BLOOMINGTON With 6-9 junior Chris Young and 6-10 senior Josh Asselin banging in the post, the Michigan men”s basketball team is not usually dominated in the paint.
But yesterday, Indiana was able to take charge inside en route to its 72-59 victory. Hoosier”s center Kirk Haston and forward Jared Jefferies controlled the paint, combining for 56 points and outscoring their Michigan counterparts by 45.
“Michigan didn”t utilize the strength of their inside game with Young and Asselin,” Indiana guard Dane Fife said. “When their inside game didn”t materialize and Young got in foul trouble, we capitalized, executing offensively by working the ball in the post.”
Despite repeatedly feeding the ball inside, Michigan only received a combined nine shooting attempts out of Young and Asselin, as they were forced to kick the ball out of the Indiana double team. Most of the Wolverines” shots from the paint came from players who are generally more comfortable around the perimeter.
“We got a lot of post touches pretty deep in the post, but we didn”t deliver on them,” Ellerbe said.
The Hoosiers, especially Jefferies and Haston who finished with 12 and eight rebounds, respectively, crashed the glass to outrebound Michigan by a 42-39 margin. Indiana is just the fifth Michigan opponent to do that all season.
Walk-on in the limelight: Michigan senior walk-on Mike Gotfredson started yesterday”s game, his second start of the season.
The point guard started in place of suspended freshman Maurice Searight and benched freshman Avery Queen.
Gotfredson turned the ball over five times in the first half and struggled defensively.
He didn”t shoot the ball in the first half, either, and didn”t play in the second.
“Mike has always played that position for us in practice and he had one start for us already this year,” Ellerbe said about his decision to start Gotfredson instead of junior shooting guard Leon Jones.
“He did a nice job. Part of the problem with the turnovers in the first half was that our wing players didn”t do a great job of getting open.”
Gotfredson also started in Michigan”s 97-90 loss to Oakland.
Shooter Gavin: Playing in front of 60 friends and family members, sophomore and Indiana native Gavin Groninger had an unusual performance yesterday.
Generally known strictly as a 3-point shooter, the guard was forced into a different role. With post players Josh Asselin and Chris Young in foul trouble for most of the second half, Groninger had to fill in at the small forward position so that fellow sophomore LaVell Blanchard could play in the post.
Groninger responded, grabbing a career-high 10 rebounds and finishing with his first career double-double. On offense, rather than look only to spot up for jump shots, Groninger pushed up the floor in transition and drove to the basket for higher percentage shots.
“Gavin compete as hard as I”ve ever seen him compete on the glass because he just really wanted to win,” Ellerbe said.