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,

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  • Hoosier PD

    I would like to see CM get about 10 mins per game. IU is going to need his height and quickness in the post, especially if DD get if foul trouble. He will only get better the Moore playing time he gets. 🙂

  • Olde Hoosier

    I don’t want to talk about how disappointed I am about the way this team came out to play today, too much on that already. What I find interesting is how all the speculation preseason about who was going to be the “man” this year was flat out wrong. The “MAN” is Morgan and he will be our MVP for sure this year. The sad thing is, he will be drafted and gone next year. Talking to O.G. every day who is starting for Toronto now has put the fire in his belly to perform. Have at it Juwan, I luv watching you play!

  • myrddin

    Archie knows how to react to the Duke loss more appropriately than the fan base does. Interesting.

  • inLinE6

    I guess I have to reset my expectation, again. Archie really needs one or two years to infuse his philosophy to a team with his handpicked recruits. The reality is, probably half of the current roster may not even make his team.

  • inLinE6

    What’s more disappointing? We have a 6’9 senior on the bench who’s not good enough to even make the floor.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Takeaway #6, of our guards don’t apply pressure, make others better (as Archie noted the lack of assists), then IU will struggle. If IU guards apply preasure, ala the last game, we can be better.

    What I find shocking is that IU starts 2 senior guards so apt to disappear.

  • Ms hoosier

    Great post!!

  • Mark Bando

    I was wrong. I thought it would be Green. Sadly, Morgan is probably the only guy on our entire roster that has a shot to make the NBA. Maybe Smith. RJ has no shot. Maybe Europe for him.

  • BruceA

    I think the last two games are an indication of what we will see this year. Spurts when we look really good and spurts (like the beginning of today’s game) that will be really bad. I think we just have to be patient knowing that Archie will get us where we want to go, but the turnaround is going to take longer than we obviously would hope. As always…Go Hoosier!

  • Larry Brown

    That last line really echoes my sentiments. I really liked RJ’s aggressiveness and perseverance against Duke. Where was that today?

  • Larry Brown

    I’m not so sure about him being drafted. He is scoring a lot of his points in the paint and that stuff will not fly for a six foot seven guy in the NBA. His perimeter game is still suspect. His arms are relatively short which is another thing NBA Scouts pay attention to. He is too small to play the four in the NBA, and it is not clear if he is athletic enough and quick enough to play the three.
    Just my opinion though. He could prove me wrong as the season goes on

  • Larry Brown

    He not only needs to make shots on the perimeter, but he needs to be able to create his shot on the perimeter and he has not shown that he can do that yet. He is playing the four for us and he would be a 3 in the NBA. I doubt that NBA Scouts are very impressed yet….. They need to see that he can play on the perimeter, because he will not be a low-post player in the NBA

  • Mark Bando

    Good points but i think the thing that may get the nba scouts attention for morgan is the same that did it for OG. His ability to guard multiple positions. OG couldnt create his own shot on the perimeter either. OG got everyones attention recently when he shut down James Harden. No easy task.

  • Larry Brown

    DD should get there. But he’ll need to become consistent which will take another year or two. I doubt JM makes it, only because he’s a classic tweener and right now more of a 4 than a 3. He can’t be a 4 in the NBA.
    Like you I thought Green was about to break out. And every game he makes one or two shots or passes that are really impressive. Unfortunately he makes one or two turnovers or bad shot selections that are equally unimpressive.

  • vicbert caladipo

    #1…..we only have one player who brings it every game and I’m not talking effort
    #2……our emerging freshmen have stalled since the competition got better
    #3…..2 HUGE games in a row that RJ gave us nothing down the stretch.
    #4…..If we ever hit 3’s like our opponents do we might win a few. Is this Miller or just do our shooters stink this year? I’ve never seen us attempt and make so few
    #5….Mo Wagner has matured more than any player in the BIG10. FR season he’s running his mouth and playing like a madman…even once running over Crean..Now he’s poised smart and also lost the back zits. Loved his post game interview. Good kid. .

  • ToothGuy

    1) Props to mArchie for the verbal beatdown of the players and/or fans content with “holding their own” against another team. None of us really thought we would win against Duke and, when pressed, most of us would probably say the game was encouraging. But if the coach echoes that same soft sentiment then it becomes a problem and my man mArchie shut…that…down. Love it.

