WHAT LOOKED GOOD: John Beilein raved and raved about Indiana's defense following the game. He said it was clearly the difference. Basically, IU put Yogi Ferrell on Nik Stauskas and denied every touch. They put Will Sheehey on either Jordan Morgan or Jon Horford and he was switching everything. And they put Noah Vonleh on Glenn Robinson III and turned him into a jump shooter. "Their defensive game plan was outstanding," Beilein said. "We hadn't seen anything like it since I've been here. We ended up trying to adjust on the fly, and we've got to learn from it. They had different switches and they switched different screens than people normally do. What a great job by Indiana today." So defense gets the early nod. Michigan shot just 40 percent from the field and was held to 3-of-13 from 3-point range. Stauskas, who was averaging 18.4 points per game, was held to six points on 1-of-6 shooting from the field. He had one field goal and four free throws. It's only the second time this season that Stauskas hasn't made a 3-point field goal in a game. In fact, late in the game he put one up from about 27 feet that clearly looked like a frustration shot from someone who was just trying to make anything happen. Michigan, a team that was averaging 77.2 points per game and hadn't scored less than 63 all season, was limited to 52 points on Sunday. Offensively, it was the Yogi Ferrell Show. A few games ago, in back-to-back games against Wisconsin and Northwestern, Yogi was 2-of-12 from 3-point range. Sunday he was 7-of-8 from three and 8-for-10 overall. The seven 3's are a career high. Ferrell had 27 points. It was the seventh time this season he has scored 20 or more. In those games, IU is now 6-1. The only loss was the overtime game at Illinois after Yogi scored 30. Noah Vonleh deserves a mention, too. Despite have six points and 10 rebounds with 40 seconds to play, Vonleh wound up with 10 and 12 after two offensive rebound putbacks in the final 37 seconds. Vonleh now has nine double-doubles and 11 double digit rebounding games. In fact, in four of the last five games Vonleh has pulled down at least 12 rebounds. Indiana shot the ball well, hitting 53.5 percent from the field and 61.5 percent from 3-point range. In fact, in the second half alone IU was 13-of-20, 65 percent.
WHAT NEEDS TO IMPROVE:Indiana seemed to be standing around a lot in the offense in the first half in particular and the Hoosiers had several baskets in the final few seconds of the shot clock or at the shot clock buzzer. The movement, though, seemed to be better in the second half. Indiana still needs to get better production out of Troy Williams in the starting lineup. After scoring three points on Thursday at Nebraska, Williams had just one point Sunday against Michigan. Indiana also needs to do a better job of not fouling 3-point shooters. It happened one time Thursday at Nebraska and resulted in a four-point play. It happened twice against Michigan with Derrick Walton Jr. hitting all six of his free throw attempts.
FOR STARTERS:Indiana went with the same starting lineup for the third game in a row that features Ferrell, Vonleh, Williams, Will Sheehey and Stanford Robinson. Sunday, the starters combined to score 51 of IU's 63 points and technically, the Hoosiers starters scored one point less than Michigan did as a team. The starters made 19-of-32 shots from the field, 8-of-11 from 3-point range and 5-of-8 free throws. The starters also accounted for 19 of the 31 rebounds.
INDIVIDUAL OBSERVATIONS: Here's a look at my own thoughts on a few Indiana players from Sunday's win over Michigan:
1. YOGI FERRELL: What can you say? Yogi was in a zone and looked like every shot he put up was going in. People who have seen Yogi play over the years have seen that look before. His 27 points was a career high in terms of games at Assembly Hall, and his second highest single game output of his career. The high was 30 at Illinois in the Big Ten opener on New Year's Eve. It was the first time he had eclipsed 20 points since the win over Wisconsin on Jan. 14 when he had 25. But Yogi was clearly in charge on both ends of the floor. He made everything difficult for Stauskas and Crean said that Ferrell just continues to play at a higher level all the time. He gave off a vibe Sunday that basically said he wasn't going to be denied. And he wasn't.
2. Evan Gordon: Tom Crean said that Gordon was just cleared to play late Sunday morning. Apparently he has been sick the last few days. He wasn't with the team at all on Saturday night and the coaching staff had video delivered to his apartment so he could prepare that way. But he turned in a solid 16 minutes off the bench. He had eight points on 4-of-6 shooting and scored some big buckets in transition. He also did not commit a turnover, which is a huge statistic for IU guards. He missed his only three, as well as the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw opportunity in the final 4 minutes.
2. WILL SHEEHEY: Sheehey didn't have huge offensive numbers (he scored six points on 3-of-6 shooting) but Crean credited him with being the defensive captain. That's likely why he played 36 minutes before fouling out at the end. But Sheehey had three assists, some nice cuts to the basket and two rebounds. Incidentally, that's the second time this year that Sheehey has fouled out of a game. The
NEXT UP: Indiana (14-8, 4-5 Big Ten) has the week off before traveling to Minnesota on Saturday for an 8:15 p.m. game with the Golden Gophers at Williams Arena. That game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch