Michigan (11-3, 1-1) will travel to Bloomington on Wednesday to play Indiana (5-8, 0-1). Historically Michigan does not fare well at Assembly Hall. Michigan’s all time record at Indiana is 11-60. However, this year they have a chance to pull off a rare win on the Hoosiers home court.
Unless you have been living in a cave since the end of last season you are familiar with the turmoil that the Indiana basketball program has been through. Two players from last season’s 25-8 team — walk-on Brett Finkelmeier and former walk-on Kyle Taber — are back. Eleven are gone.
Indiana hired an excellent coach in Tom Crean but I can’t help but wonder if they regret not paying John Beilein’s buy out when they hired Kelvin Sampson. I for one am glad they did not but can you imagine Coach Beilein at Indiana?
The Hoosiers leading scorer is Devan Dumes the 6-2 transfer from Vincennes (Ind.) University. Dumes is a good shooter and has drained 26 triples so far this season. Their best player is freshmen big man Tom Pritchard who originally committed to play for Sampson but stuck around to play for Crean. Pritchard is a versatile big man who comes in averaging 12.8 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game.
Indiana has only played one Big Ten game and that was a 65-60 loss at Iowa.
Michigan is fresh off a critical win at home against Illinois and this is a game they should win. Indiana is improving but they have also lost home games to Northeastern (the same team Michigan beat 76-56) and Lipscomb.
DeShawn Sims continues to transform this season. Early in the year Coach Beilein praised Sims for being a warrior and for how hard he has been working. According to Coach Beilein Sims emerged as a vocal leader at halftime of the Illinois game as he urged his teammates to step up their game. Of course his cohort Manny Harris is having a sensational season and the addition of Laval Lucas-Perry to the line up has been a big plus for the Wolverines. Zack Novak continues to defy the so called experts and play hard-nosed, fearless basketball at a level that belies his freshmen status.
The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network with the tip off scheduled for 6:30pm.
Notes: Michigan ranks 7th in the nation in team free throw % (77.7%) and assist turnover ratio (1.51). Michigan also ranks 20th nationally with 14 three pointers per game.