Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Michigan

  • 02/08/2015 5:31 pm in

Indiana bounced back from a loss at Wisconsin with a narrow 70-67 win over Michigan on Sunday afternoon at Assembly Hall. The win moved the Hoosiers to 17-7 overall and 7-4 in the Big Ten.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Wolverines:

· Indiana continues to find ways to win close games: A season ago, Indiana struggled to close out games for a variety of reasons. Turnovers was chief among them as was a lack of capable shot makers to turn to. The script has been flipped through eleven league games as Indiana now has seven conference wins and six of them have been decided by six points or less.

Sunday was another example of Indiana not playing its best game, but still figuring out a way to claim a win. The Hoosiers built an 11-point lead against the Wolverines with 14 minutes to play, but Michigan never folded and ultimately had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer. Still, Indiana never let go of control of the game, which is a sign of growth over last season.

“I’d say the difference has been mindset, our mental mindset going into a close game like that is just to get a stop and whatever is necessary to get it, we’re going to get it,” Yogi Ferrell explained. “We go out there, we fight for each other and we fight for the team and we come out with the outcome we want.”

· Another afternoon of (mostly) good Troy: We’ve written several times about the production of Troy Williams in IU wins versus losses. It was a tough first half for Williams on Sunday as he logged 15 minutes, but had four turnovers and just six points and three rebounds.

The second half was a different story as Williams exploded for 14 points, five rebounds, an assist and a steal in 16 minutes. More importantly, he didn’t turn it over at all after the break. All of his points in the second half came either at the basket (three dunks, one layup) or at the foul line (six of six).

“Just stayed in, kept moving, got back cuts, dunks, got fouled a couple of times,” Williams said of his second half performance. “I got more comfortable out there, got the steal for the 3-pointer (for Robert Johnson). I guess after that I just got more comfortable.”

· Ferrell continues All-Big Ten worthy season: Another game, another stellar performance for Yogi Ferrell. He again played major minutes – 38 in total – and did a little bit of everything for Indiana. The junior point guard started out hot offensively with 4-of-5 shooting and 11 points in the first half, but struggled a bit shooting after intermission.

That didn’t stop him from impacting the game as Ferrell dished out four of his six assists in the second half. His final assist of the afternoon was a lob for Williams with 30 seconds to go that extended Indiana’s lead to 69-64.

“Yogi is such a good player,” Michigan coach John Beilein said. “I’ve been in this league eight years now and there’s few point guards that I could say are playing as well as he is.”

· Indiana again struggles to defend in the post: The Hoosiers got welcome news on Sunday as Hanner Mosquera-Perea returned to play four minutes, but it’s going to take time for the junior forward to get back into game shape and become a bigger part of the rotation.

With Collin Hartman playing the five, Tom Crean had to deploy a variety of defensive looks to try and slow down Michigan’s frontcourt players, Ricky Doyle and Mark Donnal, but the duo combined for 7-of-8 shooting in the paint.

“We weren’t doing a good job with their five man,” Crean said. “The number one thing those guys do is rebound the basketball and today, they did more than that.”

The addition of Mosquera-Perea will give Crean another alternative to defend in the post as the stop gap solution in recent weeks has been Ferrell or Stanford Robinson.

· Blackmon’s (successful) return: Freshman guard James Blackmon Jr. could only sit and watch last Tuesday as his teammates trailed by as many as 32 points and ultimately fell by 14 to Wisconsin in Madison.

Blackmon Jr. returned to the lineup on Sunday and started strong with 12 points and six rebounds in the first half. He went on to finish the afternoon with 13 points, eight rebounds and two assists in 30 minutes.

“I was excited to get back out there,” he said. “It was so hard to sit out, especially since Wisconsin, since they’re the top team (in the conference). Coming in I worked hard on the defensive things, the things I had to know to get back into it and that helped me get going.”

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  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    i respect that. people can bellyache about the state of the program while at the same time support this team and enjoy watching them. it’s tough for me to do sometimes, but your’e right. there are some really good, really hard working players on this team we should support and should be proud of. that probably doesn’t get said enough.

