Yesterday’s 77-68 debacle to Michigan marks three straight losses for the Michigan State Spartans.
— Michigan Men’s Basketball (@umichbball) February 8, 2020
They’re currently ranked No. 16 in the country. They’ll likely be out of the Top 25 by Monday.
What’s wrong with Michigan State right now?
Their biggest problem is the lack of offense outside of all-american point guard Cassius Winston and forward Xavier Tillman. Yesterday’s game was a perfect example.
The two combined for 37 of their 68 points on 35 percent shooting. They have to be better but were forced into a lot of bad looks.
They need more from guys like Aaron Henry, Rocket Watts, and Gabe Brown. All three have shown flashes of being great offensive weapons for head coach Tom Izzo. There’s no consistency between the three players, though.
Their next problem comes from within. This team lacks toughness, both physically and mentally.
Physicality is a staple of most Tom Izzo-coached basketball teams. Yesterday they got bullied by an inferior Michigan team.
They were out-rebounded by the Wolverines and out-played from start to finish.
This team doesn’t respond to adversity the way a reigning Big Ten champion would. They got down by 10 earlier in yesterday’s game and never had a counter punch. The Spartans never held a lead outside of the first 3-4 minutes of the game.
The rest of the season does not get any easier for the Spartans.
The road ahead for Michigan State
Michigan State’s final seven games include five different match-ups with Top 25 teams. Four of them are on the road as well.
The Spartans are currently 16-8 and 8-5 in conference play. They’re tied for third in the Big Ten standings right now.
Michigan State will likely have to win five out of their finally seven games to even have a shot at winning the conference. It’s hard to see them doing that with the schedule remaining.
What’s next for this team?