Indiana goes back out on the road for the first time since a December 4th visit to Penn State.
Sunday’s trip to Michigan will be the first of six road games over the next eight as the Hoosiers face a brutal stretch that will go a long way in deciding the fate of this 2018-19 season.
This will be IU’s biggest challenge since a November road loss at Duke. Of course, that game didn’t go well for the Hoosiers, and Michigan has similarly been running opponents off the floor, especially on their home court. The Wolverines have really only had one close game all year, and that was on the road.
At home, Michigan has been virtually untouchable, and a defense that ranks as one of the best in the country leads the way.
GAME DAY ESSENTIALS
No. 21/22 Indiana (12-2, 3-0) at No. 2/4 Michigan (14-0, 3-0)
- Tip time: 4:30 p.m. Eastern
- Location: Crisler Center (12,707), Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Television: CBS
- Series: Indiana leads 107-60. Michigan won the only meeting last year in Ann Arbor, 69-55.
- Point Spread: Michigan is an 8 point favorite.
- Tickets (Seat Geek affiliate link)
John Beilein is in his 12th season in Ann Arbor and has a 262-143 record with the Wolverines.
- Archie Miller, Juwan Morgan and Evan Fitzner preview the game. (prior to the Illinois game as well.)
- John Beilein previews the game.
- Archie Miller after the Illinois game:
“We’re just very fortunate and obviously we’re moving on to our next opponent, which is Michigan, which you know, there’s not a lot to be said for how good they are.”
Indiana (KenPom No. 27)
- Juwan Morgan, forward, 6-foot-8, 232 pounds, senior
- Justin Smith, forward, 6-foot-7, 227 pounds, sophomore
- Al Durham, guard, 6-foot-4, 181 pounds, sophomore
- Romeo Langford, guard, 6-foot-6, 215 pounds, freshman
- Devonte Green, guard, 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, junior
Key reserves: Zach McRoberts (G), De’Ron Davis (C), Evan Fitzner (F), Damezi Anderson (F), Rob Phinisee (doubtful, G)
Michigan (KenPom No. 5)
- Ignas Brazdeikis, forward, 6-foot-7, 215 pounds, freshman
- Jon Teske, center, 7-foot-1, 260 pounds, junior
- Charles Matthews, guard, 6-foot-6, 205 pounds, senior
- Jordan Poole, guard, 6-foot-5, 195 pounds, sophomore
- Zavier Simpson, guard, 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, junior
Key reserves: Isaiah Livers (questionable, F), Eli Brooks (G)
TALE OF THE TAPE
KEYS TO VICTORY
Flip the script. You know the story by now. Indiana has fallen behind by five or more in each of its last eight wins, including a 10 point deficit against Illinois and an 11 point deficit against Butler. Yogi Ferrell, Troy Williams and Nick Zeisloft won’t be at this game. There will no 28-0 runs. This game will be a technical knockout in the first half if Indiana has another bad start. Michigan is too good at home, and they have the defense to shut down big comebacks.
Matchup to watch — Morgan vs. Teske. Juwan Morgan is 6-foot-8 and can play on the perimeter. Jon Teske is 7-foot-1 and spends most of his time in the paint. It is a mismatch on both ends. Will this be another game where Morgan pulls his man out to the perimeter like he did against Butler? Will Michigan try to feed the post regularly and get Morgan in foul trouble? Depending on how the matchup goes, this could be a game that calls for more De’Ron Davis.
Stamina could be an issue. Both Indiana and Michigan are dealing with injuries. You know the story with IU. It has been an ongoing narrative all season. Freshman point guard Rob Phinisee is unlikely to play on Sunday afternoon, leaving IU very thin at the guard position. Michigan forward Isaiah Livers is a key player in a Wolverine rotation that only has seven primary players when he is healthy. Livers has been dealing with back spasms and is a game time decision. All five Michigan starters played more than 30 minutes on Thursday against Penn State.
Strength against strength when Indiana has the ball. Indiana is in the top ten nationally in field goal percentage offense. Michigan is top five in scoring defense. Something has to give. Interestingly, as good as Michigan is on defense, they don’t foul. The Wolverines are also top ten in the country in fewest fouls committed. That tells us that they get it done with fundamentals, and the Hoosiers will have to be equally sound on offense to get enough points to win.
Justin Smith needs a big defensive effort. The Hoosier sophomore forward stepped up and played a big game against Penn State’s Lamar Stevens. He’ll need a similar effort on the road at Michigan against freshman sensation Ignas Brazdeikis, who is a threat to score from anywhere on the floor and leads the Wolverines with 16.4 points per game.
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