The Minute After: Michigan

  • 02/12/2011 7:18 pm in

Thoughts on a 73-69 loss to Michigan:

Well that got interesting.

After Indiana found itself down by as many as 22 in the second half and just about dead on the afternoon, it mounted an aggressive 25-7 run over the last 5:26 of the ballgame and nearly pulled this sucker out.

Michigan’s inept free-throw shooting in the closing minutes helped a good deal. (It only finished 19-of-37 (51.4 percent) from the line for the game.)

But the Wolverines mounted that big second-half lead on the strength of some healthy three-point shooting (8-of-15 for 53.3 percent), as Indiana struggled to defend from beyond the arc. Tim Hardaway Jr. was also unstoppable for a stretch in the second half, exploiting a mismatch with Daniel Moore. The freshman scored a career-high 26 points on 9-of-11 shooting (4-of-6 from three), though he was part of the free-throw problems (4-of-9).

Indiana turned the ball over on several occasions to start the game, which limited shot opportunities and got the Hoosiers off on the wrong foot. But they held Michigan to just three points in the last 6:38 of the first half — all coming on free throws — and went into the locker room down eight despite 10 turnovers and just 37 percent shooting from the field.

Looking at this weird, unbalanced one during the low stretches, Indiana just wasn’t sharp enough this afternoon. But the Hoosiers showed much resilience in only losing by four.

Other thoughts:

+ After attacking the basket during their second-half comeback, some questionable shot selection doomed the Hoosiers in the final seconds. With 15 ticks to go, Matt Roth took a long, contested three he wasn’t quite set for that barely hit the rim. But thanks to two missed free throws by Hardaway Jr., the Hoosiers got the ball back down four still. Yet, Jordan Hulls took a quick contested three of his own at the eight-second mark, which missed as well. Two free throws by Darius Morris right after pretty much put this one away.

Of course, with limited time on the clock, the Hoosiers didn’t have the luxury of running a ton of clock to find better looks. Still, with the margin for error low at that juncture, it was the turning point of the comeback.

+ Christian Watford’s performed well in his return to action. He scored 14 points (6-of-10 from the field, 2-of-4 from three) in a limited 22 minutes. His shot didn’t seem to be affected at all by the wrap on his hand, which bodes well for the Hoosiers heading forward.

+ While Michigan had a rough go of it at the line, the Hoosiers weren’t that great themselves — shooting only 13-of-22 for 59.1 percent. And they only hit 25 percent (4-of-16) from three. Shoot a little better in either category, and it could have tipped this game in Indiana’s favor.

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  • Anonymous

    I’ve seen this team have games with pretty good execution and even better I have seen them play with composure and respond well to good runs by the opposition! I’ve seen a lot of players like Rivers, Elston, Roth, Moore, Capo etc have great games/contributions in certain roles at certain times. Actually when we were in those games the crazy substitution patterns didn’t look all that bad because they were playing as a team!

    But like a broken record, in too many games they go stagnant for too many stretches and they continue to do this with no positive results.

    I really think a big problem on this team is that when a couple players aren’t bringing their A game or effort or not playing well but continuing to force things then it brings the entire team down and they play to that level. It shouldn’t work that way though. In the games that we played well we were getting contributions from everyone and if a player made a bad play someone else made up for it with a good play. This hasn’t been happening recently and its frustrating – especially knowing the team has the capabilities and pieces for success but it’s not being taken advantage of.

  • MillaRed

    I’m not going to give an intelligent response to this. You act like I
    insulted your sister. If you are peed off at something today so be it. Rule
    #1 on blogs, do not personalize someones opinion. Yours is no more or less
    valuable regardless of what you think.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07


  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Yeah, VJ’s best pass came to VO in the second half for the dunk and honestly I was screaming three seconds before that because VO roled and was actually more open for a lob/dunk or bounce pass. He then pealed off to make room for Jones’ head down drive and Jones hit him after he got off his feet with nowhere to go for the dunk. The announcer said “what a nice look by Verdell Jones” and I said, “Man, it’s about time he hit him. He was open for 5 seconds!”.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I’ve said all season that Jeff Howard should get more of a look. I saw him play a couple times last year (once against Hammons) and he ate guys up! He rebounded extremely well and we saw that Saturday when he pulled down a quick offensive rebound, he passed well, and he shot the ball from the FT line well off good post moves. All of this from a kid who was like 6’3″ through his junior year. He passes and handles the ball so well because he grew late. I think he could easily be more of a contributor than DE and BC if he gets a look but I think it’s one of those mental block things by the coach. “He’s a walk-on and we have all these big men” type thing could be the reason for his lack of an opportunity?

