Enjoy the holiday. Post-game from today’s painful loss will be up tomorrow.
Here’s Beilein’s post game presser from Inside The Hall:
Who: Michigan (6-5) at Indiana (6-6)
After a non-conference season that saw just about everything go wrong, Michigan hopes that conference play can help them salvage their season.
Indiana has improved since last year’s debacle but they still have a ways to go. With the loss of leading scorer Maurice Creek, it looks to be another long Big Ten season for the Hoosiers.
Looking at the four factors, Indiana’s offense relies on offensive rebounding and getting to the free throw line. They are an average shooting team that doesn’t take many threes, however they make threes at a 37% clip. The Hoosiers turn the ball over far too often, coughing it up on 22% of their possessions.
On defense, Indiana limits opponents to a 45.3% eFG% and forces turnovers on 24% of possessions. However they are a subpar defensive rebounding team (65.6% DR%) and give up a ton of free throws (42.5% FTR).
The loss of Maurice Creek can not be underestimated. Creek took 30% of Indiana’s shots when he was on the floor and was by far their most efficient offensive player (64.5% eFG). Ryan Corazza looks at potential changes in the starting lineup with Creek’s injury, and it sounds like we may see Devan Dumes inserted into the lineup.
Lot’s of bad news today as the hits keep coming. The latest is that Michigan assistant coach Jerry Dunn will be taking an indefinite leave of absence due to family matters. Mike Rothstein broke the news on Twitter this afternoon.
This is obviously a tough blow, as you never want to lose one of your coaches in the middle of the season. Jerry Dunn was the associate head coach and his voice was obviously valued by John Beilein. This is one less body on the road recruiting (although Dunn was not regarded as the top recruiter on the staff) and also one less body in practice.
This isn’t the way that Michigan wants to enter the conference season and they will certainly have plenty on their plate heading into Thursday’s game at Indiana. If you want some news to lighten the mood, Alex Legion is transferring… again.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – University of Michigan men’s basketball coach John Beilein announced today (Tuesday, Dec. 29) Associate Head Coach Jerry Dunn will take an indefinite leave of absence from the Wolverine program due to personal family matters.
“Presently, I have family matters that need my immediate attention,” said Dunn. “Coach Beilein and the University have been gracious enough to allow me the time needed to do so.”
“I fully support Jerry as he continues to focus on his family at this time,” said Beilein. “We will be there and ready to assist as needed now and when he is ready to return.”
Administrative Specialist Jeff Meyer will assume Dunn’s duties during his absence from the program.
It sounds like Ben Cronin is done, not just for the season but for his career. This is terrible news for all involved and it’s very tough not to feel for Cronin who has been through so much over the last several years and is regarded as one of the nicest kids on the entire team.
This also explains the sudden interest in Grand Ledge big man Jon Horford. With the future roster composition I wouldn’t be surprised to see Michigan put the full court press on Jon, if they haven’t already.
Here is the official press release from the Athletic Department:
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – University of Michigan men’s basketball coach John Beilein announced today (Tuesday, Dec. 29), redshirt-freshman center Ben Cronin (Syracuse, N.Y./Hemminger HS) will miss the remainder of the 2009-10 season, and more than likely the remainder of his career, as he continues his rehabilitation on his left hip.
“Above all, our chief concern has always been for Ben’s current and future health,” said Beilein. “Following his hip surgery last season, we were hopeful that Ben would be able to return for this season.
“Unfortunately, there have been complications with this particular injury which have prevented him from progressing like we had hoped. Consequently, Ben will not play the rest of this season, and more than likely for the remainder of his career. This is a very difficult decision that has everything to do with the quality of Ben’s life after basketball.
“Obviously this was not an easy decision to make, but we agree with our doctor’s assessment that Ben’s chances for a full recovery and to play a full time college basketball schedule are slim. He will remain on scholarship and we will continue to support his rehabilitation and pursuits of becoming a teacher and coach.”
“This has been a long process for my family and me, however, after meeting with our doctors I feel it is best for my long term health to focus on my hip rehabilitation and stop playing college basketball,” said Cronin. “I really appreciated basketball and I will miss it like crazy, but my faith will help me get through this. I continue to have wonderful experiences here at the University of Michigan and I am truly grateful for all the guidance and opportunities given to me. I am looking forward to continuing my rehab, having the opportunity to finish my degree and helping this program in any way that I can.”
Alex from Inside the Hall agreed to exchange a few questions about Thursday’s Big Ten opener in Bloomington. The guys over at Inside the Hall do a great job and they have easily one of the top team-specific basketball blogs on the internet. I also answered some questions, which can be found here on Inside the Hall.
To call it a devastating blow would be spot-on. Creek was Indiana’s one player that could consistently knock down shots from outside the three-point line and he was becoming more comfortable driving the ball each game. He was the leading freshman scorer in the country and third in the Big Ten.
Indiana doesn’t really have a choice on how to react: Tom Crean will sell this as an opportunity for teammates to step up. Christian Watford will probably try to shoulder more of the scoring load and Devan Dumes, last year’s leading scorer, will see more minutes and has the capability of getting hot from the perimeter and could carry the Hoosiers in stretches.
Has this year’s Indiana team shown the improvement that fans hoped for in Crean’s second year? The big win over Pittsburgh stands out, but how much of a step forward has this season been?
In a sense of wins and losses, the Hoosiers are just about in the same place as they were a season ago. But the big difference in watching this team versus a year ago is that you can see the pieces are starting to come together, albeit slowly.
As far as fans go, Crean has been questioned for some of the bad losses (Boston University and Loyola), but he’s done a pretty good job of setting reasonable expectations publicly. The bottom line there is that Crean has a 10-year contract and as much as fans would like Indiana to be turned around overnight, Crean is clearly looking at the restoration as a long term project which means no shortcuts or quick fixes.