Monday’s game against Indiana was a much-needed breath of air for a Spartan Basketball team that has been floundering for it’s first definitive win. While the 70-50 victory over Indiana was great, the team has to put Monday in the rearview and look towards the Hawkeyes in Iowa City tonight at 7. Michigan State knows which players need to step up and in what roles: Branden Dawson playing strong inside and above the rim, Denzel Valentine being a vocal leader for the team while hitting on the mid-range shots, and the combination of Matt Costello/ Gavin Schilling playing like an amalgam animal inside the paint. With Travis Trice feeling slightly sickly, it will be interesting to see who will start at the point tonight for Sparty.
Iowa is led by Aaron White the seemingly omnipresent, dear lord hasn’t he graduated yet, forward will be a tough matchup for Dawson or Costello. White registered 23 points last game against Nebraska, and to think that he won’t get his touches is out of the question. Michigan State needs to force the ball out of his hands, and make other players to step up for Iowa. Jared Uthoff added 15 points last game as well and was honored by being named the Big Ten Player of the Week. Whoever starts in the backcourt for MSU must play stifling defense against Uthoff and push the ball just like Monday. Anthony Clemmons, Sexton graduate along with Valentine and Bryn Forbes, will no doubt want to make a statement against his former high school teammates.
If MSU can play defense like they did Monday, push the ball half as well as they did, and get close to the number of assists on shots, all should be well in Sparta.
Nick Carver is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports