Hoosiers fall 84-80 to Michigan in season finale

WHAT HAPPENED: Indiana blew a double-digit lead then rallied back to tie the game after falling behind by double digits, but eventually ended up losing 84-80 to Michigan in front of 12,701 at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor.

Indiana finishes the regular season at 17-14 overall, 7-11 in the Big Ten and will be either the No. 8 or No. 9 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Michigan had already clinched the Big Ten regular season championship outright and celebrated by cutting down the nets. The Wolverines finished the regular season 23-7 overall, 15-3 in the Big Ten.

Michigan went on a 14-4 run in the second half to take a 73-62 lead with 4:55 to go. Indiana rallied back with a 13-2 run to tie the game 75-75. Michigan broke the tie on a 3-pointer by sophomore forward Glenn Robinson III to take a 78-75 lead. IU freshman guard Stanford Robinson missed a three on the other end and Indiana was forced to foul the rest of the way. Michigan made six free throws to put the game away. 

WHO MADE IT HAPPEN: Michigan sophomore guard Nik Stauskas scored 21 points after scoring just six against Indiana in the first game on Feb. 2 in Bloomington. He attacked off the dribble instead of trying to find openings for 3’s and was 6-for-13 from the field.

Glenn Robinson III scored 20 points after scoring just nine on Feb. 2. Senior center Jordan Morgan took advantage of screen switches and smaller Indiana lineups to finish with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Caris LeVert scored 13 points for Michigan.

IU senior forward Will Sheehey scored 17 points to lead the Hoosiers. Sophomore guard Yogi Ferrell and freshman forward Troy Williams scored 16 each while freshman guard Stanford Robinson added 13.

WHY DID IT HAPPEN: Michigan countered everything Indiana tried the first time. The Hoosiers didn’t come with the exact same defensive approach — in large part because freshman forward Noah Vonleh didn’t start after missing the last two games with foot inflammation — but they were basing their defense on screen switching and also staying on 3-point shooters. Instead of running Stauskas around the perimeter, they allowed him to drive and they also had him post up IU 6-foot point guard Yogi Ferrell. Levert and Robinson were also more effective in driving the basketball and Morgan dominated in ways he never considered in Bloomington. He owned the offensive glass against smaller defenders and got lots of room to work on screen-and-rolls. The Wolverines were just 4-for-15 beyond the 3-point arc without many looks coming that way, but they were 27-for-56 from the field (48.2 percent), they scored 38 poitns in the paint and they made 26 of 29 free throws.

Indiana was excellent offensively when they actually shot the ball, making 59.2 percent of their field goals including the first nine they attempted. They hit seven three-pointers and made 15 of 17 free throw attempts. Turnovers were a problem as they have been so many times before, however. The Hoosiers gave the ball away 15 times including 12 in the second half when they let a significant lead evaporate. They rallied back only to lose Glenn Robinson in the corner in transition. After a timeout, they got an open look for Stanford Robinson on the elbow against Michigan’s 1-3-1 zone, but considering that Robinson had only made three of 14 3-point attempts this season, it might not have been the best look.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN: Tangibly, all this cost the Hoosiers was a chance to move up to the No. 7 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, because any push at an NCAA at-large bid was already out of the question. There are a lot of tiebreaker scenarios in place for tomorrow, but Indiana will end up either the No. 8 or No. 9 seed and will play in the noon game Thursday in the Big Ten Tournament.

But a victory in this one would have at least meant another feather in the cap for this team, which has a few to go with its damaging losses. It would’ve been the fifth win over a ranked opponent, which would have at least sent the Hoosiers into the postseason and even the offseason with a little more positive mojo. Now they head into the Big Ten tournament on a two-game losing streak. There are a lot of the bright spots, especially the play of freshmen Devin Davis, Stanford Robinson and Troy Williams, but beating the Big Ten champs on their home floor to end the season would have meant a lot.

6 comments

  1. Since the end of the regular season is upon us, I started thinking about all-conference performers – the good and the bad. So here are my thoughts:

    Best Coaching Jobs – John Beilein and Tim Miles I give them co-coach of the year honors. For UM to lose their 2 leading scorers to the NBA, and then lose McGary to injury, thn win an outright b1G title… Very impressive. Just as impressive was what Miles did with a team picked to finish last in the B1G. NE is guaranteed a top 5 finish and NCAA tournament bid.

