The Minute After: Michigan

  • 01/06/2012 12:09 am in

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.

OTHER THOUGHTS:

+ We often talk about Cody Zeller as an NBA prospect, and deservedly so, but Dan Dakich starting banging that gong for Christian Watford tonight (as did Alex), and well, it’s not that far-fetched. I think Watford still has a ways to go and is far from a lock at this point, but if he continues on this trajectory for the next season and a half in Bloomington, his name being called on draft night isn’t out of the question. He’s been playing with more passion and aggression this season, which has helped. And well: The dude can shoot the rock. Watford scored 25 points on 7-of-11 shooting (3-of-4 from three), to go along with seven rebounds and four assists. There were times this evening, particularly that through-the-legs stepback he hit, where he looked like he was on another level. And it was needed, as outside of Zeller (18 points), no one on Indiana cracked double-digits in scoring.

+ Though they didn’t shoot a lot of them, Indiana had its best 3-point shooting effort of the season, knocking down 8-of-11 (63.6 percent). Michigan a did a nice job in the turnover department (17.6 TO%) as it turned it over just 12 times to keep them in this one. That tied the Wolverines with Notre Dame for the least turnovers an opponent had against the Hoosiers this season. Alex tweeted both these stats not too long ago. Hey, it’s late. And that’s all for me tonight.

Filed to:

  • Anonymous

    Because Burke was IN HIS SHORTS (regarding the Hulls question). I don’t know why they don’t look to set some screens to try to get Hulls open 3’s, but then again, they only took 11 three pointers tonight. Idk. Ugh.

  • markus44

    Why are you even thinking about Purdue after a nice IU win?  You sound foolish.

  • IUeconAlum

    Tonight was the first IU game I went to this year. I was hoping to see Sheehey in there too, but I guess he’s still injured.

    I think Verdell should give up trying to shoot free throws the standard way. He has a nice mid-range pull up that I usually expect will go in. Maybe he should just shoot a jumper when he’s at the line.

  • Anonymous

    It’s great to get the ball inside, but it’s not worth turning the ball over late in a close game. Indiana has capable players not named Zeller. While I strongly feel they have got to work on getting the ball into the post, IU doesn’t need to be forcing a pass that isn’t there. If the pass isn’t there, kick it out or swing it, but don’t give the other team the ball.

  • Anonymous

    It amazes me to think that around the start of the season that some folks on this site were discounting Watford.  Good thing Crean & Co.are coaching the Hoosiers instead of all us arm-chair coaches!

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Too bad the Final Four isn’t being held in Aspen this year…

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Too bad the Final Four isn’t being held in Aspen this year…

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    I don’t often pine for Lafayette, but tonight is one of those nights.  I wish IU had done this last year!

  • Glawton12

    Heck of a win.  Really it shouldn’t have been that close, but Michigan locked down on defense late and got a little “help” from the zebras, as much as I hate that excuse.

    Also, one heck of a win for my Nits.  Went to Penn State first year of law school before transferring, so that makes me like 1/16th for them.  That said, I never want to see a comment, let alone the first comment, on a story start with anything Purdue related unless IU actually played them.  Maybe in the context of “Purdue lost to Penn State, that’s hilarious, haha,” but even then you should probably just save that for your twitter updates and facebook status.  We’re IU fans, and we’re better than that.

  • Yimyames

    Seemed to shut down Burke, which was the guy everyone was worried who would guard him. Well done VJ I don’t care what you did on the offenseive end. Your defense has improved tremendously.

  • JohnFromBeyond

    Tough crowd. I liked that comment myself.

  • Petefaggen

    I think I drove my father berserk watching this game. Am in Virginia for a family vacation/wedding, and I was yelling at the screen. … Let me say this, it’s great we are 14-1. Great start against the best of the Big Ten. Watford is a beast and he and Zeller looked great out there together. CZ made some tough shots. However, I think I am a tad spoiled, especially after watching the Kentucky and Ohio State games in person in my first year as a ticket holder …. My question is why can’t IU put teams away? I know some of it has to do with Michigan’s talent, they have shot-makers. Their zone confused us and I expect we’ll see that more often this Big Ten season (maybe Sunday vs. PSU). But what got to me the most was the play of our backcourt. I think our guard play is wildly inconsistent and that really hurts this team and is one of the main reasons why we can’t put teams away. Too many turnovers. 