  • Ron Swanson

    Good point about the players we have. They are high quality athletes but also appear to be high quality people. Right now, on this team, there is nobody that I have trouble cheering for. I haven’t always been able to say that. I think that is important to traditional IU fans and maybe TC doesn’t get enough credit for that. Do these kids screw up and do stupid stuff sometimes? Yes. I did too when I was that age. I’m not an optimist by nature but my gut tells me that with what happened this fall, it will get better from here.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    agreed, they seem to be a good group of kids, some of whom made some really bad choices. i have to admit i do have a problem with TC’s disciplinary measures, or lack thereof. you set a no tolerance policy right from the start, or even after that first incident (and severely punish the first offender), and i would wager the other incidents don’t happen. but, all that was passionately discussed ad nauseum in the preseason. no need to rehash at this point. i’m also optimistic that the seriousness of what happened has gotten everybody focused on making the right choices and on what a privilege it is to play at iu.

  • bojak

    I wish there was a way to private message you as I hate to bring up players names. I don’t know if the players ever reads these posts or not. I will try and answer some of your questions as well as I can. I do think Crean’s substitution patterns should be fairly close from game to game. You got to play your best players and not substitute to get players in the game unless it is a blow out. Yes, the situation of the game does have a bearing on who coach inters into the game. Some players are just better at defense than others but are not good at scoring. Coach Crean better have a better handle on his players than we do, but sometimes I wonder. I won’t mention a name but this one player that comes off the bench, probably 6th or 7th just doesn’t have basketball savy. For the few minutes he gets he has way to many turnovers, looks confused out there, plays way out of control, is not a threat to score. Those mistakes could cost the team a win in a close game situation. I realize TW plays out of control at times, but at least he is a threat to score and rebound. He deserves and needs to be out on the floor regardless of his control issues. I am not the only one that thinks this guy should see less playing time than what he is getting. I am a part of a lot of other forums that there is discussions about his basketball abilities and everyone says the same thing, they just don’t understand why he comes off the bench so soon. There are a few that don’t agree with the majority of us, but not that many. We all can’t be wrong.

  • InTheMtns

    Ha! Yeah, I knew it was a risky move as I was typing it.

  • InTheMtns

    “CTC subbing out the hot hand” is a meme I find particularly tiresome. As Brklynhoosier has pointed out to us, “hot hand” is a sports myth. But even if it isn’t and even if CTC has done it at some point, why is he accused of it in games when he didn’t do it? When has he subbed out the “hot hand” in the B1G season? He hasn’t. Yet the meme persists. I usually just skip over it because I’d rather save my time for reading some of the really good analysis found on this site.

  • InTheMtns

    OK, I’ll try.

  • Khoosier3

    I’m beginning to think CTC loves offer scholarships to mystery 7footers with no intentions of playing them. Just to waste a perfectly good scholarship.

  • calbert40

    Sure he did…by his senior season. He shot 24, 23, 31 and then 47 percent each year from behind the arc. He made more 3s as a senior (66) than he had attempts as a junior (63).

    But that wasn’t my point. Dane Fife was on the floor to be an on-ball defender first and foremost. I don’t know if you follow some of the more advanced stats metrics or not, but his sophomore and junior years, his Defensive Win Shares were a total of 3.0, but his Offensive Win Shares were only 0.9. It really wasn’t until he was a senior that his offensive game was as valuable as his defensive.

    Stan’s defensive win share metric was more than 4X what his offensive one was last year. This year, they are nearly the same. He isn’t a lousy offensive player, but I think if he really committed himself to D, he could be a stopper, which would get him on the floor more often.

  • Danny

    Thanks for your input as for a HP they say its still going to take him a while to get back to being where he was before his injury but just having him in the middle a little can help make other team change their offenses some but of coarse it don’t sound like it will beable to see much time playing at the moment. As for JA they say he’s just a work in progress. Again lets hope Coach Crean and his coaching staff can bring in a good big man next season who can come in and help out a little right away. That said we can also hope Emmitt will still grow a little.

  • calbert40

    First off, I think your decision to be discreet is appreciated by most people here. We all probably know whom we are discussing.

