Preview: MSU Basketball faces New Orleans

gary harrisIn today’s Saturday matinee, the Michigan State Spartans are taking on the New Orleans Privateers at 4:15 EST at the Breslin Center in East Lansing. The Spartans are coming off of a big 92-78 win against Texas in which they came back to take a commanding lead in the second half. The Privateers are coming off of a tight 71-69 win at UTEP 12 days ago.

This season, New Orleans is 3-4, with wins against Millsaps, Champion Baptist and UTEP and losses against LSU, Boise State, Hawaii and Minnesota. The biggest problem with the games that they lose is that they give up a lot of points. They’re adequate, scoring wise, but as far as defense goes, they’re the “Big Easy”. The Privateers are averaging giving up 88 points per game in losses, which is the main reason for them losing those games.

Let’s look at the keys to a Spartan victory.

Keys to the game:

Win the rebounding battle- Although New Orleans is a subpar team, they’re 45th in the country in rebounding. The Spartans have had a tendency to lose the rebounding battle in a lot of games, and this one could sneak up on them if they let that happen again. Expect Tom Izzo to rectify his team’s rebounding errors from earlier in the season.

Stay healthy- This game should be pretty easy for the Spartans, and with the Big Ten season approaching, there’s nothing more crucial to this team than to stay healthy. If they can enter the conference season with a fully healthy squad, they could possibly terrorize the Big Ten.

Play smart- This game is nothing more than a trap game for the Spartans, and if they don’t look past it, the game should be an easy win. They have to play safe, smart basketball and not look past this afternoon’s game, and they will win with little to no issues.