Here is an analysis of Sunday’s 70-67 Indiana victory over Michigan, a win that lifted the Hoosiers into a three-way tie for second place with Purdue and Maryland. Ohio State could join that tie if the Buckeyes beat Rutgers tonight. This analysis is a regular part of our AllHoosiers.com coverage of Indiana basketball this season.
WHAT LOOKED GOOD:Indiana took control of the game early and appeared in control most of the way. Michigan’s only lead of the game was at 3-2. The Hoosiers did enough things to win and made the necessary stops down the stretch. On Michigan’s final possession, trailing IU by 3, the Wolverines had to settle for a tightly contested 3-point shot from the left corner that missed. The Hoosiers shot the ball reasonably well. IU made 56 percent of its shots in the first half, 41 percent in the second half and finished at 49 percent. Indiana made 7-of-17 3-pointers. IU outrebounded a conference opponent for the seventh time in a row and the eighth time in the last nine games. IU held a commanding 32-21 edge. The Hoosiers had 13 offensive rebounds.
WHAT NEEDS TO IMPROVE:Teams continue to shoot the ball at a high percentage against the Hoosiers. Michigan shot an even 50 percent for the game but 53.8 percent in the second half on 14-of-26 shooting. IU also was unable to really put the Wolverines away despite several opportunities to build on nine and 11 point leads throughout the second half. IU was 4-of-6 from the line in the final 3 minutes with both James Blackmon Jr. and Collin Hartman each missing a foul shot. Hartman did make the second, however, with 17.9 seconds to play that put IU back up by three at 70-67.
FOR STARTERS:Indiana’s starters did most of the damage Sunday against Michigan. IU’s starters scored 66 of the 70 points. The only points scored by non-starters were a 3-pointer by Nick Zeisloft and a free throw by Emmitt Holt. Crean went back to his usual starting lineup of Yogi Ferrell, James Blackmon Jr., Collin Hartman, Robert Johnson and Troy Williams. The IU starters combined to hit 23-of-45 shots from the field, including 6-of-15 from 3-point range. IU’s starters were 14-of-18 from the line, had 25 of 32 rebounds and 12 of 14 turnovers.
INDIVIDUAL OBSERVATIONS: Here’s a look at my own thoughts on a few Indiana players from Sunday’s win over Michigan:
1. Troy WILLIAMS: Williams was IU’s energy bunny Sunday afternoon against the Wolverines. He had two or three monster jams and one other that was waved off when Yogi Ferrell was called for an offensive foul. He finished with 20 points and eight rebounds on 6-of-9 shooting from the field and a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Williams did struggle in terms of dribbling into traffic again and had four turnovers but he was a major force on offense.
2. JAMES BLACKMON JR.:: Blackmon scored 12 of his 13 points in the first half. In fact, his only point in the second half came on the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw opportunity with 2:50 to play when he made a foul shot. Six of his eight rebounds were also I the first half. Still, Blackmon played 30 minutes in his first game back after sitting out Tuesday against Wisconsin with a sprained ankle. He has scored in double figures in 19 of the 23 games he has played in.
3. Hanner Mosquera-Perea: Perea played for the first time since suffering a dislocated knee cap on Jan. 12, the day before IU played Penn State. Perea’s last game was Jan. 10 against Ohio State. He had missed seven games in a row. He played 4 minutes off the bench and had one rebound. It was more of a chance for him to get his legs underneath him and now he’ll be expected to play a little bigger role on Wednesday at Maryland.
NEXT UP: Indiana (17-7, 7-4) travels to face Maryland (19-5, 7-4) on Wednesday in a game that will tip at 9 p.m. on the Big Ten Network. Maryland lost at Iowa on Sunday, 71-55. IU beat Maryland at Assembly Hall on Jan. 22, 89-70.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch