The good news is the next time we talk about a Michigan State basketball game, it will be about one that counts for real. The bad news, if you happened to watch Friday's 62-49 win over St. Cloud State in the exhibition finale, you might be blinded by the ugliness.
MIchigan State shot poorly from just about everywhere — 42 percent from the field, 23 percent from 3-point range and 54 percent from the free throw line. Thankfully, St. Cloud State was worse — 35 percent from the field, 29 percent from three and 25 percent from the line.
There was nothing to get worked up about. It's an exhibition, after all, and several regulars played well. Derrick Nix had 14 points (6-for-11 shooting) and seven rebounds. Adreian Payne had 11 points (4-for-7 shooting) and 11 rebounds. Keith Appling (4-for-8 shooting) had 13 points and four assists. Gary Harris scored 11. He didn't shoot particularly well (3-for-8), but he shot eight free throws in 29 minutes.
Branden Dawson looked rusty, fouling out in 23 minutes, but he did grab five rebounds.
The defense was good as only one St. Cloud player reached double figures, Connor Niehaus with 10.
The main issue was turnovers. Michigan State turned it over 20 times. Nix had four and Appling, Travis Trice and Dawson had three each.