Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss at Michigan

  • 12/02/2017 5:09 pm in

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Indiana dropped its Big Ten opener on Saturday as the Hoosiers fell 69-55 to Michigan at the Crisler Center. The loss dropped Indiana to 4-4 on the season.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss to the Wolverines:

· Slow start sets the tone: It was fair to wonder how Indiana’s energy would be to start following Wednesday’s emotional home loss to Duke.

It didn’t take long on Saturday afternoon to get an answer.

Michigan raced out to a 16-2 lead and never trailed in the game, dominating nearly all 40 minutes. The slow start was a result of poor decision making, questionable shot selection and poor perimeter defense. The Wolverines scored their first 12 points on 3-pointers and Indiana couldn’t answer offensively.

“You can’t get on the road and play the first 10 minutes of the game with four points,” Archie Miller said. “We didn’t move the ball, dribbled the ball way too much and you saw a lot of errors.”

The Hoosiers had nine of their 11 turnovers in the first half, which was a major reason they were in a hole too deep to overcome.

· 3-point offense continues to underwhelm: After hitting just 5-of-21 from distance in Wednesday’s loss to Duke, Indiana hit just two 3s on Saturday afternoon.

The Hoosiers attempted just one 3-pointer in the first half and went 2-of-7 from the game. For the season, Indiana is shooting just 33.1 percent on 3s and just one player – Josh Newkirk – is shooting over 40 percent from beyond the arc.

Indiana has been able to overcome poor perimeter shooting at times with efficient scoring in the paint, but the Hoosiers shot just 41.7 percent on 2s on Saturday. IU also took a lot of long 2s in the loss, which is arguably the worst shot in basketball.

· Juwan Morgan the lone bright spot: If there was a positive to take from the loss, it was the play of Juwan Morgan.

The junior, through eight games, has been Indiana’s most consistent player. He finished with 24 points (on 9-of-14 shooting), which was his career-best in a Big Ten game.

When Indiana found Morgan in the paint, good things happened. He took nine of Indiana’s 14 free throw attempts and also had eight rebounds, a team-high.

“He was the one guy, he really went to work,” Miller said. “He had an advantage size wise, in most cases. He was aggressive.”

· Michigan shuts down offensive glass: Indiana had been a strong offensive rebounding team through its first seven games, but Michigan didn’t allow the Hoosiers to get many second-chance opportunities in Saturday’s loss.

Indiana had just seven offensive rebounds for an offensive rebounding percentage of only 18.9. Those seven offensive rebounds led to just six second-chance points.

On an afternoon when it shot just 40 percent from the field, the lack of second-chance offense was a major problem for Indiana.

· Miller makes his thoughts clear regarding moral victories: In his postgame press conference, Miller was asked how disappointing this performance was “after Duke” and gave great insight to his mindset and expectations.

“That’s the thing, though. It’s disappointing when you lose to Duke. We didn’t win, we didn’t beat Duke. I gotta keep coming back to that point. We lost the game to Duke. And if any of that ‘hey, it feels good’ stuff creeps into your locker room and your bus, then you come out here and you go like 0-for-8 on layups.

“You’ve got to be a focused team, you have to be possessed with getting better, and you have to really understand the reality of winning or losing. And playing to win is everything. Performing, production. It’s every day, every game. It’s not, ‘hey, let’s feel good because we played pretty hard against Duke.’

“We shoulda beat Duke. We didn’t but a good team at home in front of that crowd with four minutes to go in the game, one-point lead, you find a way to win that one. Then you can feel really good about it. It didn’t have anything to do with Duke.”

(Photo credit: Dustin Johnson, UMHoops.com)

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  • Actually, we were down 18-4 primarily because the offense was making a ton of mistakes, which led to easy transition baskets (and in particular outside shots). The defense wasn’t great either, but this time around things were kicked off by the offense.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Thanks Mark. I appreciate your feedback.

  • ToothGuy

    To clarify (ABC News-style), my “shut down” point was in regard to moral victory references after the Duke game. Loved that mArchie nipped that talk.

    Agree about the dismal, preventable start to the UM game. My overall thought was that we don’t match up well with them and Beilein will win home games with advantages like that. Hoped for a mentally stronger start to the game, but ultimately this was going to be a loss no matter what.

    Thanks for your interest in my comment. I enjoy the banter.

  • SCHoosier

    Getting knocked around in the NBA try out league last summer helped Mo’s “attitude”. Didn’t see his 3pt shot yesterday but he’s got one.

  • SCHoosier

    Needs an outside game to play in the NBA. Hasn’t shown one yet.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    You too as always! I’m sick of losing to Michigan and then to find out that defense and offense was lacking increases the frustation level.

  • MrNobody

    As someone who enjoys your perspective I agree it can go wrong. And I agree Arch is doing good job at what he is doing. RMK just had a way of pulling that one out occasionally to send a message. I can remember few times it worked in his favor. As a fan always enjoyed it when it worked 🙂

  • Yeah, I hear you. And it sure wouldn’t shock me to see Archie do something similar at some point, maybe if we see the team come out like that in the middle of the B1G season. I hope we don’t get to test the theory, though!

  • Vernon Aldrich

    Loved hearing Al’s comments post-game. Dat boy gonna make it (Archie’s system) work soon. I think you probably agree IOWA needs to get done!

  • Vernon Aldrich

    Didn’t look like the same De’Ron that banged with Duke…

  • Vernon Aldrich

    McRoberts is a bigger Gelon…I think our boys butts puckered up after Michigan punched ’em in the mouth… and their egos may have been a little inflated from competing well with Duke which could account for a slow, over-confident start and shock at the impact of the punch…

  • Dmoe

    I do agree with you Sir on that

  • Vernon Aldrich

    Yeah, I don’t get it. He won our slam-dunk competition at HH. The boys’s athletic and has played well a few times. I’m still hopeful he’s still coming up to speed in Archie’s system.

  • Vernon Aldrich

    Tom Coverdale is my all-time favorite guard. What did you think of Jay Edwards? Loved watching him bomb the 3’s…

  • Vernon Aldrich

    Definitely not the same kid that banged with Duke! I thought I saw dismay in his expression a few times. That Wagner was damn good…

  • Vernon Aldrich

    He’s had some spectacular moments on both offense and defense. And periods of Troy. Archie’s gonna get the best out of him.

  • Fivelefts

    I agree! However, I think he will shoot better at the next level, because the floor will be more spread. It’s often said, that Morgan shoots very well in practice.

  • Fivelefts

    Damezi Anderson, and Jerome Hunter are both good perimeter shooters! So, help is on the way!