Predictions: Iowa too deep for ailing Spartans
State News basketball reporters Matt Sheehan and Zach Smith offer their thoughts on MSU’s upcoming game versus Iowa tonight.
Cover your eyes Spartan fans, this will be an ugly one.
In one of Iowa’s most important games in the past decade, look for the No. 12 Hawkeyes to take to it No. 6 MSU early in the game. The home crowd of 14,700 will be the toughest crowd MSU has played in front of since making a trip to Indiana, but this team is also a lot different than it was against the Hoosiers.
As we all know, the top two Spartan rebounders in Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne are summoned to cheerleading on the bench again.
This truly couldn’t come against a worse time, as Iowa is the third best team in the nation — yes, that nation — at grabbing boards.
Missing two starters is also never a good thing, but it stings a little more after looking how deep of a team Iowa is. 11 players average more than 14 minutes of playing time, and each player has earned every minute they are given.
Iowa forward Aaron White will be one of the toughest tests the MSU big men will face in the Big Ten, averaging 13.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Michigan’s own Roy Devyn Marble will be the guy to watch for the Hawkeyes, as he leads Iowa in scoring at 16.7 points per game.
MSU can shut him down, but again, Iowa is so deep they can look at other options to light up the scoreboard.
The tough atmosphere, the pain of losing Payne (pun intended) and Dawson and the deepness of Iowa will be too much for the Spartans to handle, causing some East Lansing residents to hit the panic button.
Iowa: 77 MSU: 68
Things have taken a drastic turn for the worst for the MSU men’s basketball team.
Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson get hurt, and now Keith Appling joins the list, although he’s going to play through it.
Iowa is one of the most improved teams in the conference, and this is one of the biggest games they’ve ever had.
And the Hawkeyes are going to win.
They’re going to run up and down the court and score a bunch of points on the fast break.
Roy Devyn Marble is going to score at will against the team from his home state, and without Payne and Dawson, it’ s up to Matt Costello to control the rebounds.
Appling can barely score because of his wrist, and Gary Harris isn’t enough to carry the team alone.
It’s going to be a crazy atmosphere at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, and Iowa will run up and down the court all over the Spartans.
Iowa: 77 MSU: 69