Opponent: Ferris State
Conference: Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC), Division II
Time: 7:00 PM EST
Location: The Breslin Center, East Lansing, Michigan
TV: BTN Plus ($)
Radio: Spartan Sports Network
Yes, this game is on BTN Plus, also known as the one way the Big Ten probably hasn't sucked money out of you yet. There's a fee on top of your normal cable subscription to watch, but that's the only way to see it on TV. Please don't comment with any illegal streams. Here's one strategy:
MSU BBall has it's first exhibition game tonight, so this is your yearly reminder not to buy BTN plus and wait 'til tomorrow to watch.— Pete Rossman (@PeteAtTOC) November 4, 2015
Also we should have a kneejerk reactions post up after the game if you're impatient and also don't want to spend several hours watching MSU curb-stomp a D2 school.
Everything You Need to Know about Ferris State
Ferris St tweetview: Picked #2 in GLIAC north 23-9 last year. Lost best player, return 4 JRs with 23+ mpg J Fleming preseason 1st team— Matt Mc (@McMathketball) November 9, 2015
They're better than Northern Michigan but it's not likely they'll ultimately be an issue for MSU. They lost to Central Michigan by 14 in an exhibition on Saturday where they shot 21% from deep and 35% overall. They had just 10 assists on 25 made field goals so that might be an issue for them as they lost their top 2 assist men from last year.
Stuff To Watch
Redshirt Coming? - The most obvious redshirt candidate is Kyle Ahrens so it'll be interesting to see whether or not he can stand out enough in today's game to make Izzo reconsider. The combination of his frame (a solid 6'5"), defense, and shooting might be enough for Izzo to keep him available for this year but it's going to hard for him to consistently crack this year's wing rotation.
Battle of the Bigs - During the last exhibition game, NMU didn't really have a post that could match up against MSU's size inside. Fortunately for MSU, Ferris has a 6-10 senior big man that'll be able to give MSU's bigs a little bit more prepared for the regular season. In the game against NMU Gavin Schilling had four fouls in his first five minutes of play so hopefully that fouling trend doesn't continue. Matt Costello attempted a long two that missed and it'll be interesting to see how Izzo reacts to Costello's long-range shooting in general. Schilling advantage is athleticism while Costello is his skill level and Costello appears to have edge at the moment due to his lower foul rate.
Young Energy - Deyonta Davis surprised the team with how much energy and emotion he played with against NMU and MSU will need that type of effort (12 points, 4 blocks) this year as he could end up as the best shot-blocker MSU has ever had.
Shooting - Bess hit a 3 while Nairn and Costello missed their long-range shots. While Bess made his 3, my concern for him is that it's not a particularly quick release and he doesn't elevate much. Also, I'm not overly optimistic on Nairn's shooting ability and if he can't hit open 3's, we might end up seeing more lineups with Valentine as the de-facto point guard with two floor-spacing wings (and possibly a stretch 4 with Clark or Bess).
The Harris Question - Eron Harris is going to play this year but in what role? Based on both Izzo's comments and how the exhibition game went, it's more likely he'll come off the bench as an offensive 6th man. He missed all four of his 3 point attempts in his debut and if that's not going for him, where will his offense come from? He's clearly talented and had a high usage at West Virginia, but it's likely going to be lower under Izzo so what kind of freedom will he be allowed on that end?
Go Green, Go White, Beat Ferris State!