    I am glad PSU throttled Purdue because there is no way we take the Lions lightly. I expect more of the CZ and CW show, but I want to see consistent play from the guards. 

    See ya!

  • Petefaggen

    I think I drove my father berserk watching this game. Am in Virginia for a family vacation/wedding, and I was yelling at the screen. … Let me say this, it’s great we are 14-1. Great start against the best of the Big Ten. Watford is a beast and he and Zeller looked great out there together. CZ made some tough shots. However, I think I am a tad spoiled, especially after watching the Kentucky and Ohio State games in person in my first year as a ticket holder …. My question is why can’t IU put teams away? I know some of it has to do with Michigan’s talent, they have shot-makers. Their zone confused us and I expect we’ll see that more often this Big Ten season (maybe Sunday vs. PSU). But what got to me the most was the play of our backcourt. I think our guard play is wildly inconsistent and that really hurts this team and is one of the main reasons why we can’t put teams away. Too many turnovers. 

    I am glad PSU throttled Purdue because there is no way we take the Lions lightly. I expect more of the CZ and CW show, but I want to see consistent play from the guards. 

    See ya!

  • Derbus

    VJ III, stop trying to be “IT” cuz you are failin bro!!!  I am tired of this senior, who CTC designs plays around being our nemisis . . . there is no need for his sellfish, play-inflicted actions as it is not what is best for the TEAM!!!
    I might add the CW has blown the roof off and finally eating his Wheaties or whatever and playing like he could have . . . he is blossoming and our opponenets will dispise him for good reason.
    I will watch the game a few more times, but the VJ III broken record has to stop if IU is going to excell, nuff said.  Lol @ the polls.

  • Michael D. Myers II

    I’m not sure how effective the high screen and role was tonight, maybe with Zeller and CWat finding the rhythm on the offensive end a high post (Cwatt) low post (Cody) game would have been more effective . . . . . thoughts? 

  • Derbus

    I can recommend a Shaman to cure/purge him of his dispicable plays . . . but he has to some to Montana.

  • Derbus

    he’ll be playin in Europe.

  • Derbus

    I gotta be honest, CTC is sentimental with his senior players cuz they stayed with him.  WHat a bunch of %$#@)(**&!   Coach your team 2 win vs your nepitism or however it is spelled.   Pine for those who make mistakes!  Period.  VJIII, hear that, the bench is calling more often.  Lmao 

  • Derbus

    Aceman,
    I am confounded by your poignant questions . . . as they are so valid and repetitious!  They will be answered over the course of the Season.  Lmfao
    Go Hoosiers!!!

  • Derbus

    Aceman,
    I am confounded by your poignant questions . . . as they are so valid and repetitious!  They will be answered over the course of the Season.  Lmfao
    Go Hoosiers!!!

  • Anonymous

    No matter what people say about VJIII, his influence goes beyond just his box score.  As a senior, do you think he’s not in the gym and weight room pushing people do more?  In practice, do you not think he’s pushing to play the best defense they can?  There’s a reason Crean plays him as much as he does and it’s not just what we see during games.  Without Verdell, there’s no way we’d have the record we have.  

  • Anonymous

    At least Oladipo didn’t fall Tim Hardaway Jr. in love with the 3. Hardaway 0-7 from deep!!!

    This is also not to say that I don’t think Oladipo should shoot them, because if he has a lot of space he’s shown he can make them.

  • Tom S

    I’ll disagree with that a little Ace – no surprise, I’m sure. As maddening as the turnovers can be, Verdell has consistently been the one guy who can feed the post on any kind of regular basis, and he runs the half-court offense at least a little better than Hulls – although Hulls is something special in transition –  in terms of getting guys in position and making things happen offensively. And for all of the – I assume deserved – talk about Hulls being a leader in preseason and practices, watching the games it’s been clear that VJ3 is a, if not the, game leader on a team that’s now 14-1.

    Bash away, everyone! :^)

  • Tom S

    No, you’re not wrong.

  • Judekomyatte

    “Set screens,” does IU even run an offence? They do this little high-low screen, but often the screen is set 10 – 20 away from where it needs to be. About everything else is isolations, hoping to beat the defense off the dribble. Rarely do you see any action off the ball. The “offence” is primitive at best, a little like street ball.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a Michigan fan who came over to see Indiana’s take on the game.

