A line up that’s usually only seen in practices made an appearances Sunday night in the Breslin Center. During the men’s basketball matchup against the Green Bay Phoenix, all five freshmen players on the roster made a surprising deput on the floor together.
In Michigan State’s huge deficit win, 104-83, the freshmen didn’t let their 34 minutes of fame go to waste. They combined for 22 points as forward Gabe Brown had a career high of 11 points as well as guard Foster Loyer with 10. Forward Marcus Bingham Jr. had two rebounds and three blocks in just six minutes. Brown went off from behind the arc going 3-4 on threes.
“It was really great because we never get to play with all five freshmen on the court except for like at practice but being out there on the court, that was a great feeling for us,” said Brown.
While no one is expecting these five guys to be the starting line up at the next game, the fact that head coach Tom Izzo played them at the same time leaves one to wonder about the minutes rotation heading forward.
Though it was Izzo’s plan to play all of the freshmen it’s not something he plans to continuously do as the season goes on. For Izzo, one game does not determine who plays and for how long. He bases it off of consistency and how hard a player goes in practice.
“It was one thing I wanted to accomplish this week. It was one of those games where I tried to play everybody,” said Izzo. “Those kids work their tails off everyday. As long as I’m here I’m going to play some of those guys that have done so much for us in practice.”
While Izzo watches the younger guys performances in practice, he still makes sure the veterans are able to have a big game as they did against Green Bay. Cassius Winston picked up a double double with 16 points and 12 assists. Nick Ward went 12-13 from the field, racking up 28 points in 26 minutes.
“I just do the best that I can for my teammates every time I step onto the court and as far as I can make the best play,” said Ward.