Michigan 69, Indiana 55

Michigan 69, Indiana 55

Submitted by Ace on December 2nd, 2017 at 3:42 PM


Jordan Poole saw an opportunity and seized it. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Fifteen seconds into today's game, Michigan star wing Charles Matthews picked up a foul on a rebound attempt. John Beilein sent him to the bench. It was an inauspicious start to Big Ten play against an Indiana squad coming off a tough battle with top-ranked Duke.

Jordan Poole, who'd barely played significant minutes, entered for Matthews. Despite playing untested freshman in place of the team's leading scorer and best defender, Michigan didn't miss a beat, jumping out to a 14-2 lead with four three-pointers. Poole drained two of those triples and didn't stop there; he'd make three more on his way to a team-high 19 points, looking like a major difference-maker for a team that could use an outside shooting boost.

"Today I was getting a lot of open looks," said Poole. "[The coaches] constantly stress 'shoot the open shots,' and not hesitate and try to make a play. If I'm open, shoot it. You don't need to tell me twice."

With Poole leading the charge, Michigan controlled the game from start to finish. The team moved the ball beautifully, tallying 16 assists on 26 field goals and creating open look after open look with crisp passing. A disjointed IU offense couldn't keep up. Only Juwan Morgan (24 points, 9/14 FG) scored in double figures, the Hoosiers had more turnovers (11) than assists (7), and they only got off seven three-point attempts.

"DeAndre Haynes did a great job with the scouting report and our kids lived that scouting report," said John Beilien. "They did a great job."


Eli Brooks did a great job moving the ball around. [Campredon]

While the expected titanic post matchup between Moe Wagner and De'Ron Davis didn't quite come to fruition, Wagner fared better among the centers, scoring 13 points and adding seven rebounds, three assits, three blocks, and a steal. Davis, limited by fouls, scored only four, but Morgan proved a much harder guard for Wagner in the post.

Morgan couldn't keep IU in it on his own, however, while Michigan gave Poole and Wagner plenty of support. Eli Brooks played 22 strong minutes, dishing out six assists to no turnovers, going 2-for-4 from the field, and swiping a couple steals. While John Beilein wouldn't go so far in the postgame press conference, Brooks looks to have taken control of the point guard job with Zavier Simpson as his primary backup; Jaaron Simmons didn't see the floor this afternoon.

Another freshman, Isaiah Livers, contributed four points in ten minutes with Duncan Robinson in foul trouble. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman had eight points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Jon Teske had six points, three boards, and a steal. Only Robinson, who went 2-for-10 from the field, seriously struggled among the rotation players, and his were uncharacteristic misses on good looks.

After going with a disjointed 11-man rotation in the loss to North Carolina, tightening things up a bit—and featuring Poole as the primary backup wing—paid serious dividends today. There's still plenty of work to do; as Beilein noted, Michigan's had only one practice in the last couple weeks that wasn't entirely geared towards preparing for the next game.

There will be more lineup combinations (yes, he mentioned playing two bigs); Simmons will still get a shot to crack the rotation. Today still gave a good idea of what this team will look like in a couple months, and the freshman class of Poole, Brooks, and Livers is going to be a big part of it.

"I love these three freshmen," Beilein said. "I love them."

"They still make me angry every day," he added with a laugh.

He's still John Beilein, after all.

[Hit THE JUMP for the box score.]

Hoops Preview: Indiana

Hoops Preview: Indiana

Submitted by Ace on December 1st, 2017 at 2:00 PM

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #44 Michigan (6-2) vs
#80 Indiana (4-3)
WHERE Crisler Center
Ann Arbor, Michigan
WHEN 12:30 pm ET, Saturday
LINE Michigan -8 (KenPom)
TV CBS
PBP: Carter Blackburn
Analyst: Bill Raftery

Right: TRADITION IS TRADITION [Bryan Fuller]

THE STAKES

You may have forgotten that Jim Delany, in his infinite wisdom, moved the Big Ten Tournament up a week so it could be played in New York City, the geographic center of the conference. This explains why Michigan is playing two conference games in early December, beginning with Saturday afternoon's tilt against Indiana.

Both teams are coming off losses to Carolina powers and could use a pick-me-up, especially one that counts towards the conference win tally.

THE LINEUP CARD

Projected starters are in bold. Hover over headers for stat explanations. The "Should I Be Mad If He Hits A Three" methodology: we're mad if a guy who's not good at shooting somehow hits one. Yes, you're still allowed to be unhappy if a proven shooter is left open. It's a free country.

Pos. # Name Yr. Ht./Wt. %Min %Poss ORtg SIBMIHHAT
G 2 Josh Newkirk Sr. 6'1, 195 57 19 110 No
Good outside shooter, turnover issues.
G 1 Aljami Durham Fr. 6'4, 175 67 14 130 No
Low-usage spot-up shooter, promising defender.
G 4 Robert Johnson Sr. 6'3, 195 83 20 112 No
Athletic slasher and efficient catch-and-shoot player.
F 13 Juwan Morgan Jr. 6'7, 230 65 22 127 Yes
Excellent around hoop on both offense and defense.
C 20 De'ron Davis So. 6'10, 249 53 23 128 Very
Really tough to stop in post. Bad FT shooter and foul-prone defender.
G 11 Devonte Green So. 6'3, 186 60 22 92 No
Combo guard shooting well from outside, struggling with turnovers.
F 21 Freddie McSwain Sr. 6'6, 220 31 26 95 Very
Good post defender and shot-blocker, lacks offensive skill.
F 30 Collin Hartman Sr. 6'7, 220 8 18 187 Not At All
Sharpshooter just getting back from another knee injury.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the preview.]