One might have hoped that an inspired effort against Duke would have been a foundation to build on for Indiana to open the Big Ten. Unfortunately the Hoosiers were far from inspiring to start the game, and they were never able to overcome it.
Overall: C Indiana’s problems from the first two games — turnovers and 3-point defense — got the Hoosiers behind early. Indiana had a deer in the headlights look at the start that was reminiscent of Indiana State. Let there be no doubt — this game was the Hoosiers first step back in the wrong direction. This Michigan team is really not that good — at least not good enough to put a truly up and coming team back on their heels.
Coaching: C For whatever reason this Indiana team wasn’t ready to play. The energy was bad, the shooting was bad and the strategy was bad. Credit is due for righting the ship after the 18-4 start. We’ve seen it go the other way in Ann Arbor, like the 90-60 game last year.
Offense: D+ There was really nothing to like here other than Juwan Morgan. Early turnovers, an ice cold shooting start, poor free throw shooting, rushed 3 pointers. It was a disaster.
Defense: C Things got better after the start, but the early 3-point defense, transition defense, break downs with cuts and drives to the rim — you name, it went wrong.
- Al Durham, Jr.: B- Continues to have the confidence of the coaches with the start but he wasn’t crisp at the start of this one. He rushed some shots and even had a turnover (gasp!). He did hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 9 in the 2nd half.
- Josh Newkirk: C+ Another cold shooting day, although he did hit a big three to cut the lead to 7. Only one assist from the point guard cannot happen.
- Justin Smith: C Surprisingly low minutes for the 2nd straight game. Missed a layup and had a turnover in four minutes, so perhaps that explains it.
- Robert Johnson: C Three turnovers and only six points from your senior leading scorer on the road? Not good. His carelessness with the ball early was a factor in the slow start.
- Devonte Green: B- His shot continues to be off. Was the Seton Hall game a fluke? He had some great entry passes in the 2nd half. It sounds ridiculous to say, but he needs to figure out his shoes — this time it cost them a big 3-pointer.
- Juwan Morgan: A Got the team going with several buckets at the rim. 12 of the team’s first 16. 24 points on an efficient 9-14, plus 8 rebounds. Unfortunately he’s the only constant on this team right now.
- Zach McRoberts: B A surprising 12 minutes on the road. He is getting Smith’s minutes. He must be earning them in practice. The problem right now is that he isn’t a scoring threat. You can’t question his effort however. Showed some flashes with an aggressive rebound and a steal.
- De’Ron Davis: C Only played 18 minutes. Was this because of the difficult matchup with Wagner’s perimeter ability? He was not his normal effective self finishing at the rim, going 2-7. Amazingly only 1 rebound.
- Freddie McSwain, Jr.: C His inability to finish anything other than dunks around the rim makes him a liability. He only played 6 minutes.
- Collin Hartman: B+ On a day when no one other than Morgan seemed awake yet, Hartman contributed 8 rebounds in 20 minutes, at least showing that he was giving max effort.
Photo credit: Paul Sancya – AP