Saturday, July 24, 2021

Preview: MSU men's hoops closes road stint at No. 8 Iowa

February 2, 2021
<p>Sophomore guard Rocket Watts (2) drives through Iowa defenders. The Spartans defeated the Hawkeyes, 78-70, at the Breslin Student Events Center on Feb. 25, 2020. </p>

Sophomore guard Rocket Watts (2) drives through Iowa defenders. The Spartans defeated the Hawkeyes, 78-70, at the Breslin Student Events Center on Feb. 25, 2020.

Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

MSU men’s basketball will complete a three-game road stint at No. 8 Iowa Tuesday evening. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on FS1.

The Spartan and Hawkeye matchup was originally scheduled for Jan. 14, but it was postponed due to positive COVID-19 cases on the Spartan team. This is the first of four conference games MSU has rescheduled. 

MSU has lost three-straight in conference play and has fallen to a 2-6 record in the Big Ten. 

Iowa, on the other hand, has controlled the top of the Big Ten for much of the season. The Hawkeyes Luka Garza leads the league in scoring, averaging 26.4 points per game and will be troublesome to the Spartans shaky defense. 

Garza sits at fifth in the league in rebounds, averaging 8.6 per game. 

With Garza’s offensive production, the Hawkeyes lead the Big Ten in scoring offense, averaging 89.7 points per game. 

But that doesn’t come with some fatalities in a conference like the Big Ten. Iowa has lost their last two against Indiana and Illinois. They also fell to Minnesota earlier this season. 

MSU leads the all-time series against Iowa 76-55. The Spartans have won 14 of the last 16 meetings between the two, including a 76-70 victory last season.

MSU will most likely play without junior forward Gabe Brown, who tested positive for COVID-19 in late January. With the absence of Brown, one of the Spartans better shooters, MSU will continue to look towards redshirt junior forward Joey Hauser to get things going on the offensive side. 

Head Coach Tom Izzo will continue to work out kinks in his rotation at multiple positions on the court. 

With a win in Iowa City, the Spartans may clinch all that is left of staying competitive in the Big Ten and making the NCAA Tournament.

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