Jackson-Davis shines as soon as once more in Indiana’s 62-61 win vs. Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A splendidly electrical tangle between No. 18 Indiana and a surging Michigan group combating the NCAA match bubble was whittled all the way down to the ultimate possession: eight seconds remaining, the Wolverines trailing by a degree in the hunt for their largest win of the season.  

But whichever play head coach Juwan Howard drew up within the sideline huddle went awry, bucked off schedule, and the very best shot Michigan managed was an off-balance heave from Jett Howard because the clock expired. The shot veered to the correct from the second it left Jett Howard’s hand, and the Indiana bench exploded right into a frenzy of hugs and chest bumps when the horn sounded on their 62-61 win.  

The Wolverines (14-11, 8-6 Big Ten) failed to attain within the closing 5 minutes because the Hoosiers (18-7, 9-5 Big Ten) erased an 11-point first-half deficit to increase a white-hot run via the second half of their convention schedule.  

Here are three ideas from Ann Arbor:  

Jackson-Davis outshines Dickinson in low-post battle 

Four months in the past, at Big Ten Media Days in Minneapolis, there have been no greater stars in attendance than Trayce Jackson-Davis and Hunter Dickinson. Fans and media members alike considered them because the cream of the crop in a league revered for its high-quality large males. Jackson-Davis was named the league’s Preseason Player of the Year, and few gamers in faculty basketball have capitalized on Name, Image and Likeness offers than Dickinson has at Michigan. (At the time, few individuals anticipated Purdue’s Zach Edey to morph into the very best participant in faculty basketball.)  

The first of two showdowns between Jackson-Davis and Dickinson produced a high-level deal with in among the best video games the Big Ten has seen this season. Jackson-Davis poured in 28 factors and grabbed 11 rebounds on 11-for-23 capturing to entrench himself because the second-best participant within the league. He performed all 40 minutes towards the Wolverines in a two-way effort that paired artful scoring with pestering low-post protection. His high-flying block on an tried layup by Dug McDaniel within the closing minute preserved Indiana’s eighth win in its final 9 video games.  

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Dickinson’s night was speckled with foul hassle that compromised his willingness to guard the rim, particularly within the early portion of the second half as Indiana clawed again from a slim deficit. He completed with 16 factors and 7 rebounds to steer U-M in each classes however light when Michigan wanted him most: a single area aim try within the closing 5 minutes; simply three factors over the ultimate 11.    

Bufkin hitting his stride for Michigan 

A driving issue behind the Wolverines’ three-game uptick towards Northwestern, Ohio State and Nebraska is the complementary play of sophomore guard Kobe Bufkin, the inheritor to a place lengthy occupied by veteran Eli Brooks. Hamstrung by static protection and icy perimeter capturing a yr in the past, Bufkin made unbelievable strides throughout the offseason to evolve right into a succesful third scorer alongside Dickinson and sharpshooting small ahead Jett Howard.  

Bufkin entered the weekend having reached double-figure scoring in 16 of Michigan’s first 24 video games, together with six of the final eight. He sits third on the group in scoring at 12.3 factors per recreation with a tidy capturing clip of 46.5%. Those numbers improved to 13.7 factors and 53% capturing throughout the current three-game successful streak.  

His position took on even larger significance following the season-ending knee damage to Princeton switch Jaelin Llewellyn, a score-first level guard the Wolverines anticipated to be a main contributor. Llewellyn’s absence thrust true freshman Dug McDaniel into the beginning lineup and reworked Bufkin right into a combo guard relied upon for auxiliary level guard companies because the teaching workers blended and matched lineups.  

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The calm, measured strategy with which Bufkin is enjoying feels just like the inverse of his nervy demeanor final season. He’s swapped timid 3-point makes an attempt for swooping left-handed layups kissed well off the glass. He’s traded persistent defensive breakdowns for chase-down blocks and aggressive lunges into the passing lanes.  

Bufkin completed with 14 factors on 50% capturing towards the Hoosiers in a fourth consecutive standout effort.  

Backcourt depth questionable for Indiana 

With 12:51 remaining within the first half on Saturday, freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino stared on the video display screen in disbelief. He’d simply been whistled for his second private foul after what seemed to be an innocuous bump towards Bufkin on a baseline drive, and watching the replay nonetheless wasn’t sufficient to persuade Hood-Schifino that he’d carried out something improper.  

But the whistle had blown, the foul was known as and Hood-Schifino was shortly substituted with the Hoosiers trailing 17-13. The subsequent 5 minutes underscored one of many solely flaws for an Indiana group rounding into kind within the again half of its convention schedule. Without Hood-Schifino, the five-star freshman who’s second on the group in scoring to Jackson-Davis, the Hoosiers had been missing for backcourt choices and fell three factors additional behind earlier than Woodson re-inserted his blue-chip recruit with 7:28 remaining.  

Indiana’s pecking order at guard modified dramatically after start line guard Xavier Johnson suffered a damaged foot in mid-December and later underwent surgical procedure. A yr in the past, Johnson averaged 12.1 factors, 5.1 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals whereas capturing 38.3% from past the arc. Two of his finest showings this season got here in essential wins over Xavier (23 factors, seven rebounds) and North Carolina (20 factors, eight rebounds, 4 assists).  

Johnson appeared on a podcast a number of days earlier than tipoff towards Michigan and stated he is progressing effectively in restoration. His aim is to return earlier than the top of the common season.  

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Without him, Hood-Schifino assumes the first ball-handling duties with swingman Trey Galloway shifting right into a pseudo backup level guard position. The former shook off his early foul hassle to grab management of the sport with a private 8-0 run late within the first half earlier than scoring eight of IU’s closing 12 factors to safe the win. The latter managed simply 4 factors on 1-of-3 capturing however didn’t dish out an help.  

And regardless that Hood-Schifino notched his fourth 20-point recreation of the season — he scored 21 factors on 15 area aim makes an attempt and made all 4 of his free throws — the Hoosiers’ postseason hopes could be tied to Johnson’s restoration.  

Michael Cohen covers faculty soccer and basketball for FOX Sports with an emphasis on the Big Ten. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Cohen13.

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