Game 22: Michigan at Indiana Recap

Dylan Burkhardt

Indiana 81, Michigan 73 - #12Indiana 81, Michigan 73 - #1

MICH 73 1.06 30-70 43% 23-47 49% 7-23 30% 6-7 86% 12 17 13 8 5 3 19
IND 81 1.17 26-50 52% 19-32 59% 7-18 39% 22-25 88% 9 29 13 16 6 5 14

Indiana’s fast start felt inevitable before both teams had even stepped on the floor in Bloomington. The energy in the building was palpable and the crowd was simply waiting to explode. Trey Burke kept the masses at bay momentarily with an early three, giving Michigan its only lead of the game at 3-2, but the onslaught came right on cue. The Hoosiers hit their first six shots, four from long range, and the first body blow was delivered.

Even by Assembly Hall standards, the atmosphere was electric and Indiana’s lead grew to 15 points. Michigan hunkered down and tried to muster the rope-a-dope magic it couldn’t quite pull off in its first loss at Columbus. The Wolverines battled to close the half time deficit to four points, tie the game early in the second half and trailed by just a single possession on three different occasions in the final 12 minutes of play. Michigan could string together impressive sequences but short bursts but could never sustain as Indiana had all the answers down the stretch.

The key statistics to follow before the game were: Michigan turnovers, Indiana offensive rebounds and Indiana free throws. Michigan only passed one of the three tests.

The Wolverines avoided the turnovers but the free throws and two critical late offensive rebounds proved costly. Indiana rebounded 36% of its misses, including two decisive Cody Zeller tip slams down the stretch, and attempted 25 free throws to 50 field goals on the night — to Michigan’s seven.

Despite those defensive woes, the Wolverines managed to hang in the game by forcing turnovers on 24 percent of the Hoosiers’ possessions. At the end of the day this was a bad defensive performance – the worst of the season – for the Wolverines as they surrendered 1.17 points per trip. Indiana has a balanced offense and it showed. First the Hoosiers diced the Wolverines for open threes but down the stretch the lethal combination was Victor Oladipo’s penetration combined with Cody Zeller’s offensive rebounding.

Michigan’s offense was a struggle throughout the night as Indiana held the Wolverines to 1.06 points per trip for the evening. Michigan didn’t shoot the ball well: 49% on twos, 30% on threes, 48% effective field goal percentage. Michigan didn’t get to the free throw line: seven free throw attempts to 70 field goal attempts. Michigan didn’t crash the offensive glass successfully: 12 offensive rebounds on 41 opportunities (29%).

In spite of failing to succeed in three of the four factors, including the most important, the Wolverines were able to hang around simply by valuing the basketball. Michigan coughed it up just eight times in 69 possessions (11%) and outscored Indiana 21-9 in points off of turnovers.

The story of this game was Michigan’s youth. True freshman accounted for 58 percent of Michigan’s minutes played on the night. Barring Jordan Morgan’s short two minute injuy-hampered shift, eight Wolverines saw game action. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke had previous game action at Assembly Hall. Jon Horford played two minutes at the Hall as a true freshman in 2011. The other five were true freshman. Michigan didn’t just play freshmen, it relied on freshmen.

Glenn Robinson III played a career high 40 minutes, Mitch McGary played a career high 28 minutes and  Nik Stauskas went 34 minutes after sitting out practice with the flu on Friday. Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht, two more freshmen, rounded out Michigan’s rotation and combined to play 14 minutes. That Albrecht-LeVert duo – that was destined for Appalachain State and Ohio University a year ago at this time – actually manned the backcourt for a critical possession midway through the second half that allowed the Wolverines to cut the lead to two points.

The environment at Assembly Hall can accurately be described as something unlike anything these freshmen have ever seen. All five freshmen were shell shocked at one point or another. Some struggled – Robinson and Stauskas were a combined 4-of-16 – and some flourished – LeVert made some nice plays and Mitch McGary had 10 points and seven rebounds – but as a group all five will need to grow from the experience.

Indiana made too many plays down the stretch – namely Cody Zeller’s tip slams and Victor Oladipo’s and-one layup – but the Wolverines need to build off of this loss. There’s no shame in losing at Assembly Hall and Michigan won’t play at a more electric venue this season but there’s no time to sulk. Ohio State heads to Crisler Center in just three days time for a Tuesday night clash on national television.

Indiana 81, Michigan 73 - #18Indiana 81, Michigan 73 - #15

Player Bullets

  • Trey Burke: Burke tried to beat Indiana by himself at times, and at times it almost looked like he was going to succeed. If he has a flaw its his tendency to divert into “me-against-the-world” mode but given his abilities sometimes its hard to fault him. Sure he took some bad shots but he hit his fair share of important ones. And call him selfish for taking 24 shots but he also handed out eight assists and grabbed five rebounds. Indiana’s game plan revolved around forcing Burke to play a two man game in the middle of the floor by refusing to help off of the wings in pick-and-roll scenarios. It was successful because Indiana was able to apply Zeller almost as a constant help-defender and Michigan was never able to truly exploit the approach.
  • Mitch McGary: McGary stepped up in his first game back in his home state. He battled Zeller and created havoc around the paint. He was only credited with two steals and a block but he was disruptive by moving his feet and playing physical defense. This is a game to build on for McGary, who was also not only Michigan’s best rebounder but its most efficient offensive player, finishing 5-of-7 shots around the hoop. While he made big plays defensively, it’s also a high risk high reward scenario. The Zeller tip slams stand out where McGary helped hard going for the block on Oladipo but missed, leaving no one to block out Zeller.
  • Tim Hardaway Jr.: Hardaway played a strong game offensively, scoring 18 points on 8-of-16 (2-5 3pt) shooting, but it also felt like he could have done more. He had a lot  of mismatch scenarios and converted many but not all. Defensively, it was clear that he struggled staying in front of Victor Oladipo but Michigan doesn’t seem to have a player on its roster that can and I doubt many teams in the country do.
  • Jon Horford: Horford has grown up over Michigan’s last three games. He still has a ways to go but he scored two points, blocked two shots and grabbed three rebounds in 10 minutes. His hands were a bit unsure from time to time but he made a positive impact and probably should have played more than 10 minutes.
  • Glenn Robinson III: 40 minutes, two points. Robinson’s offensive struggles were undeniable and he also struggled defensively against Christian Watford and Jeremy Hollowell. Michigan needed him to go because its clear that John Beilein doesn’t trust any two big man lineup with Morgan out of the rotation and the Hardaway four look that we saw against Northwestern likely wouldn’t fly against Christian Watford. Robinson’s tendency to play very upright affected him as he was just never able to create the space necessary to create his own shot. He looked sluggish at times and his confidence was noticeably broken after a tough early stretch.
  • Nik Stauskas: Michigan tried to isolate Stauskas on Hulls early and he ran into trouble finishing at the basket. Those two early misses in the first minute seemed to rattle his confidence to a degree and it affected his game throughout. He hit just one of five threes, and it came late in the game when it was essentially out of reach.
  • Jordan Morgan: Morgan hadn’t practiced leading up to the game and clearly wasn’t 100 percent in his two minutes of play. Michigan missed his steadiness on the defensive backline in early as the Wolverines were picked apart in help situations.
  • Caris LeVert: Talk about being thrown into the fire. LeVert went 1-of-2 in both halves, finishing with four points and an assist. In the second half he answered Indiana’s 11-0 run with a run of his own, handing out a pick and roll assist and then finishing in transition. Michigan’s 160 pound freshman grew up quickly at Assembly Hall.
  • Spike Albrecht: Albrecht played just four minutes and didn’t turn the ball over while spelling Burke, but he also didn’t make much impact.
  • gpsimms

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  • Mandingo

    I don’t think it’s really fair to call Burke selfish– I would characterize his tendency to go to hero ball when the team is in trouble more as overconfidence. Now, I think that overconfidence, or at least an unwavering belief in your own ability despite evidence to the contrary, can benefit really talented players. Nobody who’s now in the basketball hall of fame was plagued by self doubt when they were on the court. I think that really, truly believing that you’re going to dominate a game actually makes you more likely to do that. FWIW, I’d bet that a similar overestimation of his (actually great) abilities is what led Burke to come close to going to the NBA draft last year. So, sure, it would be great it Burke was more willing to get other players involved down the stretch of a game like this, but on the other hand, he’s already one of the best players in the nation and the primary reason Michigan is where it is. I don’t see him changing his hero ball tendencies until he gets to the NBA, if then, so I’m just going to enjoy a remarkable season and shrug my shoulders when he occasionally launches a three pointer from downtown Ypsilanti.

  • Tom

    Definitely missed Morgan in this game. Timing on the pick and roll seemed off with Horford and Burke. Also, I’m sure he would have boxed out a little better on Zeller. McGary did step up an I’m encouraged to see him continue to develop.
    A good chunk of IU’s free throws were late after we tried to get them to the line. Credit to them as they made them all.
    Dylan, thoughts on our offensive sets in the 2nd half? Rarely did it seem we ran many pick and rolls? This a result of IU defending it well or just poor offensive plays by us?

  • Wayman Britt

    Hats off to IU they are a great team. The Big Ten is stacked and we haven’t even seen MSU yet.

    I am in the camp that Trey tries to do to much by himself in big games. He ends up dribbling for the majority of the shot clock and at times does not play poised. Look for Wisconsin and MSU who both have excellent coaches to rattle him and make him force shots. Trey is a great player and has few flaws, just need to work on using the whole team.

  • tim

    Robinson was awful in this game. he looked lazy, slow and soft. He jogs back on d and seemed to b pouting. How is it possible we have zero depth at the 4.

    • ColinNer

      GRIII had a bad game, no doubt. But, it is really unfair to call him “lazy, slow, and soft.” He is a freshman and IU had a good game plan against him. He will learn from his mistakes and bounce back on Tuesday.

  • GregGoBlue

    This marks two big games for this team, and we’ve shown our youth both times. This team needs to grow up quickly come March if we are to make some noise in the tourney, but we have plenty of opportunities. I’m not ready to anoint this team until we win a close game, but I have confidence that in these next four games we’ll see some encouraging growth.

  • Mattski

    This helps me to see some of the positives coming out of this game. We clearly could have used Morgan underneath against Zeller, but we have learned more about McGary and Horford’s capabilities, and almost all of it is positive. Caris really impressed me out there, not just with his actions but his demeanor. Stauskas and Robinson WILL play better. Hope everyone has a big chip on the shoulder for OSU. You even made me feel better about Burke becoming a chukker at game’s end, Dylan!

    Indiana’s very aggressive offensive style is breathtaking when it’s in full gear. Probably hard to sustain game-long, however; they have their long, down stretches, and are definitely prone to giving up the ball. I think that Beilein will take advantage of some of these tendencies at Crisler.

  • Paul

    I would have liked to see Beilein go more with McGary @ the 5 and Horford @ the 4. I think Horford could have bothered Watford more than Robinson did. Plus @ times Robinson didn’t look well/like he wanted to be there. You could also put Robinson more @ the 3

    • geoffclarke

      I think we may see Robinson a bit at the 3 next year.

  • AC1997

    First of all, how did Stauskas finish 1-for-5 from three? I swear I remember him hitting two of them. There was the late one that was meaningless but in the middle of the game after missing some big open shots he hit a tough three coming around a pick with a hand in his face. The people I was watching with discussed how he hit the hard one and missed the easy ones. How is that not matching the box score?

    As for Morgan, we saw a lot this past week about his value compared to the other bigs with people digging into advanced stats to show there was little drop off. Maybe that’s true, but I would contend that the Zeller put-backs were a result of McGary being over-aggressive and would have been less likely with Morgan out there. Sure, McGary’s help defense results in some blocks and steals that Morgan doesn’t create, but to me I think that’s why you can’t learn everything from defensive statistics. Perhaps looking at opposing centers’ production when each of Michigan’s bigs is on the floor would be a way to compare. The nice thing is that we have so many big guys who are valuable and can rotate…..but let’s not dismiss Morgan’s defense no matter how flashy McGary plays.

