.3 percent shooting, for an offensive rating of 128.7. IU’s offense has opened up around him, as the team is shooting 44.7 percent on threes, up from 34.6 percent last season. Part of it is Zeller drawing in defenses, but Crean also says that his two main marksmen — juniors Christian Watford (50.0 percent, including the game-winner against UK) and Jordan Hulls (54.4 percent, including a wrong-handed make against Howard) — dedicated themselves to becoming better shooters in the offseason, and the team has a better understanding of how to intelligently move the ball. Miraculously, they’ve improved from the 11th most efficient offense in the Big Ten last season, to No. 1 in ’11-12.
North Carolina’s staff regarded Zeller’s older brother Tyler as the Tar Heels’ most sound defender last season, and it seems that defensive acumen runs in the family. Crean said that Cody Zeller leads IU in deflections, which is the coach’s preferred method of measuring defensive effort. Zeller is also the only player taller than 6-9 whose steal percentage (3.9) appears on kenpom.com’s top 100 list. “I’ve been really surprised at how active Cody is,” Crean said. “He has quick feet, quick hands, and a quick mind.”