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Michigan State Basketball: Rutgers Preview

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MSU takes on Rutgers at the Breslin in what should be its easiest conference game

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

Opponent: Rutgers

Location: East Lansing, MI

Time: 5:15pm EST

Channel: BTN

KenPom Line: MSU -26

Scouting report

  • Rutgers is very bad. The only two stats where they're above average are opposing FT% (which is just luck) and defensive FT rate (they foul at a below average rate). If MSU loses this one, there should be a lot #ScrapTheProgram talk as KenPom gives MSU a 99% chance of winning this one.
  • I'm not sure if there's even a lot of upset potential due to Rutgers' style of play. As a whole they're a very bad 3-point shooting team (30.8% 314th nationally) and they don't even shoot 3's they rank 330th in percentage of points that come from 3's.
  • 6'2" freshman Corey Sanders is their highest usage player whose usage has only increased in conference play. While his assist and turnover rates have improved his shooting has declined leading to a lower ORtg in conference play. He's not a total non-shooter but he's shooting just 33% from 3 on the year.
  • 6'4" senior Omari Grier is the only player with a ORtg above 100 and he's far and away their best shooter as he's 42% from 3. He might be the only guy MSU really has to worry about.
  • I can't keep writing about Rutgers. I just have no idea how we brought them in (yeah yeah yeah, #footprint). KenPom gives Rutgers an 11.8% chance of going winless this year in conference play.

Four Factors

MSU on Offense

MSU on Defense

Things to watch for

  • This is another game where MSU should have a huge lead and therefore everyone will play. The biggest thing is whether or not the players can stay focused throughout the game. Last game's defense against Northwestern was great holding them to just 41 points and it would be great for MSU to keep that intensity going as defense has been weaker than their offense. For me this game mostly just means MSU's KenPom rating will improve if they win by more than 26 which is selfishly what I mostly care about in this one.
  • Matt McQuaid started off this year as a key bench guy before hitting somewhat of a freshman wall. He bounced back last game as he hit 5-8 from 3 and scored 17 points. A game like that can help him mentally as he needed to be reminded that he is a very good spot-up shooter and that's the strongest aspect of his game. Hopefully he can keep that momentum going.
Bottom Line

Rutgers is bad m'kay?

MSU 86 - Rutgers 51