Izzo, players wary of dangerous Northeastern team
After taking the week to take final exams and get some practice under its belt, the No. 1 MSU basketball team (11-0) will take to the road to play the Northeastern Huskies (7-3).
Tipoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Saturday and will be televised on NBC Sports Network
The game is part of a three-part series of games between the two schools, which will include a matchup between the school's women's basketball teams Friday night at 8 p.m. and a game between the hockey teams at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Each game will take place at Matthews Arena in Boston, Mass.
Despite the uniqueness surrounding the event, Izzo is not taking the Huskies lightly.
"The game is a major concern for me, because people around here don’t have any idea who Northeastern is, and players don’t have as good of an idea who Northeastern is," Izzo said at a press conference on Monday. "Now I think it’ll help after (Monday's) practice when we show our players some film of their game against Notre Dame last year it’ll help connect the dots a little bit."
Northeastern is a team which has been known to give teams fits in recent years. A year ago, the Huskies went 23-12, and as a No. 14 seed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament, came up just short of knocking off a No. 3-seeded Notre Dame team, 69-65.
This season has more or less been up and down for the Huskies. They've dropped three road games thus far on the season to Miami (OH), Detroit and Western Michigan, but were able to score a 78-77 upset victory over a then-No. 15 Miami (FL).
Add in senior guard David Walker, a lethal scorer for the Huskies at 21.5 points per game, and Northeastern makes for a sneakily tough contest for the Spartans.
However, as far as preparation goes, the Spartans aren't concerned. They trust their coaches will have them ready to go for the game, a game which, if the Spartans come away victorious, will match the best start in school history at 12-0.
"(Izzo) showed us film," senior MSU guard Denzel Valentine said. "He showed certain things he saw on film and we're going to be very prepared. I'm not worried about it because coach has always had us prepared. It's about 'can we execute the game plan and do our part.'"