    First of all, congratulations. Someone has to lose, someone has to win, and it is just hard for any team to win on the road in the Big 10. Michigan let this one slip away. Having said that, Michigan might have used up their cosmic karma with their win in the Sugar Bowl a couple days ago. I’ll just say, that other game helps me appreciate what you’re feeling.

    Second, umm, Coach Beilein is no slouch. Under him, Michigan will not fold, and I wouldn’t expect too many blowouts in the future. The comments from some posters that Indiana should have won by 15 are . . . amusing. Michigan will learn from this game. I’m looking forward to the rematch.

    Third, this season, Michigan’s fortunes will rest with Hardaway. He is going through a painful 3 pt shooting slump, which partly cost us this game. I think Hardaway pulled the trigger too early on a few shots. However, if he had just made 1 of 7, Michigan wins.

    Fourth, Michigan made a few too many stupid mistakes and failed to take advantage of a few opportunities for easy scores. You can’t do that on the road. Remember, Burke is a Freshman, and this was his first road game. He will only get better.

    Finally, I will gladly match our incoming class with anyone in the country. With McGary and Glenn Robinson, they will have a huge immediate impact, and Michigan will have the right pieces at every position. Not only that, we have a great guy, Horford, out with an injury. His presence will also make a significant difference.

    Again, congrats. Indiana certainly is back, and I look forward to several good years of competitive games.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a Michigan fan who came over to see Indiana’s take on the game.

    First of all, congratulations. Someone has to lose, someone has to win, and it is just hard for any team to win on the road in the Big 10. Michigan let this one slip away. Having said that, Michigan might have used up their cosmic karma with their win in the Sugar Bowl a couple days ago. I’ll just say, that other game helps me appreciate what you’re feeling.

    Second, umm, Coach Beilein is no slouch. Under him, Michigan will not fold, and I wouldn’t expect too many blowouts in the future. The comments from some posters that Indiana should have won by 15 are . . . amusing. Michigan will learn from this game. I’m looking forward to the rematch.

    Third, this season, Michigan’s fortunes will rest with Hardaway. He is going through a painful 3 pt shooting slump, which partly cost us this game. I think Hardaway pulled the trigger too early on a few shots. However, if he had just made 1 of 7, Michigan wins.

    Fourth, Michigan made a few too many stupid mistakes and failed to take advantage of a few opportunities for easy scores. You can’t do that on the road. Remember, Burke is a Freshman, and this was his first road game. He will only get better.

    Finally, I will gladly match our incoming class with anyone in the country. With McGary and Glenn Robinson, they will have a huge immediate impact, and Michigan will have the right pieces at every position. Not only that, we have a great guy, Horford, out with an injury. His presence will also make a significant difference.

    Again, congrats. Indiana certainly is back, and I look forward to several good years of competitive games.

  • Good win but we need to finish stronger.   Will sheehey will help. 

    CWat is our best player and VO is the best defender.  CZ is the key in that he permits CWAT to play his game.  CZ also facilitates the offense for everyone else.

  • Hoosier n VA

    Good analysis.  I think in regards to the posters thinking we should have won by 15 what they really mean is that it would have been nice to put the dagger in UM when we were up 15.  Instead we went on a turnover bender.  Michigan did a damn good job though of not quitting.  Beilein really got on them in that timeout after we went up big and it worked.

    Living in VA, I had a chance to watch Beilein at UofR and have said all along that Michigan hit the jackpot when they got him.  You have some good basketball ahead of  you!

  • CreamandCrimson

    Before this season, I shot down anyone who brought up Watford as an NBA player.  At the time, I was right.  Now, I will gladly admit, I was wrong and have changed my tune.  His size and shooting will give him a shot in the NBA.  He will need to continue to play at the high level he has thus far but he will get a look from several teams that need a forward who can stretch the floor. 

    I just hope he realizes how special what’s going on at IU can be and stays around after this season.  We’ll worry about that after the season though.

  • Kelin Blab

    An ugly win but it is a win….

