Hoosiers prepare for Round 2 with Michigan

In Indiana’s first go-around with Michigan, the Hoosiers were able to accomplish most of what they stressed in their game-plan.

The Hoosiers pounded the ball inside to forwards Cody Zeller and Christian Watford for a combined 43 points on 16-for-21 shooting. They defended star guards Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke well enough to keep them from doing too much damage — they combined for 29 points and 10 assists but had to take 34 shots and commit seven turnovers to make it happen — defended without fouling and managed to stave off a second-half 3-point barrage to escape with a 77-73 win.

But the Hoosiers head into today’s 6:30 p.m. game at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor knowing to expect a different game on Michigan’s home floor.

“They’re on their home court,” sophomore swingman Will Sheehey said. “Everybody has a better feel about that. They know their court. They run their plays every day in practice on their home court. A good team plays well on their home floor.”

The No. 23 Wolverines play exceptionally well there, hauling a spotless 12-0 mark at Crisler Arena heading into this game. That includes victories over both Michigan State and Wisconsin.

It would stand to reason that the Wolverines — who have taken and made more 3-pointers than any other team in the Big Ten — would be better on their home floor because they would shoot better there. Part of the reason teams struggle on the road is they have to get used to rims that play different and different backdrops. It takes time for shooters’ eyes to adjust their depth perception, which is why home teams tend to shoot better.

That, strangely isn’t the case with Michigan. They actually shoot 60 points worse at home than they do on the road from beyond the 3-point arc (.318 to .378) and 10 points worse from the field (.442 to .452). Opponents also shoot worse at Crisler Arena than they do at their home courts, however (.395 to .461 from the field and .347 to .380 from 3-point land) which explains the differential.

That means the Hoosiers have to be wary of Michigan’s trapping 1-3-1 defense but also of Hardaway, Burke and the rest of Michigan’s offense. Burke is battling Indiana’s Cody Zeller for Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors, averaging 14.1 points and 5.0 assists per game. Hardaway has had his struggles, especially from beyond the 3-point arc where he is shooting 27.8 percent, but he still leads the team with 15.2 points per game.

Beyond those two, they also have a dangerous post option in Jordan Morgan (7.6 points, 5.6 rebounds per game) and a group of veteran 3-point shooters that includes seniors Stu Douglass and Zach Novak and sophomore Evan Smotrycz.

“We’re gonna help but be conscious of shooters at the same time, and that just means our job’s harder,” Sheehey said. “On the pick and roll, you have to help on the screener but also get out to the 3-point line. It’s a tough job, but you just have to do it.”

Said assistant coach Steve McClain: “They’ve got great veteran players, Novak, guys that understand what this league’s all about, have been through it. Yeah, Trey Burke’s a freshman like Cody’s a freshman but those other four guys have been through this league.”

AUDIO NOTE: At the beginning of the player’s audio, Will Sheehey dismisses a question about his shaved head. It should be noted that afterward, Sheehey went up to the reporter who asked the question, Ken Bikoff of Inside Indiana, to explain his reasoning for not wanting to discuss it publicly. Should be noted for context.

AUDIO: Steve McClain

AUDIO: Will Sheehey and Christian Watford



  1. They said on the telecast the other day that he shaved it because of the sweat getting in his eyes. Hes not allowed to wear a headband so he said just shave it all off. Makes sense, not sure why he wouldnt go into the details, unless it was a bet?

  2. Also shooting .318 compared to .378 is 6 points different and not a 60 point difference. In the following sentence you say Michigan shoots 10 points worse at home (.442 to .452.) Again that is 1 point NOT 10.

    Watch your math.

  3. They helped him off the court after the game. Left knee, he could not walk on it and had it curled under. Did seem like he wanted to extend.

  4. I don’t think the shaved head was due to sweat, that was just locker room talk. I heard he did it for cancer awareness. The fact that he doesn’t want to discuss it might indicate someone close to him, just a guess. Oops, I’m spreading a rumor, but it’s not a bad one. I have no facts to back it up…

  5. “They actually shoot 60 points worse”. “10 points worse” What the hell is that even supposed to mean?

    that being said, the key to tomorrow’s game is containing chris webber jr.

  6. Why the big stink about the haircut? I could name a few players that should join him along with the head coach!

  7. Yeah he is one that scares me. Gonna be tough one with all the things considered. Hope we knock down some shots early and keep the crowd out of it. I’m interested to see if they can go at zeller and try to get him out early in the first half. Maybe he learned a little at wisconsin. You never know we can shoot the lights out sometimes maybe red hot tomorrow.

  8. Does anyone know the best shooting percentage by a team in a loss in NCAA history? Iowa shot 80% in the second half and 63% for the game. The scoring in that game was damn fun to watch. Sort of reminded me of layola marymount games back in the day. Pace wasn’t near as blistering but made me think of it. Also made me think of the pro bowl ha

  9. IUGRAD, I was thinking the same thing about Loyola. That was an entertaining team with Paul Westhead at the helm.

  10. Who could forget Hank Gathers and Bo Kimble? It wasn’t often that UCLA had to share the L.A. spotlight with another hoops squad.

  11. If I’m remembering correctly wasn’t Gathers leading the country in scoring AND rebounding when he died? So sad.

  12. I’d have to look that one up, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Actually I still have the LA Times sports page from that day somewhere in my garage. A player dying on the court…seems impossible to conceive of

  13. Not to go too far off topic, but wasn’t the Scoop supposed to be doing a signing day special today. Coach Wilson has been tweeting all morning the official NLI he has been getting but I haven’t seen anything here on the Scoop about it.

  14. Chet IUGRAD HT

    I was trying to address the best shooting per cent by a team in college. Ran across some other individual stats regarding Pistol Maravich and Rick Mount. If the 3 pt line was in place Pistol would have ave 13 3pt per game.
    That would have lifted his ave to 57 pts per game. Then I started watching video of Pistol and did not get back to the question team shooting per cent. Just a footnote,
    remember the Pacers last season? that went for something like 25 of 26 for the quarter. Won’t address Rick Mount
    right now.

  15. Chet

    I’m retry sure you are right about gathers. Amazing the NCAA tournament run they made after that. One can only imagine how far that could’ve gone without the tragedy. Did anyone watch that special on their offense? I think it was a Espn 30 for 30. They wanted to score every 11 seconds I think it was. Amazing and awesome to watch

  16. dustin,

    the difference between 37% and 31% is 6 percentage points. i guess if you want to get even more exact with your percentages you could get to a 600 point or 6000 point difference. in your system.

    all is well in the burgh. the gray city.

  17. Coach v

    I think Dustin is saying points as in on the scoreboard maybe for the season. Im not for sure but I think you two are either talking about different things or looking at it different ways. Just on the outside looking in

  18. I know it is hard to win in the Big Ten on the road. IU has a doe in the head light look when they or playing away games. I am tried of waiting for them to come alive and win on the road. We beat PS on the road WOW great.
    I love IU ,but Purdue will win by 13 at Purdue.

Comments are closed.