Game 31: Indiana at Michigan Recap

Dylan Burkhardt

Will Brinson

MICH 71 1.10 27-65 42% 17-43 40% 10-22 46% 7-13 54% 12 18 10 6 5 7 17
IU 72 1.11 30-70 43% 23-54 43% 7-16 44% 5-9 56% 24 29 12 14 2 2 18

More: Photo Gallery | Beilein Video & Quotes | Big Ten Tournament Bracket | Recruit Photo Gallery | Burke, Hardaway, Bartelstein videos | Indiana reactions

Michigan’s performance against Indiana felt like a microcosm of its Big Ten season. The game was filled with the highs and lows, jubilation and frustration that have defined its season but in the end the Wolverines lacked the consistency to walk away on top.

In front of a boisterous Crisler Center crowd, there were times when Michigan was dominant. The Wolverines rebounded from a slow start with a 24-6 first half run filled with the transition offense and easy baskets that they’ve feasted on all season. Then there was the 14-6 run that Trey Burke spearheaded late in the second half. That run gave Michigan a five point lead with under a minute to play and felt like a potential storybook ending to what was all but assuredly Burke’s final game game in Ann Arbor.

But Michigan’s inconsistency reared its ugly head in the game’s closing moments. The Wolverines made just 6-of-13 free throws for the game including three critical misses in the game’s final minute – two of which were the front end of one-and-ones – and allowed Indiana to escape with a one point victory.

John Beilein emphasized that Michigan’s shortcomings in the first 39 minutes – most notably, allowing Indiana to rebound a staggering 24 of its 42 missed shots – were what cost his team the game. While he’s certainly correct that a couple more box outs could have helped, it’s impossible to ignore the finality of Michigan’s final possession.

After 1153 offensive possessions of Big Ten basketball, Michigan’s title hopes came down to the final bounce of the ball. Michigan executed its late game play effectively as Burke used a high screen from Jordan Morgan, darted into the lane and fired up a layup over Cody Zeller. But Burke’s shot would miss and Morgan’s tip would suffer a similar fate after resting tantalizingly on the edge of the rim.

Michigan’s Big Ten Championship had rimmed out.


Michigan held Indiana to just six points from the 16:05 mark to the 4:30 mark of the first half but other than that stretch defensive stops were tough to come by. Indiana’s offense rode a dominant offensive rebounding performance to 1.33 points per possession in the second half and 1.11 points per trip for the game. The Hoosiers rebounded 57% of their misses for the game and scored 17 second chance points. Despite being unable to finish the job with clean defensive rebounds, Michigan still did some things well defensively. The Wolverines forced the Hoosiers to turn the ball over on 22% of their possessions, making just 42% of their twos, and attempt just nine free throws to 70 field goal attempts. How bad was Michigan’s defensive rebounding? This was the first time in the KenPom era (2003+) that the Wolverines allowed an opponent to rebound 57% of their misses.

Michigan’s offense was able to hang in against Indiana by valuing the basketball and hitting some critical three point shots. The Wolverines 1.10 points per trip for the game wasn’t great but for the most part they matched the Hoosiers offensive firepower in the second half, scoring 1.20 points per second half possession. That second half efficiency was enabled by hot three point shooting (7-of-12, 58%) and not recording a single turnover in the final 20 minutes. Michigan outshot Indiana, got to the free throw line more often and turned the ball over less but simply wasn’t able to score on its final possession.

Michigan opens the Big Ten Tournament against Penn State and would play Wisconsin in the quarterfinals if it advances. With a potential rematch against Indiana laying in the semifinals, it’s safe to say that the Wolverines will have revenge on their mind in Chicago, holding just a 1-4 record against their potential first three opponents.

Indiana 72, Michigan 71-28
Dustin Johnston

Player Bullets:

  • Trey Burke: Burke struggled at times and had Victor Oladipo hounding him for the whole game but he bailed himself out by making five threes on eight attempts. Burke was just 2-of-12 inside the arc and had just four assists to four turnovers – all atypical statistics. His missed front end will burn a hole in his heart, and the same goes for Hardaway, but up until that point Burke made a number of plays down the stretch once again. Burke certainly got caught up in the moment at time but really his only flaw was being unable to convert just a few more shots around the rim.
  • Tim Hardaway Jr.: Hardaway took a lot of heat check threes, and finished 1-of-6 from long distance, but did have some strong takes the basket and was 4-of-6 inside the arc. When he was aggressive he was productive, but he needs to strive to not fall in love with the three point shot when it isn’t falling.
  • Nik Stauskas: Stauskas made a handful of nice offensive plays in the first half, including a personal 8-0 run that helped Michigan control the game, but he was very quiet in the second where he just scored two points on two shots. It was a solid offensive performance overall, 12 points on 4-of-9 (2-4 3pt) shooting, but I would love to go back and watch the film to see what limited him in the second half.
  • Glenn Robinson III: Robinson played one of his more balanced and aggressive offensive games in a long while. He had a great dribble drive on Watford and finished through a blocking foul for a and-one, he had a great backcut and finish and even knocked down a three pointer – his first since the Ohio State game on February 5th. He too missed a critical free throw down the stretch but it was great to see an improved offensive effort (13 points on 5-of-7) shooting after his recent ups and downs.
  • Jordan Morgan: Morgan was clearly Michigan’s best defensive option against Cody Zeller and a big reason Zeller turned the ball over six times. He grabbed a gutty six offensive rebounds, as many as his teammates combined, and finished with 8 points on 4-of-9 shooting and eight rebounds. He still missed his fair share of bunnies around the basket and of course the tip at the end of the game will haunt him for a long time.
  • Mitch McGary: McGary brought all sorts of energy to the game but his poor tendencies on defense were on full display against Cody Zeller. McGary was whistled for four fouls in eight minutes and was just 1-of-5 from the floor. McGary missed a critical second half layup but its clear that his energy will translate into productive play down the line.
  • Spike Albrecht: Albrecht was necessary when Indiana pressured Burke full court, he did a good job of initiating the offense in his nine minutes. Albrecht knocked down a critical three in the second half and also handed out two assists to no turnovers.
  • Caris LeVert: LeVert played just three minutes as Michigan seemed to lean on Albrecht’s offensive abilities over LeVert’s defense. He missed his only three point attempt of the game.
  • Jon Horford: If McGary’s Achilles’s heel is his tendency to pick up bad fouls, Horford’s continues to be his inability to grab the ball. His hands just seem to fail him time and again but he deserves credit for knocking down a pair of free throws and blocking two shots.
  • Matt Vogirch: Vogrich played a couple of minutes in the first half and did grab a strong defensive rebound to his credit.
  • PeteM

    I think that this week will be a real test of Beilein’s ability to keep this team on an even emotional keel. After losing to Penn State I feared that we would go into a tailspin, and they didn’t — despite today’s loss. I still wonder how many tough losses a team can take without having it affect future performances. Penn State could easily have beat Wisconsin today, and may not be an easy matchup despite the seeds.

  • froshie

    Yeah, I’m really confused as to why Stauskas was not more involved in the second half. Could it be that Beilein just didn’t really include him in the game plan (that’s next to impossible but you never know)? Was it the defense? Either way, there were a couple open shots that he clearly passed up on.

    • jemblue

      I think it was perhaps more that Burke and THJ felt pressure to carry the load themselves.

  • Indiana_Matt

    Man, I wouldn’t be surprised if we beat PSU, Wisc and IU. After that we might get lit up by OSU or MSU ’cause we’ll be running on fumes. But that is my prediction. With what I saw today, with a good draw in the Dance, I still feel like we could be a final four team. But depending which team shows up… I could be so wrong.

  • jlustig22

    I wish some of McGary’s energy would translate into more defensive rebounds. He has 5 total defensive rebounds in the last 7 games. That has to change. Maybe some of it is due to him always hedging on the ball screen and being out of position but come on. I expected him to struggle offensively but I thought he would be a really good rebounder. He showed signs of that earlier in the year and he’s still a good offensive rebounder but has regressed.

    Hardaway really needs to be more consistent if we are to make a run. He has always been streaky so hopefully he can catch fire again. He really needed to hit the glass harder today too. 2 rebounds while Oladipo was killing it on the boards.

  • troy

    What was the beef between Meyer & Crean?

    • Indiana_Matt

      Crean is my least favorite Big Ten coach, by some margin. I really want to know more about this incident so I can feel even more justified in my strong dislike.

      • Indiana_Matt

        On twitter I read that he didn’t shake Beilein’s hand and Meyer my have spoken up about that fact.

        • Jeeps Johnstone

          Meyer used to be an assistant at IU when Sampson was head coach. They did bad things.

          • Indiana_Matt

            Did some quick, not very thorough research. Looks like Meyer was the least of the offenders and at least some of it was incidental. See that he gave Elston a tshirt.

    • Go Blue

      Crean is not a classy guy, nothing new.

    • Angman

      Dan Wetzel
      Crean post game video calling out Jeff Meyer via @Hoosier43:

  • Angman

    Looking at that picture at the top of the recap hurts.

