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Michigan State Basketball: Indiana Basketball Preview

MSU takes on an offensively explosive Indiana team that's leading the conference but has a tough final stretch

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

Opponent: Indiana

Location: East Lansing, MI

Time: 1:00pm EST

Channel: CBS

KenPom Line: MSU -8

Scouting report

  • Senior point guard Yogi Ferrell is having a heck of a season and should be an easy first-team all-B1G member at the end of year. While his offense has been as good as ever (124.6 ORtg, 44% from 3), he seems to have turned it up defensively as the team as a whole has improved as he's been putting more and more pressure on opposing PG's. He's extremely quick and going to be hard to defend without Nairn. I'm guessing MSU sticks Harris on him but it's just going to be hard on whoever has to guard him.
  • Troy Williams was pretty much stifled against MSU last year due to Branden Dawson (4 points in 2 games) so it's hard to tell how well he is going to match up against this MSU defense. His strength is finishing at the rim and in transition where he also has a good free throw rate (53.5%). While he's not a non-shooter, it's not a strength of his as he's just 33% on the year but he posts a great defensive rebounding rate at >20%.
  • Freshman Thomas Bryant is the man in the middle and the first stat that stands out is his insane 74% from 2. He posts a good FT rate, a solid offensive rebounding rate, but is somewhat foul prone and has some turnover issues (as does the team as a whole).
  • Robert Johnson replaced James Blackmon in the lineup when he got hurt and while he's not the offensive player that Blackmon is, he's a better defender and he adds a bit more passing. He (along with seemingly everyone else on this team) can shoot 3's but he's been struggling in B1G play shooting just 34% and turning it over way too much.
  • Nick Zeisloft and Collin Hartman are the designated shooters on this team with Zeisloft being the "I only shoot 3's and I'm good at it" guy and Hartman being the stretch 4 when they need it.
  • OG Anunoby (what a freaking great name) has been a big part of their rotation at the 4 spot as of late and in his low usage role he has a great percentages from 2 and 3 but has a poor turnover rate. He also has a good offensive rebounding percentage but that comes with a somewhat high foul rate.
  • Max Beilfeldt is their backup center who provides some shooting but he's also been worse in B1G play while also getting a shorter leash on his shooting as he's just 2-8 in B1G play.

Four Factors

MSU on Offense

MSU on Defense

Things to watch for

  • It'll be a topic for most of the remaining games as long as Deyonta Davis starts at the 4 as most teams don't have two traditional big men: Who wins the matchup at the 4? Indiana starts Collin Hartman and Troy Williams at the 4 spots and Davis defending Williams would make more sense as it would keep him close to the basket. OG Anunoby is a bit more traditional of a big and Bielfeldt could guard the 4 too but that leaves them without a backup center. Indiana probably won't chance much of what they do so it'll be interesting to see if MSU is forced to go small at any point due to Indiana's offense.
  • Can Forbes and Harris get it going? Those two struggled last game and Harris has struggled since basically the Maryland game. Indiana has athletic guards but overall isn't a great defensive team. Forbes just need to knock down more shots while Harris needs to be able to find his own a bit more and get into a rhythm.
Bottom Line

MSU needs to guard shooters and get back in transition to stop the Indiana attack.

MSU 84 - Indiana 77