Thoughts on a 69-46 loss to Michigan :
Riding a five-game release streak, four of which had been on the road, Indiana returned to Simon Shields Assembly Hall in desperate need of a good performance against nr.
The game got off to a slow start, as there was a five minute delay after just seven seconds due to shot. clock problems on the south end. Chuck Crabb to announce how much time was left on the shot clock when Indiana had the ball
Indiana was equally lifeless to start the game. Michigan jumped out to a 1
Romeo Langford was benched for most of the half, as he picked up three first-half fouls. Al Durham provided some energy where others struggled to find it – he was the one to break both droughts and was the one trying to pump up his teammates on the sideline during timeouts.
But the half was marred by a stagnant offense that seemed to the energy to pull itself out of a horrendous start and a defense that became coverages far too often, giving Michigan frequent open looks.
“You can just tell by the way we play the fight isn't there right now and the confidence isn't there either of the floor to be able to capitalize on any type of opportunity that we have, ”Archie Miller said.
In a season that saw the Hoosiers give up 53 points in one half at Duke , somehow managed to play a worse half of basketball. When the halftime buzzer sounded, Indiana was left licking its wounds and searching for energy, identity and motivation.
IU's energy was much better after the half, and even cut the lead to as little as nine. But climbing out of a 17-point halftime deficit requires lockdown defense and relentless offense, and IU didn't play that level.
"I would say it's embarrassing," Juwan Morgan said. "In my mind, I don't think any team is 23 points better than us, and I think we have a lot more fight in than that."
Michigan wasn't playing phenomenal basketball. The Wolverines missed shots, some open and some defended better. Their numbers for the game are up to you: shooting 43 percent from the field, 34 percent from the 3-point range, 1.04 points per possession. Michigan went through multiple stretches of shooting 1-for-9 or 1-for-10 on field goals. IU had its chances to climb back.
But the short kick coming out of halftime, the Hoosiers just never rose to the challenge. Any time IU would put together a short run, Michigan would answer back with a big shot of its own to kill any semblance of momentum.
Ignas Brazdeikis led Michigan with 20 points, his biggest scoring output since December. He looked determined to put his quieter game in the first meeting between IU and Michigan behind him and show the Assembly Hall crowd why he's pushing Langford hard for Big Ten freshman of the year.
What once looked like a winnable game at Rutgers on Wednesday suddenly looks like it will be difficult, and potentially loose, battle, much like the last time the two teams squared off. With the formula out on how to beat the Hoosiers and their tournament hopes to become murkier by the day, they have no margin for error and simultaneously need to figure out who they are and how they can right the ship.
Filed to: Michigan Wolverine