    Lots of very good things today. Great energy, good to see Stauskas and GR3 play better in a high pressure game. The kids wanted it bad just like we all did. The offensive rebounds against were the killer, as were the FTs.

    But, the season isn’t over. The BTT draw sets up nicely for some revenge opportunities. Just have to keep improving. One game at a time. Let’s take care of Penn State Thursday and go from there.

    It would be nice to get a little “rim luck” at the end of games as well, seems like the last couple years, a lot of end game shots have gone against us (Burke’s rimmed out 3s v Ark and OSU this year, the Duke game, Wisconsin twice – Gasser and this year, and today off the top of my head). Hopefully things start breaking our way here in the near future when it comes to that.

    This team is still capable of a run in the NCAAs. There are absolute flaws, and today still hurts like hell, but there is more good here than bad, and it is in Michigan’s favour IMO to go up against teams that don’t see them as much and aren’t used to defending their offence like they will face in the NCAAs. Just have to make a concerted effort to clean up the glass, even if it means gang rebounding against certain teams.

  • gpsimms

    I think Hulls getting into a bit of foul trouble was on of the best things that could happen to IU. Sheehey had a really solid game. I think that was one thing that slowed Stauskas down, for sure.

    • gpsimms

      Oh, and SCACCHoops +/- has JMo at minus 17 for the game. That can’t be true, right? It really felt like he did by far the best job against Zeller.

  • robpollard

    What a confusing team. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team get destroyed by the other team’s offensive rebounding like this one and also consistently leave top shooters open for 3s. And UM still ‘should’ have won the game! That’s a tribute to Burke, Morgan, GRII, etc doing a lot of things right.

    A great effort by the team, but ultimately, a disappointing B1G season. It’s tough, b/c they were a couple free throws or Jordan Morgan follow from being in 1st, but 5th place is where they ended up.

    I hope, upon all that is basketball-holy, UM at least beats Penn State (that game can NOT be lost) and then Wisky. They are my least favorite program – I hate their slow-down, mugging style of play with a passion. It is all that is wrong with college bball.

    Should be an interesting next 2-3 weeks. I don’t have high hopes for a huge run, but anything is possible. I would be extremely pleased with beating IU in the B1G and then getting to the Sweet 16. I hope for more, but I just don’t want another flame out like last year. The program needs to keep moving forward.

  • Chris

    I saw Trey Burke’s parents on the concourse before the game. Do they normally see a lot of games in Ann Arbor?

    • Not sure, but i’d guess they’d come to his last home game

  • Wayman Britt

    Will someone remove the dagger in my heart. The ups and down of this season are killing me.

    I am trying to stay positive for the remaining part of the season, but I think we will be disappointed again.

    • Mattski

      Every school’s but one are!

  • Dr_ZC

    Folks, coaches coach, players play, and we are watching. What we watched was no different than what JB watched. He saw us getting our shorts handed to us on the glass. We have been screaming all along, that our lineup does not match well with B1G plat. We are playing with 1 big and 4 guards. And yet, we have 4 bigs in our roster, and we are adding another one next year. Why aren’t we playing 2 bigs at the time, especially when we are getting crushed on the glass?

    Where is find the hot man mandra? Nick was hot in the first half making IU pay. We had some plays for him. Why we did not use him in the second half? According to JB, even when Nick is not on, he can be used as a decoy in the wings. Well, how good is that when they are eating our lunch on defense? Either use the hot man, or get him out of there, and put another big. As simple as that. It is all about game time adjustments, and I have not seen many from us lately. I supposed we threw the white towel on rebounding so many times, we figured we do not need to have anybody rebounding our 1-and-1 misses.

    Smotryzc saw this one coming and moved on. Now for next year we will have 5 bigs. If we use only one at the time, how much time can each one of them play? 8 minutes per game? Well, the arithmitic is simple.. 15+15+10+0+0 = T-R-A-N-S-F-E-R.

    • He never had a chance to play two bigs because McGary picked up fouls so quickly. Horford, Bielfeldt and McLimans all got a shot but didn’t really impress.

      • Dr_ZC

        Well, Dylan that is not the way I saw it. Max played for 1 min, got a foul and then he was out for the rest of the game. When McGary was playing we could have used another big. Instead we had him with 4 fould guarding Zeller. Put another big on Zeller and let McGary in the middle to clean the boards.

