Charles Matthews, Jordan Poole Lift Michigan to Win vs. Juwan Morgan, Indiana

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2019

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 06:  Charles Matthews #1 of the Michigan Wolverines dunks next to Zach McRoberts #15 of the Indiana Hoosiers during the first half at Crisler Arena on January 06, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

No. 2 Michigan remained undefeated with a 74-63 home conference win over No. 21 Indiana on Sunday.

The Wolverines jumped out to a 19-point lead in the first 12 minutes and continued to pile on thanks to 18 points from Charles Matthews. The squad improved to 15-0 on the season and is now one of just three remaining undefeated teams in the country (Virginia, Houston).

Juwan Morgan had 25 for Indiana (12-3), which snapped its seven-game winning streak with the loss.

        

Scoring Depth Will Be Key for Michigan to Contend for Title

Michigan is one of the best teams in the country on the defensive end of the court, holding Indiana to just 63 points on 42.6 shooting. It was the lowest output of the season for the Hoosiers.

This wasn't anything new, as the squad entered the day with the No. 3 defensive efficiency in college basketball, per KenPom.com.

The key for this team to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament and potentially contend for a national championship will be what happens on the offensive end.

In most games, the Wolverines have relied upon Ignas Brazdeikis to shoulder the load, but the freshman didn't have his best night against Indiana. He finished with 10 points while missing all three of his shots from beyond the arc.

Fortunately, the rest of the team picked up the slack as Matthews scored 16 in the first half to help build an early lead. There was a lot of praise for the guard's play before halftime:

Of course, his quiet second half showed his inconsistency and raised concerns about the lack of scoring from around the team.

This might have been enough to sink the Wolverines some nights, although the role players stepped up when needed.

Jordan Poole came through with 18 points, while Zavier Simpson made big plays when it mattered:

Brandon Johns Jr. also had his best game of the season with eight points off the bench.

Isaiah Livers didn't play Sunday, which put some pressure on the rest of the team to pick up the slack. They did it against Indiana, but they will need to keep this type of balance to beat elite opponents.

Relying on Brazdeikis every night won't get it done in the NCAA tournament.

        

Juwan Morgan Maintains Same Aggression Throughout Big Ten Season

As a senior and one of Indiana's two best players, Morgan can't be afraid to miss shots.

The forward entered the game shooting 67.6 percent from the field but was taking less than 10 shots per game. It was the exact opposite against Michigan, but that was a good thing for Indiana.

Morgan finished with 25 points on 9-of-22 shooting, but he was the team's best offensive option against an elite defensive opponent. Romeo Langford was quiet in the first half before finishing with 17, but few others had much of a chance of scoring.

Indiana has talent on the roster, but the team needs Langford and Morgan to produce at a high level every game to contend with the best in the country.

In the two previous losses for the Hoosiers, Morgan finished a combined 10-of-16 from the floor. This made him efficient, but it wasn't good enough to help his team.

On the other hand, Indiana needs more of what we saw against Butler when the forward scored 35 points on 14 shots plus 7-of-7 from the free-throw line.

Morgan got to the charity stripe eight times against Michigan, one off his season high.

The Hoosiers have a young team that should only get better as the season progresses, but the senior needs to be a leader who isn't afraid to take over when needed.

                  

What's Next?

Michigan will try to remain undefeated with a road game at Illinois on Thursday. Indiana will also have a tough conference road battle against Maryland on Friday night.

Related

    19% of NCAA Trainers Say Coaches Played Athletes Deemed Medically Unfit

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    19% of NCAA Trainers Say Coaches Played Athletes Deemed Medically Unfit

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report

    Oklahoma St. Hires Brother of Top 2020 Prospect as Asst. Coach

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Oklahoma St. Hires Brother of Top 2020 Prospect as Asst. Coach

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    How John Calipari Redefined His School, His Sport and His Era

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    How John Calipari Redefined His School, His Sport and His Era

    Saturday Down South
    via Saturday Down South

    Texas Tech Suspends Guard Deshawn Corprew

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Texas Tech Suspends Guard Deshawn Corprew

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report