CM – Preview: Louisville is coming to town for the ACC Big Ten Challenge against the MSU men’s hoops

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Then-junior striker Matt Costello tries a basket over Louisville forward Montrezl Harrell March 28, 2015, during the East Regional round of the NCAA tournament in the Elite Eight against Louisville at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York. The Spartans defeated the Cardinals in overtime 76-70. Erin Hampton / The State News

Michigan State returns to the mainland after finishing second in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. MSU went 2-1 in three games against the strong field, with wins over Loyola and No. 17 Uconn and one loss to No. 4 Baylor.

The trip to the Caribbean proved fruitful for the Spartans who did this Week received their first appearance in the AP Top 25 poll and landed in 22nd place. The next challenge for MSU comes in the ACC Big Ten Challenge with Louisville in town on December 1st.

Despite the success, Tom Izzo, head coach of Michigan State Men’s Basketball, said the three-day tournament showed where the Spartans are need to improve in the future.

The main concerns for the future of the MSU are their tendency to flip the ball and their shooting problems with the team’s options. Izzo said he has been working on addressing these issues since he returned to East Lansing. On the sales front, he said he had conversations with junior and second point guards Tyson Walker and A.J. Hoggard on her inability to hold the ball and used films to explain how to improve. MSU ranks 287th in the nation in terms of sales percentage (22.1%) and a lot of the reason is because the two primary ball handlers come together for 5.5 sales per game.

« They average three per game, that’s exactly six, » said Izzo. “That’s a lot for point guards. And then everyone else gets one and two, so we tried to show them a movie. We showed them a movie of the sales and how ridiculous some of them are. If we didn’t spin the ball, we got more shots – we played a lot better. ”

In the holdings MSU holds, Izzo said he wanted better shooting from the team’s snipers, especially senior ones Striker Joey Hauser and freshman guard Max Christie. The two combined to shoot 8-35 (22.8%) from the field and 3-15 (20%) from the three-point distance. Izzo said shooting the team can help take the team to another level.

« We need to involve Max and Gabe (Brown), » said Izzo. « Gabe is much more involved now. At the same time. I think Max and Joey are two of our better shooters, and Joey looked great. And yet, if you look at his overall game, he recovered, he defended, he played pretty well too. He only missed a couple of long shots. ”

Izzo said if the team can improve in these areas it can become a well-rounded squad. He said that all players and parts have the talent to be successful, and he is looking for the best way to make the parts fit.

Next on the Spartans’ path is Louisville. The Cardinals are 5-1 this year with their most recent win over Maryland in the Baha Mar Bahamas Championship. The only loss on Louisville’s résumé comes to Furman, who tripled her in overtime on November 12th.

The Cardinals are led by Florida Transfer and Senior Guard Noah Locke, who took the team out in minutes (26, 8) and points (13.0). Redshirt Seniors Center Malik Williams also has the size and rebound ability (9.8 per game) to give the Spartans a fit.

« You have nine players playing for at least 15 minutes or more, » said Izzo . “So that’s quite a lot of guys – they make them ripple. Noah Locke, the Florida transfer along with the Marshall (Jarrod West) transfer are two of their better players. ”(3:34 to 3:48)

Louisville is the first of two games at the Breslin Center this week for Michigan State. The Spartans will also receive Toledo on Sunday December 4th. The game against Louisville will start at 7:15 p.m. December 1st and aired on ESPN.

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