Picture Pages: Yogi Makes Baskets
Indiana took down Michigan on Sunday due to two things: their pick-and-roll defense, explained in excellent detail by both UMHoops and Inside The Hall today, and Yogi Ferrell's blitzkrieg from beyond the arc (video courtesy of ITH):
After taking a closer look at the film, much of the blame for Ferrell's 7/8 performance can be attributed to mistakes by Michigan, though bad luck and simply great shooting also played a big role. It's time for some picture pages, gut-punch by gut-punch.
Click all the images for a full-size view.
Indiana runs a simple weave on the perimeter, with Ferrell dribbling from the top of the key over to Will Sheehey on the wing; Ferrell hands it off to Sheehey. Something is already amiss here, as both Derrick Walton (originally guarding Ferrell) and Glenn Robinson III (Sheehey) are both focusing on Sheehey and have stopped moving their feet:
Sheehey smartly takes one dribble towards the hoop, cutting off Walton's route back out to Ferrell while forcing Robinson to prevent the drive instead of switch onto Ferrell:
Ferrell gets a perfect look at the basket as Walton is far too out of position to recover:
What happened? Obvious miscommunication/confusion between Walton and GRIII, for starters. Walton expects a switch; GRIII expects Walton to continue following Ferrell. Considering Walton had an easy path to stick with Ferrell and no screen was involved, I'm inclined to believe this was his mistake.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]
Ferrell gets the ball in the corner and the Hoosiers set a screen designed to get him back to the middle of the floor. Nik Stauskas cuts off the baseline while Jordan Morgan prepares for a hard hedge:
Morgan hedged hard and effectively, forcing Ferrell to take a circuitous route well beyond the three-point line. Just as Morgan (correctly) begins to rotate back into the post, however, Stauskas trips as he starts to head back to Ferrell:
As a result of the slip, Ferrell gets a wide open look:
What happened? Wood gremlins. Evil wood gremlins.
This one is very simple—Ferrell gets the ball with seven seconds on the shot clock, the rest of the Hoosiers clear out, and he pulls up and shoots over a very good contest from Spike Albrecht:
What happened? Spike Albrecht is 5'10"; this is the primary reason Derrick Walton starts—even when Albrecht plays solid positional defense, his height is a serious detriment on that end of the floor. More than anything else, however, this is a great shot by Ferrell with a hand right in his face.
Ferrell's only miss on the day came on one of his best looks. After Nik Stauskas turns the ball over, Ferrell pulls up on a four-on-two—Caris LeVert has no choice but to let him rise and fire:
What happened? A turnover, then a lucky break. Those end here.
Jeremy Hollowell passes it out to Ferrell with just three seconds left on the shot clock. Noah Vonleh sets a high screen that catches LeVert flush—he won't get a chance to contest the shot. Jordan Morgan, perhaps not entirely aware of the shot clock situation, gets caught in no-man's land as he begins to cut off a drive that Ferrell has no time to actually make:
That misstep is all it takes for Ferrell to get an unencumbered look at the rim:
What happened? LeVert needs to do a better job of fighting over the screen, while Morgan is also to blame for failing to recognize the situation and challenge the shot on time.
After an offensive rebound bounces off Vonleh's hand, Troy Williams corralls the loose ball and kicks it out to Ferrell, who was originally guarded by Caris LeVert. LeVert is planted on the "B1G" logo just inside the free-throw line when Williams makes the pass:
Ferrell has the ball and LeVert is, uh, growing roots?
By the time LeVert realizes he needs to get out on Ferrell, it's way too late to properly contest the shot:
What happened? Caris LeVert briefly became a tree at a very poor time.
Ferrell gets the ball a couple feet outside of the arc, LeVert sinks too far off of him and is unable to recover when Ferrell quickly pulls up:
What happened? This has been an issue for LeVert his whole collegiate career—for as quick and lanky as he is, he fails to get a hand in the face of shooters far too often. Sure, Ferrell pulled up from pretty deep here, but by this point in the game there's no excuse to not be looking for him to take any opportunity to fire from deep.
Once again, Ferrell bails out the Indiana offense at the tail end of the shot clock. This time Irvin switches onto him and contests the shot well—he goes straight up and gets a hand in Ferrell's sight line, but it goes in anyway because Ferrell is in the proverbial zone:
What happened? Yogi Ferrell is possessed by the spirit of Ray Allen. SHUT UP I'M AWARE RAY ALLEN IS STILL ALIVE.
By my estimation, four of Ferrell's three-pointers can be attributed to poor play from the defense: Walton failing to stick with him on #1, Morgan failing to recognize the shot clock was almost expired on #5, and the pair of mistakes by LeVert on #6 and #7.
Bad luck befell Michigan on attempt #2 (Stauskas slipping), while Ferrell simply made great shots over good defense on #3 and #8 (solid contests by Albrecht and Irvin, respectively). The Wolverines managed to dodge one bullet on the open transition attempt (#4); otherwise, Ferrell made them pay every time they made even a minor error.
Ferrell's performance raises—or, more accurately, accentuates—issues with Michigan's perimeter defense. Walton still makes freshman mistakes, especially on switches. LeVert sometimes lets his attention drift when he's playing off the ball, and even when he's sticking with his man he fails to get his hands up on too many occasions. Communication on pick-and-roll action isn't always clean. The Wolverines don't boast a lockdown defender or phenomenal team defense; this much we've known all season.
Ferrell also took advantage of nearly every decent look; Michigan could've left him all alone on eight attempts and still felt justifiably unlucky that he'd connect on seven of them. Some days a player is just going to catch fire; the timing for Michigan was particularly unfortunate in that it coincided with an unusually poor shooting effort on the other end. There are issues to address defensively, but this team isn't broken—they expect to outshoot their opponent more games than not, and they usually do. This just wasn't one of those days.
Assuming they are independent trials, the odds of a 41.4% shooter making 7 of 8 are about 1%.
Y U HATE US, 2014???
More like 0.1% or 0.2% if you want probability of "at least 7 of 8".
THE NUMBERS HURT
...a uniquely dispiriting game. That's not to say it was the worst. It's just to say that it had its own very specific badness. The thought of Tom Crean out-scheming Coach Beilein for even one day makes me wonder whether there's anything in the world I can count on at all.
but give the guy credit. It doesn't matter if he's standing by himself (which he wasn't) hitting 8 of 9 is just great shooting. If Nik hits 8 of 9, we won't care if the defense messed up on half of them ... who cares.
I think Michigan's slow start, was key. That is one area that we have done very well in B1G play. Hopefully a slow start doesn't happen again. Finally - Nik, when you have 7 inches on the guy guarding you take him inside and shot fake and you'll be shooting FT's all night.
in front of a national television audience... We were bound to lose a B1G game eventually... When it's all said and done, I'm happy with an 8-1 record and a victory of MSC.
I'm not concerned... Coach B will have these men (with McGary, hopefully) ready come tourney time.