FINAL, Michigan 58, Indiana 55
The Hoosiers lost for the second time in three days this afternoon, after dropping a close game to Michigan.
With 16 seconds left, Bassett brought the ball up for the Hoosiers. After passing to Stemler, Bassett ended up with a deep fadeaway three for the tie — but missed. Ratliff kept the rebound alive tipping it to Stemler, who dropped back behind the three-point line with two seconds left.
Stemler jumped and attempted a three that would have tied the game — but instead of firing he pulled the shot back down and passed to D.J. White as time expired. Stemler’s last second attempt was fairly desparate and didn’t have a good chance of going in — but his pass to White didn’t even give the Hoosiers a chance. You have to be aware of what the score is when the game is on the line. Stemler checked in for Mike White right before the play, and it seems as if he wasn’t in the game mentally.
On the plus side, IU got great production from Errek Suhr and Mike White tonight. And believe it or not — Ben Allen’s play was solid as well. Suhr made several big baskets and finished with 10 points — and Mike White actually led the Hoosiers in scoring with 11.
Allen didn’t score — but his defense was great. You could really tell the big Aussie was hustling out there today. He grabbed a couple of rebounds and gave IU a legitimate interior presence besides DJ.
IU was only 6-21 from 3-point range and 11-18 from the line. They missed a couple of free throws down the stretch that would have made this contest a closer game.
16.4, second half: Michigan 58, Indiana 55
What does Sampson call here to try to force overtime for the first time this season?
Ratliff or Wilmont off a screen from Stemler?
1:26, second half: Michigan 54, Indiana 51
Wilmont has played well over 34 minutes and it showed as Jerret Smith just took him to the hole and hit a little tear drop shot to give the Wolverines a three-point lead.
3:30, second half: Indiana 51, Michigan 51
D.J. White’s coming back in now.
The expression on Mike White’s face never changes. He makes big plays and it’s just rock. He barely smiles.
5:47, second half: Michigan 46, Indiana 45
When does White come back into the game? Michigan is just going to Sims repeatedly.
7:00, second half: Michigan 42, Indiana 41
A.J. Ratliff really showing some great vision there. A lot of times he appears to be so locked in on shooting that doesn’t really take the time to look at other options. That time he smartly found Mike White open in the lane with enough room between him and a defender.
7:39, second half: Michigan 42, Indiana 39
For a team that appears to have a few pretty reliable scorers and some diversity among them, Michigan forces a ton of plays. They’re constantly running alley-oops and trying long lead passes that lead to turnovers, a statistic in which they rank near the bottom of the conference.
As for the Hoosiers, what can you say about them right now? They’re just doing whatever they can. Rod Wilmont is getting smothered by the Wolverines.
11:11, second half: Michigan 38, Indiana 35
Can Indiana possibly find a way to win this without D.J. White and Ben Allen?
The Hoosiers are collapsing low but that will lead to open 3s. It’s just a question of whether Indiana can balance both and also find ways to score.
Sampson’s making frequent changes hoping his guys have enough energy during these last crucial minutes.
Plus, Michigan’s been in the bonus since the 13-minute mark and are two fouls away from going double.
15:53, second half: Michigan 35, Indiana 29
Forgot all that good-sounding stuff about teaching Armon Bassett to create and run the offense and all that hoopla. He’s going to go to the basket. That much is clear.
Suhr is playing extremely well, by the way.
Half: Michigan 25, Indiana 18
Could Shaw be getting a little of his juke and jive back? He went to the lane and hit a short jumper late and then got a decent look as the buzzer sounded.
Indiana is shooting 26.9 percent from the field, its worst percentage of the year, and has hit just 2-of-10 shots in the paint.
1:18, first half: Michigan 23, Indiana 16
Allen again looking strong, forcing Courtney Sims to force a shot and miss it over the rim.
2:51, first half: Michigan 23, Indiana 14
Iowa scored just 17 first-half points in the 81-49 drubbing it received at Michigan State today.
Indiana is currently trying to out-ugly the Hawkeyes with this offensive effort.
3:39, first half: Michigan 18, Indiana 14
I agree with the intern. Which just means I should fire him for having my thoughts before I get the chance to have them.
Ben Allen is playing well. That pass into D.J. White is something only Lance Stemler has really been able to do to this point, and having multiple guys capable of getting it up over the defense and into White means three or four more solid touches per game for White.
D.J. will sit the last few minutes of the half as he has two fouls.
6:55, first half: Michigan 16, Indiana 14
Indiana is showing a little zone. Anything to try to defend Michigan’s length.
Joey Shaw continues to foul everything he touches. He got two on one sequence after just entering the game.
11:34, first half: Michigan 13, Indiana 11
Notice how D.J. White faked toward the inside, then squared toward the baseline and used his far right hand to put the hook over Sims and get Indiana to 11 points. Having that move has opened so much up for White this season.
Suhr back in the game and Bassett on the bench. Bassett’s been too intent on scoring for Sampson’s liking so far, I think.
15:26, first half: Michigan 8, Indiana 2
Not much working offensively for the Calloway-less Hoosiers. Suhr looks like a decent player who hasn’t played much lately, which is exactly what he is. He’s just a step or two off.
Ratliff has taken his place, and right now the clear emphasis is on getting the ball to D.J. White low. But Michigan’s running a quick lineup out there, mimicking what Purdue did in the second half on Thursday and stopping the ball from ever even getting to White in good position.
So, not many fans here as we approach tipoff.
But I’d say about 30 percent of the ones that are here are wearing Indiana clothing. Their cheering during introductions is almost as loud as that of the Michigan fans.
More thoughts on Stemler: Watching him play on a team with the other recruits over the summer, he didn’t strike me as a guy would ever struggle through a slump like this. Limited physically? Sure. But lacking mental fortitude? No way. I saw the dude jump after a loose ball and knock his own tooth out. In front of like 87 fans.
You hate to boil basketball down and take some of the mystique out of the way a team grows and evolves, but Indiana’s weaknesses today are the same ones we were writing about in October. The problems have evolved, too.
Stemler was asked to do a lot very early, and he couldn’t work on the small parts of his game that will make him a constant presence on the floor against Big Ten teams. It’s like working one big muscle and not all the little ones around it. Doesn’t do you much good.
How’s this for a starting lineup?
Errek Suhr, Armon Bassett, Rod Wilmont, Mike White and D.J. White.
From what I saw during warmups, there’s no way Earl Calloway plays today. He didn’t use his right arm.
So A.J. Ratliff’s got a bum left wrist. Calloway’s right shoulder appears shot.
Put them together . . .
Anyway, Stemler was out and shooting and looked to be OK. There’s some hesitancy there, which could magnify the general lack of assertiveness in his game right now.