Predictions for MSU at Texas
State News basketball reporters Matt Sheehan and Zach Smith offer their predictions for today’s MSU-Texas men’s basketball game in Austin, Tex. The game is at 4 p.m. on CBS.
MSU 76, Texas 73
Texas beat North Carolina and North Carolina beat MSU, therefore Texas should beat MSU?
I’m a journalist, so I’m not good at math, but college basketball isn’t as predictable as a mathematic equation.
That’s why I think MSU pulls this one out against Texas in Austin.
Branden Dawson had one of the worst games of his career at home against North Carolina, but since then, he’s been a man possessed, scoring in double digits against Oakland and North Florida.
Midway though the 21-day challenge head coach Tom Izzo set for him, he’ll bring the most energy, and lead the Spartans against the Longhorns.
Jonathan Holmes leads Texas by averaging just over 13 points a game, but he was cramping up against North Carolina earlier in the week.
Still, Isaiah Taylor and DeMarcus Holland also average more than 10 a game, and Cameron Ridley is a big presence in the post that MSU might struggle to guard without sophomore forward Matt Costello.
This will be a slowed down, back-and-forth type of game, but MSU, and more importantly Dawson, aren’t going to get embarrassed again.
Texas 75, MSU 70
Fresh off a win over No. 14 North Carolina, the Longhorns haven’t given their fans any sense of doubt in this young season.
And this afternoon will be another reason for Texas to believe they are for real this season.
Texas boasts three guards that average more than 10 points, and while Keith Appling should hold his own on defense, I don’t think the supporting cast will do enough to completely shut down the trio.
However, even if the guard play is shut down, Texas can dominate in the post.
Longhorns center Cameron Ridley might as well be Derrick Nix’s younger brother by the way he’s built and the way he plays.
Averaging nearly 10 points per game, the 6-foot-9, 285 pound center will be licking his chops with the matchup in the paint today; he will be paired up with Alex Gauna and Gavin Schilling (Matt Costello is out with mononucleosis).
MSU’s leading scorer, Gary Harris, likely will be making a return today, but MSU fans should hold off on the celebration for that news.
Yes, getting Harris back on the floor will do wonders for the Spartans, but probably not today.
For the last three weeks, Harris has missed more than a handful of practices, and that likely will translate to the court. Don’t believe me? His line for the North Carolina game was 5-for-15 from the field and he had a pair of missed layups.
Was it the worst game imaginable? Of course not (he still had 17 points), but a performance like that will not make up for the injury-plagued Spartans’ shortcomings today.
Texas will come out firing, and despite a late MSU run, the Longhorns will win, interrupting their football coaching talk for approximately seven minutes in Austin, Tex.