After barely beating Northwestern, Tom Izzo said that his team believed it lost three games that it should have won. One would have to imagine that MSU’s double overtime loss to Maryland at the Breslin Center was one of those “what could have been” losses.
The Spartans get their chance to redeem that defeat Saturday afternoon in College Park.
If Michigan State wants to avoid another agonizing defeat, the key will be rebounding. In the conference opener, Maryland out-rebounded MSU 52-36. Michigan State is most effective when it gets out in transition and avoids relying on its half court offense. If the Spartans don’t improve that rebounding differential, it will be difficult for the transition offense to exist.
Tom Izzo’s team will also have to focus on defending without fouling. The Terps shoot almost 75 percent as a team from the charity stripe. Freshman standout Melo Trimble shoots an astronomical 88 percent from the line.
Michigan State comes in after nearly a week of rest. Tom Izzo promised that the off week’s practices would be “crazy” so it will be interesting to see if the Spartans look rusty or well conditioned.
Maryland has looked shaky for most of the conference schedule with only one double-digit win in Big Ten play. Despite the Terps less than dominating performance thus far, I still believe that its ability to get to the line and convert will get them the win.
Prediction: Maryland 65-61
Andrew Hayes is the host of Impact Izzone and a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports