Michigan hangs on for 84-80 win over Indiana

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Sophomore guard Nik Stauskas scored 21 points to lead Michigan to an 84-80 win over Indiana in front of 17,472 at Crisler Arena in the regular season finale for both teams.

Indiana finishes the regular season at 17-14 overall, 7-11 in the Big Ten. Michigan, which had already clinched the Big Ten outright title, finishes 23-7, 15-3.

Sophomore forward Glenn Robinson III added 20 points for Michigan. Senior forward Jordan Morgan added 15 and sophomore guard Caris LeVert added 13. Senior forward Will Sheehey scored 17 points to lead Indiana. Sophomore point guard Yogi Ferrell and freshman swingman Troy Williams had 16 each and freshman guard Stanford Robinson added 13.


  1. About the 8 min. mark of the 2nd half – directly after WS made a layup and was called for a charge (no issue with the call) – SR and YF both missed bunny wide open layups when the defensive sea parted for them. Of the next 8 directly afterward – we had 6 TO’S and a TW charging call. In short – 1 shot taken in a 11 possession stretch.
    That’s the ball game.

    I think to myself as I watch these games. Which of these two situations is more frustrating. Watching the god-awful stand around – stagnant – turnover-fest of clueless offense and poor defense OR is it the fluent up tempo – ball movement – back cutting – rim attacking – solid defending excellent play. Both occur roughly 20 minutes per game.

    The bad play is a gut punch for obvious reasons. But the good play might even be harder to deal with in the sense that they are capable of playing that way.

    The reality of this season is – this team SHOULD be any where from as good as 25-6 to absolutely no worse than 20-11. If they had a decent coaching staff. Based on the schedule that we played and the talent that the team does have. There really is only one place to point a finger is regards to how this season has panned out.

    Last note on game tonight. Down 3 with 43 seconds to go and UM ball. We chose to play defense for 21 seconds before fouling. Ultimately to be down 2 points with 4 seconds to go. REALLY! Those 21 seconds represent 3 more chances with the ball (at least two) in an effort to extend the game. As we all have witnessed – who knows what the outcome would be – but at least you give yourself the opportunity to win. Coaching matters.

  2. If I’m reading it right, looks like we’re locked into the 8-9 matchup. If Illinois holds on, we play them with a chance at a Michigan rematch in rd 2. If Illinois loses and PSU manages to win @Minn tomorrow, we play them.

    I like our chances of advancing to the semi-finals. We split with all three if those teams and– if not for the last-minute meltdown, we sweep PSU. I’m certainly not holding my breath, but anything’s possible at this point in the season.

  3. Also : didn’t love coming out of the TO – down 3 points with 50 seconds left – we end up with SR taking a 3. Always try and get the ball to your 10% 3 point shooter ( would be less bit he literally banked in 3 of them this year ). Don’t really need a 3 there. Especially if its not WS- YF or NV and they’re wide open.

    Very hard to lose when you shoot 59% from the field – but somehow we managed to do so.

  4. Illinois holds on.

    Grad, I just don’t get it. You seem like a very knowledgeable fan. So how is it that– in the span of a few sentences– you astutely point out the two missed bunnies (which, as it turns out, were exactly the difference in the game,) then turn right around and say there’s only one place to point the finger? It’s not like this was the only game where a missed layup and a careless turnover cost us the win. It happened with Nebraska twice and PSU once. There’s your 20-11. I’m not giving Crean a pass for any of his miscues and understand that the coach should shoulder most of the blame. But how is it that so many otherwise intelligent posters fail to point out that in the vast majority of our losses, there were multiple breakdowns not related to coaching that could’ve changed the course of the game… and the season?

  5. Well – let me respond by saying this. I in pointing to the coaching staff was really referring to the totality of the season as a whole and seasons past as well. Two different issues really. Game of the day and season as a whole. I actually tacked on the other post concerning the failing to foul – etc. to retouch on the finger I pointed.

    So you have a point. However – I could literally give you 500 unreal CTC decisions that would cause any knowledgeable fan to want to tar and feather him on the spot. I’ll resist that urge to rattle those off right now.

    You have to remember this. Most people overlook things in victory and rant about them in losses. In regards to coaching. The reality is – he has made just as many horrendous decisions were we held on for wins as he has when we have lost.

    So again – I’m talking about the totality of his coaching – certainly – missing wide open layups NOT being part of that issue.

  6. We can make the semis? Have you watched us in the btt since it started. We are flat out awful in it and could not even make it pas the semis last year. If we won one we will be lucky.

  7. Fair enough, Grad. There are a myriad of instances we can point to and say “what the hell was Crean thinking?” And you’re absolutely right– it happens even in wins and often gets glossed over. It just baffles me, however, that so many posters seem unwilling to budge from their position that Crean is solely responsible for 100% of the negative output. It’s just not true. A missed shot here, an errant pass there, and a few bone-headed defensive lapses in between have been the difference all year. It’s frustrating, because we’re close. We can be really good. It’s far more than just coaching decisions holding us back.

  8. Steve, two things: 1) We play Michigan if we get past Illinois. We beat them both by close to double digits at home and lost by four and three (in overtime) on the road, respectively.

    2) I think we look a lot fresher at this point in the season than last year. Legs look stronger. Not near as many short misses. Maybe Crean learned his lesson and is backing off.

    In short, yes we can. I’m not ready to head to Vegas and hedge any bets, but I actually like the mindset of the BTT better this year. I look back on last year and think we’d already begun patting ourselves on the back, and approached the BTT as if it didn’t matter. This year, it absolutely does. We don’t know how it’s going to pan out,obviously, and I don’t think anybody would be shocked by a first round exit. But I also wouldn’t be shocked if we’re playing this time next week.

  9. I think the issues most fans have is this Pun. Nobody can blame CTC for throwing the bone-head pass or missing an assignment on defense. He’s not playing himself. I think the issue is this. Lets just take turnovers for an example.

    When you turn the ball over 20 plus times (a mind blowing 22% of your offensive opportunities) per game in game # 1 and you still turn the ball over 20 plus times per game in game # 31. That speaks to coaching and lack of progress. That’s just one topic as an example. CTC didn’t throw the ball away – but he’s had an entire season to correct – work on – practice – teach – preach – etc.. on that issue. At some point it is his fault and failure. I think to answer your question about people/posters – the lack of overall progress or improvement is where they come back to blame CTC – not the one individual play.

    In theory a quality coach should be able to get the most out of what he has to work with. CTC does not do that. In fact he underachieves with what he has to work with.

    When the NCAA at-large bids come out – how many of those teams will have more talent than IU does? If the answer is few – than there is a problem here.

  10. Correct grad,in fact the missed “bunnies” wouldn’t enter the conversation IF it weren’t for ALL the TO’s that represent missed oportunities. As you said,when the numbder of TO’s at the beginning of the season is the same amount at the end….there is at least a communication problem on the coaching level.I have to ask CAN CTC get his point across,do the players understand his teaching/coaching, IS he even teaching to the weaknesses,have some of the kids quit on him? Yogi tweeted the other day after Neb loss ;that he was tired both mentally and physically. My take is this : tke a “tired” player add to that disappointment and frustration and you have an “unhappy” situation,either player or environment or both. When the offense is stagnant,the TO’s havent improved and add to that a chaotic sunstitution scheme;IM saying to myself I didnt sign up for THIS and playing time is NOT improving my skills and playing time is determined by substitutions that make no sense. IM going where i can learn and subs areorderly…at LEAST I Know I can learn in THAT environment…..I think IU fans will see some leave that they thought would never have considered that action

  11. To improve achievement of our players in basketball, Crean needs to be a pioneer in developing “working memory.” He needs to hire a quality neurologist to assess the brain fitness of every player, and especially every incoming freshman, to see how they manage stored information in their brains.

    The neurologist then can customize specific visual, motor, auditory and peri-personal space exercises for each player to use and practice, practice, practice. In so doing, the players will be able to accelerate their brains’ circuits and networks, thus developing and improving their “working memory.” For “working memory” is a major key for you, or me, or any human being if we want to enhance our creativity and performance whether on a basketball court, in the classroom, or the workplace.

