1Michigan Wolverines vs. 3Indiana Hoosiers Preview

Tonight features a game between the top two teams in the Big Ten, the #1 ranked Michigan Wolverines and the #3 Indiana Hoosiers. This game is for #1 ranking in the nation, and just as important for conference play bragging rights. Both teams have a conference record of (7-1) going into tonights meeting at historic Assembly Hall.

While most of the attention will be on Player of the Year candidate Indiana’s Cody Zeller, my X-Factor tonight is the 6’9 Senior G/F Christian Watford. When Watford scores 15+ points the Hoosiers are an astounding 8-0 this season.  Watford has been impressive, averaging (12.9) points per game also snatching (6.5) rebounds per contest. With that being said, the one guy that could be more valuable in tonights face-off is Junior swingman Victor Oladipo, and not for the offensive purposes. On the season Oladipo is averaging a league leading (2.5) steals per game to go along with (14 ppg). Expect Oladipo to draw the assignment of guarding Michigan’s Tim Hardaway Jr. or Sophmore G Trey Burke, which is no easy task. Hardaway Jr. is the Wolverines 2nd leading scorer at (15.5) ppg, and looks to make Oladipo expend alot of energy defensively.Trey Burke is 2nd in the entire Big Ten in scoring at (17.9) ppg behind Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas.

I mentioned in a tweet earlier that “Assembly Hall is one of the toughest places to get a victory” @jdotbras. Well Indiana is (19-2) Overall (7-1) Conference and both losses have been at Assembly Hall. The first loss came on December 15th to a underrated Butler team  (88-86) OT, and again exactly a month later vs conference foe Wisconsin (64-59). So how much of an advantage will Assembly Hall be tonight?

*Interesting Fact per Espn.com* Michigan leads Division 1 in points per P&R (including passes) at 1.12 per game while Indiana allows only 0.87 points per P&R play the 3rd worst rate in the Big Ten.

Michigan really hasn’t been pushed this season; although they did beat a #18 NCST, they fell to a #15 Ohio State team on the road. As opposed to Michigan, this Indiana bunch  notched key wins over #14 UNC, #8 Minnesota and  #13 MSU.  Coach John Beilein and the #1 ranked Wolverines look to win their 5th in 6 games. Whereas Coach Crean and the Hoosiers also look to win its 5th in 6 games.

Keys to the game: Michigan

  • Push the tempo
  • Keep the crowd under control
  • Tim Hardaway Jr. needs to get going early
  • Execute on offense

Keys to Game: Indiana

  • Get Cody Zeller the ball
  • Victor Oladipo vs Tim Hardaway Jr./Trey Burke
  • Home Cooking (Keep Crowd involved)
  • Control the Tempo

 

*Michigan is (53-98) all time vs Indiana (12-60) on the road*

Leaders: Scoring

Michigan:

Trey Burke (17.9)

Tim Hardaway Jr. (15.5)

Nick Stauskas (12.6)

Glenn Robinson (12.1)

Rebounds:

Mitch McGary (6.0)

Glenn Robinson III (5.8)

Jordan Morgan (5.2)

Tim Hardaway Jr. (5.0)

Assists:

Trey Burke (7.1)

Tim Hardaway Jr. (2.6)

Glenn Robinson III (1.3)

 

Scoring

Indiana:

Cody Zeller (16.1)

Victor Oladipo (14.0)

Christian Watford (12.9)

Jordan Hulls (11.1)

Rebounds :

Cody Zeller (8.2)

Victor Oladipo (6.0)

Christian Watford (6.0)

Assists :

Kevin Ferrell (4.5)

Jordan Hulls (3.3)

Victor Oladipo (2.3)

 

Follow me on Twitter @jdotbras, also follow the team @mymindonsports. Check out the website @ mymindonsports.com

Written by 

Correspondant/Staff Writer Jason P. Braswell is an NBA writer/ Sports Talk Show Host, and he expresses his love for the game passionately. Jason is the creator of The Baseline Blurb and is a contributor on other blogs such as Baseline Hoops(thebaselineblurb.wordpress.com/), and Lakeshow Life(lakeshowlife.com/) . When he is not expressing his passion for basketball on paper, Jason takes his thoughts ON-AIR. He hosts a weekly sports talk show “On the Baseline with Braswell” that airs on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30pm CST. Please feel free to follow him on Twitter @JdotBras, also keep up with his Radio show happenings on Facebook. When Jason is not talking basketball/sports you can bet that he is around it, but a majority of the time he is playing. He played basketball both High School and Collegiately, and to this day enjoys shooting hoops for fun. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia; Jason now resides in Houston, TX with his wonderful wife and dog. You can reach Jason via email at jasonpbraswell@yahoo.com, he will respond accordingly!

Related posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.