Spartans Are Locked In - Rout Of NU Sign Of Things To Come

Spartans Are Locked In - Rout Of NU Sign Of Things To Come

Basketball

Spartans Are Locked In - Rout Of NU Sign Of Things To Come

Michigan State exploded against Northwestern in the Spartans’ return to Big Ten play at the Breslin Center Wednesday night. Izzo has his team’s attention and the Spartans look like a team that has no interest in being stopped by anyone.

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The 2018 version of Nick Ward was an absolute beast.

The 2019 version of Nick Ward is every bit the beast the 2018 version was.

Cassius Winston continues to play like an All American with intentions of being a Spartan point guard being mentioned in the same breath as Magic and Mateen.

Xavier Tillman continues to evolve into a weapon for Tom Izzo.

Matt McQuaid’s thigh isn’t swelling or bleeding any more.

Kenny Goins is playing with strength and power on the boards and he’s an offensive option.

The Spartans’ commitment to high-energy transition play looks and feels like it has several more gears than it usually has right now.

It’s okay to be a little worried about the boot Joshua Langford had on his foot tonight – but maybe it’s also okay to consider that he’s getting a chance to keep his legs fresh and that his absence didn’t hamper the attack one bit.

Michigan State throttled Northwestern 81-55 on Wednesday night in East Lansing and the game felt like an opportunity for the Spartans to let it be known that they’re not screwing around.

The Big Ten slate is back and there is a long, tough grind ahead.

Northwestern isn’t going to compete for the conference championship and a victory over the Wildcats isn’t anything to get too excited about.

However, the way Michigan State won on Wednesday night demonstrates that this team is dialed in, focused, determined, playing against a standard rather than an opponent, and appears to only just be starting on a drive to big things over the course of the next three months.

There were moments late in the second half when things got a little sloppy – but this was a great way for Michigan State to tip off the New Year.

After torching Northwestern for 20 points in the first half, Ward finished the night with 21 on 9 of 16 shooting that was complemented by 7 rebounds.

Winston finished the night with 13 points, 12 assists, and only 2 turnovers.  He was 4 of 6 from the floor and he nailed his only 3-point attempt.

McQuaid had 10 points, Kyle Aherns – starting in place of Langford – contributed 11 points and 3 assists, and Kenny Goins had 8 points and 12 rebounds.

Xavier Tillman only continues to develop – he had 14 points on 6 of 7 from the floor and he grabbed 8 rebounds.

The Spartans were 34 of 58 from the floor for a 58.6% on the night.

Up next for Izzo’s gang –  a trip to Columbus to take on the #14/#12 (AP/Coaches) Buckeyes who are 12-1.

Chris Collins had this to say after his team’s loss to Michigan State:

“They have a great point guard in Cassius and Nick Ward is a fantastic big man.  And the rest of the guys know how to star in their roles…..They’re as good as anyone in the country.”

A great start to 2019 for Michigan State…

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