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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Michigan vs Indiana

Quick thoughts after Indiana beat Michigan 81-73 in Assembly Hall


- Cody Zeller looked like an All-American tonight. His defense gets underrated because he isn't necessarily a game changer at the next level, but he is one of the smartest big men in college basketball. I criticize a lot of center prospects for their lack of awareness on defense despite their strong physical attributes but Zeller is the opposite. He does the things that I'd like to see guys like Alex Len and Nerlens Noel do. He defends the pick and roll extremely well, protects the rim with his footwork, and plays good post defense. Zeller was also aggressive in attacking the boards on both ends of the court and finished strong on multiple putback jams.

Zeller's motor was cranked all the way up in this one and made quite a few hustle plays. He is always good at getting out in transition and going after loose balls. Indiana tends to go stretches without getting him the ball, but when he does get it, he did a great job making plays tonight. He is surprisingly quick putting the ball on the court and graceful shooting his version of the leaner. Zeller also has been connecting on his 2-pt jumpshots at a high rate recently. The hype around Zeller as a potential #1 pick has disappeared, but his value is still firmly in the lottery. Tonight's game was one of this best of his career.

- A lot of people suggested that Oladipo would garner the assignment of covering Trey Burke in this one. Oladipo started the game on Hardaway Jr and only ended up on Burke on a few possessions. Indiana was still able to slow down Burke without Oladipo . Ohio State set the blueprint on how to take away Burke's options off screens and Indiana followed suite with their own style. Will Sheehey covered Burke a lot and was able to play off him a bit and force him into jumpshots. Zeller and Watford were also big in stopping the pick and roll game - as mentioned before, Zeller is one of the best in the game at hedging on the perimeter. Burke had very little room to attack the lane and ended up having to take contested jumper after contested jumper. He finished the night shooting 9-24 from the field while half his shots came from behind the arc.

- Oladipo came out of the gate on a mission. For the first ten minutes of the game, he had Dick Vitale ready to compare him to Michael Jordan. Oladipo's athleticism and energy continue to form a magical combination that goes unmatched by anyone in the country. He was stifling on defense. He brought the ball all the way up court with a full head of steam and didn't stop until he was at the rim. Oladipo doesn't have great handles, but he manages to change directions with the ball quickly and has no problem getting by people. It seems like he is always on the verge of turning it over yet he manages to either finish it himself or find an open man out of the corner of his eye. Despite his lack of handles, Oladipo has become a great playmaker with the ball in his hands.

- Glenn Robinson finished with an 0fer tonight while playing every single minute of the game. Dick Vitale mentioned quite a few times that he needed to step up and make plays, but that just isn't his game. Robinson III has relied on Burke to break down the defense for much of the year and his lack of points was a direct result of Burke not getting into the lane. Robinson III is mainly a catch and shoot type player at this point who can also crash the boards once the defense is broken down. His lack of ability to create or step up shouldn't come as a surprise if you've watched him also season. Robinson III is a high efficient scorer, but not a creative one.

- With Jordan Morgan limited with a bad ankle, Mitch McGary was able to see the floor more and made his presence known. He did a great job denying entry passes and coming up with steals. McGary plays with a high motor, can bang in the paint, and looked good running the court in transition. He was one of the better players on the court tonight for Michigan. He continues to get more playing time and his 28 minutes was a season high - and those coming against Indiana should mean something.

- Yogi Ferrell will be one of the best point guards in the country within the next year. He was inefficient in non-conference play because he couldn't get his shots to fall, but has hit 9 long balls in his last 4 games. Ferrell is incredibly quick with great handles and looks very comfortable in pick and roll situations.

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