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McGary continues to show that he deserves more playing time. 10/7 in only 28 minutes while playing decent defense against Zeller is a clear net positive in my book. Most of Zeller's points were on putbacks and you can't necessarily blame that on a lack of defense. They didn't do a great job of boxing Zeller out, but at least two of his putbacks were lucky bounces that seemed to end up in the right spot at the right time.
This team fights. I think it will win them a big game eventually, but yes they continue to dig themselves too deep early to get out of it. On the road against legitimate opponents, this will hurt you.
This isn't really a knock on Trey Burke because I admire the fact that he stays aggressive when some of his teammates are too passive. I still wish he'd learn to harness the desire to take a handful of unnecessary threes in games like this though. It reminds me of last year's team: they get down and the role players become incredibly passive, leading to a live-and-die by the three type mentality.
I think Frank made this point, but when the only thing Jordan Hulls is good at is shooting threes, you need to guard him on the perimeter. The guy literally adds no value on the court outside of his perimeter shooting. He's a terrible defender and can't penetrate the lane offensively. He was left open too often and it hurt Michigan badly.
Knowing now that Stauskas had the flu, I can at least understand why he struggled. Robinson, on the other hand, seemed to go into a shell tonight and never came out. I'm not sure why, but it's a bit disconcerting. He's that "other guy" who is capable of getting in the lane and opening things up for everybody. Hopefully these don't become tendencies. With Robinson I think he may have just had an off night.
Zeller/Oladipo: 68 minutes, two fouls total, one of which was at the very end of the game. Assembly Hall or not, I still can't get over the fact that Zeller didn't have one foul called against him.
Michigan: 7 FT Indiana: 25
To add onto my Burke point; I think there are certain points when he should be a bit more patient. He has such a great ability to create open opportunities for his teammates and he sometimes strays away from this when the team is fighting back from a deficit.
Great point, Steve. Burke is the catalyst for the offense, but it seems he can also single-handedly stall it as well. Burke is at his best when he is in the lane creating. He tends to have excellent decision making there, and uses his body so well to get shots up on bigger defenders. When he settles for threes, especially early in the shot clock, they can quickly cause fast breaks in the other direction. We need consistent penetration out of him.
IU hit their first 6 shots. I don't know what to do to stop that, but that was a killer.
GR3 had a horrible game. I watched him walk up the court way too many times after a disappointing miss on O. He's got to get better.
McGary and Horford played damn good.
There are no moral victories but I hope to God these two beat downs on the road pay dividends come tourney time.
I was beginning to wonder if i was the only one who noticed the refs impact on the game. They did not cost UM the game but at Assembly Hall they get the lions share of them. Look back at the UK/IU game last year and see if UK didn't get hacked to death in the lane with no calls. We shot bad, had poor defense, yet we were still right there on the road. Two teams evenly matched like these are, one shouldn't need the majority of the calls. How many times did our guys drive the lane, absorb contact and not get a call? They were on there several times and got every contact call. Least fouling team in the nation all the sudden became a fouling machine last night. Like I said, IU is good and the refs didn't lose the game for us...just surprised me that nobody was talking on here about atleast the crucial late game calls like Oladipos continuation the NBA prob wouldn't have even called or the shoulder block that knocked two UM players out of the way by Zeller. One time Zeller got a dunk over the back that Eric Montross would have been proud of. IU at IU played better then UM. Can't wait for them in A2. Go Blue, beat Ohio.
For all the hype of this game, it sure had a disappointing finish. Most probably didn't expect Michigan to come out with the victory, but they were certainly in the game deep into the 2nd Half. Steve added some nice thoughts above and though I disagree with a couple things, they portray a good sense of what happened on Saturday night. Michigan went into a very hostile environment, didn't play up to their potential, got burned by some very questionable calls, and still came pretty close to pulling out the win. This isn't a game that should be interpreted as a "moral" victory of sorts, but it's not bad to talk about the reality of the situation. This is a game that Michigan probably shouldn't have won and they didn't win it. Right now, none of the Big Ten powers (IU, UM, MSU, OSU) have went on the road and beaten each other. Until somebody does that, this is anybody's league.
In the game preview, several things were noting as being keys to the game. The majority of these things dealt with how Michigan would attempt to adjust to Indiana's uptempo offense. Early on, the simple answer is that they didn't adjust. The team played way too fast, gave Indiana open looks, and went down big in the first few minutes. This is probably one of the major reasons Beilein looked so disappointed with Burke early. As the game continued, they started using more of the shot clock, getting more careful with the ball, and really did slow down Indiana's attack. If Michigan could have done this throughout the game, they probably would have won. However, like always, this is something easier said than done.
The other aspect highlighted for this game was the way Michigan would react to Oladipo's use on defense. Oladipo fit the bill Saturday night, allowing 4 points on 45 possessions, an absolutely insane statistic. Despite this, he really didn't disrupt Michigan's ball movement that much and wasn't able to stop Michigan from targeting other Indiana defenders such as Jordan Hulls. The most frustrating part about this was that Michigan actually did target Hulls early including great drives by Hardaway and Stauskas. The problem was that neither of these drives led to points due to bad bounces off the rim. Even though Michigan had a good advantage here, they were just not getting points. Part of this was Zeller moving over to help, but they just weren't converting. One can make an argument that these failed early attempts led to a reluctance to attack the basket offensively, but either way, Michigan just couldn't get going inside. It's not like Michigan was getting bad looks, but when the ball rolls off the rim, gets blocked by Zeller, or is well defended, the players probably will stop driving at some point.
Burke and Hardaway actually both had decent nights. Burke had 25 points and 8 assists and came through with some great shots. He did seem rattled early and was pushing the pace, but he still did pretty well. There has been a lot of attention on some of Burke's hoisted 3 pt attempts and the fact that he only went 9-24. There is no doubt that Burke's going to take some attempts that make fans scratch their heads and it happened in this one too. In this game, it was concerning because Michigan and Beilein seemed to want to slow the pace. For a team trying to use the shot clock, he should not be making those type of attempts. In a normal game, it's not something that should be extremely concerning, but given the nature of this game, it was important. Part of this is just the way Burke plays, and there's no doubt he will watch the tape back before the game with Indiana in March, realize he was too fast and pushing things, and make adjustments for the rematch. However, Burke still came through pretty big so it's hard to say he had a bad game.
Hardaway didn't have the most amazing numbers, but he had some big shots that truly kept Michigan in the game at times. For those who are still living by the mantra that Hardaway can't play in big games, please scrap it. It would have been nice to see him get more movement and success in the lane, but it just seemed like Michigan as a team couldn't get anything going there. Michigan's other wing player, Nik Stauskas, had an up and down night. He had some nice plays including a great early drive to the basket, but he got burned badly, especially on defense. Stauskas will get better on defense as he gets more experience, but when he gets switched anywhere near the paint, it's typically not good news. There are reports he had the flu though, so perhaps he will be better on Tuesday against Ohio. Also, fans should not be mad about most of Stauskas' shots Saturday night, many of them were when he was wide open. You can't fault him for taking these.
Michigan's big men struggled for the most part. Zeller's game wasn't nearly as great as his 19 points show, but Michigan's big men were very inconsistent. It was very surprising to see Horford only get 10 minutes, but he definitely had some mistakes including the travel and failing to finish at the basket that helped lead to this. McGary had some nice moments and is still showing some massive improvement, but he was not boxing out, often went for the home run instead of the safe bet, and had foul issues. On the road when your opponent is getting a ton of calls, this is not the best strategy to win the game. It was also pretty evident that Morgan was not 100% against Indiana. Hopefully he will be ready for Tuesday because Michigan will need him.
Michigan's remaining freshmen didn't have spectacular games. GR3 had easily the worst night of his career. Watford beat him badly and it took him 40 minutes to go 1-6 and get a total of 2 points and 4 rebounds. GR3 is not the key piece of this team's offense, but he needs to be better than that. It's not as if he was taking bad shots, he just wasn't aggressive offensively and his shots didn't fall. Michigan doesn't need him to put up 20 points to be successful, but if he's out there for 40 minutes, they need more production from him, at least on the defensive end where Watford got too many open looks. Spike and LeVert did about what was expected, but neither played that long or made any significant contributions. More production from these two definitely wouldn't have hurt, but they just don't get enough playing time to really change the result.
If one had to select a few things that caused Michigan to lose this game, it was defensive breakdowns and the inability to control Indiana's tempo, particularly at the beginning of the game. If Michigan had been able to box out, clog the lane, and prevent shooters like Hulls and Ferrell getting wide open (many of these openings were created by the tempo), they probably would have been in great position to win. Along with this, the uptempo play by Indiana really caught Michigan off guard early and the Wolverines couldn't keep up. Michigan cannot keep allowing opponents to control the early minutes of games like this. Michigan can win all of its remaining games, but if it starts slow on the road against tough teams like MSU, the odds won't be good for a win.
Regardless, at least they get to take revenge on Ohio.
Todays the big day. Will Michigan seize control of the Big Ten with a big road win in Bloomington?
Basketball Analyst For BTPowerhouse & Wolverine 247 - Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tbeindit
In my opinion, there was way too much one-on-one, isolation with Burke. We need to trust our offense and run our sets. When we start getting confronted with adversity, this team has the tendency to play exclusively through Burke, which obviously takes others out of the game. Ball movement is always greater than isolation.
Also, I actually think Horford played better than McGary overall. McGary has a bigger upside and makes more dynamic plays, but, in my opinion, Horford is more solid overall.
I think we will win the rematch in Ann Arbor. IU has a huge home court advantage. This was a much bigger game for them than it was for us. They did what they had to do; they protected their home court. Let's beat Ohio and forget about this one.
This post was edited by ryanrago 14 months ago
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