Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Michigan at Indiana

1. Robert Vaden is quickly climbing my list of all-time favorite Indiana basketball players. If he stays four years, he has a great shot of unseating Greg Graham at the top of my list.

2. Heading into the game, Michigan was 7th in the B10 in offensive rebounding percentage and Indiana was 1st in the B10 in defensive rebounding percentage, which makes UM's offensive rebounding in the first half even more inexcusable. There were lots of contributing factors to this though, including:

2a. DJ White is completely focused on blocking shots, especially off his man, which is great for creating tough shots for the opposition, but really terrible for our rebounding.

2b. We're not going to play many teams that have frontcourts that can make Vaden at the 4 such a rebounding liability as Michigan, thank goodness.

2c. It's incredible to me that someone with Marco Killingsworth's physique can be taken so completely out of his game via physical play. Michigan pushed Killingsworth around and it worked like a charm - Killingsworth got frustrated, jawed at the officials, and didn't respond positively (and not for the first time). He came through big at the end, and overall didn't have an awful game, but Marco is supposed to be the guy taking the opponent out of his game through physical play, not the reverse. Marco, this is the Big Ten... the officials are not going to save you.

3. I like that Indiana can beat a team like Michigan even when we don't play well. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather see us play well, but let's face it, the B10 is going to be a long, hard slog through the mud, and the team that wins the title is going to be the one that can figure out how to win some ugly games on off-nights.

4. I hope Ratliff is okay. That ankle roll looked ugly.

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