How They Are Doing So Far:
Back on January 6th these two teams met at Crisler Arena and Michigan beat Indiana 74-63. Prior to that the Hoosiers had won seven straight contests and since then the Hoosiers have failed to win another game. That loss at Michigan was the start of a five game losing streak for the Hoosiers, who have now stumbled to 12-7 overall and 3-5 in Big Ten play. To be fair, four of those five losses came on the road and we have all seen how difficult it is to win on the road in Big Ten play, but turning that around against Michigan will be no easy task.
Last Time Out:
The Hoosiers had a good opportunity to end their losing streak on Tuesday night when they went Northwestern. It was a very close contest throughout the first half and the beginning of the second half, but then the Wildcats spurted out to a 15 point lead. The Hoosiers made a valiant comeback to make things somewhat interesting in the end, but the Hoosiers fell 73-66. Senior forward Juwan Morgan led the team with 18 points and added 11 rebounds. Justin Smith also recorded a double-double, scoring ten points and grabbing a dozen rebounds. Guards Romeo Langford and Rob Phinisee also reached double figures in the scoring department.
Who To Watch:
Juwan Morgan has played well during Indiana’s losing streak, averaging 17.6 points and 8.2 rebounds during that five game stretch. The 6-8 forward is a consistent scorer, but he is especially dangerous because of his ability to shoot the ball. On the year Morgan has only made 18 three-pointers, but his ability to stretch the defense is something Michigan will have to watch out for on Friday night. Last time these two teams met Morgan scored 25 points and, if he can do that again, Indiana will keep this game very close.
Who Else To Watch:
Romeo Langford is the other consistent scoring threat. On the year the freshman guard is averaging 17.6 points per game. Langford is not going to beat anybody with his outside shooting; he has hit just 15 long balls at a 21.7 percent clip on the year, but he will attack the basket effectively. However, Langford has struggled in the last two games. On the trip to Purdue last weekend, Langford scored just four points. He has also been less likely to get to the basket in the last two games and made just eight trips to the charity stripe. For a player who prior to that was averaging over seven free-throw attempts, Langford needs to remain aggressive or Indiana’s offense will quickly sputter.
Indiana is on a slide right now, but this is not a terrible time to play Michigan either. The Wolverines lost their first game of the season on Saturday and followed it up with a very close home win over Minnesota. That game could have gone either way and now Michigan has to go back on the road and face an Indiana team that has the talent to beat anybody.