Nobody said it was going to be easy to stack wins in the Big Ten. All the good feels from Thursday evening dissipated into the cold January afternoon as Indiana was soundly defeated by Michigan on Sunday, 80-62.
The Wolverines jumped on Indiana early, claiming a nine-point lead just over five minutes into the game and extending the advantage to 16 before IU pulled back to within eight at halftime. The second half followed a similar script, with Michigan going back up by 16 in just over four minutes. IU made multiple mini-runs but was never able to get closer than nine in the final 16 minutes.
Let’s take a deeper look at how the Hoosiers lost with another edition of The Report Card.
IU (14-5, 5-4) will host Penn State on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. Eastern at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington.
Michigan threw a few different defensive approaches at IU — man-to-man, zone, and some full court presses. That alone seemed to have the Hoosiers on their heels a bit offensively. Against the full court defense there were possessions where Indiana didn’t get into their offense until there were around 15 seconds left on the shot clock, and against the zone the Hoosiers often failed to find the openings. But it didn’t really seem to matter what Michigan was in as Indiana wasn’t terribly difficult to defend with little movement or space.
The Hoosiers started 0-of-7 from 3-point range and 2-of-13 before Parker Stewart got hot late in the game. Head coach Mike Woodson thought often Indiana was making the wrong read by choosing to shoot from behind-the-arc.
“I thought our early shots that we had on the perimeter, we had so much pressure coming at us, instead of just pump faking and letting the guys go by, they made us miss,” Woodson said. “They weren’t hoping we missed, they made us miss shots.”
Xavier Johnson, Rob Phinisee and Trey Galloway combined to go 0-of-8 from three.
15 of Indiana’s 24 made baskets came on an assist, so much of their successful offense was coming from some level of offense. But too often the Hoosiers stagnated, with not a lot of screens or ball movement, resulting in a lot of one-on-one contested attempts rather than extra passes and reversals. The result was Indiana shooting just 45 percent from two, and the normally reliable Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson just 10-of-24 against Michigan’s length and athleticism.
IU had just .934 points per possession, the third lowest mark of the season. Indiana had only eight turnovers, but Michigan doesn’t look to force them. Instead the Wolverines focused on keeping everything in front of them, and for the most part they did.
When you consider that Indiana had 17 fast break points, coming off either turnovers or the press break, you realize just how little they got from their half court offense.
Michigan’s 1.21 points per possession were the highest Indiana has yielded this season.
From the jump, IU’s energy level seemed nowhere near what they achieved on Thursday night against Purdue.
“Our defense, it just wasn’t there,” Woodson said. “We were a step behind in our rotations, and they just kind of had their way.”
Michigan made 11-of-17 threes, many of which were wide open attempts.
How did Michigan generate so many open threes? It was multi-faceted. Too much room and soft close-outs were part of the problem.
“We were hoping that they missed shots instead of making them miss shots,” Woodson said. “That was the difference in our pressure on their three-point shooters. I mean, that’s something that hadn’t been consistent for us. We’ve been normally good on the three-point line, but we let it get away tonight. That was the difference in the game I thought.”
Michigan also got looks from three from post passes.
“When we were doubling him (Hunter Dickinson), we were supposed to wait on his crab when he started to dribble the ball and we weren’t doing that,” Trayce Jackson-Davis said. “He was holding the ball, so it was easy for him to look over and watch and see who’s coming instead of when he was posting up and trying to dribble. That’s on us, and we made that mistake, and he made us pay for it.”
The third way Michigan created space for shooters was through high ball screens. Indiana lost shooters on pick-and-pops, had coverage breakdowns, and they at times over-helped as the Wolverines got dribble penetration off the screens.
Jackson-Davis described the ball screen lapses that led to Dickinson’s three 3-pointers.
“We were supposed to switch or veer if they died on the ball screen, so basically, I take the guy and then our guard stays up, but they kept thinking that he was rolling but he was popping, so he was getting open shots at the top of the key,” he said.
Indiana was able to force 14 Michigan turnovers, but the Wolverines’ 67.6 effective field goal rate meant virtually every other possession was productive. That effective field goal rate was more than nine percentage points higher than the previous high IU had allowed this season.
MORE GAME COVERAGE
- Final box score, keys to the game and specialty stats
- Woodson, Jackson-Davis post-game comments
- Juwan Howard post-game comments
- IU starters fail to launch
- Extended highlights:
Trayce Jackson-Davis (C-) He dunked over Dickinson on Indiana’s first possession, but the Michigan big man got the better of him on this day. Jackson-Davis was inefficient on his attempts in the paint against good length, and he struggled to slow Dickinson on the other end.
Race Thompson (C-) He wasn’t efficient in this one as he struggled to connect both inside and out. Had some nice passes to Jackson-Davis. While he had two blocks and a steal, Thompson struggled at times with the energy and athleticism of Moussa Diabate.
Miller Kopp (D) Kopp made his only two shots, but that isn’t enough shot volume and he doesn’t seem to be able to create his own attempts. Defensively Kopp struggled in a game full of quickness and athleticism, and he had no rebounds and two turnovers in 19 minutes.
Parker Stewart (D) Stewart’s late threes needed to come sooner. That’s not entirely his fault as Indiana isn’t doing enough to get him those looks throughout games. On the other end Stewart struggled to stay in front of his man and he didn’t secure a rebound.
Xavier Johnson (B) At times Johnson was the only thing IU had going. He used his elite speed to generate transition opportunities, had a healthy 6-to-2 assist to turnover game, and added three steals as he harassed the ball.
Jordan Geronimo (C) While he had a couple nice blocks, Geronimo was unable to get his shots to fall and had just one rebound in 11 minutes.
Rob Phinisee (D-) Phinisee is known for having bad games coming off of highlight reel performances, and that was the case once again as he looked hesitant and was never able to make an impact, in part due to foul trouble.
Trey Galloway (C) Galloway was a ballhawk defensively and he had three assists, but his 0-for-5 day from the field overshadowed some otherwise good play.
Michael Durr (C-) Durr hit some shots when IU needed them, but another game with no rebounds highlights his athletic deficiencies that create defensive challenges as well.
Tamar Bates, Anthony Leal, Khristian Lander and Logan Duncomb did not play meaningful minutes.
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