The No. 10/11 Michigan State Spartans (9-2) are in Detroit on Tuesday night at Little Caesars Arena to take on the Oakland Grizzlies (7-3) at 7:30 p.m. For those not attending the game, the game can only be watched through subscription service ESPN+ or for local metro Detroit residents with an Over-The-Air antenna, you can also watch on WYMD, TV20 Detroit.
GAMEDAY AT LCA!— Michigan State Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) December 21, 2021
7:30 PM ET on ESPN+. pic.twitter.com/A2g2V9LzT9
The game marks the 20th meeting all-time (MSU is 19-0) between the programs in a series that dates back to Nov. 17, 1998. However, it has had plenty of competitive matchups of late despite the lopsided record. Three of the last nine games have been decided by less than 10 points. One of those games also had to go to overtime before ending in a 99-93 victory for MSU on Dec. 22, 2015. That game was at the Palace of Auburn Hills, the final one in the series to take place there.
Both teams enter this one well-rested, even to the point of rust potentially being a concern. Oakland opened the season with 10 games in 28 days and has been off now for 14 days heading into tonight’s game. Michigan State, meanwhile, played 11 games in the first 33 days of the season and has been off for the past 10 days.
As for the scoring threats the Grizzlies feature, three players are averaging double-figures this season. Marquette transfer, graduate forward Jamal Cain, leads the team in scoring and rebounding, ranking eighth nationally in scoring with 21.2 points per game and 11th nationally in rebounding with 10.5 rebounds per game. Junior guard Jalen Moore is second on the team in scoring (13.7) and steals (2.3), and leads in assists with 6.9 assists per game. Freshman forward Trey Townsend is third on the team with 13.3 points per game and third in rebounds with 6.4 rebounds per game.
Oakland has also had some tough opponents in close game so far. Road trips to Morgantown, West Virginia to take on the Mountaineers on Nov. 9 ended in a 60-53 loss, while a quick turnaround trip on Nov. 12 to Stillwater, Oklahoma to take on Oklahoma State was a narrow 56-55 victory. The Grizzlies also feature an exhibition 74-69 loss at home to Eastern Michigan and a 86-59 blowout road loss at Alabama on Nov. 19.
While Oakland often plays the Spartans tight, this one should prove difficult for Oakland, with Michigan State featuring the No. 6 adjusted defense in the nation per KenPom. Overall, MSU ranks highly among Big Ten peers in defensive categories, checking in at No. 5 in scoring defense (63.9 points per game), No. 3 in field goal percentage defense (38.4 percent), No. 3 in three-point field goal percentage defense (26.6 percent), No. 4 in rebounding margin (+8.50 rebounds per game), and No. 1 in blocked shots (6.73 blocks per game).
Had ourselves a day in Detroit ️ pic.twitter.com/dKcskq0rLu— Michigan State Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) December 21, 2021
No. 10/11 Michigan State Spartans (9-2, 2-0 Big Ten) vs. Oakland Grizzlies (7-3, 2-0 Horizon)
Date: Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. EST
Play-by-Play: Neal Ruhl
Analyst: Rex Walters
RADIO: Spartan Media Network
Play-by-Play: Will Tieman
Analyst: Matt Steigenga
Website/Mobile: msuspartans.com/MSU Spartans app/Tune In radio
Flagship Stations: Lansing: WMMQ (94.9 FM)/WJIM (1240 AM); Detroit: WJR (760 AM); Grand Rapids: WBFX (101.3 FM)
Affiliates: 30 affiliates listed at msuspartans.com
Satellite: Ch. 136 (Sirius), Ch. 958 (SiriusXM.com.App)
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Stadium: Little Caesars Arena (20,491)
All-Time Series: MSU leads 19-0
Another matchup with the Golden Grizzlies tomorrow night! Throwback to this one from 2015 ️ pic.twitter.com/h2i8GxERv8— Michigan State Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) December 21, 2021