Michigan St Spartans
Head Coach: Tom Izzo
Location: East Lansing, MI
Last time out: Beat Northwestern
Line: Michigan St by 15.5
Typical Rotation Depth: 9+
KenPom rank: 18
- Gabe Brown plays most of the minutes at the 3. The rest of the positions mostly work out into 2 man rotations.
- Michigan St might be toying with the idea of adding a couple of football players to the roster. 6'5" TE Maliq Carr at one point was mid-major basketball prospect. 6'4" WR Keon Coleman was a mid-major PG prospect. With just 11 scholarship players and Covid potentially affecting player availability, it might just happen.
- Hoiberg hung out with the team a bit during the months he was unemployed in 2019 as his son Jack was a walk-on for the Spartans
Player to watch: Marcus Bingham
The big 7'0" shot-blocking center plays about 20-25 minutes a game, leading the Spartans in blocks. Look for Nebraska to actively attack the rim whenever he's off the court.
Player to watch: Gabe Brown
The 6'8" Senior has blossomed into MSU's go-to player, leading the team in scoring, 3pt attempts, and 3pt makes. Think of him as an Andrew White type of impact offensively
Possible Ohio State Starters
2 Tyson Walker G 6-0 175 Jr. Westbury, N.Y. / Christ the King (Northeastern)
5 Max Christie G 6-6 190 Fr. Arlington Heights, Ill. / Rolling Meadows
44 Gabe Brown F 6-8 215 Sr. Ypsilanti, Mich. / Belleville
10 Joey Hauser F 6-9 230 R-Sr. Stevens Point, Wis. / Stevens Point (Marquette)
30 Marcus Bingham Jr. F 7-0 230 Sr. Grand Rapids, Mich. / GR Catholic Central
34 Julius Marble II F 6-9 245 Jr. Dallas, Texas / Dallas Jesuit
25 Malik Hall F 6-7 225 Jr. Aurora, Ill. / Sunrise Christian Academy (Kan.)
11 A.J. Hoggard G 6-4 210 So. Coatesville, Pa. / Huntington Prep (W.Va.)
3 Jaden Akins G 6-4 175 Fr. Farmington, Mich. / Farmington/ Sunrise Christian Academy (Kan.)
The Rest of the Roster
Izzo went out in the transfer portal and landed PG Tyson Walker after last year's issues at the position. Walker can be turnover prone but is disruptive defensively as well as the catalyst for MSU's transition game. Backup PG AJ Hoggard is quite different from Walker, significantly larger but not quite as quick. Neither are great shooters. McDonald's Freshman Max Christie is the starting shooting guard but has mostly shot at a low percentage thus far though he's 2nd on the team in 3pt attempts. 4 star freshman Jaden Akins backs him up. Joey Hauser and Malik Hall share the stretch 4 role where Hall is having the better shooting year and Hauser is rebounding better. Julius Marble backs up Bingham at the 5 and offers a bit more girth at the position.
22 Mady Sissoko C 6-9 240 So. Bafoulabe, Mali, West Africa / Wasatch Academy (Utah)
1 Pierre Brooks G 6-6 225 Fr. Detroit, Mich. / Frederick Douglass Academy
13 Steven Izzo G 5-8 150 Jr. East Lansing, Mich. / Lansing Catholic
14 Davis Smith G 6-0 160 So. Atlanta, Ga. / Westminster
20 Michael Peterson G 6-7 205 Grad. Rockford, Mich. / Rockford
35 Peter Nwoke F 6-7 215 Fr. Lagos, Nigeria / Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (Mich.)
43 Jason Whitens G 6-5 205 R-Sr. Powers, Mich. / Powers North Central
UNL Game Notes
Probable starters for Nebraska
1 Alonzo Verge G 6-3
30 Keisei Tominaga G 6-2
5 Bryce McGowens G 6-7
11 Lat Mayen F 6-9
13 Derrick Walker F 6-9
0 C.J. Wilcher G 6-5
35 Eduardo Andre F 6-11
10 Kobe Webster G 6-0
14 Trevor Lakes F 6-8
23 Keon Edwards G 6-7
3 Quaran McPherson G 6-3
33 Oleg Kojenets F 7-0
4 Jackson Cronin G 6-1
12 Sam Hoiberg G 6-0
15 Chris McGraw G 6-0
21 Jace Piatkowski G 6-3
2 Trey McGowens G 6-4
32 Wilhelm Breidenbach F 6-10
Last year was a slog for Michigan St as they clawed their way into a NCAA play-in game where they lost in OT to an UCLA team that would make their way all the way to the NCAA championship. The Spartans don't have an All-American on the roster but they have a well rounded team. Individually Nebraska can't match up defensively so team defense will be imperative tonight.
This team might possibly go down as Izzo's fastest ever as they've upped the tempo behind some quick players and decent depth. Nebraska knows this as it's the first thing that Hoiberg brings up when talking about the Spartans. You'd hope Hoiberg's presser doesn't end with him wondering why guys didn't get back on defense. Regardless, the Spartans pass the ball much better than the Huskers close out so expect Michigan St to put up some points tonight.
Offensively has Nebraska started to turn a corner? They seem to be slowly morphing into a team that takes better shots and thus sees them fall. I think there is a real possibility that Michigan St will overlook Nebraska with Michigan on their schedule Saturday. This means a little less juice on defense.
Look for an up and down game as Nebraska is the type of team that doesn't care if playing slower might be better for them. With any luck, the Huskers could catch a disengaged Spartan team and have a chance to pull it out at the end.
Prediction: Michigan St 86 - Nebraska 70