Sitting at home instead of standing in the Izzone for the 2020 season opener had me filled with mixed emotions. What would usually be time spent yelling “Who cares you suck!” at the other team, throwing my newspaper in the air, and grabbing the shoulders of the people next to me to listen to the introductions of the starting line up was filled with getting situated on the couch to be able to cheer and yell at the TV.
The Spartans starting line up included Foster Loyer (G), Josh Langford (G,) Aaron Henry (F), Thomas Kithier (F) and Joey Hauser (F).
Their opponents, Eastern Michigan, came to this matchup with six players down due to injuries and COVID-19 contact tracing.
The highly anticipated return of Joshua Langford to the starting line up began with a few missed attempts until he was able to shake a bit of the rust off. Ending the first half with 10 points and more confidence on the court had me cheering for him from home.
Similarly, Joey Hauser made his debut in the Spartan uniform and had a few issues with what looked like nerves. Some turnovers and even a quick pass to Tom Izzo on the sidelines happened before he was able to find his rhythm.
Foster Loyer truly was the star of the first half with 20 points and some electric confidence. In many of the preseason talks. Tom Izzo mentioned the great work that Loyer had done during the offseason, and it was evident that his hard work had carried over to his game play. Hopefully, as the team looks forward to Big Ten play, he can keep it up!
Who’s got six points right now? pic.twitter.com/IPYCzFI1LM— The Only Colors (@TheOnlyColors) November 25, 2020
Aaron Henry, Marcus Bingham Jr., and Gabe Brown all looked solid and Henry showed up as a leader on the court for his teammates a few times. I was impressed with Malik Hall’s strong play on both offense and defense during his minutes on the court, as well.
The Spartans ended the game with 18 turnovers, went 69 percent from the free throw line, had 27 assists, 37 total rebounds, and a total of 83 points.
I was impressed with the Spartans during this first matchup and many of the things I was hoping for this season looked like they had been worked on by the team and implemented successfully. Although, I would have appreciated a few less turnovers.
Here’s an interesting break down of tonights rotational minutes
Tonight's rotation -- minutes (+/-) :— The Only Colors (@TheOnlyColors) November 26, 2020
Henry -- 25 (+18)
Loyer -- 25 (+21)
Hauser -- 23 (+1)
Watts -- 23 (+13)
Langford -- 21 (+5)
Hall -- 17 (+7)
Brown -- 17 (+7)
Bingham Jr -- 15 (+16)
Kithier -- 15 (+13)
Spartan basketball is back in our lives folks! Go Green!