    + VJ VJ VJ….your big shot saved and assist salvaged an ugly game by you kid. But I take the good with the bad

    + If Watford keeps playing this way, this could be his final year. He seemed offended that the people who were guarding him were attempting to do so….love the attitude.

    + Victor Oladipo is a baller on both ends.

    + Cody does very well for what he gets. If he got about 15-20 shots a game this team would be alot better. We are getting there, him and watford seem to be getting more comfortable.

    + Saw Yogi and Trevon in the stands…..need to get a commit from Trevon.

    + We miss Will, but we haven’t missed Will. Gotta love Remy coming in a doing something, hit a big three, couple of rebounds…..

  • Kelin Blab

    An ugly win but it is a win….

    + VJ VJ VJ….your big shot saved and assist salvaged an ugly game by you kid. But I take the good with the bad

    + If Watford keeps playing this way, this could be his final year. He seemed offended that the people who were guarding him were attempting to do so….love the attitude.

    + Victor Oladipo is a baller on both ends.

    + Cody does very well for what he gets. If he got about 15-20 shots a game this team would be alot better. We are getting there, him and watford seem to be getting more comfortable.

    + Saw Yogi and Trevon in the stands…..need to get a commit from Trevon.

    + We miss Will, but we haven’t missed Will. Gotta love Remy coming in a doing something, hit a big three, couple of rebounds…..

  • N71

    Agree, Burke was on Hulls like a Spider Monkey.  Relentless and everywhere.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I agree with most of your points…it was a frustrating game.  However, I will disagree with one or two things you wrote.

    5 and 1.  Zeller played 32 minutes.  He picked up his second foul with 4 minutes left in the first half and sat out 4 minutes in the second half (not all at once).  A big man can’t play 20 straight minutes in a Big Ten game and he probably can’t effectively play more than 30-32 minutes.  Watford played 33 minutes, again can’t expect to be effective for more time than that.

    4.  I don’t think Matt Roth has shot more than one or two free throws this season and I don’t blame Crean for leaning on someone who has been through significant moments on the floor throughout the season.

    I do question taking Matt Roth out right after he nailed a three.  We know he’s a streak shooter, I would go to him until he missed one.  However, Crean’s decision to put VJIII on Burke worked out really well (4-15 with 4 TO’s).  They defended well down the stretch and forced Michigan into some difficult shots in the last five minutes.   Again, you make some valid points and you have a right to critique but I would disagree that it was a poorly coached game.  This game was close because of our turnovers and Hulls and VO going a combined 3-14 and our Hoosiers shooting only 12-19 from the line.  Not because Zeller and Watford didn’t play enough.

  • CreamandCrimson

    You are correct.  VJIII was at the scorer’s table when that went it.  However, I would have changed my mind and left Roth in.  He’s a streak shooter, ride it until he misses.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Zeller and Watford went 16-21 from the field.  That seems pretty effective to me.  The problem was the 3-14 from VO and Hulls.  I don’t see the high post/low post game doing much to improve 16-21 (can’t get much better) or the shooting from the backcourt.  

  • CreamandCrimson

    Welcome…you might want to match Robinson and McGary to anyone in the country.  Well, we can match them up to Yogi Ferrell, Hanner Perea, Jeremy Hollowell, Peter Jurkin and Ron Patterson.  Both good, potentially great classes, we’ll take ours and I am sure you will take yours.

    Saying that if Robinson hits one three, you win is a bit of an assumption.  Sure, if you add three points to the final score, you win but that would have changed how each team approached the end of the game.  Also, you have Horford out, we have Sheehey out.  He’ll be back for our trip to Ann Arbor.  You are right, Coach Beilein is no slouch.  You may think our hopes are amusing but trust me, Indiana didn’t play well last night.  If we play well at Ann Arbor (a big if with our history on the road), I believe we sweep the season series with you.  We’ll see though.  Good luck to your Wolverines in the coming weeks and thanks for the congratulations. 

  • Anonymous

    I know you aren’t trying to be confrontational, but in the future add something to your argument. Saying this adds nothing and probably irks the reader who took the time to post his opinion. No need to tell something their wrong, especially when its an opinion.

  • Anonymous

    I know you aren’t trying to be confrontational, but in the future add something to your argument. Saying this adds nothing and probably irks the reader who took the time to post his opinion. No need to tell something their wrong, especially when its an opinion.

