Three up or down: the three Parts of the #6 Michigan State basketball that are trending up or down now.
- UP Focus With all that was going on around Michigan State this past week, including Friday, the Spartans ability to take care of business was very impressive. That focus impressed Tom Izzo as well. He took it head on saying, “The good thing for me is I’m pretty honest with my team when things are good and when things are bad. When things were going on last year I think I remember telling you guys about the Nebraska game when our backs were a little against the wall and everybody had us written out of the tournament I could feel the weight in that room. I didn’t feel that weight because I’ve tried to address this the last two days a little bit with my team because I know how things spread and everything and so I told them before the game that the best thing they can do to help everybody heal is to play the Spartan way.”
- UP Miles Bridges While this team had every reason to fall off on Friday night, they did not. They followed the lead of their star player. Bridges had 24 points and seven rebounds Friday he was impressive. Izzo didn’t talk a lot of basketball after the game, but he did say, “I thought we got great play out of Bridges again early.”
- UP The Spartans MSU (19-3, 7-2 Big Ten) has won three straight after losing two of the previous three. This team is growing and learning how to play together. While not yet a complete project, you can see it coming. Earlier in the year, they didn’t know how to take the expectations and now they are learning how to focus just on the court. Izzo said, “I told them that this is one of the things in life that you have to deal with. Everyone talks about academics, there’s no book for this type of thing and players have to learn to make adjustments. I told my players, if they’re concerned about anything don’t be afraid to talk to me. I said, let me worry about what worry about, and you guys just worry about the game and the survivors. We have tried to stick with that and will continue to stick with.”
EXTRA POINT: Jaren Jackson (3J) had four blocks and set the single-season MSU career record for blocks. He has produced 75, breaking Ken Johnson’s old record of 72 set from 1984-85. Now, remember HE IS ONLY A FRESHMAN and still set the record. Izzo said, “Jaren Jackson had a bunch of blocks. Jackson set a record, the last guy to have that record was Ken Johnson, that was my first year here. So, I was very impressed with Jackson doing that. He struggled a little bit shooting the ball.”
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