Indiana Recap and Ohio State Preview

Submitted by Tim on January 2nd, 2010 at 10:38 AM


Indiana 71 Michigan 65, Michigan 6-6 (0-1 Big Ten)

The Indiana game was the type of contest that makes me not want to even think about Michigan basketball for a couple days, so I did just that. It happened pretty much the way I expected, except a close game at the end broke the way of the Hoosiers, not in favor of Michigan. The Wolverines have still only won 1 game away from home this season, and the 6-6 record means Michigan is almost certain to miss the NCAA tournament, and will struggle to even make the NIT.

Michigan got in foul trouble too early, and was unable to get into a rhythm. DeShawn Sims and Zack Novak both fouled out, and Manny Harris was limited in the first half with foul trouble (though he did manage 30 total minutes in the game). Indiana was allowed to shot the ball very well, and Michigan's defense seemed to regress since the encouraging contest against Kansas.

On the bright side, Zack Novak was able to knock down a couple threes, as was Stu Douglass. Novak started the game on fire then went 1/6 the rest of the way, but seeing the ball go in the hoop at all will aid his confidence. Other than that, it's probably best to forget about this game.

Part 2: The EssentialsOSU.gif

WHAT Michigan v. Ohio State
WHERE Ann Arbor, MI
January 3rd, 2009
THE LINE Michigan -2(!!!!)*
TELEVISION Big Ten Network

*Line provided by online sports betting site

Ohio State

The Buckeyes, like Indiana before them, face Michigan without their best player. Evan Turner is scheduled to return from fractured vertebrae in just a few days, but isn't expected to play tomorrow. The Buckeyes enter this game coming off a shellacking at the hands of Wisconsin on Thursday, only their second loss since Turner went down.

Leading the way in Turner's absence are William Buford, who is the assist leader, David Lighty, who is the best defender, and big outside sniper Jon Diebler, one of the nation's leaders in shooting, with an effective field goal percentage of 66.7%. The Buckeyes don't have one huge guy to scare Michigan fans about size, but they are big at every position. PJ Hill at 6-1 and Jeremie Simmons at 6-2 are the only Buckeyes in heavy rotation under 6-5.

Tempo-Free Breakdown

If you need an explanation of the stats, check out Ken Pomeroy. Also, you'd better hide the women and children before they catch a glimpse of this chart.

Michigan v. Ohio State: National Ranks
Category Michigan Rank Ohio State Rank Advantage
Mich eFG% v. OSU Def eFG% 226 60 OO
Mich Def eFG% v. OSU eFG% 216 3 OOO
Mich TO% v. OSU Def TO% 4 50 M
Mich Def TO% v. OSU TO% 56 30 O
Mich OReb% v. OSU DReb% 256 70 OO
Mich DReb% v. OSU OReb% 244 259 M
Mich FTR v. OSU Opp FTR 321 23 OOO
Mich Opp FTR v. OSU FTR 25 148 MM
Mich AdjO v. OSU AdjD 101 36 O
Mich AdjD v. OSU AdjO 103 30 O

Difference of more than 10 places in the national rankings get a 1-letter advantage, more than 100 gets a 2-letter advantage, more than 200 gets a 3-letter advantage, etc.

HAHA WE WON'T FOUL YOU AND ARE TOTALLY GOING TO WIN. Ohio State has advantages in a vast majority of categories, including the two big boys of overall efficiency. Michigan will have to play well above their season-average level of play in order to get a win. A defensive effort like the one they put in against Kansas will have to be combined with one of the best shooting performances of the year for Michigan to win, unless something bizarre happens.

The Buckeyes can shoot better, defend opponents' shots better, rebound better, and keep opponents of the foul line very well. Unless the Wisconsin game was evidence that they can't compete against similarly-talented competition without Turner (the only teams they beat without him were Presbyterian, Delaware State, and Cleveland State), Michigan is probably in for a tough, tough game.

This looks like one that the Buckeyes lead by single-digit margins almost throughout, and then pull away at the end. If Michigan wants to come away with the victory, keeping the deficit manageable is their best bet.



January 3rd, 2010 at 9:40 AM ^

Last season had a "we can play with anyone" feel to it. This season has:

"A defensive effort like the one they put in against Kansas will have to be combined with one of the best shooting performances of the year for Michigan to win, unless something bizarre happens."

...and this is against a team we are favored to beat.

My respect for Merritt and Lee and what they meant to this team is sky high. Michigan needs to finish the season strong, regardless of what leads up to that finish, for me to get back on the Coach B Bandwagon.

Michigan athletics are officially cursed. Let's hope it was just 2009.


