Embed from Getty Images Back- to- back losses to Purdue and Indiana has left the Spartans searching for answers. Give head coach Tom Izzo credit. After Saturday’s loss at home to Indiana his team was not frustrated. They were looking for answers.
Michigan State started the 2018-19 season with a bang. Winning 13 straight and starting 9-0 in the Big Ten made the Spartans look like they would cruse through the season. Then the wheels came off a bit.
First things first. There is plenty of time for the Spartans to get back on track. There is not reason to hit the panic button yet. It is rare an Izzo coached team is outplayed. Yet that is what happened last week. Twice.
Given the roster and talent there is no reason to think this will be a prolonged losing streak. But for the Spartans it all went wrong at the same time. Poor shooting, rebounding as well as defensive issues all hit at the same time.
Now with a few days to recover it will be interesting to see how Michigan State responds tonight when they play at Illinois. When things go wrong no game is a given.
Nothing drives Tom Izzo crazy like his team rebounding poorly. He preaches rebounds all the time. Yet the Spartans last week were woeful in the rebound department. That must change.
During the course of a season shooters go hot and cold. That is to be expected. But the defense has been equally as bad as the rebounding. There is no masking that. Like you can a shooter in a slump.
While Illinois does not rebound well the Spartans next foe after does. Minnesota features the top rebounder in the conference in forward Jordan Murphy. The Golden Gophers as a team lead the Big Ten in team rebounds.
There is work to be done for sure. As for tonight’s game, Illinois is forcing nearly 17 turnovers per game while Michigan State team that’s second-to-last in the conference in turnover margin. So the work must be done quickly. Sure there will be in-game adjustments.
The Big Ten has some very talented teams and the season is and will continue to be a grind. I have little doubt Tom Izzo will have his team playing more consistent.