Current record: 8-7 (2-2)
Current RPI: 163
Current Sagarin: 113
Current Pomeroy: 85
2008-09 record: 19-12 (9-9), lost to Oklahoma in second round of NCAA Tournament
2008-09 RPI: 44
2008-09 Sagarin: 34
2008-09 Pomeroy: 50
Series: IU leads 99-52
Last IU win: 12/31/09 (71-65 in Bloomington)
Last Michigan win: 1/7/2009 (72-66 in Bloomington, OT)
Last IU win in Ann Arbor: 1/8/2008 (78-64)
Pomeroy scouting report
TV: 9 pm, ESPN
Blogs: mgoblog, Maize n Brew, Michigan Sports Center, UMHoops.com
Exactly two weeks ago, Indiana beat Michigan for its only Big Ten win of the season to date. Now, the Hoosiers head to Ann Arbor to play the Wolverines again. Crisler Arena has been reasonably friendly to the Hoosiers in the last 15 years. Since the end of the Fab Five era, IU is 7-5 there. Here's what I said about Michigan before the last game:
Michigan's Pomeroy tempo-free stats reveal strengths and weaknesses pretty similar to last year's team, but the three point shooting has slid to 28 percent, among the worst figures in the nation. Really, besides that, there isn't a tremendous difference between the two seasons statistically. This is a typical John Beilein-coached, perimeter-oriented team. Accordingly, they get a bunch of their production from behind the arc, they don't get to the line, and they don't rebound well. On the other hand, they take very good care of the ball and play good perimeter defense. These things were true in 2008-09, and are true today. I suppose the lesson is that Michigan has little margin for error, and even a 5 percent dip in three point percentage for a team that shoots so many threes is enough to move them from the NCAA bubble to the NIT bubble.
Since the loss to IU, Michigan has gone 2-1, with a win at home against an Ohio State team that whipped IU, a come from behind road win against Penn State, and a disappointing home loss to Northwestern. Since the IU game, Michigan's three point shooting has improved modestly, and strong shooting helped U-M in f its win over Ohio State. Against Ohio State, Michigan shot 6-16 (38 percent) from behind the arc and held OSU to 31 percent. Against Penn State, the Wolverines were back to their season average, 7-24 (29 percent), but offset that with a blistering 19-26 performance inside the arc. Against Northwestern, the Wolverines shot only 30 percent from behind the arc, and gave up 45 percent three point shooting to the Wildcats.
Here are the Wolverines' individual stats:
And the IU's, if you haven't look at them in a while:
|Verdell Jones III||15||27.7||4.7||11.2||41.7||0.5||2.0||23.3||3.3||4.9||67.6||0.7||2.7||3.5||3.2||2.6||1.3||0.5||1.3||13.1|
It may sound simplistic, but IU, playing only its second road game of the season, will have to shoot well from the perimeter and will have to prevent Michigan from doing so. Not all games are that simple, but Michigan's strengths almost entirely center on perimeter shooting and perimeter defense. The Wolverines have, to some extent, salvaged their season with the OSU and Penn State wins. A return to the NCAA Tournament seems out of the question, but an NIT bid remains within reach. For IU, of course, progress is the only goal, with even the lesser postseason tournament nothing but a pipe dream. IU didn't win on the road in the Big Ten last season, and will have few better opportunities than tonight. Pomeroy gives IU only an 18 percent chance of winning tonight, but gives IU better road odds only against Penn State and Iowa. Michigan should win, but IU can take an important step toward a respectable Big Ten record with a win tonight.