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Michigan State Basketball: Nebraska Preview

MSU tries to avenge both the football and basketball loss that Nebraska has given them in the last year

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

Opponent: Nebraska

Location: East Lansing, MI

Time: 6:30pm EST

Channel: BTN

KenPom Line: MSU -14

Joe did a Q&A with Corn Nation that you can see by clicking here.

Scouting report

  • 6'7" Andrew White was a completely under-the-radar transfer from Kansas who is leading the team in both points and rebounds per game with great efficiency at 123.5 ORtg. One of the biggest differences between him and his predecessor Terran Petteway is that Petteway was mostly an isolation player whereas White gets his shots within the flow of the offense as just one of his 3-pointers was unassisted whereas Petteway's were around 50-50 the last two years. Think of him less as Petteway and more as a bigger Bryn Forbes type.
  • 6'7" Shavon Shields is the only other offensive play of real note as everyone else either doesn't play that much or has a middling ORtg and usage. Shields isn't a good 3P shooter but he has a decent assist rate and draws fouls along with having the highest usage on the team. I'm not sure who technically plays the 3 or 4 between Shields and White but Shield has 9 pounds on White so I'm guessing MSU will put its 4 on him.
  • Benny Parker and Tai Webster are both shooting well from 3 this year but that's somewhat new as neither were good shooters previously.
  • All of Nebraksa bigs are young, foul-prone, and (with the exception of 6'10" Jake Hammond) somewhat undersized. However, they also likes to create contact and the biggest issue might come from 6'8" Michael Jacobson who has a FT rate of 78% and shoots almost 80% from the line (the other two bigs are below 50%).
  • As a team Nebraska likes to steal the ball and also is a solid rebounding group on both ends.

Four Factors

MSU on Offense

MSU on Defense

Things to watch for

  • Who is going to start? Last game Nairn had to sit out with the heel injury and I don't that changes in the near future. MSU's best backcourt is most likely Harris, Forbes, and Valentine but MSU went with McQuaid instead of Forbes due to McQuaid's experience as a point guard (sort of).
  • Deyonta Davis needs to play. MSU's best chance in both the short and long term appears to be with Davis reaching more of his huge potential. His post scoring along with his rebounding and shot-blocking make him quietly one of the best true big men in the country. He and Matt Costello are arguably one of the best back-to-the-basket duos in the country and they should have a good day against Nebraska's inexperienced big men.
Bottom Line

MSU will want to get it going again and get back to where they left off before the Valentine injury. I'm of the opinion that Nebraska will be the casualty in this.

MSU 85 - Nebraska 65