Zack Novak, Stu Douglass win their last regular season game in Indiana and more notes
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Entering Tuesday, Michigan basketball senior captains Zack Novak and Stu Douglass were a combined 1-5 in regular season games played in their home state of Indiana.
Their career record inside their home on the road isn't sparkling, but Michigan's 66-64 win at Purdue will give them one lasting memory to cherish.
Two Michigan seniors that were never really recruited by either Indiana or Purdue, Novak and Douglass have more than proven they belong in the Big Ten.
"Both of those guys have made a lot of people eat crow," Purdue coach Matt Painter said after the game. "They've ended being some pretty good players in the Big Ten."
Douglass finished with 12 points, five rebounds and three assists in 34 minutes, while Novak ended his night with five points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Novak, a native of Chesterton, and Douglass, a Carmel product, both were greeted onto the floor at Mackey Arena on Tuesday to hearty boos from the crowd of 14,533. But neither seemed to care.
Indiana's home, but now, they're both Michigan men.
"I was definitely thinking about that," said Douglass when asked about playing his last regular season game in his home state. "If I needed any extra motivation outside of losing the past few years here, that was it."
Novak said he didn't really think much about this being his final Big Ten road game in Indiana prior to tip, but once things got going, he realized the situation.
"It's cool because of the simple fact that all my friends are here," Novak said. "I'll give them credit, they're all Purdue fans, but they put on a Michigan shirt today and came out and supported me.
"I'm lucky I've got good friends."
During their four years together at Michigan, Novak and Douglass now have wins at both Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind. (a 72-66 win in 2009) and one in West Lafayette as well.
Not too bad.
"I'm a big fan of both of them," Painter said.
Novak and Douglass won't play another Big Ten road game in Indiana. But that doesn't mean they're through performing in their home state.
The 2012 Big Ten Tournament, held in Indianapolis, tips off March 8.
Smotrycz livens up
Plagued by fatigue for the better part of January, Michigan sophomore Evan Smotrycz had been quickly falling off the radar entering Tuesday night.
But, for the first time in a long time, the 6-foot-9 sophomore answered the bell.
Smotrycz finished with 10 points in 15 minutes off the bench, putting together his first double-digit scoring effort since a Dec. 29 win against Penn State.
He also snapped a lengthy outside shooting slump with a 3-pointer in the second half. Prior to that make, Smotrycz's last triple came during a home win against Wisconsin on Jan. 8.
Michigan sophomore forward Jordan Morgan put in a second-straight strong effort on the road Tuesday.
After going for 16 points and six rebounds in a narrow loss at Arkansas on Saturday, Morgan had 12 points and seven rebounds in 29 minutes against Purdue.
In eight Big Ten games, Morgan is averaging just 6.4 points, but more importantly, is grabbing seven rebounds per contest.
He's still a big off his season pace of 9.2 points and 5.4 rebounds from a year ago, but his numbers appear to be tracking upward.
Off night for Burke
Michigan freshman point guard Trey Burke was held to his lowest scoring output in two months, finishing with six points on 3-of-10 shooting.
Burke did manage to hand out six assists and grab three rebounds, but was effectively taken out of things from a scoring standpoint.
His previous low was a five-point effort against UCLA in the Maui Invitational.
Michigan credited much of Burke's struggles to Purdue point guard Lewis Jackson, who hounded the freshman for most of the night.
"We tried to concentrate on Trey not handling the ball as much," Michigan forward Tim Hardaway Jr. said. "We knew Lewis Jackson was one of the best defenders in the country, and he was full-court for the entire game.
"We tried to get the ball out of his hands as much as possible."
Odds and ends
Michigan out-rebounded Purdue 30-23, and won the points in the paint battle 34-22. ... The lead changed hands 10 times. ... The Wolverines wore their blue jerseys for just the third time this season, and are now 2-1 in them.
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