EAST LANSING — The No. 13 Michigan State Spartans (5-2) will be hosting Nicholls State (1-2) on Saturday to open the month of December.
Michigan State is coming off a disappointing 67-59 loss to Miami (FL) on Wednesday in which they produced very little offense against the aggressive Hurricane defense.
Nicholls St. will be the first of a pretty “easy” home stretch for the Spartans, however, those “easy” games are where MSU has had difficulties.
The Spartans barely sidestepped Boise State and Louisiana-Lafayette at home — winning by a combined seven points — and Oakland fought all the way until the final minutes of the second half before MSU finally put their foot on the gas.
Granted MSU was without freshman Gary Harris and sophomore Travis Trice for all three games — which forced junior Keith Appling and freshman Denzel Valentine to play extensive minutes — but that is know excuse for a Spartan team that is loaded with top recruits from top to bottom.
Harris and Trice both returned for Wednesday’s game against “The U” and without their contributions the Spartans probably would have lost by a lot more. While the two underclassmen guards gave the Spartans offense a boost, one of the problem for Michigan State as of late is how stagnant their offense has looked at times.
The Spartans average 66.3 points per game this season which places them at 217th in the country in scoring. Too often this season you have seen a lot of one-on-one basketball coming from the Tom Izzo coached team, something you don’t want see from a mastermind like Izzo.
I remember the good ol’ days when Kalin Lucas would throw an alley-oop to Durrell Summer at least twice a game, where is that at?
Branden Dawson is easily the most athletic player to come through East Lansing since Shannon Brown, and unfortunately, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen him catch a designed lob in the halfcourt.
When I watch this Michigan State team it seems like they’re just running through the motions during their halfcourt sets. It’s clear they want to get out in transition and they want to be a running team but what happens when they can’t run?
They have big men that are capable of scoring, they have slashers, and with the reincarnation of Appling’s jumps shot, by golly they have shooters!
In this home stretch I want to see this team develop their halfcourt offense, I want them to find an identity.
I WANT DAWSON TO CATCH AN ALLEY-OOP… SEVERAL!
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