    Without getting into a big discussion, my main contention with substitution patterns is that I believe that Crean knows his roster better than we do. He knows if one of the players is off his game, the match-up dictates a different pattern, the portion of the game, etc. I’m inclined to trust him.

    I fully understand that on the Crean trust spectrum (trademark pending), I am pretty far over on the Trust side compared to most others around here. But I am pretty steadfast in my belief on the substitution front. Other issues? Sure, let’s discuss them, but I believe that any coach in America knows his roster better, and it is best to trust his judgment. But that’s coming from the Trust Spectrum! 🙂

  • hardly

    Y – I agree with you. And I can understand that division you speak of. On one had it can be said that college basketball is changing and it is as much about talent acquisition and development as it is about coaching talent. But it is also frustrating that many of us can drive to our local high school and see better coached games than we see in college right now(generally to compete at some point or another high school coaches have to rely on their craftiness…and some of the best are coaching in Indiana.) With that said, the big talent wants freedom on the floor, which does 2 things: 1. makes coaches live and die by the decisions their players make on the floor and 2. reduces the advantage of excellent coaching. So let’s hope a Thon Maker comes our way soon.

  • Brklynhoosier

    Just because the “hot hand” isn’t true doesn’t mean that guys who shoot for high %’s aren’t going to go on streaks. That’s basic statistics. Heck, even if you flip a penny 100 times, you have ~an 80% chance of going 5 heads in a row. But just like with pennies, just because the last shot went in (or the last 2, or last 3), that doesn’t make it any more likely you’ll hit the next one…

  • Danny

    Believe me that site is far from a premium site can really get nasty with some of posts coming from Big Blue fans from the south when the comments are about IU. You want to hear some arrogant cocky basketball fans wow.

  • KB2

    Statistically, you are absolutely correct. Can’t argue that. I’m just saying even from past experience, when you’re out on the court whether it’s a game or just getting some shots up, when you hit one and then hit another, you get confident in your shot and it just feels better. Hard to explain really, but you just get in a groove and it seems like you can’t miss. I’d consider that having a “hot hand”.

  • TomJameson

    I don’t think you’ll regret it. Just one thing though, don’t be afraid to contribute! LOL

  • TomJameson

    Yup, I agree with that as well. 🙂

  • KmanCRK

    Any chance Don Fischer’s comments tonight regarding April will get everyone to shut the hell up in regards to why certain guys do or don’t play? I can’t even count the number of times that people have been “outraged” about April not playing. I think Fisch cleared this one up.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I couldn’t agree more – Id be thrilled if Stan, for this season, just played lock down defense. I am exhausted by knowing – here Stan goes again, drive into traffic, jump (with no real plan), and force an impossibly difficult shot. It completely baffles me how he could get to the rim efficiently last year and not this year.

  • TomJameson


  • TomJameson

    That’s lack of defense. Unfortunately.

  • TomJameson

    Don’t think we’re talking about the same premium site danny, the one ran by Alex is really good, and no big blue fans there from what I can see.

  • calbert40

    If you disagree with my descriptions, then you disagree with the Play by Play feature online. I will freely admit that I didn’t rewatch the game tape, but by and large, I stand by my assessment. He didn’t do anything wrong, but he didn’t necessarily elevate the play of the team either.

    I believe that +/- is one of the most dubious stats in basketball. While Holt was on the floor, IU was +6. However, I would strongly disagree that he was a primary reason for that bump. JBJ did make three shots in the span of less than 2 minutes while EH was on the floor. Had JBJ missed those shots, that +/- factor would have changed drastically due in almost no part to the play of EH.

    Equally, the choice in PT isn’t necessarily between CH and EH. The choice is between a player who spreads the floor, and one who can be ignored on the perimeter. One who plays the pick and roll better defensively and one who isn’t quite as quick. Look, I like Holt. I have no issues with him being on the floor. At all. However, I don’t see the reason for all the angst about his PT, especially after a game we a) won, b) HMP was eased into the game taking some available minutes from EH, and c) CH played a pretty solid game in the post.

