After winning six of their last seven games, Michigan State men’s basketball looks to stay undefeated at home against Toledo.
The Spartans are 5-3 all-time against the Rockets, with their last meeting on Nov. 20, 2009 resulting in a 75-62 MSU victory.
Michigan State (6-2) is coming off a 73-64 win over Louisville in which six players scored nine or more points. Junior forward Malik Hall led the Spartans with 15 points, going a perfect 3-3 from deep in one of MSU’s best shooting nights of the year.
Once again, turnovers plagued Michigan State’s performance against the Cardinals. Head Coach Tom Izzo said on Thursday that the Spartans are working on focusing on taking better care of the ball while keeping the court spread out and trying to get more offensive production out of their wings.
“It’s just that turnovers are depressing the team,” he said. “For the coach, for the players, for the fans, for the media.”
Toledo (6-1) comes into East Lansing on a four-game win streak and the reigning Mid-American Conference (MAC) champions. While not as deep as some other teams Michigan State has faced, the Rockets hold a well-rounded scoring threat in their starting five with each player averaging in the double digits.
Sophomore guard Ryan Rollins, the 2020-21 MAC Freshman of the Year, leads the Rockets in scoring with 20 points per game. Izzo acknowledged the team’s lack of depth but said he’s interested to see how his team defends a “really good” player in Rollins, one of the more prolific scorers in the MAC and a player-type they haven’t seen much of this year.
“It’ll be good to see if we can lock down a little bit better now on a guy like the kid from Kansas (Ochai Agbaji),” he said. “Did we learn a lesson that day that we didn’t guard him with a fishnet so we’re going to guard a little better? I hope so.”
Toledo also boasts a pair of seasoned forwards in juniors J.T. Shumate and Setric Millner Jr. Both can get to work in the paint and on the perimeter and have given opposing defenses fits this year with their dynamic skill sets.
Tipoff is at 5 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on Big Ten Network.
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