    • Alex

      I believe that may have been one of the two balls that could have been threes but were ruled really long twos.

  • David

    How does this game change if Stauskas’s first-half three-pointer is correctly called and Oladipo’s “and-one” is a foul on the floor (as it appears it should have been).

    • Jalen Rose

      Not that much. IU was the better team, plain and simple. Michigan needs to do a better job getting back on defense and the freshmen have to practice their rotations.
      On offense, stick with the pick and roll and get out in transition. Hopefully Stauskas’ shots fall and GRIII doesn’t pull another disappearing act in Ann Arbor, but I’m not very optimistic about winning the rematch either.

      • David

        I think IU was a better team last night. I also think that 4-point swing may have changed the final minute dynamics.

  • Respect for UofM

    I’m a Bloomington native and life long IU fan. I guess it’s a habit to get on opponents’ fan sites after a big win/loss for us, just to read reactions. Michigan fans are great. The Illinois site seems to always be one big whine fest. It’s hard to read even. And when we were at our low point a few years ago, there was page after page of petty jabs at IU, not accolades for their own team.Thanks for giving credit where credit is due. I do not look forward to heading up to your place for round two. Yikes! If we lose that one, hopefully our fans will give the same credit to the Wolverines and not sulk. I actually went to football camp up there back when Bo was the coach and loved the place (let’s not talk about football though).

  • umnyc

    I wonder if Assy hall has the same affect on GRIIi as Value City has on Burke in Cbus. He just seemed completely taken out of the game mentally. Hope he bounces back and takes it to the bucks on Tuesday.

  • Fab 5 Legends

    considering we play all our freshmens…this is bound to happen…by March these freshmens will be experienced for this big time games

    • Fab 5 Legends

      Glenn Robinson & Nik Stauskas – will get indiana back @ home…tough game for both…but their the difference makers for a Michigan run in March

  • JB

    I think the “hero ball” moniker fits better than “selfish” for Burke. With all the weapons on Michigan’s roster, clearly the scouting report is to force Burke into taking 3s and reduce looks for the wing players. Rarely was Oladipo deployed on Burke. Against IU Trey obliged with poor shot selection and dribbling the air out of the ball. If he’s going to take 24 shots I’d like to see a bit more Tony Parker in his game, feet in the paint not behind the 3pt line.

  • DB

    Indiana’s Free Throw stats are really misleading. 10 (maybe even 12) of them were intentional at the end of the game. That doesn’t really count when you talk about limiting free throws.

    • Partially but I assume even with the late intentional fouls IU had Michigan doubled up in FTA.

  • sshow

    Once again I think Dylan’s recap was excellent especially the bullet point on Burke. His “selfishness” or tendency to play “hero ball” is part of what makes him great. I assume most of us are diehard fans, so it’s reassuring to read some more objective viewpoints about how people feel that we still looked like a top #3 team even with our flaws. As the seen progresses, I’d love to see what Beilein has cooked up to Robinson (and somewhat more Stauskas) in better scoring opportunities.

    • ForeverBlue

      I actually think that “hero ball” thing is his biggest flaw and one that he’d do well to solve if he wants a successful pro career. It seems to happen whenever Michigan is slowed down into a half court game. I don’t think dribbling the air out of the ball so you can get a fade away jumper is an effective offense. Of course I often had the same complaint about Morris so maybe it’s JB who needs to make some adjustments.

  • Jalen Rose

    What really worries me is that Indiana made a LOT of unforced turnovers…and Michigan still lost by 8 points. If the Hoosiers just held onto the ball, this could have been a lot worse. At times it seemed like the only team that could stop Indiana was themselves. Very discouraging performance

    • ColinNer

      First of all, Indiana looks to push the ball in transition. Any team that pushes the ball in transition is going to have turnovers, many that could be characterized as unforced. Second, many of the turnovers that you characterized as unforced would have been tremendous assists if the player catches the ball. The plays that stood out to me were a couple of hot passes that went through the hands of Sheehey and Zeller. Third, I don’t know how you characterize this as “very discouraging performance”. Yes, Michigan played poorly and could have been blown out but were able to scrap and keep this game under 2 possessions at the under 4 time-out. Michigan shot the ball poorly from 3 all night except in the final minute. When you play road games against a top 5 team you need to have a great shooting night from the outside. To me, this performance was what it was: Michigan went into a hostel environment and went up against a team who played better that night. If Michigan and Indiana play on a neutral court 10 times, I think Michigan wins 5 maybe 6. Last night’s performance does not change my opinion.

  • TheYooper

    I thought Spike actually handled the pressure well. The one time Hardaway tried to bring the ball up the floor when Burke was out, he tripped and it ended up being a jump ball.

  • Gbbfun

    I am an IU grad and went to the game last night. Burke scared the crap out of me whenever he had the ball. Given how young UM team is I only hope Burke and Hardaway go pro early. IU does not want to play this team next year.

  • WeON2013

    I go to Michigan but made the trip down to Bloomington for the game. I expected the stadium to be loud but that is the craziest stadium i have ever been in. I think it had a huge effect on the game especially our freshman. Our stadium doesn’t get close to that and the crowd keeps going for the whole game. Pretty crazy honestly. And to be fair to burke, he didn’t play in the real assembly hall last year. IU was on break so there were no students there. There is no shame in loosing to a top 5 team in that stadium. Thats why the tourney is played in neutral sites. Its a huge advantage. We will be fine.

  • ChathaM

    This was a great win for IU. They stuck with their defensive game plan the entire way, and they pushed the ball relentlessly. Many of their buckets, especially during their early game run, weren’t technically in transition, but they were early shot clock buckets that were created by the UM defence not being fully set. I’m not sure that any of their guys didn’t play well, and when you throw in some strong contributions from Holloway, this is the result you expect to see. I’m very impressed with how quickly they read the defence and make plays. One possession that stands out came in the 2nd half, when UM went zone. IU quickly recognized the defence, Hulls ran from the right side to the left corner, and was immediately hit with a pass for the open 3. That was beautiful, as was their execution for pretty well the entire night.

    The main reason that Robinson didn’t get looks at the basket is that IU didn’t help off of him. This is Trey Burke’s offence on at least 75% of UM’s possessions, and if the defence won’t help off of Robinson, Robinson isn’t going to consistently get shots. UM does not run sets for Robinson. Burke is given the freedom to read the defence and make the appropriate play, and he does that with a high frequency. So, I don’t think Robinson can be criticized for his offensive output in this game, and I don’t think Burke can be criticized for his offensive play in this game. I did think that Robinson’s defensive rebounding was weak, as he was outmuscled on a few occasions, including a couple by fellow freshman Holloway. That can’t happen.

    I can’t believe how quick Oladipo’s hands and feet are.

    We’re just seeing glimpses of how good McGary is going to be.

    • ChathaM

      Oh, forgot to mention…

      The windmill slam at the buzzer by Oladipo was beyond lame. He should know better than that.

  • jemblue

    Nitpick – it’s on cue, not on queue.

  • Bigrange

    I thought Burke seemed to be doing too much on his own to begin the game and the ball wasn’t beign rotated around like I’ve seen in past games. Glenn was just out of it, he was basically just a body on the floor for us. I know Belien doesn’t like the two bigs in together, but why not try it for a short stretch and see what happens?
    Despite the outcome, I love the way our freshman play. I know IU’s class was proclaimed as the best for the conference, but I think Michigan has certainly laid claim to that.

  • Andrew Weiss

    I made the trip down to bloomington as a freshman at Michigan and just wish crisler arena could be half as loud. They need to improve the student section setup at U of M. There are so many students that have tickets in Bloomington and the atmosphere had a huge effect in the game. The students stuck up in the upper deck at U of M are so far away from the Maize Rage, they have no interest in cheering. Michigan needs to increase the Maize Rage closer to the floor. MSU students dominate the lower bowl. Why does Michigan only care about the money and wont sacrifice some more lower bowl seats to students? Give the students a chance to impact the games like Assembly Hall and the Breslin Center