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Indiana University

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Indiana
at Michigan
When: 6:30 p.m. today
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: 1250 AM, 103.5 FM

IU stresses board work

– Twenty.

That’s the number of offensive rebounds Indiana collected in Sunday’s 103-89 victory over Iowa.

The No. 20 Hoosiers put an emphasis on crashing the boards, resulting in a 37-22 rebounding edge against the Hawkeyes.

“We just had to get more activity on the glass from more people,” IU coach Tom Crean said during the Big Ten teleconference on Monday. “That was the biggest thing, we were really making sure that we were not only going to the glass but going in a quicker mode, that we weren’t running into backs. Our guys know that we didn’t get the big defensive boards in the Wisconsin game that we needed to have. They were very conscious of how much better they needed to rebound the ball.”

Crean said Michigan, which IU plays at 6:30 p.m. today at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, has also made strides in rebounding.

“They’ve continued to build on what they’ve done since (Michigan coach John Beilein has) been there,” Crean said. “You’re going to deal with a unique system of offense with a lot of cutting and movement. They’re tremendous in the ball screens. They mix their defenses well.

“The one thing they are doing this year overall is they are rebounding the ball so much better. They can beat you a lot of different ways.”

The No. 23 Wolverines (16-6, 6-3 Big Ten) rank eighth in the Big Ten with a plus-1.8 rebound margin. Indiana (17-5, 5-5) is sixth in the conference at plus-3.1.

Jordan Morgan leads the Wolverines with 5.6 rebounds per game, and Evan Smotrycz averages 5.5.

“We have guys that take some individual accountability to make sure they get a man,” Beilein said. “We’ve always emphasized (rebounding), but it’s just hard for some players to do. We’ve emphasized it more, and they’re taking ownership of it more individually.”

The Hoosiers outrebounded Michigan 31-30 in a 73-71 victory Jan. 5 at Assembly Hall.

IU’s rebounding Sunday led to 23 second-chance points. The Hoosiers’ 103 points were the most for the team in a Big Ten game since 1995.

“They are so talented, and coach Crean has such a great plan for that talent, it’s difficult to catch them,” Beilein said. “You have to be very focused and in a speedy fashion. They have a great combination of probably one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country and you add an incredibly developing post play with the big freshman (Cody Zeller) and as a result they are hard to stop.”

lpope@jg.net

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