Spartans Welcome Ferris State for Exhibition Finale

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The exhibition season will come to a close on Monday when Michigan State squares off against Ferris State at the Breslin Center. The Spartans are coming off of a dominant win over Northern Michigan, but it was far from a perfect game. Defense was a main sticking point for Coach Izzo.

“They went through us like water through a tin horn,” said Izzo after MSU’s 94-53 win over Northern Michigan on Thursday.

That was definitely not a compliment. The defense looked suspect in the first half against a far inferior NMU offense. He also had some choice words for his shooters, Bryn Forbes and Eron Harris in particular.

“Shooters are notorious non-defenders,” said Izzo. “It’s like a right and they are born if they can shoot, I guess they don’t guard anybody, and we had that problem early and came back a little bit and hopefully, you know, we’ve got to get that ball moving.”

Transfer guard Harris had visible signs of rust in his first game since March 18, 2014. He managed only four points on 1-5 shooting in 19 minutes. But he and the team aren’t worried about his slow start. It has been said numerous times that Harris was the best player on the team last year, even though he didn’t suit up for a single game. Expectations remain high for the former Mountaineer.

As for the Spartans’ opponent on Monday, Ferris State finished last season with a 23-9 record and won the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament. The Bulldogs are loaded with experienced talent that could lead them to bigger and better things this season.

6-10 senior Jared Stolicker averaged 10 points and 7.7 rebounds per game last season while shooting 55 percent from the field. Fellow senior Josh Fleming, who started every game last season, put up over 11 points per game at the wing position.

Look for this game to be slightly closer than the first exhibition matchup with NMU, but don’t expect the Spartans to face the same fate that Iowa and St. John’s did last week (yikes).

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Breslin Center. The game will be aired on Big Ten Network Plus and Spartan Sports Network.