Michigan State Basketball: 3 things we learned from Iowa win

Michigan State basketball hosted and took down Iowa on Saturday evening and here’s what we learned from the victory.

What a season it has been for Michigan State basketball. The Spartans were 4-4 at one point and eyeing a losing record heading into conference play, but four wins in five games changed that. They then began the Big Ten season 3-0 before losing four of their next five games.

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Now, Michigan State is 15-10 and it looks like a fringe-NCAA Tournament team. Tom Izzo knows just how talented his team is and he’s spoken publicly about its potential to make a run in March. With a big win over Iowa on Saturday, the Spartans took one step closer to reaching the tourney.

The four freshmen played well and each scored in double figures to lead the Spartans. Could this be the start of a special run for Michigan State?

Here’s what we learned from Saturday’s win over Iowa.

1. Josh Langford got his confidence back

Izzo talked in practice last week about how he wanted Josh Langford to start looking for his shots. This came after a 29-point loss to Michigan in which the freshman guard didn’t take a single shot and looked completely lost on offense. Well, he got his confidence back against the Hawkeyes on Saturday, making 4-of-8 shots, including 3-of-6 3-pointers, to finish with 11 points, five rebounds and three assists. If he can continue to ascend into a scoring role, he will aid a major run.

2. Freshman bigs can make a difference

Nick Ward and Miles Bridges looked like heroes in Saturday’s win. While they weren’t the only two freshmen to play well, as both Cassius Winston and Langford also scored in double figures, they did combine for 30 points and 16 rebounds. If those two can have games like that from the post each time out, there won’t be a team in the conference that will have an answer — outside of maybe Purdue. Ward played sparingly in the first half and the Spartans trailed by one at halftime and he came back and finished with 14 points and five board as they won by 11. Both are major difference makers.

3. Turnovers will make or break this team

Not often will teams find a way to win after turning the ball over 21 times. Michigan State’s turnover problem is getting out of hand and the carelessness with the ball is concerning. Each player who recorded more than three minutes on Saturday finished with at least one turnover. Eron Harris led the way with five and Alvin Ellis III added two off the bench. Seven turnovers from seniors who are supposed to be the smartest players on the team is not a good sign. That will be the difference between an early exit in March or a deep run.

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