[J.D. Scott]

Michigan 69, Indiana 46 Comment Count

Alex Cook January 25th, 2019 at 8:55 PM

As Michigan settled into the first possession of the game, the officials stopped play and spent several minutes with the clock operators. That was probably the highlight for Indiana; after play resumed, the Wolverines ran the Hoosiers out of the gym. It took seven minutes of game time for IU to score, and by then, Michigan had already built a 17-point lead. Indiana briefly threatened to make it competitive after halftime, but this game was over as soon as the folks at Assembly Hall figured out how to fix the clock. The 23-point margin of victory was easily Michigan’s largest ever in that famous arena.

The Wolverines scored on seven of their first nine possessions to open the game. Ignas Brazdeikis hit a wing three after a series of ball-screens; Zavier Simpson beat Juwan Morgan off the dribble for a layup; Simpson found Poole in the corner for a three; good ball movement gave Iggy an open lane for two; Jon Teske stole a post entry and Simpson scored in transition. Archie Miller called a timeout once the score reached 12-0. After the timeout, Morgan committed a careless turnover, Charles Matthews knocked down an open three, and a blown ball-screen coverage led to a Teske dunk. Indiana’s defense on ball-screens early in the game was inconsistent and extremely vulnerable, and Michigan took advantage.

Michigan’s scoring to start the game — 17 points in just over five minutes — was very impressive, but Indiana was able to slow the Wolverines down and held them to a respectable 1.05 points per possession over the entire game. Michigan’s formidable defense was enough to prevent any real chance of a comeback, though. Indiana’s first twelve possessions of the game came up empty: eight missed shots and four turnovers. It was a dominant performance on that end of the floor for the Wolverines, as the Hoosiers were held to their worst offensive output of the season (0.70 PPP). Indiana’s effective field goal percentage (30.2%) was their worst since January 2014.

It was one of those games where Michigan’s defense broke the will of its opponent. Charles Matthews decisively won another matchup against Indiana’s star freshman, Romeo Langford, allowing just one made shot as his primary defender (Langford finished with nine points on 12 shot equivalents). The Hoosiers rely on getting to the rim, and shot just 13-38 on twos — much of the credit should go to Teske, Isaiah Livers, and the rest of the Michigan defense for contesting nearly every shot inside. Langford’s drives, Morgan’s post-ups, and easy looks generated for role players are essential for the Indiana offense, but they shot just 34% on twos. They’re the worst three-point shooting team in the Big Ten and went 3-20 on threes.

MGoBlog-University of Michigan-Indiana-JD Scott-3.jpg


The Wolverines went into a prolonged funk on offense in the first half after that initial outburst, but it didn’t matter. Iggy’s early three portended a quality performance from the freshman: he finished with an efficient 20 points, and some interesting tweaks — like running pick-and-pop action with him as the screener — helped open up his game. His teammates were ice cold for a long stretch, but Iggy was aggressive and kept scoring. Langford was subbed back in with two fouls at the 11-minute mark, and Iggy immediately drove at him and muscled in an and-one layup to give Langford his third foul. A right-handed finish over Evan Fitzner and a tough reverse layup helped break brief dry spells.

Michigan’s malaise over the latter part of the half left Indiana some hope, and for how lopsided the game was early on, the Hoosiers had managed to enter the break down just 33-18. After halftime, Indiana was able to string together quality offensive possessions — a physical Langford post-up, a slick move in the post by Morgan, a surprising Justin Smith drive, and a nice catch and finish from Morgan — punctuated by an Iggy three. That last Morgan bucket cut Michigan’s lead to ten and prompted a Beilein timeout; shortly after, Rob Phinisee knocked down a three to trim it to nine. On the next possession, Simpson found Iggy in the corner for a rebuttal.

From there, Matthews put the game out of reach. He pump-faked to get Morgan in the air — and was inadvertently kicked in the back of the head going up for the shot. After a TV timeout, he knocked down both free throws. On the next two possessions, Morgan switched a ball-screen and Matthews patiently dribbled into a three, then Michigan ran some action to get him going left to right and he nailed a pull-up two from the top of the key. That shot pushed the score to 48-32 with 15 minutes left, an insurmountable deficit for an offense that was shooting so poorly. Indiana only made it to 46.

The Hoosiers are imploding (they’ve lost six games in a row and have been blown out in their last two home games), but it was an encouraging performance for Michigan in a tough environment. The Wolverines played a nearly perfect five minutes to start the game, and while it wound up being a relatively middling offensive performance, the elite defense that vaulted Michigan to the top of the rankings early this season was as good as ever throughout. A home contest against Ohio State is up next; the Buckeyes are also reeling (having lost five in a row ahead of tomorrow’s game at Nebraska).

