Everything went wrong for both teams in the first half. Manny Harris looked disinterested, Michigan’s guards dribbled like third graders, Eddie Hightower was in full effect, and somehow Indiana looked worse than Michigan. The first half statistics are tough to swallow. The painfully low .84 points per possession that Michigan scored in the first half was actually significantly better than Indiana’s measly .64. Both teams shot in the 30% range and turned the ball over on more than 30% of their possessions. Certainly a half to forget.
After leading by single digits throughout the first 34 minutes of the game, Michigan went on a 21-2 run in the final six minutes of the game to put away the Hoosiers.
For one of the first times this year it’s safe to say that Michigan’s defense won them the game. Indiana is no offensive juggernaut but Michigan shut Indiana down, holding the Hoosiers to only .70 points per possession for the game. Michigan held Indiana to an effective field goal percentage of 37.5%, including 1-15 shooting from three point range. Michigan forced turnovers on 29.7% of Indiana’s possessions and despite giving up some painful offensive rebounds was generally respectable on the defensive glass, pulling down 66.7% of Indiana’s misses.
Offensively, Michigan was far from stellar. They turned the ball over way too much (25% of possessions) but they crashed the glass (!), rebounding 41.4% of their misses. Before the game I emphasized how important free throws would be in this game. Michigan won the free throw battle, getting to the line more often (FTR of 36.5% to 23.1%) and also converted (17/19 FT shooting). Despite the ugly half, Michigan somehow posted a respectable 50% eFG% thanks to 58% two point shooting. It almost goes without saying but yet again, the three point shooting was ugly: 4 for 18.
A win is a win and it’s tough to complain about a 24 point win but this was the ugliest 24 point win that I have ever seen. Michigan will obviously need a much better effort to knock off Connecticut on Sunday afternoon despite the Huskies recent struggles (2-3 Big East).
- DeShawn Sims: DeShawn Sims has been terrific in Big Ten play and he was on again last scoring 20 points on 8 of 13 shooting along with 8 rebounds, three steals, two blocks, two assists, and two turnovers in 38 minutes. Sims was active running the floor, he worked hard on both ends of the court and if he can play like this night in and night out, Michigan will have a chance to win quite a few more games this year.
- Manny Harris: After Manny’s benching, he put it together in the final 14:16 scoring: 17 points on 7 of 9 shooting with three rebounds and two assists. That is obviously impressive but the 4 points on 0 for 7 shooting before then was extremely frustrating. Harris looked out of sorts, turning the ball over, forcing bad shots, cheating on defense, and just playing poorly. There is no doubt that he deserved his benching but credit to him for bouncing back.
- Darius Morris: Darius is coming along and at this point I would say he’s a jumpshot away from being very good. He forces a few plays but he can play defense (3 steals) and had 4 rebounds, 4 assists andonly 1 turnover. After playing 32 minutes tonight, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start Sunday vs. UConn.
- Matt Vogrich: Vogrich found his way onto the court thanks to some disciplinary benchings. First, Vogrich came on at the end of the first half for Laval Lucas-Perry and knocked down a three. Next, Vogrich came in for Manny Harris early in the second half and got putback basket. He also had his low points, like getting beat off the dribble by Jordan Hulls but he continues to show flashes.
- Stu Douglass: Stu has been terrible for two games now. He isn’t hitting shots and can’t hold onto the ball. Michigan needs consistent play in the backcourt and right now they just aren’t getting it. Douglass lit up UConn last year, hopefully he can get it going again. The most frustrating part of Stu’s game is how he has suddenly began turning the ball over so frequently, Michigan is one of the best teams in the country at holding onto the ball, but the last two games have been terrible from a turnover standpoint.
- Laval Lucas-Perry: Laval has been tough to watch. The bright side is that he grabbed 5 rebounds and somehow pulled a sick crossover out of his bag of tricks late in the game. The bad side is that he had 3 turnovers to only 1 assist and couldn’t buy a basket ‘til Michigan’s late game run.
- Zack Novak: Novak couldn’t hit a three point shot tonight, and it seems like he hasn’t been able to for a while despite shooting 37.5% in conference play from three point range before last night. Luckily he still makes all of the hustle plays. He looked to be making a conscious effort to drive the ball, played good defense, pulled down 5 boards, and took a couple charges.