Michigan Wolverines Archive

What to Expect: Michigan

In lieu of our usual “What to Expect” feature, we’ve switched things up today and have enlisted the expertise of Dylan Burkhardt for analysis of Wednesday’s opponent: Michigan. Burkhardt, who is a good friend of the site, is the founder and editor of UMHoops, a must-read for fans of Wolverine hoops. You can read our conversation with the UMHoops founder below:

The first game between these two teams came down to a few final possessions at the end and could have gone either way. Neither Trey Burke or Tim Hardaway Jr. shot the ball particularly well in that game, which I thought was a huge key for the Hoosiers grinding out the win. How have both guys been playing in the weeks since the first meeting and what does Michigan need out of each guy on Wednesday night?

Trey Burke’s role in the Michigan offense grows every game. He’s playing the point guard position as well as you could ask for from any freshman. He hits big shots, controls the game, finds his teammates and gets after it defensively. He hasn’t been immune to poor shooting games but his 4-for-15 performance at Indiana was one of his worst. Michigan needs Burke to play within the offense and make plays on the screen-and-roll. Depending on how Indiana defends him that could mean distributing the ball to Jordan Morgan down low, kicking to shooters on the wings or getting to the basket by himself and finishing at the cup.

Tim Hardaway Jr. continues to be an enigma this season. He’s shooting 22% on threes in Big Ten play but has the second most 3-point attempts in the Big Ten. This is the same player that almost single-handedly shot Michigan into the NCAA Tournament last season by connecting on 44% of his threes in conference games. He’s still scoring the ball and has improved attacking the basket, but he continues to shoot a lot of threes and not very effectively. It’s all about confidence for Hardaway, if he hits a couple early shots or picks up a few easy baskets then he’s more than capable of getting hot and changing the game with his scoring ability.


Film Session: Attacking, exploiting Michigan’s D

In Indiana’s win against Michigan, Cody Zeller and Christian Watford combined for 43 of the team’s 73 points.

A look at four plays involving both players in the latest edition of Film Session:


Jordan Hulls brings the ball up the court and passes it to Watford on the left wing:

Hulls gets a bit of a body into Stu Douglass, which allows Watford some space to attack the paint:

Watford takes it into the lane:


Notebook: Watford, Zeller combine for big night

During Tom Crean’s first three years at Indiana, when certain players weren’t scoring, the Hoosiers had no chance to win.

Boy, how things have changed.

Jordan Hulls and Victor Oladipo combined to score 32 points in the Hoosiers’ upset of then-No. 2 Ohio State last Saturday. The two scored just eight combined points against No. 16 Michigan on Thursday night, making only 3-of-14 shots from the field.

But as Hulls and Oladipo struggled to find their offensive games, big men Christian Watford and Cody Zeller picked up the load and carried No. 12 Indiana to a 73-71 win.

Watford (25 points, seven rebounds) and Zeller (18 points, four rebounds) combined to score 43 points on 16-of-21 shooting. Whenever the Hoosiers needed a big basket, they went to one of them.

“It’s definitely important every game to get it inside, whether it’s to me or Christian,” Zeller said. “It opens so much up for the 3-point shooters and gets our offense flowing a little bit.”

Watford was on fire all night. He hit 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, he took Michigan’s bigs in the post, and he hit jump shots off the dribble. After a while, it became clear the Wolverines had no answer for him.

“Watford had a series of baskets right there that you can’t stop some of that stuff,” said Michigan coach John Beilein. “We put little guys on him, we put big guys on him. He shot right over Blake McLimans, who is a big, long dude. He just shot over him like it was Trey Burke guarding him.

“So he’s a really talented player. You can see that he’s really becoming a premier talent in this league.”


HD Video: Tom Crean on 73-71 win over Michigan

Tom Crean met with the media following Indiana’s 73-71 win over No. 16 Michigan on Thursday night at Assembly Hall. Watch and listen to his comments in high-definition video in the embedded player below:

HD Video: Jones, Watford and Zeller on 73-71 win over Michigan

Christian Watford, Cody Zeller and Verdell Jones met with the media following Indiana’s 73-71 win over Michigan on Thursday night at Assembly Hall. Watch and listen to each player’s postgame comments in the embedded media players below:

The Minute After: Michigan

Thoughts on a 73-71 win over the Wolverines: 

Christian Watford wagged his head from side to side, his eyes peering to the left before he put his arms around a smiling Verdell Jones.

His body language said it all: “We escaped.”

Just when things started to get comfortable for the Hoosiers — they pushed the lead to 10 with 7:20 to go in the second half — Michigan kept finding ways to hang around. The Wolverines were recipients of some fortuitous buckets off loose balls; it seemed the ball would bounce around and land in Michigan’s possession and it would have an open look. Credit also goes to Michigan’s defense. The Wolverines mixed in a little 1-3-1 at times in the last few minutes and even when flashing man-to-man, Indiana struggled to get anything going. Cody Zeller, who dominated for a long portion of this one, stopped getting the ball. Victor Oladipo had four fouls and was falling in love with the three. Verdell Jones was turning the ball over. Jordan Hulls was silent.

The Hoosiers, since that aforementioned 10-point lead at the 7:20 mark, only managed eight points the rest of the way. But it was enough. Barely. If it wasn’t for Jones’ step-in deuce over Tim Hardaway Jr. — who had his moments, but needed 19 shots to score 19 points and probably could have shared the ball a bit more at times tonight — with 25 seconds to go to put Indiana up four, this one may have ended differently. Because Michigan would not go away. Stu Douglass nailed a three to cut it to one, Watford missed the back end of a one-and-one, and Zack Novak had a prayer half-courter to win the game as the clock expired.

It banged off the backboard.

The Hoosiers remained undefeated in Assembly Hall and have now beaten three Top 25 teams in the building. Assembly Hall and #iubb trend on Twitter. Everything continues coming up Hoosiers.


Photo Gallery: Indiana vs. Michigan


Check out 27 photos by Jamie Owens from Indiana’s 73-71 win over No. 16 Michigan at Assembly Hall in the embedded photo gallery after the jump.


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