[Box score after the JUMP]

Screen Shot 2019-01-25 at 10.50.43 PM.png


Indy Pete - Go Blue

January 25th, 2019 at 11:06 PM ^

Iggy > Romeo

beilein >>>> Archie (lol)

 That was an awesome performance - Six in a row versus Indiana, and now the largest margin of victory we have ever had at assembly hall. It turns out everything is just fine with this 19-1 basketball team. 


January 26th, 2019 at 9:01 AM ^

You didnt deserve negs for your observation.

Our defense is awesome. As good as Ive ever seen from a Michigan team.

 But fine is as far as I will go with the offense and thats a stretch. It is very clunky atm. A lot of that though could be the poor shooting but the drive and dish game looks off. Pick and roll/pop are much better. Also have trouble getting all the way to the hoop and when we do miss more bunnies than Id like to see. FT arent quite the adventure they were previously, so thats a plus. Assists seem down. A ton more late clock iso/hero ball.

So fine I guess is the right way to put it. And fine is not what Id call a glowing endorsement.

One big plus in this game and season so far is the teams mental toughness. Go on a run against us and we always seem to have the answer.


January 25th, 2019 at 11:18 PM ^

The Big 10 is stratifying a bit; OSU and IU are falling fast while Purdue and Wisconsin settle in.  But still, Michigan and MSU look like the class of the conference, and UM waxing IU on the road is exactly the performance they needed to put forth.

Bring on OSU.


January 25th, 2019 at 11:34 PM ^

IU appears to be a mess. 

But Michigan just walked in and ate their lunch to start the game. It’s never, ever easy to do that in Bloomington, much less when they have talents like those currently featuring on their roster. 

Yeah, they’re in the middle of a swoon. I still predicted Michigan would struggle and lose. They most certainly did not. 

Iggy played really smart. Maybe 2 shots I didn’t like? Most of the rest were good, in the flow of the offense. Matthews wasn’t huge, but he wasn’t awful, and he made some good shots without taking a bunch of bad ones. 

Honestly, though, we’d all be talking about Livers if he had made that dunk and maybe one or two other shots. So close... he could really turn a corner either this year or next. 

Great road win. 


January 26th, 2019 at 7:28 AM ^

I guess Brian and co. don't need the hits, but I've always been surprised they don't employ a little more influence to keep those threads productive. I keep trying to take part, getting disgusted, and going away. Need to learn my lesson once. There's a malign--sometimes pretty dull-witted-- edge to the discourse here sometimes that undercuts the greatness of the site. 


January 25th, 2019 at 11:49 PM ^

In the opening ten minutes of the two Indiana games this year, Michigan has outscored IU by a combined 50-17 (!).  That's called... starting off on the right foot.


January 26th, 2019 at 12:01 AM ^

Simple -- he broke the system.  He used a whopping zero possessions -- no shots, no assists, no turnovers.  He gets credit for extending a possession with the offensive rebound, and that's it.  There were no negative marks to balance against that because he did nothing else of note, so he ends up with a 195 ORtg basically by default.


January 26th, 2019 at 10:20 AM ^


I would happily repeat last night's game over and over for the rest of the season.

Now, where'd that darned groundhog go? ;-)

Seriously -- it happens.  I've done it myself.  No big deal. :-). It gave me an extra chance to marvel at the fact that a scholarship basketball player -- a starter, no less -- for a storied team put up just about the most ridiculous stat line imaginable.

He's actually had a couple of games like that in his career.  No turnovers and no missed shots makes for a very efficient player.  This is actually why KenPom puts the ORtg leaders into tiers based on usage -- the fewer possessions a player uses, the easier it is to get a high ORtg, but the less impact that has on his team.

Indiana played 4-on-5 on offense for half of the game last night.


January 26th, 2019 at 12:00 AM ^

I don't care how bad Indiana is playing. I'm extremely happy with this outcome. That arena has been a house of horrors forever. The 89 national championship team lost there by a point. The Fab Five lost there by a point. And like Notre Dame Stadium in football, they can be completely awful but magically put everything together when Michigan comes to town....and the officiating is almost always horrible (when we went down there with Burke and Stauskas, Michigan had already been called for two fouls just 9 seconds into the game.) So fuck them and their home court. Blowing them out of that arena is such beautiful porn.


January 26th, 2019 at 12:04 AM ^

I thought the officiating in this game was atrocious -- par for the course for the Big Ten, really -- but I didn't think it was unfair.  I thought they missed a bunch of calls both ways.

I will admit I was worried when Indiana cut it to 9 that they were about to embark on a series of lucky bounces and phantom whistles, because, well, it's Assembly Hall.  I really liked the way Michigan stepped up to answer each time Indiana tried to make a game of it.  I think Michigan keeping IU from generating any momentum helped keep the officials from getting caught up in the emotion.


January 26th, 2019 at 12:22 AM ^

Great win, I would think offensive consistency will be there by B1G tourney time as it always is with Bielein teams.  How about that smooth Adrian Nunez bomb?