I think GRIII poses a much greater mismatch if you take watford off of him than when they took him off of Novak - no offense intended to Novak. GRIII is just a far more dynamic athlete and also is bigger too.
Talking Basketball: IU mismatches
Michigan will have to be running on all cylinders, with a bit of good fortune (luck) thrown in, as the officials there are always tilting the floor to favor IU.
Burke will handle Oladipo well. Oladipo is a great defender but I dont think he is as quick as Craft, who handles Burke well.
Burke is a touch quicker in this game and he distributes well for the W.
Oladipo adds more size and length. Realistically I don't think we win this game. Not much if anything separates us from Indiana. We are playing at Indiana, odds are we lose.
Well here are the for sure matchups: Zeller on Morgan/mcgary. Watford on GR3 (he has to play him, otherwise it would be a huge mismatch)
That leaves hulls, oladipo and yogi to matchup against burke, hardaway and stauskas. I think hulls will definitely be on stauskas, but as everyone else is saying, that leaves the question as to whether oladipo or yogi matchup with burke. I bet we will be seeing some experimentation to see what matchup works better in the first half.
"The Hoosiers didn't hassle Wisconsin out to half court, and thus allowed the Badgers to avoid turnovers, run the shot clock down and easily control the pace of play. Indiana didn't press Butler until it was necessary, at which point it was immediately effective, but too late." - from the ESPN piece
Quite a bit of this. It seemed as if, in their loss to Wisconsin, that Indiana essentially let the Badgers control the flow of the game, even letting them do it what seemed like a mind-bogglingly slow fashion. It could just be me and I could be misinterpreting their defense, but it seems like Indiana has played quite a bit of 2-3 zone (when they get into these situations, otherwise it looks like man-to-man mostly) to this point, which means that the odd jumper might be a possibility even if they did disrupt the pace for us a little bit. They just seem vulnerable on the perimeter in this respect. Even Crean has publicly talked about help defense being an issue for Indiana as well, and I thought I had noticed in both the Indiana and Butler games that they tried to take away drives to a point where they left wide open looks.
Has IU played a team with as many offensive weapons as we have? Sorry, dumb question, no one has as many weapons as we do. Whatever the matchups, say IU takes away two options, we still have three other players that can rack 20, especially if you look at McGary and Horford as McGarford. If Burke can't score on Oladipo, he can impact the game by taking care of the ball and distributing. I think he is a mature enough player to recognize that situation and play well without pressing to score.
I wouldn't be surprised if Morgan gets into the game. Wouldn't be Morgan at 100%, but that's 5 more fouls to throw at Zeller and the homie refs. If McGarford gets in early foul trouble, maybe we see Morgan.... Morgarford. Our bigs can prolong their availability with respect to fouls if they will just accept Zeller is going to get his, and just try to contain him some, not shut him down. We don't need to shut him down to win.
Our 2 (or 3) bigs D on Zeller, Hardaway on Oladipo. Burke +10 assists. Lite Rob, Canadian Bacon, and Morgarford combine for 50-55 points. Run Horse. Win.
Morgan+McGary+Horford = Morgarford or McMorgford?
The biggest matchup problem we had last year was with their bigs. Watford and Zeller dominated us in the first game (combined for 43 points) and we had a big lead that got eaten away but we still held on in the 2nd game, where Zeller and Watford combined scored 20.
Hardaway shot a combined 11 of 33 from the field (2 of 15 on 3s) against Oladipo's defense last year. I think we're going to definitely see some zone; it's just going to be on whoever is not being guarded by Oladipo to punish Indiana and make them rethink their defensive plan. The more we make them have to adjust to us the better chance we will have to win.
I like our chances against Watford more this year because GR3 definitely has a better chance of guarding him effectively than Smotrycz or Novak did. Even without Morgan, the combination of McGary and Horford will hopefully keep us at least treading water in that matchup. Zeller is a pretty unselfish player and they have a lot of offensive options, so I don't think we'd see him scoring 30+ points. They have a pretty diverse offensive attack like we do so we're just going to have to go into a hostile environment and play our best game to win. It's going to be fun.