    Worst Coaching Jobs – Fran McCaffrey and Tom Crean. Iowa brought back every player of consequence from last year’s team. They have 2 of the best players in the conference in Marble and White, an athletic and deep team, perimeter shooting, and lots of upperclassmen. They finished this regular season with an identical 20-11, 9-9 record… Not good and there are no excuses – they’ve been healthy and the B1G isn’t quite as good as it was last year. Crean came into the season with a lot of legitimate excuses, but also a lot of talent. Unfortunately, the Hoosiers managed to under-perform compared to most of our expectations. There were multiple reasons – they often looked unorganized and unmotivated, our sophomores didn’t improve as a group in the off-season as much as we’d hoped, and hard to show much team growth from game 1 to game 31.

    1st Team – Stauskas, Harris, Petteway, Dekker, Kaminsky

    2nd Team – Ferrell, Marble, LeVert, White, Payne

    3rd Team – Craft, Newbill, Ross, Crawford, Vonleh

    There was a real lack of any top end front court talent, and a lot of quality depth on the perimeter. If Payne hadn’t been injured for a good stretch he probably would have replaced Dekker on my first team. Guys like Sheehey and GR3 really should’ve been on one of these lists, but just couldn’t put together any consistency over the year and it wasn’t tough to leave them off. In fact it was actually more difficult to find guys deserving than it was to cross people off the list.

    All-Newcomer Team – DeAndre Mathieu, Rayvonte Rice, Derrick Walton, Nigel Hayes, Vonleh

    A down year for freshman, but a couple transfers really made an impact on their teams. Again, it was a bit tough finding really qualified players to fill out the team.

    All-Defense Team – Craft, Scott, Harris, Egwu, Morgan

    3 of these were the easiest decisions of the day. Craft, Scott, and Harris are some of the best perimeter defenders the conference has ever seen. Again the lack of much front court talent made filling this out difficult. I hate to admit I was totally swayed to pick Morgan because of Dakich’s emphatic advocacy yesterday for him Defensive POY in the B1G. I’m not going to go that far, but he’s getting a spot on the squad. Egwu was a throw-in, based completely on athleticism that allows him some defensive versatility and being #2 in the B1G in blocked shots (I refuse to put #1 Hammond’s lazy ass on this team). If someone has a better answer than Egwu, I’m wide open to hearing it.

    All-Disappointment Team:

    Frazier – 2 years ago led the conference in scoring and assists, but his numbers really suffered across the board this year, posting his lowest numbers in ppg, rpg, apg, and 3-pt % since his sophomore year. And fit wasn’t for the better of the team… They still stunk.

    Terrone Johnson – Purdue needed leadership and production from the older Johnson, but they didn’t seem to get much of either. He regressed statistically, and despite having some decent returning talent, PU couldn’t get any consistency.

    Sheehey – despite averaging 8 more minutes a game, the only number that rose significantly for Will was his TO’s. IU desperately needed consistency and leadership from Sheehey, but they didn’t get it until the last 4 games of the season, which made the lack of it for the rest of the season even more frustrating.

    McGary – big things were expected from the big, but instead he spent the vast majority of the season on the bench cheering on his teammates through injury.

    Hammonds – a perfect basketball body, good athleticism for his size, a solid skill set, and absolutely zero motor. It’s shocking that he doesn’t average 20 & 10 and get mentioned as a lottery pick. Might be the most disappointing player in the country, much less the B1G.

    Player of the Year: Nik Stauskas – I was tempted to choose Petteway, but Stauskas led a team that lost its 3 most significant contributors from last season’s tournament run to a B1G title.

    Freshman of the Year: Vonleh – led the B1G in rebounding, was the top freshman scorer, and was top 6 in FG %… He could hav been more dominant if IU’s offense had done even a mediocre job of getting him the ball. One of the mind-boggling stats of the year is that Noah had only 7 games this year with double-digit FGA’s (and 4 of those were in the first 5 games).

    Defensive POY: Craft – the new emphasis on hand-checking didn’t seem to affect Craft’s game one iota. Once again led the B1G in steals and led the best scoring defense in the conference.

    6th Man: Sam Thompson – another hard category to fill. Thompson gets it for being the best bench contributor on both ends of the floor for a team in the top half of the standings. His energy is contagious for both his teammates and their fans, and infusing energy is half the job of a guy coming off the bench.