        • I’m with Dylan, you gotta play your best 5 guys and our best 5 guys put us in a spot to win despite giving up a ton of offensive boards. Everyone thinks we can just play two bigs all the time and we’ll just rebound, but they don’t factor in the advantage we get on offense and the lack of turnovers our team has is helped greatly by 4 skill players playing most of the times

          • Dr_ZC

            I am with you, but we did not play 2 bigs in this game AT ALL, unlike in other games, such as MSU. We did not even try to see how it would work out against a team that was sucking all the boards. I could not watch the part where Mich was inserted to guard Zeller with 4 fouls. A gift, or a kamikaze move. How effective your big can be with 4 fouls going against an elite player who feasted on us the entire game. I suppose the philosophy that we beat our opponents with offense rather than defense, prevails. And that might work, but it takes the toll on our offense that is winded down the stretch. It happened in all the games we lost this year. When will we learn?

          • Dr_ZC

            Your best 5 guys are usually on the starting lineup, but this is determined dynamically, depending on game time and performance of the staring 5. For instance, Spike played quite well, but he is not in the starting 5. JB saw the need for Burke to be spelled and adjusted. But we had a dire need down low with our defensive rebounding. JB can sub in and out all 5 bigs at will, but he has not tried a combination of two bigs at the time to see if we can stop their second and third chance points. Again, he is the coach and I watch.

    • MGoTweeter

      I dont think size was that key of a factor on the rebounding. Indiana killed Michigan on the wings. Guys like Oladipo, Sheehey, Hollowell were the guys killing Michigan on the glass. Indiana consistently sent extra players from the wing to the glass and Michigan’s wings did not respond well. I remember looking up at the board late in the second half after a TH Jr defensive rebound and realizing that it was his first rebound of the game. That is a problem. When the guys you are guarding have double digit offensive rebounds and you have zero defensive rebounds, it is a huge problem. I think you can expect Stauskas to struggle on the glass but Michigan needs Hardaway to rebound in order for them to compete on the glass.

  • Mattski

    I think it’s important to remember–especially for people so upset with the defense–that Beilein’s past couple of over-achieving teams absolutely made their bones by playing great D. So any notion that he’s not coaching these guys up on D or cannot doesn’t pass the smell test. Beilein is also playing the guys he’s got, and we were undersized across the board against IU yesterday–that, for me, is the clearest part of IU’s edge. There were three and sometimes four IU players rising above the rim for rebounds.

    Now, if you want to say that the philosophy is flawed, then I’m interested in the conversation. But Beilein is actively recruiting more classic-style, back-to-the-basket bigs, from what I can see, and I don’t know why he wouldn’t–what we have now is what we have, in a long rebuilding process from highly difficult beginnings. But–personally–I am still all for going small and fast, and having a system where every player on the floor is a fleet threat to score in various different ways. If the D is a little better this year–as it will be next year, or if the imagined offense is really firing on all cylinders more of the time, then the philosophy is a winner. And it seems to me that most people would acknowledge–since we lost by a single painful point yesterday–that we were close this year despite the terrible D and failures to box out/general lack of rebounds.

    I think it’s quite possible that we will be a better team next year with a guard who in more bent on distributing, everyone else a year older and stronger. But as with Manny Harris, Beilein–with Trey–has played the cards that have been dealt to him. Thankfully, he is not paid to win every game. As reality demonstrates, that is impossible.

    • Dr_ZC

      Mattski, we are all in agreement here, even though we can argue that JB did not exactly played the the cards that have been dealt to him. He has recruited 4 legit bigs, but he has played one at the time. There is no secret to any coach in B1G what JB strategy is. He is a great offensive coach, that is for sure. But in a very physical league, once coaches find out how to stop his offense, they stick with the same strategy all the time. And that is a manifestation of of our late losses. JB’s philosophy to play with 1 big and 4 guards have made M one-dimensional and easy to defend as the season progressed, while it totally exposed our defensive assignments. I would hope that mixing it up a bit, would work, but that is why I am not a coach–I just watch.

      • Mattski

        Good points. Beilein HAS said that he wants to stick with a short rotation, and–as Dylan has pointed out to you, ZC–the injuries got in the way of developing the two-big approach. Honestly, though, I thought that our ability to go a lot of different ways kept us in it yesterday. I also think that Oladipo and his rebounding provide one of the eventual keys for us–it isn’t just bigs, but guys who can really rise above the rim for rebounds. Hardaway has been an intermittent beast in this regard. I think that next year we will see some pretty special play from McGary, Horford, and JoMo in various combinations (although I hate the B1G style of play, and love the idea that we can beat the MSUs of this world with a different approach, which in fact is more in keeping with the way hoop is evolving). McGary is just still VERY unpolished–although enormously promising–despite demands from fans to play him. Morgan made some high-degree-of-difficulty shots yesterday, so I just don’t see the missed one at the buzzer as unforgivable. Painful, yeah. . . Alright, gotta shut up and get to work.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    Hoosier fan here. Tough loss. I’ve watched the last 10 minutes three times and still can’t figure out how we won that one.

