By CALEB LYNN
BLOOMINGTON — The Hoosiers desperately needed a win at home over Michigan on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately for them, they didn’t play like it. Michigan came into Assembly Hall and defeated Indiana 75-63. It was their first true road win of the entire season, while the Hoosiers downward spiral continued.
Indiana came in knowing that four of their next five will be on the road. Even with the pressure of a must0win, the Hoosier’s squad’s effort was poor. Indiana head coach Tom Crean talked about his mindset for the next five games. When Crean was asked about the Hoosiers upcoming schedule, he said, “I’m not going to think much past today.”
Key team stats in the IU loss were 15 turnovers compared to Michigan’s eight. The Hoosier’s 15 turnovers led to 20 points for Michigan. IU also struggled with the 3-point shot and only made 4-of-19 from deep.
Tom Crean was not pleased with his team’s effort. “It was not a good performance by any stretch, though I always felt like we were in it to the very end,” Crean said. “We made too many mistakes and it starts with the over helping defensively.”
Tom Crean had some choice words following Indiana's 75-63 home loss to Michigan Sunday: https://t.co/TVppet1mvU
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) February 13, 2017
Indiana didn’t have many bright spots, but De’Ron Davis certainly had a big night off the bench. He dropped in 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting and also made 5-of-6 from the foul line. “I was just trying to be aggressive and make the right play,” Davis said. “Coach stresses inside-out three point shots, feeding the post and getting it kicked out because we have a bunch of bigs that like to pass the ball.”
Thomas Bryant had been on fire lately, but didn’t have the greatest game (eight points, five rebounds, and four fouls) but he battled and Tom Crean acknowledged him after the game. “Thomas Bryant is playing his tail off to become a leader of the team. And he needs a little more help.” Crean also mentioned how he has stepped it up ever since OG Annunoby’s injury and how (James) Blackmon was out against Michigan. “He took it to another level with his leadership,” Crean said. “It’s obviously played out on the court for the most part. It’s a nineteen year old guy trying to find his own game and trying to lead a group of guys that really he should be getting a little more help and I’ve got to give him more help, obviously.”
Leadership has been an issue with IU for the entire season, but it really showed in this game against Michigan. Junior Robert Johnson talked about the lack of leadership. “It falls on the upperclassmen. Me. James. The guys that have been here.”
Indiana will travel to Minnesota for a road game on Wednesday. For the Hoosiers to have any hope of the NCAA tournament, they’ll probably need to go 4-1 in their final five games to have a shot.
-Story edited by Tyler Smith (@TylerSmith_ISL)