Talking Basketball: IU mismatches

Submitted by IncrediblySTIFF on January 31st, 2013 at 9:40 AM


In the power ranking at Grantland, written by Mark Titus, Titus brings up an interesting potential mismatch for IU.  Victor Oladipo, arguably the best defensive player in the country, would traditionally be matched up against Hardaway in IU’s man defense.  This leaves Yogi Ferrell, a six foot freshman who will never be mistaken for a top tier defender, to guard Burke.  I believe that this will lead to several scenarios similar to “QB OH NOES,” except on hardwood.  As pointed out and picture paged in Blue-MQT’s Diary post, Burke’s ability to leave a defender inside of a screen often leads to an open shooter on the perimeter.

Tom Crean may decide to put Oladipo on Burke, in turn making a much more intriguing matchup.  This, however, would mean most likely Ferrell would be guarding 6’6 Hardaway, which I would love to see.  Jordy Hulls will not be guarding Burke, he proved himself to be a major liability on defense when IU lost to Butler.

While Michigan will certainly have to figure out a way to prevent Cody Zeller from being fouled over and over inside.  Jordan Morgan would be extremely beneficial for this, but I can’t imagine him being at 100% after his injury.

Anyway, it should be an exciting game; I am just going to try to keep my hopes grounded.  At the start of the season I felt like Michigan was going to split their series with the Hoosiers, and I don’t see it much differently now.


EDIT: ESPN has a pretty good breakdown of these mistmatches as well.



January 31st, 2013 at 9:48 AM ^

After seeing craft do a great job on Burke i expect Oladipo to be guarding him and how putting a good defender on Burke killed our offense in the first half. Either way that leaves either Hardaway or Burke being guarded by a weaker guy.


January 31st, 2013 at 10:28 AM ^

If opponents have a choice between Hardaway hurting you or Burke, they will choose Hardaway. He has put up a lot of shots and has a lower percentage than others on the team.

His stats from last night

36 minutes

3-10 shooting

1-2 from 3 point range

The worst percentage among the start and McGary.

Mr. Rager

January 31st, 2013 at 4:37 PM ^

Agree 100%.  And you can ask a Gopher how the "stop Burke, let TH Jr. kill you" strategy works.  

On the other hand, you can ask a Buckeye the same question and they will say "it works".  But they have the best defensive PG in the conference.  

Is Yogi really that bad at defense?  


January 31st, 2013 at 9:50 AM ^

I haven't seen anything stellar in defense from IU, as long as we don't go on a huge cold streak like we did against Ohio, it should be a really close game.


January 31st, 2013 at 4:55 PM ^

"If Bernard Pollard and Ed Reed can contain the 49er's wideouts, then Ray Rice will certainly have 100 yards rushing"


Actually, in this scenario it would be logical that it would be a low scoring game, at least on the San Fran side, and gives Baltimore a better chance of having the lead. If they have the lead, they should be running the ball more, and the more they run the ball, the better chance Ray Rice of having 100 yards. Not "certainly", but definitely a better probability.


Sorry, couldn't help it. I know what you are saying. The logic in the Oladipo/Zeller scenario makes no sense at all.


January 31st, 2013 at 9:56 AM ^

1. I think we learn from the OSU game, and IF Burke is slowed down, we adjust a lot quicker this time, and they're crazy if they don't put Oladipo on Burke

2. Morgan's loss hurts, but I believe Jon Horford has stepped up in a big way and  the Horford-McGary combo (HorGary??) can handle Zeller down low (they won't shut him down, but they  can limit him enough to win this game)

I'm thinking close game all the way through but Blue by 5 at the end 


January 31st, 2013 at 9:59 AM ^

I think they will go zone on us, to protect their smaller guys (hulls and yogi). Also, zones kind of alter the traditional pick and roll game. The one main issue (for them) of taking oladipo off of the wing and putting him on the point guard is that one of oladipo's greatest strengths is jumping passing lanes and getting steals/deflections, which is harder to do if you are guarding the primary ball handler, in my opinion. If they do put oladipo on burke, then the onus falls on stuaskas and thjr to exploit their 6-7 inch height advantage over yogi/hulls. 


January 31st, 2013 at 10:07 AM ^

A good read in general from ESPN,…

"According to Synergy scouting data, the Hoosiers have played zone on 274 of their 1,576 defensive possessions this season, or 19.6 percent of the time.

The Hoosiers have held opponents to even fewer points per trip in those zone possessions than they have in standard man-to-man defense."

Granted, I like our chances against their zone if we are shooting well.


January 31st, 2013 at 10:11 AM ^

Just read that.  Living in Indianapolis and listening to 1070 AM all day about it, every talk radio guy seems to think that IU needs to get better at the zone to stop teams like Michigan.  I put a link for that in the OP.  Also, they have played zone less than 1/5 of the season.  That is a pretty small sample size to say that they will continue to allow opponents to score fewer points running zone.


January 31st, 2013 at 9:59 AM ^

Michigan started slow and finished strong against Ohio. I seriously doubt IU will have the same success that Ohio did against us the first half (no Craft). I see Michigan winning by 7. Burke will have to be great both halves of the game.


January 31st, 2013 at 10:02 AM ^

This game is so intriguing. So many matchups and styles of play to consider.