At this point I have prepared myself to see some combination of Ted Valentine and Ed Hightower show-boating on Saturday with every call influenced by the home crowd. I suspect Indiana will shoot a ton of free throws, some key player for Michigan will find themselves saddled with critical fouls, and we'll be in for a really tough game playing 5-on-8.
Yes, that is pessimistic and shows how jaded I've become since I was in college during the mid 1990s and watched Ted Valentine threaten to eject the entire basketball band because they were so angry at his awful calls.
But if you prepare for the worst, you'll be able to cope when it actually happens....right?
As for the OP, Jordan Hulls is the weak link and will have to guard someone - that's where we should try to exploit them.
I am not saying that officiating was bad at OSU, but I think the slow start there was due to the fact that OSU came out "grinding meat and rattling molars", and it took Michigan too long to adjust to the kind of game the officials were going to allow. Even after Michigan recognized what was going on, this is not the kind of team that will take full advantage of physical play. I think Indiana prefers much the same style of play and officiating that Michigan does, but future games against MSU, OSU, and Wisconsin may well be decided in advance by what kind of game the officials decide to call.
I'll say it. Craft is great defensively. He moves his feet and anticipates incredibly well. Lenzelle Smith, however, just grabs anyone he can get his hands on (predominantly THJ in that game).
If the refs in IU home games are such homers how does that explain a somnambulist Wisconsin team beating the Hoosiers 64-59 in Bloomington just a couple weeks ago? Maybe the refs were too bored even to make biased calls for IU.
We can win but not without some luck and us shooting at our average or even better. They scare the hell out of me with Zeller dominating inside and if they put Oladipo on Burke, I think that's pretty much game blouses. He's defensively he's craft 2.0 with waaay more length and that scares me. Now I agree that they are going to try to put Yogi/Hulls on Stauskas which is a good match for us but we need to get the ball in his hands and try and run as much pick and role with Stauskas with Hardaway or better yet, GR3. This benefits us greatly because either they don't switch and we have Stauskas driving against Hulls/Yogi or best case scenario they do switch and now we have one of them on either Hardaway or GR3. We have to exploit that all day if they have Oladipo on Burke.
I pretty much agree. I think that's a last resort if Burke is just tearing Yogi up (there's no way they'll try Hulls on Burke). Oladipo's a better wing defender anyway, he's best shooting the gap for steals, and putting him on Burke just causes too many cascading problems in the rest of their defense. They'll try to put Hulls on Stauskas when he's in the game and hope he can bother him enough. What we might see is Oladipo on Burke and Sheehy on THJ when they rest Yogi.
Indiana fan here. I've watched every IU game this year (and quite a few Michigan games). I think these are the two best teams in the country. I can definitively say Oladipo is IU's best defender, but can also say definitively that Yogi is IU's second best defender. I think they'll leave Yogi on Burke, because it would leave too big of mismatches on the wings. If Yogi can actually stop Burke, now I don't know about that. But there's going to be mismatches for both teams on the defensive end because both offenses are so good, and so balanced. To me this game is a toss-up. Would not be surprised at all if Michigan won. I like watching Michigan play; great college basketball teams are few and far between. To me, the key for IU is Watford. When he scores and rebounds, IU is very tough to beat. GRIII is a stud though and much more athletic, so I think that is going to be a huge matchup. Should be an amazing atmosphere and a blast to watch. Can't wait.
is a great player, period. He is quicker than anyone in the B1G. He has offensive skills too. However if he guards Trey - that will reduce his help-side defense, which is where he can really impact the game.
I don't see any way that IU can match up player to player with Michigan. But a hot hand and a HOME crowd can be a HUGE factor. We'll need to be able to respond to their runs - because they will have them & the crowd will be louder than anything Michigan has ever experienced.
Can't wait - should be a blast !