Who: Michigan (11-3) at Indiana (5-8)
Where: Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Indiana
When: Wednesday, January 6th 6:30 ET
Line: U-M by 6.5
Preview: Stat Sheet, U-M KenPom Profile, IU KenPom Profile
Radio: MGoBlue, WWJ-AM (950), WTKA-AM (1050)
The good news for Michigan is that Indiana has been absolutely awful this year. The bad news is that Michigan hasn’t won a game at Assembly Hall since 1995.
Indiana comes in on a 4 game losing streak with losses to Kentucky, Northeastern, Lipscomb (RPI #318), and Iowa and Indiana fans are wondering when the team will finally bottom out. When Tom Crean arrived the cupboard was dry and there just isn’t much of anything to work with.
Indiana relies on two double digit scorers, big man Tom Pritchard and scoring guard Devan Dumes. Pritchard averages 12.8 ppg on 56.1% shooting and 7.3 rebounds per game while Dumes averages 13.5 ppg on 39.6% shooting (31.7 3pt) and 1.7 assists per game.
Freshman guard Nick Williams (8.4 ppg) is the other consistent starter but there are 4 other players who have made a start for the Hoosiers and all average around 20 minutes per game. Michigan fans probably remember Matt Roth, a former recruiting target, Roth is shooting 35.7% from long range for the Hoosiers. Daniel Moore, Stu Douglass’ point guard at Carmel HS, leads the Hoosiers in assists with 3.9 per game. Moore started early in the season but recently Verdell Jones III (7.6 ppg, 2.2 apg) has been starting at the point guard for Indiana.
As a team Indiana’s offense is not pretty, the Hoosier’s adjusted efficiency of 91.6 ranks 290th in the NCAA. They turn the ball over on 28.1% of their possessions (341st) and shoot an effective field goal percentage of only 46.9% (240th). Their high turnovers and poor shooting, especially from long range at 29.3% (303rd), should mean a healthy dose of 1-3-1 zone from Michigan. I wouldn’t expect Indiana to have the passing ability, discipline, or size to pick apart Michigan’s 1-3-1 zone the way other teams have.
On defense Indiana is just mediocre, their adjusted efficiency ranks 98th in the country. The one thing that they do well is cause turnovers, luckily Michigan has done a very good job of taking care of the ball and only turns it over on 16.1% of their possessions (4th nationally). I also wouldn’t be surprised if Indiana’s ability to cause turnovers has been inflated from playing in blowouts and sloppy games. They still allow their opponents to shoot 51.4 eFG% from the field (263rd). For some perspective, we think Michigan’s defense has been bad but opponents are only shooting an eFG% of 47% against Michigan.
This is a game Michigan really should win easily but the easy ones haven’t always been so easy for Michigan this year. Add in the fact that Michigan hasn’t won a true road game yet this year and the fact that Assembly Hall is a nightmare and I’m a little worried. If Michigan is serious about making the NCAA tournament, this isn’t a game they can lose. Pomeroy predicts a 72-62 win, and Vegas has Michigan as a 6.5 point favorite.
Let’s hear your thoughts and predictions in the comments. I’ll be doing a live blog during the game starting at 6:20 PM.
Pre Game Reading:
- Spartans Add to Buckeye Misery
This isn’t the start the preseason conference favorites imagined. Purdue looked pretty bad last night without Hummel and Kramer.
- Know Thy Opponent: Michigan Wolverines
What they think about us
- The Michigan game.
Hoosier fans find hope in the fact that Michigan won’t be able to push Indiana around
- Novak sheds criticism, makes immediate impact as freshman
“Every shot he takes, he expects to go in,” Beilein said. “He plays hard and he plays smart. Those are two great qualities to have.”
- Novak finds a role at U-M
More on Novak and his return to Indiana, this one from the Detroit News.
- Beilein knows feeling
- Wolverines’ Gibson finds groove in reserve role
Michigan needs Zack so hopefully he continues playing well.