You have to think that if Oladipo guards Burke, that would leave Hulls on Stauskas. That appears to be a mis-match, but I'm not exactly sure how we beat it. Hulls would stick to Stauskas like glue and then it would come down to whether or not Hulls has the footspeed to stay in front of Stauskas. I would probably venture a "yes" guess on that - at least enough to give the rest of the team time to rotate.

I think this is a game we really need Stauskas to be a set-up man in. We need to force switches with ball reversal, so when we hit Stauskas on the wing it needs to be a shot over Hulls or a show and drive. Either take it to the rack if the defense hasn't recovered, or find a wing that is open.

I would expect they'll use Zeller to help on everything, leaving our big as the guy open. Zeller is athletic enough to do this and then still recover to block/defend a shot from the big man he left. Therefore, it comes down ot what CBB always comes down to: do we hit open 3s?


January 31st, 2013 at 10:06 AM ^

I am not sure you will see Hulls on Stauskas.  But, I also don't know who you put Hulls on.  IU's top six for minutes: Will Sheehey, Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller, Yogi Ferrell, Jordy Hulls, Christian Watford.  With Hulls and Ferrell both being sub-par defenders, there will be at least one mismatch on the floor at all times for Michigan.

That being said, IU will always have a mismatch at the other end with Zeller.


January 31st, 2013 at 2:22 PM ^

I think we'll see a lot of Sheehy if they want to put Oladipo on Burke. THJ's just too strong for Ferrell. I think they'll live with Stauskas trying shooting over Hulls or Ferrell, largely because they don't have another choice, unless Ferrell can check Burke.


January 31st, 2013 at 10:06 AM ^

There has been some talk comparing Michigan to the Dee Brown-Deron Williams Illinois team that nearly won it all. Statistically the teams are similar, but a big edge Michigan has is depth of big men; Illinois only had two of any quality, and when their starter (don't have the name, typing on mobile from memory here) drew a couple of early fouls against Sean May in the title game, everything changed.

Michigan's big man production may be statistically similar, but between the team's ability to avoid fouling and the depth of quality, a healthy Michigan team is a lot less likely to get in that kind of trouble.

Unfortunately, Michigan is not healthy at that position. I think Zeller, at home, will have his way down low. And there will be a lot of hand-wringing about Michigan's interior defense. But the complaints will ignore the difficult matchup, lower depth, and inevitably biased officiating, and the team will be fine in the tournament.


January 31st, 2013 at 10:08 AM ^

Yogi is a good defender, but he's only a freshman. It will be interesting to see how he handles the pressure of defending against the #1 team in the nation and possibly Burke if they play a lot of man to man. Oladipo will come fired up and prepared to play no question about that. I think the key matchup will be whoever is matched up with Hulls. He is a terrible defender and we have to take advantage of that. On the other hand, we can't let him even get a LOOK at a 3 pointer. If we play at the high level I know we can, we will win this game. I think it will be very very close, maybe even come down to a last second shot. I think it's all Michigan though, predicting 87-85.


January 31st, 2013 at 10:08 AM ^

I witnessed Trey Burke destroy Ferrell on the AAU circuit every time they matched up in high school. Trey won't have a challenge doing it a few more times.


January 31st, 2013 at 10:10 AM ^

All I am saying is that if you lose to Wisconsin at home, you can lose to 55% of D-I basketball teams at home then. Overreaction? Maybe, but it helps me sleep at night.


January 31st, 2013 at 10:22 AM ^

I've said several times and wll continue to say it.  Playing at Assembly Hall, as the #1 team in the county, at night, nationally televised with B1G officials scares the living hell out of me.  I have watched SO many games there through the years starting in the early 1970's with the great Henry Wilmore, through the increadible teams of the late 1970's (I think we are a LOT like the 1976-77 team BTW), through the mid to late 80's Frieder squads, the 89 National Championship team, the Fab 5 and all the way through the dark years and one constant remains through it all. 

No matter the year, the team, the coach, the style of play.  No matter the record, the relative skill level of the players or what the game meant one thing was for sure.  We got FUCKED (excuse my swearing but I'm pissed thinking about it) from the officals there.  Every year and every team got FUCKED and FUCKED HARD by the calls.  

So I'm expecting - no I'm sure of - Burke will get two quick fouls in the game Saturday.  Both will be ticky-tack - one a charge and one an off the ball call.  Two or more key players will be sitting and sitting early becaus of foul trouble.  It's just what the officals do there and they do it every year to every team.

So don't be surprised when all the favorable match-ups listed above go straight out the window by the 8 minute mark of the 1st half.  Don't be shocked when the team with the least fouls called on it IN THE NATION gets in severe foul trouble early for some odd reaosn.  I've seen it  too many times to expect anything else.


Bursley Blue

January 31st, 2013 at 10:36 AM ^

People forget that it was actually Christian Watford who was matched up against Burke primarily last year at Indiana and he did a pretty solid job (Burke was 4-15 shooting, 4 turnovers).  With Watford on Burke and Oladipo on Hardaway, it still leaves a mismatch with Stauskas but that's where a guy like Will Sheehey could see some extended minutes (he's been playing well as of late).