The Minute After: Michigan

  • 01/26/2017 11:51 pm in

Thoughts on a 90-60 loss to the Wolverines:

For as much good will as the Hoosiers built up over their three-game winning streak leading into this one, the reality remained clear: This team is still prone to wide variances in performance. You never quite know what you’re going to get game to game.

Tonight, Hoosiers fans were subject to this team at their worst, the first half a microcosm of this season’s ills. Indiana shot a blistering 70 eFG%, hitting 5-of-8 from distance and scored a respectable 1.13 points per possession. You’ll take that on the road any night in Big Ten play.

But it didn’t matter. Because the Hoosiers still trailed by 15 at half. How?

Well, because they coughed up the ball on 25.9 percent of their possessions in the first half, leading to 18 points off turnovers for the Wolverines. And their defense was abysmal. The Hoosiers allowed a ton of open 3-pointers that Michigan converted. The Wolverines cut and moved the ball with ease for buckets. Michigan went for 1.62 points per possession.

Great scoring, too many turnovers, poor defense. These are your 2016-2017 Indiana Hoosiers.

The second half didn’t bring much better results. Michigan finished the night 11-of-20 from distance and ended at 1.54 points per possession. Indiana continued to turn the ball over (final TO% of 27.3) and Michigan racked up another 10 points off turnovers for a total of 28. And as the game got out of hand, Indiana’s offense sputtered, finishing just a touch above a point per possession (1.02). James Blackmon Jr. took just three shots in 33 minutes and none of them came from distance.

The effort and energy just wasn’t there in the Crisler Center tonight, a venue the Hoosiers have played well in before and that had a sparse crowd this evening.

To put this woeful loss in perspective: This was Michigan’s biggest win in conference since 2006. This was the third worst loss of the Tom Crean era in conference play and not far off from its worst. It was Indiana’s worst defensive performance of the season, even worse than its performance against Duke last season (1.52 points per possession). According to John Gasaway, it was the eighth most points per possession scored by a major conference team in league play since 2006.

With each loss in the Big Ten, the wins against Kansas and North Carolina feel like a distant dream. The team filled with pride and full of swagger on the court in Hawaii after the Kansas win, the one that had the talent to play with any team in the country, just isn’t there anymore. And it’s to the point in the season where it’s hard to see it all coming back — especially with the season-ending injury to OG Anunoby.

For as talented as the Hoosiers are and for as well as they can score, their defense — now outside the KenPom top 100 — as well as their turnovers (295th worst in country) are proving too much to overcome.

Late January’s cold reality: The Hoosiers are middling at .500 in the Big Ten and are no longer a lock for the NCAA Tournament. A bout with an on-the-rise Northwestern squad — a team on the verge of its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance — awaits Sunday.

It’s gut check time for the Hoosiers. And it’s anyone’s guess at this point how the season plays out.

Filed to:

  • Mattski

    You did.

  • Ole Man

    Be careful driving.

  • Ole Man

    The only guard that IU has who can make a bounce pass is DG. And CTC chews him out while letting the others slide.

  • Ole Man

    Yogi and Troy are in the D league, although I do hope they get back to the real deal.
    Zeller and Vonleh would have made the NBA no matter who coached them. That leaves Oladipo.
    Your argument is weak.

  • Ole Man

    Larry, stop with the trolling of the IU players.
    Not sure what your major malfunction is, but it’s consistent through two threads.

  • Ole Man

    You didn’t watch, yet you’re on here trolling players.
    What a scrunge bucket you be.
    You’re not an IU fan by any definition.

  • IU84

    Green seems to be in tune with shot fakes, head fakes. Give him some minutes and more than 3 at a time!

  • Dave Carnes

    Don’t get worked up by these idiots.I have two degrees own my own business and I have dyslexia.Because spelling is a challenge they jump on me all the time.

  • RDD#76

    I agree missing Hartman and OG really hurts we have no scoring out of the wing JM needs to shoot more to open up opponents defense

  • cbags05

    Lol. That was pretty bad. Not even going to edit.

    I don’t actually care about the grammar. People who self promote or qualify themselves along with self promotion just piss me off.

    And leave JC out of it. He already paid for my mistakes once.

  • IU Coop

    But the point is we SHOULD be Kentucky. I won’t argue that he has found some diamonds in the rough but 2 top tier recruits in 9 years won’t cut it. We should demand better.

  • IU Coop

    Am I the only one tired of seeing Bryant with the ball outside the three point line? What in the world is this guy teaching on offense? We all know he isn’t teaching defense so what gives?

  • INUnivHoosier2

    My opinion doesn’t matter much, but I like DG. Solid passer, looks like he’s always engaged and making an effort, active defender. When you’re dropping games, might as well get the young guys experience.

  • Ole Man

    I agree!