    Burke is a great scorer, but not an efficient one. During the game, I thought “this kid is killing us” but he “only ” got 20 points on 20 shots.

  • KfoJames

    While JB has done a tremendous job of resurrecting the program there are a couple areas where he has me a tad worried. My biggest worry more or less lies within his philosophy and approach.I do not feel that we are a balanced team by any stretch. We are too perimeter oriented and have absolutely no inside game. And the fact that half the Big ten prides themselves as being tough and defensive oriented it doesn’t bode well for us with our finesse style of play. There will be a lot of games against Msu, Osu, IU, and Purdue where there will be in your face defense played against you.Good on the ball perimeter defense as well as interior defense and rebounding. When that happens you have to be able to throw the ball into the post and try to eek out some buckets. We still live and die by perimeter and 15ft jump shots. Double that with our inability to rebound and you can see where it can become extremely difficult to compete with the above mentioned teams. Mitch McGary is a very good start for this team in becoming more physical and tough.And I know that it is not JB’s style but let me say that he is going to have to tweak and evolve his philosophy a bit more if he wants to take this program to an even higher level. We have to even out the rebounding discrepancy as it just kills you giving teams second and third opportunities. One area where it starts is in recruiting. Dynamic bigs, and guys with strengths in post play, aggressiveness, and rebounding need to be made more of a priority. In my opinion finesse bigs somewhat get negated when faced with good defensive teams because most of them struggle to get their own shot off and are more of a catch and shoot guy. So when they cant shoot and they didn’t come in with much post presence or toughness what are you left with. I would rather start with a guy who plays tough and can defend the rim and rebound, and if he can shoot than that’s a plus. I feel like JB however is the opposite. In the big ten and the big dance you have to rebound and defend the post. I also understand that this team is still very young but going forward JB needs to split up that practice time to leave a bigger chunk dedicated to toughness, rebounding, and post development, as well as tweaking the recruiting priorities That I feel will go a long way into making this team and future teams far more balanced and versatile

  • JeremyS

    I was very impressed with Michigan this game and I thought this was the most complete game Michigan played against a high-caliber opponent all year. This was a great win if they would have just hit their free throws. They played very good offensively against a good defensive team and the intensity and passion defensively was there (save for the boxing out).

    We can make cases for playing two bigs (which is valid), but really this was Michigan’s game to win if they just make their free throws. Indiana did a great job on extending the game and Burke and Hardaway just choked.

    But this team is a long way from the Michigan State / Penn State disasters where there was very little defensive effort. Fix the free throws and keep up the effort and this team may still put together 10 wins in a row.

  • JeremyS

    What was the atmosphere like inside of Crisler? It looked like the best game ever played there.

  • gobluemd16

    It has taken me this long to come up with something to write, as I feel I would have been too harsh and emotional any sooner. Being a senior and camping out over night for my final game as an undergrad did not help me overcome this loss at all either (much less that the B1G title, seeding, and POY honors were on the line as well). I think the team fed off the crowd and did some really good things defensively, as we also saw against MSU. With that said, foul trouble and Zeller just being too good absolutely killed us. That led to many of the offensive rebounds, as usually wing players would run in not being boxed out to grab the boards. Offensively, I thought we were pretty good. Shot the threes well, and once Trey figured out a way to elude Oladipo, he was effective in the last 10 minutes or so. Bottom line, we gave up 20+ offensive rebounds, and were in a position to win at home. Up 4 with 45-50 seconds left, we were at the line. In that position, you win 19/20 times. The wheels obviously came off after that point. I still just cannot swallow what transpired. 3 of 4 missed free throws, two of which were front ends by your two best players. One of the easiest baskets I have ever seen by Zeller on their final possession. And then, of course, the missed layup and unbelievably unlucky roll on the put-back by JMo. As a fan, I just feel like all the bounces seem to go against us. Wisco and @Ohio earlier this year, and then today especially. It is hard for me, even as a fan, to rebound from this loss, but hopefully the team responds better. Our play against PSU (and hopefully Wisco), will tell a LOT about the team’s spirit going forward. Love all of these players to the very end, I just wish my last home game didn’t end as it did.

  • Steve Fischer

    No need for too much reflection. Michigan played the best and maybe even smartest ( 2 Academic All Americans + Oladipo who will graduate in only 3 yrs) team and did well both games . The NCAAs will be exciting good luck to both teams.