January 3rd, 2010 at 10:54 AM ^

This team is still talented and still capable of beating anyone left on the schedule. They have to play better than they have to this point, but don't think they can't turn this around. People forget this team struggled last year for a large portion of the season. They lost 7 of 9 at one point in the Big 10 Season. We all know better basketball is ahead for this team, no reason they can't go on a run and close the season strong. Keep the faith, Go Blue!


January 3rd, 2010 at 11:35 AM ^

Because this season is effectively over. Even if they do improve right now and become the team we expected to have and find a way to win the 10 or 11 Big Ten games optimists like me predicted in the offseason, that's still only an NIT team at best. Michigan has zero quality wins and a growing quantity of bad losses. To even be in the discussion for an NCAA berth in March, Michigan will need to go around 14-3, 15-2 the rest of the way in the Big Ten, and that's not happening when they're either the worst or the second-worst team in the league (they'll fight it out with Iowa for that distinction).

I stuck with the hoops program for the last decade and I'll stick with them now, including by tuning in today for more punishment, but I know bad Michigan basketball teams when I see them. This is the worst U-M team since the post-Traylor team of 1998-99.

So to go back to your original question, why are people bailing? I think there's a lot of understandable frustration that Michigan has two of the five best players in the league on its team yet is so comprehensively awful. I know enough about basketball to trust Beilein, but I'd love for someone who really knows their hoops to explain to me how this mess isn't entirely a failing on the part of the coaches.


January 3rd, 2010 at 11:42 AM ^

umm, the team two years ago was far and away the worst in the past decade or so.

I have faith they will turn it around and win anywhere from 8-10 league games. That would be a respectable turn around and with the talent on this roster it's not too much to ask. Just need a break out game and today would be the perfect opportunity.


January 3rd, 2010 at 1:12 PM ^

The 2000-01 team went 10-18. The 2001-02 team went 11-18. The 2004-05 team went 13-18. The first Beilein team was awful as well. This team is NOT awful. If they go 12-6 in Big ten play, mark my words this team will be in the field of 65. That is insane to think they would need to go 14-3 the rest of the way. 12-6 in conference puts them at 18-12 overall, assuming a loss to UCONN. This team can still make the tournament, the run starts today! GET TO CRISLER!!!!!!


January 3rd, 2010 at 2:17 PM ^

Am I really being negged for my comment? I think it was a reasonable response to a reasonable question. As for those other crummy years, those W/L records are pretty much where this team is likely to finish. If you want to argue that this one is still better, I'm OK with that.

You do make a valid point that 12-6 in-conference might do the trick (though I believe that'd make them 18-13 overall, right?). We're coming up on the halfway point in this season, though, and this team has provided absolutely no evidence of any kind that it has the capability to finish among the top eight or nine in the conference, let alone challenge for the league title (which they would do at 12-6), so I'm not holding my breath.

Like I said, I don't intend for any of this to come across as excessively negative. I'm not calling for any firings or criticizing any players, merely observing that this team has a dug itself into a hole so deep it's extremely unlikely it can emerge. Go blue and all that. I'll continue watching and hoping for the best. If they continue to tank, I'll tune in and hope for a miracle during the BTT. For everyone who's optimistic, I take heart in that; gives me reason to hope I'm wrong.

Incidentally, when ESPN ran a poll of Michigan's all-decade team at halftime of the Indiana game, how is it possible Courtney Sims was an option but Daniel Horton wasn't? If they insisted on having a 5, shouldn't they have reconsidered that restriction when they saw that it removed Horton and included Sims? Also, so many college teams play a G/G/G/F/F or G/G/F/F/F lineup as their base that it seems a little silly to artificially force a C into the discussion.

Just a thought.


January 3rd, 2010 at 1:39 PM ^

A wise, old bookie once told me to always, always take the unranked favorite over the ranked team every time.

of course, that didnt help Illinois yesterday against the Zaggers, but I still like UM's chances knowing they're an unranked favorite in this one today.

Go Blue. Beat the Bucks.


January 3rd, 2010 at 7:31 PM ^

I'd like to observe that Michigan is 1-0 on days when I argue that the Wolverines are crummy. Let's make this a regular thing. Who's up for a lighthearted debate Thursday?


January 3rd, 2010 at 9:50 PM ^

it just makes it all the more frustrating when you see how good they can be. Today they did the things that they haven't been doing in the loses, interior defense, rebounding, hustle plays, making open shots, etc. Sims was tremendous today (that must have been his evil twin wearing his uni against IU) and what about that Vogrich? He had a coming out party today, making shots, blocking shots, grabbing rebounds. Those kind of moments can really energize a team. Let's hope that this was a turn around game for us.
By the way, did anyone notice if Morgan dressed for today's game?