  • Outoftheloop

    By re-watching the actual game, in slow motion, my comments are far superior to the play by play.

  • calbert40

    Goodness, Loop. I could argue that the unbiased Play by Play gives an unvarnished view of the game than your biased eyes do, because you are looking for something to prove me wrong.

    The fact is that you think Holt needs to play more. That’s fine. I think that while he didn’t do anything that caused him to be benched in the 2H, I equally don’t believe he did anything to warrant additional PT, especially when considering HMP was back. Agree to disagree.

  • Danny

    Sorry Tom did mean anything by this but your right it was another site. And i would tell you people which site but i wouldn’t want you IU fans to hear all the vile name calling coming from some Big Blue Fans.

  • Outoftheloop

    Actually Rob is a better defender now than is Stan. Yogi is still our best perimeter defender.

  • Outoftheloop

    calbert 40, that is demeaning and with nothing to support your stupid assertion that “I am looking for something” to prove you wrong (or me right) . I actually re-watched the game and provided the sequence of events. I simply called it as the tape showed it focusing on Emmitt’s play. That is what I saw. I am not into “altering” facts. You read something-what was your source-“online” covers a host of sins. What exactly did your “play-by-play online” source actually say about the defending IU guard on the screen-roll, on the screen-slide, on the defense against Dakich’s drive, etc. I do think that in the MI game Emmitt was much superior to Hanner, and that he should have gotten some minutes in the second half. But I agree that you have to give Hanner the opportunity to get his game speed and touch back after his injury. I now see that Coach Crean is willing to play Collin and Hanner together. I agree. But why not expand the idea to include Emmitt with Collin and with Hanner for limited minutes?

  • calbert40

    First, in no way was I trying to demean you. Secondly, before casting stones at me for demeaning you, you may want to lay off calling my points stupid.

    All I am suggesting is that the ESPN (sorry if I didn’t mention that…if it really matters…you can find that feature numerous places online) Play by Play feature is unbiased. It is completely factual. You are not. Neither am I. I fail to see how suggesting that you carry a bias in this argument is demeaning.

    Each of us looks at a game (or anything else) through our own biases. You think Holt didn’t do anything wrong, and he should have played more in the 2H; therefore, you look at the game film looking for ways to prove that you are correct in your assumption.

    My bias is that Holt didn’t play well enough to merit additional minutes, though I didn’t feel that he “did anything wrong,” either. Therefore, I am going to view the Play by Play feature on ESPN through that bias trying to confirm in my own mind that I am right.

    It’s called confirmation bias, and EVERYONE does it! Suggesting that you are like everyone else and using confirmation bias is not demeaning.

    So, when you and I look at the same play involving Holt, the least likely outcome is that one of us says to the other, “Oh, darn. I was wrong, you are right. My fault.”

  • calbert40

    Now? Yes. Overall, probably not.

    I mentioned Defensive Win Shares to you the other day (I think). RJ is currently listed at 0.4, Yogi is 0.3, Stan 0.2. Pretty similar. As freshmen, Stan was 1.1 and Yogi was 1.7. A player’s win share value will typically increase as the year progresses, so comparing RJ’s 0.4 to Stan’s 1.1 is not an apples to apples comparison, but it gives you an idea. RJ would have to triple his D Win Share value over the last third of the season. That is going to be difficult to accomplish, IMO.

    I will freely acknowledge that all advanced analytical data measuring Defense (in any sport) is particularly difficult. For example, Richard Sherman is arguably the best CB in the NFL, but since most QBs are scared of him, they rarely throw the ball his way. Therefore, many of his stats are deflated in comparison to other very good CBs like V. Davis for the Colts. QBs challenge him. Just keep that in mind when looking at these stats.

