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MSU Men’s Basketball: Northwestern Preview and Game Thread

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NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Oakland Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info:

Where: Welsh-Ryan Arena, Evanston, IL

When: 8:00 pm (EST)

TV/Radio: Big Ten Network/Spartan Sports Network radio

Northwestern 5-4 (0-1): #101 (Kenpom)

Depth Chart:

1 - Pat Spencer (6’3” sr), Boo Buie (6’2” fr)
2 - Anthony Gaines (6’4” jr)
3 - Miller Kopp (6’7” so), AJ Turner (6’7” sr)
4 - Pete Nance (6’10” so), Robbie Beran (6’9” fr)
5 - Ryan Young (6’10” fr), Jared Jones (6’10” fr)

Scout:

Northwestern is not a particularly good team, but they aren’t terrible either. They have four guys averaging double-figures, beaten a decent Providence team (sidebar: some people actually still thought that Providence team would be good heading into the season despite Providence disappointing for like 8 years in a row... no surprise that they are disappointing again), but lost to Pittsburgh in the B1G-ACC challenge, and dropped their conference opener to Purdue (58-44).

Kenpom tells us they play slow (especially on defense where they make teams run offense for a long time), they don’t crash the offensive glass, more on that in a bit, and they do not score efficiently (46.8 eFG%, #265 in the country). They defend the 3pt line pretty well, denying both a high number of looks and a high percentage from beyond the arc for their opponents.

Ryan Young, Pete Nance, and Miller Kopp are their danger men, so MSU’s front-court will need to be on their game.

Game-plan:

Cassius Winston, Aaron Henry, and Gabe Brown should dominate this game. The inattention to the offensive glass by Northwestern should allow MSU to clean the boards and get in transition. MSU has plenty of bodies to throw at Northwestern’s bigs so Nance, Young, Beran, Kopp, and Jones will have their hands full.

Nance and Young are by far their best rebounders, so if either get in foul trouble Northwestern could be in for a long night. I am expecting to see the first B1G road win of the season.

PPTPW

Prediction:

MSU 80 Northwestern 54

GO GREEN!!!