    Now I know this might seem farfetched to some of you, or even a joke and a hoax. Not so! Coupled with appropriate exercise, diet and sleep, such exercises can provide our players with a rich environment for accelerating optimal brain development. It will raise their level of play on the court to a higher level. And it will do that much earlier in the season rather than happening at the end, as it did this year. Plus, after graduation, it will increase their work achievement in the workplace too. their basketball experience at IU will enhance their brain functioning throughout their lifetime in every sphere of life.

    And if Crean wants to make the IU basketball program better, as I believe he does, and the players too, then its worth hiring a quality neurologist who can help our player improve their “working memory.”

  12. I don’t disagree with your points, gents, except they don’t fully address accountability for everyone involved. I’m sure Crean is just as bewildered at some of the sloppy/stagnant stretches of awful basketball as everyone else. Does anybody really think he doesn’t address ball control and movement in practice? The spurts of excellent play are no more happenstance than the ugly stuff.

    I get that coaches have to take responsibility for the players that they bring in, but it’s not like there’s some NCAA combine where recruits are subject to Wonderlic and psychological testing. College coaches have to have an eye for talent, but they also must rely on the high school/AAU coach’s ability to properly assess a kid’s inner drive and mental make up in addition to character. How many of those do you think are properly qualified to make such an assessment?

    Ultimately, it’s Crean’s job to do his homework before a player is committed. It’s a tough assignment on top of teaching/developing the guys he already has and all of his other duties, but he’s compensated well for it. He’s hit some home runs (Victor and Will) and he’s swung and missed on others (Jurkin, Fischer.) The jury’s still out on most, however. After five years of positive trending, manufacturing instability by pushing him off the plank at the first signs of trouble is premature and wreckless. Successful programs don’t change course with every shifting wind.


  14. If RMK was coaching this wouldn’t happen. When a player is coming off the floor after making a stupid pass, forgot to block out, didn’t switch, shot the ball with 25 seconds still on the shot clock…in game 2 of the season, he wouldn’t have been met with RMK clapping ” that’s ok “. He would have been met with a head butt, or a throat jab or worse yet a shin scrape ( painful ). Then he would have set on the bench the rest of the game as RMK periodically walked down to the end of the bench and continued to scream and bereat him for what he done, all the while IU is up 35. If a player was skipping class he would have him show up at 5 am and run bleachers until they puked, I wonder what the punishment for a dui was? It’s hard to treat 5 star bluechippers that way. They need to be told ” thats ok, 10 to’s happens…lets learn from it and get better..now get back in there “.

  15. Geoff,I didn’t know whether you were referring to a neurologist or not. He’s Cheany’s (sp.)replacement, isn’t he? Any reason why you suggest he be contacted rather than Crean directly?

    Punjab, if you were referring to Geoff’s comments to mine, and my comments about using a neurologist to help players improve their mental fitness and thus improve their basketball play, you’ve missed the big picture.

    I’m quite confident Crean and staff have gone over ball control, turnovers, movement, layups, rebounds, free throws, etc., etc., etc., a multitude of times in practice. And my suggestion is not intended to blame Crean and staff for the players’ behavior, as some bloggers do. Not at all! It’s just my observation that all the work they have done this year has not translated into consistent play through the year, unlike players on some other teams, or past players of IU teams. They’ve been late bloomers. And I know that happens.

    But why? Why not look for the root cause of the problem, and resolve it. If Crean and staff do,it could be very helpful to them in working with our current players and others coming down the pike.

    So let me turn to what I see as a key cause. It’s this.
    They don’t know how to manage the information which is stored in their brains,as well as they need to do in the game, to improve their performance. And I’m not blaming the players here either, Punjab, for what maybe be a deficit in “working memory.” But key for them, or anyone else for that matter, is “working memory.” It’s this which enables us to manipulate information effectively, whether in game time or at work. And I’m wondering if they can’t be helped to improve this aspect of their brains.