    2) This UM game was an expected result. Sure wish we wouldn’t have stumbled out of the gate, but this was likely to be a loss almost regardless. Given our talent and where we are on the “hitting on all cylinders” spectrum we were not going to beat a well-coached team on the road with that many match up disadvantages. mArchie’s first road conference game against a team like UM is not a barometer for the season…

    3) …our next game against Iowa is most definitely a barometer for the season. Iowa is deep, athletic, above-average talent, and reasonably coached. I won’t be overly upset if we lose this game because I’ve resigned this season to rooting for improvement in stability and a bright, predictable future of IU ball. Still, this game will be a prime indicator of whether we’re scrapping for the postseason or not.

  • Hoosier PD

    CM is already on the projected NBA draft in 2 years. He is good enough to play now.

  • Mark Bando

    DD could get there but not much demand for back to the basket post men these days in the NBA. I thought Swanigan would go higher in the draft than he did.

  • IUBizmark

    Went to the game. It was ugly and choppy. I saw a lot of guys, excluding Morgan, who didn’t dive for loose balls. At one point I think Hartman tied up and hit the ground with a Meatchicken player and Green assumed the whistle would blow. It didn’t and the ball came loose and he wasn’t ready. Michigan moved our defense all over the floor with ease. It was impressive.

  • theKelleyKid

    Green’s out of control play reminds me of a young Troy without the upside

  • DD looks gassed in the picture above, to me. Didn’t see the game did he appear gassed?

  • Dmoe

    And who cares about your opinion and he will prove you wrong since you seem to think you know so much.

  • Dmoe

    It seems you have a problem with this kid JM in three separate comments you have something negative to say about him.

  • Larry Brown

    Need a 45% 3 point shooter …..
    Hmmm, a guy named Grant is doing that at some JUCO school .

  • Larry Brown

    You’re hysterical. Should everbody care more about your opinion? Why the uncivility toward objectivity?

  • Larry Brown

    I have no problem with any kid who shows up and plays hard and does well like he does. But I am objective. I have seen plenty of guys in the college ranks who do not make it in the pros, and there are reasons . Are you so narrow-minded that you cannot tolerate anyone who disagrees with you?

  • Larry Brown

    Yeah me too. Swanigan was the best rebounder I’d seen in the B10 in awhile. He’s got the size and tools to be very successful in the NBA. If JM just had that size ….

  • Larry Brown

    Maybe but OG has length that JM doesn’t have. JM moves his feet really well and is very intense on D, but it’s not hard to shoot over him (recall that Butler game last year when that guy went off on us ) . Anyway, he’s putting up good numbers so he’ll at least get a look, but i still think he needs to be able to knock down NBA 3s and drive it from the perimeter. At 6’7″, he’s not an NBA 4

  • Larry Brown

    Share your desire to see him play, but Archie is very competitive. Don’t you think he’d play him if there was a chance he could help us?

  • vicbert caladipo

    I’d settle for a 40% shooter that is willing to fight open and take a few. People spent a lot of time here criticizing Blackmon……jacking up too many shots and not playing D. 3 point shooting and 3 point defense seem to be our biggest problem and I would kill for JBJ right now. I don’t know if these guys are afraid to shoot or Miller is coaching them not to shoot. Johnson has missed more wide open 3’s then I care to count. I guess Miller may have been counting on CJ to step up and he hasn’t, therefore, rarely getting playing time. Not sure next years class is a bunch of sharpshooters either. I’ve heard often that Phinesse is a play maker and not a shooter. We need a new James Blackmon

  • vicbert caladipo

    If Priller never sees the floor, I doubt Gelon would either. We have shooters but none who has the stroke and confidence of JBJ. Green, CJ, and RJ are all counted on to make 3’s, they just haven’t. Heck Green can’t even shoot a FT.

  • MikeinNC

    Right now I am not sure there would be much downside to sitting RJ and Newkirk for some extended periods and letting some other guys get in their and compete a little harder.

  • Hoosier PD

    Yes, I think Archie is going to have his best players on the floor. I think it is very difficult to win with 6′ 6″ backup centers. I just think CM is going to be really good.

