Friday, January 15, 2010

Not as terrible as it seemed

As dispiriting as that final five minutes were, IU's loss at Michigan actually showed considerable progress from the road loss at Ohio State. I didn't expect the Hoosiers to win this game, but Michigan's been uneven enough I was hoping to that IU would hang around for the game & make a run, and who knows- maybe get lucky. Well, the first part of that came true- Indiana did work their tails off despite poor shooting and hang around until late in the game, and then a run was made. Unfortunately, it was Manny Harris getting hot and making the run for Michigan.

Indiana played good defense until the very end, with Capobianco & Pritchard mixing it up in the paint, and that helped Verdell Jones, Christian Watford, and Jordan Hulls to track down rebounds and loose balls. Jones had 10 rebounds, but shot a miserable 3 of 14 from the field, with 4 turnovers. One wonders why Dumes isn't getting a few more minutes, as he and Hulls actually seemed to handle the pressure pretty well in the first half, and Jones confirmed to everyone that his game isn't shooting from the corner (0-5 on threes). And Rivers followed up my praise in his abilities with a pretty poor game, I thought. He is credited with one turnover, but that shot-clock violation was his fault, and he bogged down the offense at times. On one occasion, he gave the ball to Pritchard on the block, ran back out to the three-point line and called for the ball back. Pritch was actually scoring in this game, I would've given the kid the green light and let him go to work. Really, the only two IU players to have decent offensive games were Watford & Pritchard, and they still coughed up the ball 6 times. Watford was impressive at times, as the Wolverines really couldn't handle him. Unfortunately, he's still a freshman, so he's still quite a ways from maximizing his effectiveness. And despite the good defense, I could still see some occasionally n00b mistakes on that end, but these Hoosiers are improving, which is odd to say after a 20-point loss.

Kudos to the Wolverines, who look to finally be turning their season around. It may be too late to get the NCAA's, but I wish them the best in their games now that the Hoosiers don't have to play them.


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