"When those two guys aren't on the floor, we're a different team offensively and defensively", head coach Archie Miller said.
All in all, the defense was solid for MI in the win but the offense was too.
Against the defending national runners-up and still undefeated Wolverines, this slow start was fatal.
"That was a big change for us", Miller said. The Hoosiers made just 12 of their 29 first half shots, while the Wolverines made 18 of their 31 attempts. "Ones that we had been knocking in here for a good 13 games".
Brandon Johns, a freshman, stepped up in his place and put forth a solid performance, with eight rebounds and eight points. He has also proven to be a rugged defender who could see some time guarding Langford and IN senior Juwan Morgan, who is averaging 16.1 points per game. "We will need to rotate on defense and work in practice to prepare for them". "I think we've had spurts of it, but digging ourselves into those holes is hard for any team to fight back from".
The Hoosiers failed to get the stops they needed on defense to fight their way back in the game after an early deficit. Above all others, though, the best Big Ten game of this weekend might come in Ann Arbor as in basketball travels on the road to take on MI.
When Morgan and Langford were in foul trouble early in the first half, the Wolverines took advantage and gained control of the game for good.
"Just going in there, it will be a dogfight for sure", Morgan said. "He does a lot of things for us with handling the ball, and also on the defensive end, having an extra body like that gets the guards extra blows, so we can play a little bit harder on defense". IN made 14 of 18 free throws to 4 of 9 for Michigan State.
Are we ... 100 percent sure MI isn't the best team in the country?
"We're just anxious about getting better", Poole said.
Indiana: The Hoosiers' top two players, Langford and Morgan, have to learn how to avoid getting into foul trouble due to their value to the team.
"He's fine, he's not the problem", Miller said of Morgan. We're not tough enough starting games.