  • Anonymous

    He should keep them to a bare minimum though, for two reasons. 

    1.) He is shooting like 27% from deep, so I’m sure we could almost always find a higher percentage shot.

    2.) He is such a in-game confidence guy. Meaning, when he does something great he builds on it and just plays better and better. Missing open 3’s kills his confidence and it takes a bit from him to get it back.

    8-11 from 3 tonight, and 2 of the misses were his.

  • Anonymous

    There’s a reason the word “fan” is short for fanatic—no objectivity at all.  And in this case, no familiarity whatever with the opponent.  This guy belongs on MSNBC.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I kept hoping we would put them away and then we would make just enough mistakes to let them back in.  We didn’t play well enough to win away from home (including at Penn State)…the good thing is, we didn’t need to last night.

    -Great performance by Watford.  I don’t use the g-word lightly but he earned it.
    -Zeller was very good as well.  A few turnovers that were frustrating but very good when he got to shoot/attack the basket.
    -VO and VJIII deserve props for their defense on Hardaway Jr. and Burke.
    -Hulls and VO shot 3-14 and we beat a ranked team…that’s impressive.
    -Elston played solid minutes again.  Remy helped out for 6 minutes.  Roth was 2-2.
    -Pretty well officiated game in my opinion.  That was a pleasant change.
    -We keep finding a way to win in Assembly Hall.  We are 2-1 in the Big Ten (the most optimistic of us would take that against the 3 we just played) without Will Sheehey.  Hope he gets back really soon because we have 3 of our next 4 on the road and need to find a way to go 3-1. 

    A lot to improve upon but I am thrilled we found a way to beat a good team without playing all that well.  Way to fight Hoosiers. 

  • Anonymous

    Not always been a big VJIII fan but 10 years from now we will all remember him for all the ups and downs. He is a big part of this TEAM and another cog that makes it all work. Cut him a little slack and …

    GO IU!!!!!

  • Adam

    8/11 is not 63.6%

  • Anonymous

    “escaped”..really..I hope the Hoosier nation understands how fortuante we were to win that game last night. Was Hulls ill or did he jsut have the Trey Bruke is covering me flu? He disasppeared for the 2nd conference game..forcing Jones to handle the ball in the last 6 minutes..how many TO’s did he have to go with his big jump shot. IU will not reach its potential this year if Hulls doesn’t get more consistent..and Jones has tocontrol the ball in the final 5 minutes. Go Hoosiers. MU is a damn tough team…if they had a center to work thru they’d be in the top 4 in the country.

  • FFJakeT

    I def. agree with everything. other than “but we haven’t missed Will. I love Remy, and he is done great. But you don’t think the game in East Lansing would have been a lot different with Will playing quality minutes? Again, 2-1 is what we were truly at best hoping for, and playing there is difficult, but I would like to see Will in and  Remy get someone else’s eight minutes a game *cough VJ* . even though I do like VJ, his shot was big.

  • A. Schick

    Ah Aspen… the Sunshine State. 

  • HoosierFromCT

    a win is a win and last year this was a loss

  • HoosierFromCT

    a win is a win and last year this was a loss

  • eph521

    My favorite parts of the game:

    – Zeller and Watford playing tag-team basketball. Watford really setup Cody nice several times, drawing the defense and dishing it. I hope we exploit that even more in the future.

    – Derek Elston’s tough-nosed defense two games in a row. Playing with a mask isn’t easy, he appears to be getting used to it.

    – The fact IU won 2 of these first 3 tough B10 games, including both at home. We all would have taken 2 of 3 when we looked at the schedule and this also gives us confidence that we should win ALL our games at home this year. That’s a big deal!

    Least favorite parts of the game:

    – Well, in case you haven’t heard, O’Brien, offensive coordinator of the Patriots, will be the next head coach for Penn State football. I repeat… and repeat… cmon ESPN, is it really breaking news like we just killed Osama?

    – How good Michigan looked at times. With McGary coming next year, they will be one heck of a team.

    Honorable Mention:

    – That dunk/throwdown by Hardaway Jr. was spectacular. Have to give credit when credit is due. If Olidapo had made a dunk like that, Assembly Hall would still be going nuts. I applaud Hardaway Jr’s skills, he’s got game.