  • Ole Man


  • LeeTimmer

    Yes, they are…just not for Crean. That’s the cruelty of it. High expectations and raw talent, but no coach to help them develop it. Kids fresh out of high school generally need more than a cheerleader in a suit to help them develop.

  • HoosierKid

    After OG was ruled out for the season it should have been evident that the Hoosiers are not going anywhere this season. Maybe a bubble team and tournament bid was/is still in the cards but no sweet 16 or further. That being said, the gears need to move in another direction. Why are our freshman 4 star recruits not getting more minutes (Davis 14, Jones, 12, Green 9)? This game was out of hand early in the 2nd half down 20+ points so no excuse not to play the kids more. Need to find away to recruit Tucker; top recruits want playing time and we can’t give it to them with Blackmon and Bryant blocking 60-65min a game. With that being said, I present your 2017-2018 Indiana Hoosiers…C – Davis, PF – Morgan, SF – OG, SG – Tucker, PG – Johnson; BN – Hartman, Smith, Moore, Jones, Green, Newkirk, Durham

  • HoosierKid

    Because every possession was a turnover

  • SidelineSportsNetwork

    I remember “The Movement.” I’m the same age as that class. I remember thinking we were going to be amazing because of them. I bought into that hype. But it quickly went downhill as Ron Patterson never even made it to Indiana. Then the suspensions of Jurkin and Perea. Then Hollowell sat out a few games. Personally I think Crean ruined Hollowell. So much potential but used in the wrong way. Crean wanted another Watford but that wasn’t Hollowells game. Hollowell actually had more overall talent than Watford.

  • vicbert caladipo

    You keep posting the same thing. I told you yesterday that this undersized UM team happens to have the best rebounding guard in the bigten and he’s their smallest player. The other guards are 6-8 and 6-7. Their 3 frontline players are 6-11, 6-10, 6-10. Contrast our frontline is 6-10 6-10 and those 2 rarely play together. We had a 6-6 ZM guarding a 6-11 guy for most of the first half. We had 6-3 RJ guarding him much of the 2nd half. You lose credibility when you can’t even see facts that you can easily look up on the teams roster.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Not to mention he only appears after losses AND claims he doesn’t watch the games!

  • Austin Alexander

    For real, who cares about his grammar? Are you guys going to give him a B- instead of an A- for sentence structure…he’s got some valid points.

  • Austin Alexander

    A fifth of the time our team doesn’t even show up…and those that do…play like high school kids. It’s baffling to watch a team beat Kansas and UNC and then somehow produce this level of basketball. I’m as confused as anyone else. I’ll always be a fan, but one season without a roller coaster of inconsistency would be nice. JBJ should have been gunning, they needed to set double and triple screens to get him open….occasionally you would see a guy set a half effort screen on JBJ’s man, but usually they were so inconsequential in effort that JBJ didn’t even cut off them. Baffling. You have a guy with a touch like JBJ or even RJ but you’re not putting an offensive set up that gets them looks. They had to create their own shots last night.

  • Wannamaker

    Leadership, whether in the family, in business, in politics, or on a sports team, starts from the top. A team is the reflection of its coach. Players on the court are a product of the leader on the sidelines. How many B1G teams this year – with the unquestioned raw talent of IU – have been blown out like we were at Michigan? How many Duke/Kansas/Kentucky/North Carolina/Etc. top caliber teams have been blown out like we were at Michigan?

    When we beat Penn State on a last second shot our players celebrated like they won the national championship, when in fact winning at Penn State should have been a given.

    OG is out. No excuse. With all our talent, this is simply a “next man up” situation. One that many top-notch teams with quality benches encounter and conquer.

    Leaders, and great coaches, instill leadership qualities in all their players. It’s a hoary resort but, look at the former players of Bob Knight who have gone on to become coaches. That is a product of leadership. (No excuses for his later excessive behavior.)

    Crean’s model, as stated, is to be another Kentucky. I know of no Hoosier fans other than Crean, who find Kentucky to be a role model. We have a rich tradition at Indiana. We want nothing more than to follow that Hoosier tradition. We do not desire to play at pretending to be other programs whose only purpose is to spin our players into the ever more questionable NBA gristmill. Yet, that is Crean’s top recruiting pitch to players.

    We look for quality play, consistency, and discipline from our players. From that base, championships follow.

  • Bankshot

    I’m with ya Austin! His points are definitely valid. If you can’t debate the substance, attack the grammar. WEAK!!!!

  • HoosierStuckInKY

    You actually want to be Kentucky?! Gross! If that’s the way you feel you can turn in your candy stripes today. Kentucky takes in bandwagon fans all the time.

  • bojak

    I hate to say this but he isn’t going anywhere. Maybe NIT

  • Bud Jenkins

    sorry to say but, we aren’t getting another hall of fame coach anytime soon (at least until 2020) so until then we either stick it out like cubs fans or find some other thing to occupy our time