Both teams have had high profile losses in the first week of the season. Duke to top ten ranked Arizona (a near future opponent of the Spartans as well) and MSU to James Madison University. The Spartans loss was by far the more surprising.
This game has been circled on both teams calendars all summer, and most college basketball fans as well.
Game Time: Tuesday, November 14th at 7:00pm (US East Coast Time)
Watch the game: ESPN
Comment and Follow Live at the GAME THREAD HERE (live at 4pm)
Some basics to sound like a pro:
The Spartans come into the season as a popular choice to win the national championship. On paper, their mix of veterans and freshman could make a potent combination.
Unfortunately the early results have not matched the expectations.
Michigan State has played two regular season games plus an exhibition against top ten ranked Tennessee. In those three competitions, the Spartans have looked less in command than many expected. The last second loss to Tennessee (notably in an exhibition game) combined with the overtime loss to mid-major James Madison University have many concerned the veterans may not be as solid as had hoped and the freshman not yet ready to take the lead.
The most concerning of all outcomes for the team has been the woeful three point shooting. MSU is shooting 5% from the three point line after two games.
It’s not all bad for the Spartans. Fifth year senior Tyson Walker has seemingly picked up where he left off last year and is the clear star of the team so far. Freshman Coen Carr looked good against Tennessee and James Madison before looking like a fairly standard freshman against Southern Indiana. And statistically, the shooting should come back around.
It will be a tall task for the Spartans against Duke. Particularly with Duke being led early this year by their center. If MSU’s roster has a weak spot it is its center position.
This game should tell everyone a lot about the Spartans.
The Blue Devils are returning some veteran leaders. Leading the team is last year’s standout freshman center, Kyle Filipowski. The sophomore big man had 25 points in the loss against Arizona and should be a force against the Spartans. Surrounding their star is a very strong, experienced and deep roster.
As a preview, here is an excerpt from the SBNation preview of the top 25 men’s basketball teams:
Year II of the Jon Scheyer era at Duke looks promising. The Blue Devils return four starters - 7-0 Kyle Filipowski, 6-9 Mark Mitchell, 6-5 Tyrese Proctor (all sophomores) and 6-2 senior guard Jeremy Roach. The fifth starter? 6-3 freshman Jared McCain.
Filipowski, a likely lottery pick in next summer’s NBA Draft, is coming off of summer surgeries on both hips that has greatly helped his mobility. Mitchell is a glue player with immense versatility who can guard most players on the court at any given time. Point guard Proctor, who came to Duke late last year after competing internationally for Australia, was playing brilliantly by the end his freshman campaign. Roach played with an injured toe for much of last season. He’s fully healed so he should be vastly better.
Duke should have superb three point shooting to open the floor for Filipowski, Mitchell and the rest, and Scheyer proved himself as a coach last year. Rim protection is a potential weakness, but Stewart and Reeves may provide the answer there.
Michigan State will have its hands full with a deeply talented opponent who seems to be well coached. This will be a big stage in a number of ways.
BBD: 85-72 Duke Win
O: 72-67 Spartans Win!
What are your predictions for the game? Let everyone know in the comments below.