Three up or down:  the three Parts of the #4 Michigan State basketball that are trending up or down now.

 

  1. DOWN Foul Trouble Michigan State struggled with Nick Ward and Jaren Jackson in foul trouble.  Sadly college basketball is unlike any sport.  Games can change in a second based on the officials and what they choose to call or not call.  Nick Ward played just 12 minutes against Iowa and scored 17 points, but Ward’s absence and the lack of Jackson’s presence was a major loss.  Jaren Jackson said, “This is gonna happen a lot more, whether we play more games here or in the tournament. It’s gonna happen a lot more, and we gotta deal with adversity because whether it’s me or it’s him, the other person has got to complement the part we lost in the game.”
  2. UP Big Ten Title Race   The Spartans are smack dab in the hunt and a win this Saturday can set their course for a number one seed.  Things are very much looking up for the surging Spartans.  I asked Izzo about this team having the success they are having while not yet having played their best ball.  “I don’t think there’s any question that we’re a ways away from our ceiling.  Now as it gets a little deeper, you say, ‘Are you ever going to get to your ceiling?’ And that, we may not. But these guys have been through a lot. These guys are learning a lot. They’re very, very, young. Besides all the outside noise they’ve been thrown into (is) this honestly ridiculous schedule.”
  3. UP The SpartansMSU (23-3, 11-2 Big Ten) Enough said.  MSU keeps finding ways to win while taking teams best shot.  Now they come home for the biggest game of the year.  Cassius Winston said after Iowa about the Purdue game, “It’s definitely going to be a huge game, for all types of things, confidence.  That’s a great team. For us to beat them, it shows we’re right now where we need to be.”

 

EXTRA POINT:  The Play of Cassius Winston.

Cassius Winston sat in Iowa from the 17:22 mark to 8:45.   Izzo said, “Cassius was struggling early and when Cassius puts his mind to it he can do a lot of things. We got down, that’s why he came out. Nothing big. He looked tired to me, wasn’t pushing the ball early.  When he wants to he’s a very good player. It’s something him and I will talk about.”

 

Cassius said, “They were big on just the energy and the body language.  I wasn’t in a winning attitude, I wasn’t playing with championship effort, it was hurting the team. They pulled me out and gave me another chance to get out there.”

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