Thursday, January 14, 2010

Indiana preview thingy

This isn't going to be a proper preview, really, as we just played Indiana two weeks ago and should all remember that debacle still. Michigan got into foul trouble early and couldn't stop Indiana from shooting 47% from the field in the Big Ten opener. After the game I said this,

Still, it was a game Michigan needed to win (as most of them are from here on out) and they blew it by way of early foul trouble in the second half--if I can recall correctly, they were in the penalty with about 15 minutes left in the half, ugh--and Beilein's insistence on using the 2-3 zone when it was being absolutely torched to the tune of 47% shooting on the night.....

More to the point, though, the 2-3 more or less emphasized all of Michigan's defensive troubles without maximizing anything. Time and again, Sims was pulled into the high post to cover a man in the lane, leaving rebounds and drives open, while the guards seemed too slow to face up and contest any shots. What's worse, they couldn't force turnovers out of the 2-3 and looked like they were scrambling around the court on most possessions. It was not encouraging.

This began my now extensive disappointment with Beilein this season. Mark my words, if I see Michigan use the 2-3 zone in this game, I'm going to break something nice.

So what does Michigan need to do to win this game? Be Michigan, really. I think Indiana is a pretty underrated Big Ten squad and is poised to go on a string of really good wins. But they're not a team Michigan should be losing home games to. Look for Harris and Sims to continue their roles as Only Scorers on the Team and just pray that someone else on the team can pick up the slack.

More importantly, this game is the last one before Michigan takes on UConn, the last chance they'll have at a signature out-of-conference win. Playing on their home floor and getting into rhythm will be important if Michigan will have any chance at beating UConn. Unfortunately, according to the statistics, the team might already be in rhythm. That would not bode well for this team going forward, but it seems exceedingly reasonable. I don't know what to expect from this team anymore. Let us watch and pray.

UMHoops has a more thorough preview.


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