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It's Time to Talk About Michigan State's Problems

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi Valley State at Michigan State

Alright, everyone. Let’s gather around and meet in the trust tree. Now that we’re all here, it’s time to talk about Michigan State. There’s serious problems going on with the Spartans and now that they got their ass kicked at home by Michigan, it feels like the right time to talk about it all.

The problem starts at the top. That’s right, I’m questioning how Tom Izzo is managing this team. That’s right and I’ll save you the yelling. I’m not a Hall of Fame coach. Tom Izzo is a Hall of Fame Coach. It’s still fair to question why he’s trying to run three bigs at a time most of the time. If someone can truly answer why he’s deadset on playing Miles Bridges out of position in order to fit in Nick Ward and Jaren Jackson, I’ll listen. But, right now it’s not working. Spare me the 16-3 record. Watch them play. Something isn’t right.

In fact when you look at the resume there are serious questions. There’s only four top-100 wins on the resume. That’s a neutral court win against a UNC team that’s a borderline top-25 team. That includes a home win over Notre Dame, who granted was at full strength when the win happened, but a team who lost at home to Ball State. That includes a win over Maryland, without Justin Jackson and a team who is likely going to end up outside of the NCAA Tournament. That includes a win over a Nebraska team who, really we’re talking about Nebraska? I think you get my point. They are relying on expectations and the name on the front of the jersey right now in order for everyone to buy into the Spartans.

Don’t get me wrong, I bought into the Spartans. I bought into the turnover prone team. I bought into the team that can’t force turnovers. That’s because this team is uber talented. They have two lottery picks in Jaren Jackson and Miles Bridges. They have two point guards who compliment each other incredibly well with Winston’s ability to attack offensively and get others involved while Tum Tum is a good defender. I bought into Tom Izzo, the Hall of Fame coach who had his best team in years.

As we go forward there are things that need to be addressed. The first is the fact that while Bridges is a star, it’s fair to question if he can be the guy. Can he go get you 30 like we’re seeing out of Trae Young and Marvin Bagley. Hell, at this point can he truly take over a game without trying to get others involved? That’s what Michigan State needs him to be and that comes with the loss of one of the bigs. Personally, I’d love to see Nick Ward come off the bench. If you’re not comfortable with that bring Jackson off the bench for Ward so you can keep Bridges at the four. That’s where is at his best and can truly take advantage of mismatches. But, where has he been? He’s not playing like the National Player of the Year. Shit, he’s not an All-American at the moment. He needs to start being a guy who demands the ball and start taking over games.

It’s not all doom and gloom with this team. In fact it says more about what everyone has been preaching about college basketball. There may not be any great teams this year and that’s fine. It’s going to make for an entertaining NCAA Tournament. Perhaps the accolades for this team came too early and this is just another top-10 team that will suffer losses.

This is still a team with one of the best passing point guards in the country. This is still a team with plenty of depth. This is still a team that has a couple of stars. This is still a team with a Hall of Fame head coach. But, right now something is off with this team. The score will indicate the game against Michigan was fairly close, but Michigan was in the lead for pretty much the entire second half. This blog might be worthless in a month, but for the time being, yeah, I’m the moron calling out a Hall of Fame coach.