    Most Improved: Petteway – scored 3 ppg as a freshman last year. I don’t think there’s a person in the world who saw this coming… 18 ppg as a soph, and maybe the single most important player to his team. Led a Nebraska team with less than zero expectations, to a better conference record than Ohio State, who was #3 in the country at the start of conference play.

    Would love to hear others thoughts…

  2. Not a lot of disagreement…

    a. You misspelled the Purdue center’s name…It’s Hammons(no ‘d’).

    b. You failed to mention that Harvard was the first to mention Stauskas on Hoosier Scoop almost two years ago. I believe I envisioned very big things for the ‘Bird of Canada.’ He has certainly delivered.

    c. I think you’re a bit too hard on Sheehey. I think it was very difficult for any Hoosier(other than the point guard spending up to 50% of a possession clock dribbling)to get into the flow of a game. I tend to think a lot of it was coaching. There was a ton of disjointedness on this team, a lot experimentation with the freshman, along with attempt to find some useful minutes for Perea…Just too many raw and unproven players on the floor would make it difficult for any veteran player to reach his potential within that mix.

    I also felt that Sheehey matured through his character and example on the floor. He put aside the cockiness of year’s past and the gloating gestures after hitting triples or flashing in for a dunk. I think he should be given a lot of praise for his leadership and attitude(especially on a team with a coach that seemed frequently perplexed how to manage a squad that just didn’t have enough proven experience to help the overall product or Sheehey’s own game flourish).

    d. Not sure if McGary belongs on the “All-Disappointment Team.” Sure, it’s disappointing to Michigan fans to not have his energy and heart on the floor. It’s disappointing that the fans of the game won’t get to watch him in the tournament. He’s just a fun kid to watch and his unique joy for the aura and stage of college sports is infectious. But an injury is more of a misfortune than anything he could control as disappointing in terms of his performance.

    Nor would I ever consider Mo Creek a disappointment…or put him on Crean’s All-Disappointment Team. I’m disappointed we didn’t keep him a Hoosier for his heart and leadership. And I’m pretty sure he could have helped us on the court as well.

  3. Geoff, I find it hard to challenge your list. I would not replace Crean or McCaffrey but Painter has to be damn disappointed with the PUke performance. Also in my mind Pat Chambers is starting to make an impact at PSU and he is doing it at practice, in prep and game day actions. PSU BB under him acts like it belongs in the B1G.

  4. Clarion, so if you remember, one of my best friends was a coach at PSU (not basketball) and he is a very no-nonsense, 24/7/365 worker bee, who happens to be a very talented communicator, and I think will be a star in soccer coaching one day… Anyway, my buddy had the absolute utmost respect for Chambers and the way he conducted business with his team and around campus. Just thought he was a very genuine, but demanding, person who would guide the ship in the right direction. He held high regard for several coaches at PSU – Bob Warming, Russ Rose, Cael Sanderson – but not every coach… He really thought Chambers had the perfect energy for that program.

    Harvard – you don’t think UM fans are disappointed that McGary got hurt and wasn’t a factor this year, and wont be around to try to help them win a NCAA championship?

  5. Geoff- I believe I said it’s disappointing to the Michigan fans.

    But when I think of the “All-Disappointment Team,” I think of disappointing play as opposed to disappointingly unavailable. Other than McGary, all of your examples point to players that were healthy and you believe had opportunity to improve and didn’t seize upon it.

    And maybe the Michigan fans aren’t as disappointed as we both may think. Michigan has fared very well without McGary. Morgan has been playing exceptionally. They sure haven’t missed a beat from Mitch’s absence. Stardom has such a short memory….Fame is so fleeting. It may never return to McGary….But how beautiful and fortunate for him to have had his moment to seize and to rise to the occasion to make it his day. To have that stage, if only for a brief couple weeks, is something so few ever get to fully absorb in a lifetime. I wouldn’t contrast any lesser moment against that seized light as disappointment.

  6. The beauty of the All-Disappointment Team is that no such thing exists… There is no pre-conceived definition I have to work by. It’s my own creation, and since disappointment can come in different forms, I chose players that created disappointment in different ways.

    I think the only way UM fans avoid disappointment from the situation is to win the NC. If I were in their shoes I know I would say, “yeah, we were good, but imagine what we could have done with McGary… We wouldn’t have lost to Team X in the Tournament.”

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