Michigan Wolverines (8-7, 2-3 Big Ten) vs. Indiana Hoosiers (14-4, 5-3)
When: 3:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana
Radio: WWJ-AM (950)
Michigan looked really good against Maryland last week but the Terps have struggled all year. As the Wolverines prepare to take on Indiana today in Bloomington, these three players need to show up in a big way.
Dickinson just needs to pretend he's playing against Maryland today. The big fella always plays well against the hometown team he feels spurned by, but today it's the Hoosiers. Dickinson is coming off a 21-point, six-rebound, six-assist (career high) effort against the Terps and he needs to shoot for that again. It could be a battle today against Trayce Jackson-Davis, but Dickinson needs to assert himself, get buckets when he can and facilitate when he can't. Dickson has a size advantage against Jackson-Davis, but the Hoosier big man is more athletic and plays above the rim just as well as Michigan's 7-footer. If Dickinson can approach a double-double with a few helpers again, Michigan will have a real shot against Indiana inside Assembly Hall.
If Dickinson is on his game as a facilitator, no one stands to benefit more than Houstan. The talented freshman poured in 16 points against Maryland and knocked down 75% of his three pointers (3-for-4) due in large part to Dickinson setting him up for wide open looks. If those two can work some two-man game, or if the sets allow a double-teamed Dickinson to find an open Houstan on the wing, we could see similar success today.
And finally there's Jones. As an experienced point guard and former Sun Belt Player of the Year, most people expected his transition to Michigan to be smooth and instant, but it didn't happen that way. Lately, however, Jones has looked more comfortable and is making better plays in all facets. As assistant coach Howard Eisley described in the video above, Jones is getting comfortable and starting to help the team out in a lot of ways. Against Maryland, Jones had 12 points, dished out four assists and only had two personal fouls. Silly fouls were an issue for Jones earlier in the season, but he hasn't even had four fouls in a game since December 11 against Minnesota. It's taken a little longer than most hoped, but Jones might finally be settling in.