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Michigan State Basketball: Should we be concerned?

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Probably not, but the Spartans need to pick it up.

NCAA Basketball: Rutgers at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

So, as I’m sure we’re all aware by now, the Michigan State Spartans basketball team was embarrassed in Columbus last weekend against Ohio State. The team then followed that performance up by going into overtime against Rutgers and eventually winning by a mere four points.

The Spartans have obviously not been playing their best ball as of late. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact issue. One obvious fix may be getting Miles Bridges to be more aggressive. Bridges was held to zero points in the first half against Rutgers, and finished with just 11 points on 3-of-10 shooting.

Cassius Winston also struggled shooting the basketball against the Scarlet Knights. Winston made just two baskets on eight attempts, and went 6-of-18 (.333 percent) combined in the past two games. He did have a combined 13 assists to just three turnovers in those two contests, so he is still facilitating well.

The Michigan Wolverines will come into East Lansing tomorrow, coming off of a great effort against No. 5 Purdue — losing by a single point. Despite the loss, Michigan’s confidence is probably high, while Michigan State has seemingly been sleepwalking through its past two contests.

So, should we be concerned? Personally, I say probably not. But with that said, a change needs to be made somewhere. This team is not playing to its unbelievable talent and potential right now. I am sure the team will be up for the Michigan game, and a win here could do wonders going forward.

I also think Rutgers is a better team than people give them credit for because they’re Rutgers and have been awful at both football and basketball for years. The Scarlet Knights are a scrappy team, with a very good player in Corey Sanders, an 11-7 record and a win over the current No. 13 team in the nation, Seton Hall.

Ohio State has also had a much better year than people anticipated. The Buckeyes are 14-4 overall, and off to a 5-0 start in Big Ten play with wins over Michigan State, Michigan, Iowa, Maryland and Wisconsin. There was still no excuse to lose by 16 points to a lesser talented team, but road games are tough in the Big Ten and Ohio State was the much better team that night.

I think the reason for any doubt is simply that it is frustrating to see a team with this level of talent not playing consistent basketball. But it is also important to remember that it is a long season — and games in January don’t matter as much as games in March.

In a more positive outlook, this little “slump” could be a teachable moment for Tom Izzo to get his team to reach its potential. Still, please pick up the intensity and level of play to keep our anxiety levels down, Spartans.

Sincerely,

Michigan State basketball fans everywhere.

Poll

Are you concerned about the Spartans basketball team moving forward this season?

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  • 50%
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    (225 votes)
  • 49%
    No
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