Defensive Score Sheet: Michigan at Indiana

Dylan Burkhardt


Indiana handed Michigan its first Big Ten loss of the season as a solid first half defensive performance turned sour, and Yogi Ferrell rained threes on the Wolverines all night. The blame for Yogi Ferrell’s three point barrage was fairly balanced with Caris LeVert, Derrick Walton, Zak Irvin, Jordan Morgan and Nik Stauskas all getting credited with at least half a made three for Ferrell.

Jordan Morgan continues to cement himself as the anchor of Michigan’s defense. He was terrific hedging ball screens, eliminating a lot of Indiana’s offensive action going toward the basket, and contested a number of shots around the rim. Noah Vonleh had a few baskets, but Morgan’s experience in the low block was evident as he forced him into a few uncomfortable looks despite his size disadvantage.

  • Derrick Walton graded out fairly well, but it should be noted that Michigan switched LeVert onto Ferrell for most of the second half. Earlier in the season, Walton was a huge liability defensively, but he’s continued to improve on that side of the ball.
  • Caris LeVert was once again one of Michigan’s more active defenders. He got caught a couple times allowing Ferrell to knock down some open looks, but did a decent job sticking with him throughout.
  • Jon Horford didn’t grade out that well because he didn’t grab a rebound in eight minutes and gave up a basket to Vonleh on the low block.
  • Nik Stauskas also didn’t fare too well, but he wasn’t challenged that often either — note his low percentage of possessions. The scary part of Stauskas’s numbers is that I didn’t mark him down for a single forced missed field goal in 35 minutes.
  • Spike Albrecht gave Michigan a huge boost offensively in the first half by triggering some transition offense, but he also was liable on three Indiana baskets in the first half.


Find the full calculations regarding the defensive score sheet here. The primary stats that may be unfamiliar are:

  • FM – Forced field goal miss (includes blocks)
  • FTO – Forced Turnover (steals, charges taken)
  • FFTA – Forced missed Free Throw Attempt
  • DFGM – Allowed Defensive Field Goal Made
  • DFTM – Allowed Free Throw Made

Defensive Rating (DRtg) is calculated based on the stops and scoring possessions assigned to the player, it’s an estimated measure of points per 100 possessions.

  • Champswest

    It frustrates me that at least two teams have defensive players that are good enough to shut down our best weapon, but we have no one who can do that to the other team. Seems like our defensive strategy was: “He can’t keep making those threes all game long. Sooner or later he has to cool off and then we will be all right.”

    • TDGR

      I don’t think this was a case of Yogi Ferrell shutting Stauskus down so much as Stauskus getting frustrated and shutting down himself. Not taking anything away from Yogi because the guy was a beast yesterday, but Stauskus definitely had an off game and he will probably have another one. The next thing for Michigan just needs to be figuring out how to win when Stauskus isn’t on his game.

      And as for the defensive strategy, can you really blame them? Like Belien said, NW deployed the exact same strategy with letting Yogi rain it from three and in that game he went 1 for 8, you can’t take everything away. It’s college basketball, stuff happens, don’t read too much into it.

      • Dr_ZC

        I think JB is a lot better and has more experience than Chris Collins, especially when he knows Yogi from the US team competition. His comments on Yogi before the game were “He’s running the team, he’s making big shots, he’s a go-to guy for them. He got a lot of minutes from us with USA Basketball. I think that helped as well. He’s really been impressive in all these games.”
        So, knowing what he knows, and knowing that Yogi is THE man, why do you want to take chances and have him shoot lights out? Who else from IU can beat you?

        • Michigan wasn’t giving Yogi shots. At least one or two were on unsettled (rebound) situations, at least one or two was just a tough shot late in the clock. The kid played one of the best games of his career.

          • Dr_ZC

            Well, I remember I kicked my self during the game, when Caris and Whalton were next to Yogi when he fired with Caris defending him from the side. This was his 3rd or 4th three. I was upset because we knew he was on a roll, and we did not defend him with a taller player up front. My frustration is that some times we promote average 3 point shooters against us to snipers. And the “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me” applies.

          • guestavo

            We couldn’t stick Caris on him like we wanted because they kept bringing that high ball screen and switching the matchup.

            Yogi shoots 44 % on 7 attempts for the season. He is far from average. I can’t think of many guys who have shot ridiculously against us who weren’t already threats?

          • Dr_ZC

            What I was thinking, is for the 5 key plays, Dylan or Joe can bunch Yogi’s threes in one highlight, so we can get some ideas which one could be defended. I, for one, would be interested to see how and why Yogi was pulling the trigger.

          • guestavo

            He was at home, their best offensive option by far and he is an elite shooter.

          • Dr_ZC

            You over simplify things, coach. Even Nik does not do that at home. Well, maybe he should. But really, knowing all that ahead of time, are you saying that we should give up in guarding him because he is at home, the only option and a shooter? That alone does not speak well for our defensive strategy.

          • guestavo

            Nik has other good offensive options so the volume shooting and leash to jack up ill-advised 3s aren’t there, also we don’t usually need to hoist 3s at the end of the shotclock because we are efficient.

            He had a great game. It happens. We are still atop the B1G.

        • guestavo

          Short of intentionally hard fouling him, there was no defense for what he was doing on the court.