Saturday, January 05, 2008

IU-Michigan preview

Watched the Michigan-Purdue game. I sort of feel sorry for Michigan as they open conference play with three tough games in 7 days. Although Purdue triumphed 65-58, they didn't look really that much better than Michigan, and I think if Purdue plays at Michigan, the win would go to the Wolverines. Michigan has some good young talent (Manny Harris, Ekpe Udoh DeShawn Sims), although Purdue probably has more young talent (Keaton Grant, JaJuan Johnson, Robbie Hummel), I think John Beilien is going to be one of the best coaches in the conference and will get the recognition in a year or two.

So, next Tuesday, when Indiana steps onto Michigan's floor, what should they look to do? I would say IU should probably pack the paint defensively, although they should probably keep Lance Stemler and Mike White on Sims due to his inside-outside ability. But Harris in particular likes off-balance jumpers, and that's a shot the Hoosiers should let him take. On offense, Sampson will have to run a few different looks. Beilien likes to go to his 1-3-1 zone off makes and plays man off misses. Off the misses, especially early, IU should get DJ White on the block. Udoh can block shots, but there's a lot of room for a big man to operate against Michigan. Against the 1-3-1, I'd get the ball into the hands of Jamarcus Ellis and run some draw and kicks, preferably to Gordon, but any of IU's shooters should be able to get quality looks against the zone. However, given that this will create a more perimeter-based offense, DJ White and the other big men should go straight to the glass, as I think there will be a lot of opportunities against the zone.

IU should be the better team, even on the road, but they've got execute and get back to prevent transition opportunities. Play hard, Hoosiers!

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