12/5/2012 @ 8 PM on Big Ten Network
I like cupcakes(I’m kinda sick of turnovers), so it’s good to see MSU have another one come into town. Hailing from the SWAC and in the midst of a brutal road swing(5th of 8 straight road games)the outlook for UAPB isn’t too bright this evening. That’s fine though, because with the B1G schedule looming a few contests of the easy variety will give Izzo a chance to fiddle with lineup combinations.
So what does UAPB bring to the party? This is another undersized squad that is led in scoring by a senior guard, Lazabian Jackson(12 PPG, 5 RPG)and a senior forward, Terrell Kennedy(11 PPG, 4 RPG). Their highest quality big is probably DaVon Hayes, a 6′ 8″ junior from The D who averages 11 points and 6 boards for the Golden Lions this year. Beyond these three players the sledding gets rough in the scoring department as everyone else averages in single digits. They are doing what they can to get by, but it looks like they should have put out an APB for anyone who could score the basketball.
The Spartans, meanwhile, are fresh off the drubbing of Nicholls State and have had a little more time to rest and practice between games. Doom and gloom all around for UAPB. Michigan State managed to improve in a few problem areas in their last game as they cut down on those cursed turnovers(they only had eight), got the offense going, and managed to get more playing time from reserves. Hey, Russell Byrd hit a three! Ahem. There will definitely be more of the same on tap this evening as I expect this one to be another rout, which will give Izzo more opportunities to tinker with his bench and some of said players a chance to impress the coach with their skills. The schedule has a fair amount of well-deserved rest incorporated within it and nary an impressive foe until MSU heads to Texas on December 22 to play the Longhorns. Enjoy this stretch, Spartan Nation.
Prediction: MSU 75, UAPB 47