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    He was quite a bit thinner in high school and could move pretty fluidly KB! I think his bulk/size may be hurting him because he doesn’t seem like a naturally strong kid anyway.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I thought CW’s lack of aggressiveness was CTC’s fault. It was almost like he was scared he would get re-injured (CTC that is) because CWat would make a nice play and he’d pull him. It had to be that or he thought his conditioning was weak after missing a whopping 2 weeks. Either way, I kept questioning (until about 10:00 left) why CWat wasn’t out there more if he was able to play at all? Then, once he left him out there he started to pick up his intensity and began to get aggressive.

    I may put that one on coach being afraid he’d hurt himself worse?

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I know this . . . CTC better hope that’s the difference between next year’s team and this year’s team! I’m behind the guy and I still think IU will be a surprise top 4-5 team in the conference and NCAA team next year, but if I’m wrong and they lay eggs like this next year, then look out cause the CTC ax-killers will start to come out of the woodwork quick!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    A wise, wise, wise coach once said, “Coaches don’t win games, but they sure as hell can lose them”!

    It’s a true statement. Players should be self-motivated but it’s also a coach’s job to have them ready to play and put together an effective game plan each night out.

    You can’t honestly argue that either one of those things happened Saturday??? We ran one ineffective defense for 33:08 of that game and NOBODY acted like they were there and ready to play, including the coaching staff. The rotations were as haphazard and inconsistent as they have been since the pre-conference season and that could be due to injuries and players coming back from injuries but it’s a fair assessment to put this loss at least partly on the shoulders of the coaching staff. Both players and coach laid an egg in this one!!!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Very, very good point! That was definitely a moment where he may have allowed “bad Rivers” to creep back in his head again?

  • BFowler

    -In RE: Rotation/Daniel Moore/Jeff Howard, etc. First there were complaints that pine time was not used effectively enough and that maybe players who wanted to give effort and etc. should get the playing time to teach a lesson, then the complaints come that they shouldn’t be playing….which is it? I will say that it is sad that these guys are getting minutes on this team, but it shows you that we are just not there yet. This game lacked effort by many people’s assessment, then the complaints come that there were too many bench players used.

    -It is kind of sad that it took 30+ minutes for the energy to come out. I thought Vic played well at the beginning, but other than that, it seemed like we were all playing with the flu or something.

    -I am done trying to figure out this team. I can not determine who, with any consistency, will play well or not. Freshmen are freshmen and sophomores are sophomores, so whatever. That is proven by my oh-fer Pick to Click this season.

    – We are what we thought we were (Dennis Green was right). Raised expectations came from Minny and Illinois wins, but we are what we thought we were, right around .500 with some wins we shouldn’t have gotten and some losses we shouldn’t have gotten. I think we are all tired of losing and taking it from Butler, the school from West Lafayette, the institution in Lexington, and etc., so we just want results we can be proud of.

    – There is not a go-to person yet. I know, Mr. Obvious, right? I watched Duke play Miami Sunday night, and Nolan Smith came out and had a 7-0 run all by himself when Duke got down a few, then the rest of the team picked it up. We need a confidence builder guy like that.

    – Assembly Hall is good for this group. On the road (other than MSU), they have looked tired or overwhelmed or some combination of both.

    -Is Crisler the darkest arena in the NCAA? It looks like they forgot to pay their light bill or something.

    -Here’s to getting revenge on NW, playing to our potential the rest of the way, and surprising a team or two in the B1G tourney.

  • Anonymous

    well then hopefully whatever he did before he should do again…..soon

  • Anonymous

    I can’t tell you what players are going to play well before the game but I have four in mind that I think have been stepping up their games and playing hard together for several games straight: Hulls, Pritchard, Sheehey, and Oli and that’s who I want in the game for most of it. They also bring some combined skill with a little bit of height, a leaper, a shooter, and play makers around the rim, and actually probably our best defenders. Add Watford or a combination of a short few others to the group and I think its a competitive bunch.

  • Anonymous

    Are you kidding me? That was over the line? I am not “peed off” at anyone today. All I said was that you blame CTC after every loss. You aren’t the only one either. I think we just need to back off a little bit. Coaches get too much credit for wins and too much blame for losses. No personal insult intended.

  • Diesel

    MillaRed, I think CTC would have played Bawa as much as Howard. The gamble for Guy was probably worth the risk.

  • Anonymous


    Assuming that the team is healthy next year, there really should be no reason whatsoever to lose close games at home and we should get our share on the road.

    If the wolves do come out of the woods after CTC next year for losing close games (notice that is a plural) then he might have it coming.