  • IllinoisHoosier

    I like this team and the new offense/defense under miller. We will still have some growing pains. I have liked morgans effort and consistency. I like that he is playing more around the basket. He was on the perimeter too much last year. Half court offense better than previous years even though shots not falling. Much better ball movement and passing toward the basket, not just around the perimeter. Defense is better too but we are missing some open guys. Might be a little too many switches or double teams which seems to leave an open 3. Unfortunately other teams are knocking them down and we aren’t. Free throws have improved some but we need to hit more open 3s. I like that johnson continues going to the hoop when 3s not falling, but I was hoping he would be that deep threat. Thought green would be better by now as well. As someone else said, it’s a little disappointing to have 2 senior guards that are struggling to shoot 3s and lead the team down the stretch.

  • Koko

    Hard to say if he is gassed in this photo….don’t know when during the game it was taken. He didn’t appear gassed to me.

  • Larry Brown

    Was surprised CJ did not even see the floor against Duke. I wonder if he might transfer after the season. He needs something to jumpstart himself. Who would have imagined this after that performance he had against Kansas at the start of last year

  • Koko

    The team didn’t look good yesterday….whose fault? Not one person to blame unless of course you wanna blame Beilein for being a good coach and taking advantage of our weak points…..and giving coach Miller a B1G schooling in his first B1G game as a coach. But that doesn’t change coach Miller’s point of view….to me it is a B1G point of view. One poster below made a remark that possibly coach Miller is telling players not to shoot threes….what a silly statement. Why would any coach tell his players not to shoot threes? Coach Miller is a tough guy who has yet to permeate that toughness down through the team on a consistent basis. It will come….I for one can be patient but there will come a time (this season) when his point of view and coaching style finally penetrates and overtakes any softness residue from past coaching point of views. Theetie Weetie play will be a thing of the past and we will win games on toughness alone, whether we make three point shots or not. It appears one guy is getting it….JM.

  • cbags05

    Good post. I’d include CH as one who gets it. He’s just very rusty still unfortunately.

  • MrNobody

    Hard to say no upside when he makes some of the most outstanding passes on team. Arch is trying to harness the bad. Will it work? ????

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    I couldn’t see the game yesterday so I’m begging for insight to what happened early in the game. I believe we we’re down 18-4. Game over if you are down that much 5 minutes into the game. What happened???

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Tooth, hello! I understand what you are stating with the shout down however we we’re down 18-4 very early in the first half. That’s bad and obviously a lack of defensive efforts.

  • MrNobody

    It has been said many times he didn’t want to play center. Maybe it’s Arch saying you’ll do what I ask if you want to see the floor as a freshman? ???

  • Gary Cline

    This team has a bunch of average players, and no great players. The new coach inherited this and it just goes to show how weak and inconsistent Crean’s recruiting had become. When the season is done the Hoosiers will be a 50% ball club unless the upper classmen show more grit, fire, and determination. Hoosier fan just being realistic!

  • MrNobody

    Really thought coaching change would jump start him. At this point looks like another one of our recruits who just doesn’t have that competitive fire.. Tired of rankings. Want guys who play with heart passion and hate to lose. This team NEEDS some Victor Moye Fife Coverdales….. u insert your own

  • MrNobody

    Really miss the BK days when starting 5 came out this flat a new 5 went to the scoring table. He would’ve put in the ball boy for motivation if that’s what it took 🙂

  • Koko

    Totally agree….CH for sure.

  • iugradmark

    That was somewhat fulfilling from a fan perspective but is not Archie’s style. I have noticed that players realize they will come out after certain bad plays happen. In several situations, when a dead ball is whistled, they just start heading for the bench and don’t even go past Archie if they can help it. We tried 11 different players in the Michigan game and pretty much got the same results.

  • Hoosier PD

    I would think as a freshmen, he would want any playing time he can get?

  • RMK did that once against Minnesota and we lost by 40 or so. It’s a great tactic for an experienced team, but probably not so good for a team that’s still adjusting to a new coach and completely new systems. Agreed that Archie needs to find a way to get the players to play hard every game (as they had been in the previous three games), but I’m not sure at this juncture that benching every starter and seeing us lose by 50 would have been productive.

  • Pretty much came out soft, slow, and out of sorts. Reverted to a whole bunch of bad habits and didn’t recover at all until the beginning of the second half. Then, when we got the lead down to 5, proceeded to revert back. Just a very poor performance overall.