  • Outoftheloop

    Calbert you missed what I said was “stupid”, it was your assertion about my motivation and standards: “with nothing to support your stupid assertion that “I am looking for something” to prove you wrong (or me right) . I actually re-watched the game and provided the sequence of events. I simply called it as the tape showed it focusing on Emmitt’s play. That is what I saw.” At no time did I say that your opinion of Emmitt’s play was either smart or stupid! However, you totally “ducked” a very reasonable request which I made: “What exactly did your “play-by-play online” source actually say about the defending IU guard(s) play on the screen-roll, on the screen-slide, on the defense against Dakich’s drive, etc.” Either that source said nothing or what it did say does not support your argument! That is why my actually reviewing the game tape, over and over and in slow motion, is far more objective than the ESPN “play-by-play”. If Holt is guarding #34 and #34 scores a lay-up, then to the online service, Holt made the defensive mis-play. However, the actual basketball play on tape may show that the guard, in this case, made the defensive mis-play. I have no vested interest in Emmitt Holt getting playing time if he does not deserve that playing time by virtue of his actual play. If you actually watch the game tape and disagree with my observations, that is opinion, we all have one. But to neither re-watch the game, nor to describe what the online play-by-play says about the other defenders on those specific plays, and then to accuse me of bias, based on zero evidence is insulting! Confirmation bias does exist and, many people, may have it, or demonstrate it on one or more specific occassions. But to state that “It’s called confirmation bias, and EVERYONE does it!” is both untrue and unprofessional. I am sure that you are aware of the error of argument in attempting to apply statistical probability evidence to any one specific case.

  • Outoftheloop

    OK, so your advanced analytical data supports my opinion that this season, right now, Rob is a better defender than Stan. Thanks for the support! I have no idea what your qualifier “overall, probably not” refers to. If it is referring to last year when Rob was in HS and Stan had a 1.1 win-share, that is irrelevant to my post.

  • calbert40

    Seriously, Loop…

    I didn’t duck your reasonable question. I misread it. I thought you were asking what my source was, not exactly what it said. I try not to make a point of not answering questions. My mistake. On every play, it gives a time stamp, who made what shot, who rebounded the ball and who got fouled. On play(s) in question, the 5 was involved. Considering that Holt was playing the opposite 5, it is a reasonable expectation that this player was his responsibility. No, I didn’t watch the game a 2nd time, so if you say that I am wrong, I will live with that.

    But while we are discussing ducking questions, neither you nor anyone else actually answered my question from my first post on this subject? What did Holt do that elevated the play of the team, or better stated, what did Holt do that required Crean to play him more minutes, because to leave him on the bench would have been detrimental to the team?

    My contention this entire time was that he did nothing to elevate the entire team’s play. You could argue that in any four minute span of play, numerous players may not elevate the entire team’s play, and that would be a valid point, but it doesn’t make my contention any less valid.

    Honestly, I suggest you and I get off this merry-go-round. I typically find you to be reasonable, if not a little more “spirited” than me :). I’d rather not get into a pissing match with you. I applaud your willingness to rewatch game footage. I wasn’t poo-pooing your choice to do that. I was merely pointing out that whether anyone wants to admit it, we all carry a bias in an argument. I am carrying one as are you. That’s why I like to look at play by play features online, because they report just the facts. Sometimes, that is better. Other times, it is not. Perhaps this is one of those times where rewatching the footage would give me more perspective?

    I will end by saying I hope Holt plays like a beast tonight, and Crean is forced to play him 20 minutes, thus making me look foolish! Go Hoosiers!

    Have a good night, Loop. Hopefully next time, we can argue on the same side 🙂

  • calbert40

    Yes, I was supporting your assertion that RJ is a better defender than Stan currently. I chose to add a qualifier that suggested that Stan may be an overall better defender due to past performance, which I do not find to be irrelevant to this discussion.

    As mentioned, Stan had a 1.1 defensive win share last year. Rob is not going to catch that mark barring a significant transformation between now and the end of the year. This says to me that Stan, when engaged defensively, is a better defensive player than RJ.

    This is entirely my point regarding Stan. He has the ability to be a very good defensive player. For whatever reason, he isn’t playing that well on that side of the ball right now. I would love to see him become a player like Fife was as a sophomore: providing great on-ball defense, while giving just enough offense to require the coach to play him significant minutes. Fife developed into a very good scorer for us. Stan could do the same, but the reason Fife played as a younger player was his D. Stan would do well to follow his example.