    We spend millions of dollars to provide our players with physical facilities to get their bodies in physical shape. But how much do we spend on players to help them sculpt their circuitry and networks needed to work more effectively and function at an optimal level. Zilch. Granted, we do enrich their environment to improve brain development through classroom education. And granted, even their work in the gym or weight room contributes to that too. But I’m talking about some very special, customized exercises, prescribed by a neurologist who understands how we can keep our brains fit and enhance our “working memory”(aka short term memory) to perform consistently at peak levels.

    Granted you may not think this is important for our players to improve their “working memory,” the most important function of their brains and ours. But trying this approach for once doesn’t cost that much. Nor does it cost much time to do many of these exercises depending on their visual, auditory, motor or peri-personal space needs. So why not? Especially since we know such exercises, tailored to the individual, can enrich their brain development throughout life, enabling them to be more creative and successful in work achievement too, and not just on the basketball court. Makes good sense to me!

  16. The problem is Crean.He does not use a center.Vonleh should avg.20 points a game and he very seldom touches the ball.No big man will ever come play at IU has long as Crean is here.I think Crean gets next year to get it right.IU needs 20-25 wins next year and past the Sweet 16 or he must go.The IU offense looks just like Mike Davis offense.Buy Crean out he will make alot of money some small school will hire him and he will be fine.Go after Gregg Marshall….he knows what he is doing and he will be offered many jobs as soon as this s eason is over.Fischer leaving…HMP aressted…there will be 2-4 transfers at seasons end…team is in has much a mess as when RMK was there and kids would leave.Crean is not the answer.Stevens…Alford or Marshall could win big at IU.Board of Trustee’s and Glass are just to dumb to fogure this out.Glass should be fired for the raise and extension of Crean…will cost IU millions of dollars because Crean will not make it to the end of his contract.

  17. Wasn’t referring to you and Geoff, Walt. My comments were predominantly in response to IUGrad and TJ this round, but also the Scoop at large. Your posts– which are excellent, by the way– did help trigger some thoughts, though. As did questions like “do players get what Crean is teaching” and “why don’t we get players with a higher bball IQ.” I’m paraphrasing and adding tidbits from other threads, and I’m presuming that things like basic fundamentals are gone over in practice, but I’m sure you get the picture.

    I’m very much in favor of what you propose. Though my psych classes are well over a decade behind me, I still find the subject fascinating and I think some kind of neurological training could only benefit. Tony Gwynn pioneered optics training to improve (and/or maintain) his hand-eye coordination. He understood that natural ability can only take you so far. Pete Carroll had his Seahawks doing Yoga. Many people scoffed at the idea. And I’m not saying it’s the reason they won the Superbowl. But they won the Superbowl. The enhanced flexibility and focus they gained certainly didn’t hold them back.

    Aside from consistent shooting, this team certainly doesn’t lack for ability. Effort is very rarely a problem, either. From my amateur perspective, by and large they suffer from lack of sustained execution, mental toughness, and brain farts. Some of that will diminish with experience and maturity. But if there’s any way to accelerate that process, I don’t see why we wouldn’t pursue it.

  18. I’ll buy the youth argument to some degree. But there’s definitely talent on the team. And given the schedule and how they played against some of the better comp in the B1G, I’d say 3 over .500 is rather embarrassing.

    So, this means Crean has to put his money where his mouth is next year as far as coaching chops. Another underwhelming year and the writing is on the wall – he can’t cut it. He better pray Vonleh is back.

  19. Walt – generally the first point of contact for this kinda thing. Sorta like Kenny Johnson is the first point of contact for most out of state recruits recruits. Setting up some sort of neurological training is 1 of merely 1000 things that get delegated in a program like IU Men’s Basketball.

  20. Punjab,

    Thanks for your openness to the suggestion,Punjab. I do plan to forward it to Crean and Grossman. It’s worth the effort. At least we’ll see how open they are to learning the new and different. We’ll see how current they are too with today’s understanding of the brain, and how important it is to maintain brain fitness with an enriched environment too.

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