Game 16: Indiana at Michigan Preview

Dylan Burkhardt


Who: Michigan (8-7) vs. Indiana (7-8)
: Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor, MI
When: Jan. 14th, 9:00 PM EST
: MGoBlue, WWJ 950 AM/WTKA 1050 AM
: Michigan by 13.5
Stats: Live TFS
Opposition Blog: Inside the Hall
Pomeroy Profile


Days after losing their leading scorer, freshman Maurice Creek, Indiana rallied and knocked off Michigan, 71-65. The difference in the first match-up was Indiana’s ability to get to the line. Michigan committed several ticky tack fouls and Indiana posted an impressive free throw rate of 59%, the worst Michigan has given up all year.

In the first match-up, Sims and Harris were underwhelming combining for 25 points on 9 of 23 shooting and pulling down only 4 rebounds.  Verdell Jones, Christian Watford, and Devan Dumes provided the bulk of the scoring for the Hoosiers but it was Jeremiah Rivers’ scoop layup in traffic that put the game out of reach.

Michigan looks to get back on the winning track after last weekend’s disappointing collapse versus Northwestern.  A home win over Indiana is a must for just about any team in the conference and Michigan is no different.

Through 4 games of the 5 game stretch that many deemed must wins, Michigan is only 2-2. One thing is certain, after tonight it doesn’t get any easier. Michigan hosts UConn and then heads to Wisconsin and Purdue before the Spartans come to town on January 26th.

Indiana’s strength on offense is getting to the free throw line (44.2% FTR), the problem is that they only shoot 66% from the charity stripe. They turn the ball over a lot, although they won the turnover battle in their first matchup with Michigan, and shoot a mediocre 48.9% effective field goal percentage. They do shoot 36.1% from three point range but only take 27.3% of their shots from three point range.

Indiana’s defense is a bit more impressive. They hold opponents to an eFG% of 45.8 and force turnovers on 23.1% of opponents’ possessions. However, they give up a lot of free throws (FTR 44.9%) and are mediocre on the defensive glass (66.5 DR%).

Listening to Tom Crean speak, it appears that Indiana is content with matching Michigan’s size, rather than trying to go big and overpower them. That means we will likely see a lineup of Verdell Jones III, Jeremiah Rivers, Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford, and Tom Pritchard. Watford is a versatile four man who can score inside and out. Verdell Jones is the guy who can create in the backcourt and killed Michigan the first time around with 20 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals.

Vegas likes Michigan a lot in this one, calling them 13 point favorites, while KenPom says Michigan by 9. I expect much better performances from DeShawn Sims and Manny Harris at home, but I have a tough time assuming any game will be an easy victory for Michigan.

The key for Michigan is to keep Indiana off the free throw line, take care of the ball, and get DeShawn Sims involved early and often. If they manage that, they should be ok against an Indiana team that not only hasn’t won a road game this year, they’ve only played one.

Question of the day: How many non-student fans show up for this one? A 9PM tip against a low-level Big Ten team after a disappointing home loss is the recipe for a very weak crowd.

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  • KDavis

    11 motherlovin’ turnovers in the first half. Sheesh. That’s Ellerbe/Amaker style.

    I laughed last year when we were winning with two guards, one a walk-on, the other a transfer from Manhattan. I’m not laughing anymore. This is sick.

    Last year we averaged around 11 turnovers (or less?) per game.

  • Dylan

    both teams shooting in the 30% range. both turning it over on 30+% of poss. iu scoring .63 ppp Michigan .84. Gross.

  • timeout1993

    Random thoughts: I agree wholeheartedly with Ben abut Harris. But I kinda sympathize with Manny’s rather desperate ball-hogging – aside from Sims, nobody on this team can finish with any regularity.

    Morris and LLP were/are touted players, and look how little impact they have on the court. Surely, Beilein’s system shares some of the blame for this poor production.

    Best play of the half was Novak’s foul on Rivers — he knew Rivers has the mental toughness of a 2009 UM rookie, and he predictably bricked his free throws. Rivers’ play is what makes me skeptical about Michigan’s new “NBA sons” recruiting policy.

  • Ben

    Is it sad that i’m already looking at next years team….

  • maxwell’s demon

    Vogrich might be outplaying Manny tonight.

  • AG2

    Ben, you’re missing potentially Horford and Smotrycz and Hardaway. Apparently, Steve Lavin thinks they run Beilein’s offense better with Manny on the Bench.

  • Dylan

    There is no might about it Maxwell.

  • maxwell’s demon

    Not sure I really disagree with Lavin at the moment.

  • steve

    is this the worst basketball game ever? besides that penn state illinois game where it was like 36 to 33?…
    just not fun to watch

  • Drew

    Just when I think this game can’t get any uglier, it does. Wow. I try to turn the channel to find some quality hoops and run into Depaul-Providence… Yikes. ESPN really F’ed up their primetime coverage tonight.

  • Drew

    That was the worst And One foul call on Sims I’ve seen in my entire life. I don’t think he even touched him.

  • timeout1993

    There appears to be an inverse relationship between the quality of Harris’ play and the rest of the team’s.

  • michigan fan

    The Michigan ball handling and decision making on offense is really bad. Hard to believe that some of this is not coaching.

  • timeout1993

    sweet play by Darius Morris.

  • maxwell’s demon

    Once again Michigan proving they are capable of about 10-20 minutes of really good basketball a game.

  • steve

    nice to see manny play up to his potential in the second half. where was this mentality in bloomington? i know there was foul trouble but we should have beaten this team… they are not good. looks like were going to get a W even though we played mediocre.

  • biakabatuka

    I love how Musberger loves Rivers so much (because of his dad) that he keeps calling him Jeremiah.

    Also, in the rare occasions (like now) that Sims, DMorris, LLP and Harris are all hot, we are actually a good team.

    Because they are the team’s four athletes.

  • AG2

    Sigh, all I can think about is that NW loss. We really should be 4-1 going into that UConn game. But nothing can be done now. Just gotta beat UConn and then grind out 8 more Big Ten wins.

    Man, can Novak hustle!

    Oh, and Drew FSN has some Pac-10 Basketball, then again you said you wanted *quality*, lol.

  • biakabatuka

    Question looking to the future (beyond UConn):

    What do you guys think are out chances in the Minnesota series? They seem like a bubble team to me. Are we better?

  • Drew

    That was the worst 24 point win ever, lol

  • timeout1993

    Drew speaks the truth. Solid finish but I hope that toothless IU team didn’t slacken us too much for the Connecticut game. Also, anybody notice Morris made some great backdoor moves but never got any passes?

    Team needs to keep their heads up.

  • Kevin in GR

    Think we see D-Mo starting on Sunday? I think so! Something I noticed tonight was that it seemed when we really got things going, we were looking to drive the ball………Novak did it a few times, as well as D-Mo and LLP’s sweet drive and layup. It seems like in the past we were so focused on shooting the 3 and not looking to drive…I think they’re a much better team when others (than Manny) look to drive.

  • Tweeter

    Just got home and too tired to really comment at length about the game. But really good effort tonight defensively. Guys moved their feet and cut off the drive, close outs were solid and people were in passing lanes. Offensive reboudns were really IUs best offense.

    On the other side, I agree that we saw some guys attack more than usual. Novak and LLP in particular. I have noticed Novak lately looking to drive more, and it was nice to see him finish once around the rim. Turnovers are still an issue though, and unfortunately its not just one guy. Everyone seems to be getting sloppy with the ball.

    One last thought, the crowd was pretty pathetic tonight. Dont know how it sounded on TV, but there were far less people than were at the NW game. I know that this team and UM bball in general need to earn their fans back after the years of futility, but still its tough to see such a poor showing for a national tv game against IU.

  • biakabatuka

    I’d love to go to a game at Crisler. Here in Toronto I have to content myself with finding the occasional, fuzzy online stream. I can report that the crowd sounded pretty decent on TV.

  • Drew

    LLP needs to look to finish when he gets in the lane. I feel like there are so many instances where he is right there in the paint but unncessarily kicks the ball out, and it seems to not have great results. Just go up with it!

  • JimC

    @biakabatuka, no shock, but we should split with MN. That raised floor always messes with our (already shaky) shooters.

  • KDavis

    I don’t remember ever seeing an uglier blowout win. Manny’s game reminded me of a young Jalen Rose. I remember a couple games where Jalen played awful in the first half (vs Illinois and Iowa, sophomore year, I think), only to dominate the second half.

    I’m still waiting to see a complete game from the team. Sunday would be as good of time as any. I see an ass whoopin’ in UConn’s near future. Go Blue!