It was only a matter of time before Michigan's hot shooting hand hit an off game. No more appropriate place for that to happen than in Assembly Hall against an athletic but erratic Indiana team needing a big win for some stability. Indiana's defense was tough and active all game and Michigan struggled to break free and get the kinds of shot opportunities it needed to turn the tide.
Indiana was paced by sophomore point guard Yogi Ferrell, who finished the game with 27 points thanks to 7 of 8 shooting from behind the arc. Michigan's leading scorer, Nik Stauskas, was held to just six points, missing all but one of this six shot attempts. Most of the game it looked like Michigan was actively avoiding running its offense through Stauskas, and even when he was involved he looked passive and frustrated.
The Wolverines generated the majority of their offense through Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton. LeVert had 12 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Walton had 13 points thanks in large part to two separate fouls on three point shots that gave him six FT attempts (he hit all six).
Michigan got an impressive effort from Jordan Morgan, who pulled down five rebounds on offense and five on defense and had six points. However, in the theme of things going wrong, he hit just 1 of 5 free throw attempts despite having a 73% average from the line coming into the game.
Michigan continually hit a shot or made a play to keep the game interesting, but the overall failure to establish an offensive rhythm and a maddening tendency to settle for long, contested jump shots early in the shot clock was ultimately too much.
In a tough road environment, Michigan failed to do just about everything it needed to get the win.
- Nik Stauskas had just six points and one made field goal.
- Indiana pulled down almost exactly its season average in OR% at 39.1.
- Michigan's offense was shut out of the paint and relied on long jump shots.
- Did Glenn Robinson III even show up?
- Yogi Ferrell was 7/8 from three
- Noah Vonleh had a double-double
- Michigan had just 8 assists (44% assist rate)
With all that, the Wolverines were still within a couple possessions late.
It is a bitter pill to swallow, but sometimes you go on the road against a team like Indiana and come out with a loss. The Big Ten is a dangerously deep conference this year and there isn't any shame in this loss. Michigan is still in the driver's seat in the conference race (and let's face it, Michigan wasn't going undefeated in the Big Ten anyway).
Sometimes you just have to suck it up, take your lumps, and get ready for the next one.
With a somewhat hot Nebraska team coming to town, things aren't getting any easier just yet.