Indiana basketball continues Big Ten play during its 124th season of competition in men’s basketball with a Tuesday night showdown at Michigan. The Hoosiers are coming off a home victory over Maryland to start the Big Ten conference 1-0.
After beginning the season 3-0, the Wolverines have dropped four of the last five games on the schedule to fall to 4-4. Michigan finished 1-2 in the Battle 4 Atlantis, an event the Hoosiers will participate in to open the 2024-25 season. Sophomore guard Dug McDaniel leads Michigan in scoring at 20.3 points per game, tied for the third-highest figure in the Big Ten. Fifth-year senior forward Olivier Nkamhoua provides 16.9 points and 7.0 rebounds per outing.
Tip off is scheduled for 9:00 on Peacock.
Below is the full preview of Indiana basketball at Michigan in the second Big Ten game of the season.
First true road game of the season, and it’s a conference game
While Indiana has played a total of three games away from Assembly Hall, this will be the first true road test in a hostile environment for Indiana basketball this season. As it stands right now, the Hoosiers are currently 2-1 on the road but those have been neutral sight games. Indiana has beaten Harvard and Louisville while having lost to UConn on the road this season thus far.
This will be another big test for this young Indiana basketball team. They currently sit at 6-1 on the season but if you have been watching, even at home, those wins have not been the easiest to come by.
Michigan is a hard place to play and the Hoosiers have shown some struggles there at times over the years. The Hoosiers have a taste of what the Big Ten might be this season with having already beaten Maryland to start the season on the right foot, but playing on the road in this conference is a whole new beast that this Hoosier team will have to overcome.
Are the Hoosiers ready? We will find out tonight.
Need to control the game from start to finish
Just like with the case with Maryland, Indiana basketball is about to face a team that has had a rocky start to the season in Michigan, who sit at just 4-4 having lost their last 4-of-5. For this game against the Wolverines, the Hoosiers have to do what they did vs Maryland….control the game from start to finish.
Yes, that will be much more difficult on the road versus being at home where the crowd give you that boost of energy from the start. This is a team, however, that is still trying to find themselves. While the Hoosiers are making the trend in the right direction when it comes to fixing their plays, this Michigan team is still having trouble to understand who they are.
The Hoosiers have a monster chance here to make some noise early here in the Big Ten and start the conference 2-0. They have to throw the first punch early, set the tone, and fight with toughness until final buzzer.
If the Hoosiers play their game and don’t get caught up in the road problem, this is a game Indiana can win.
Guards showed promise in Xavier Johnson’s absence, need to continue to trend upwards
Right now, nobody really knows how long Xavier Johnson is going to be out. If it is an extended period of time, it is going to be huge blow for this Indiana team. We have said it before that guard play needed to step up and on Friday’s win over Maryland, the play in the backcourt looked promising.
With Johnson out, senior guard Trey Galloway has most of the land when it comes to being the leader for the backcourt however the rotation of Gabe Cupps — who started with X out — CJ Gunn, and Anthony Leal came to play for the most part on Friday.
“I thought they handled it very well. I mean, we can’t — you know, we can’t — I wish X was in uniform but he’s not here,” Woodson said about the play of his guards without Johnson. “He’s just going to have to continue to rehab. The guys that are in uniform, they have to just pick it up and play. I thought our perimeter play was pretty decent tonight.”
The play of the Indiana guards is going to be THE key factor for the Hoosiers in this road game vs Michigan. We know the front court of the Hoosiers will be there to play, but the guards needs to continue to step up while the head of snake is out of action.
The Hoosiers have earned three-straight victories over the Wolverines, including a two-game sweep a season ago. The three wins have come by a combined eight points.
Indiana basketball escaped with a 62-61 victory in its last trip to the Crisler Center on Feb. 11, 2023. The win marked the first for the Hoosiers in Ann Arbor since Feb. 2, 2016. Jackson-Davis tallied 28 points, 11 rebounds, while Jalen Hood-Schifino had 21 points, five assists, and four rebounds.
Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson combined for 43 points, 19 rebounds, and six steals in a 75-73 (OT) win on Indiana’s Senior Day on March 5, 2023.
Indiana leads the series 110-65.
Xavier Johnson: Xavier Johnson missed last week’s game vs Maryland due to a foot injury. His status is questionable heading into this game.
Jakai Newton: Newton had a lower body surgical procedure done this past offseason to help fix a previous injury he sustained during high school. He is still recovering and is not expected to play awhile at this point.
Jaelin Llewellyn: The Michigan guard returned from an ACL injury on Saturday, his first game back since December 4, 2022.
Who?: Indiana (6-1) at Michigan (4-4)
When?: Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023 • 9 PM ET
Where?: Crisler Center (12,707) • Ann Arbor, Mich.
TV:Peacock (Jac Collinsworth, Stephen Bardo)
Radio: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, John Herrick)
Betting Lines: Indiana basketball is listed as a 7-point underdog vis DraftKings Sportsbook
See Also: Indiana Basketball Recruiting Q&A: 2025 four-star forward Trent Sisley from Sneakers for Santa
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