Purdue at Michigan State - Game Analysis, Prediction

Purdue at Michigan State - Game Analysis, Prediction

Basketball

Purdue at Michigan State - Game Analysis, Prediction

Michigan State has jumped a couple of spots in both the AP and Coaches Polls after the big win at Ohio State on Saturday. With an eight-game winning streak going, the #6/#5 Spartans host Purdue (9-5, 2-1) tonight at the Breslin Center.  Here’s what to expect.

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On Tuesday night, at what will be a raucous Breslin Center, Michigan State will try to extend its eight-game winning streak with a matchup against the 9-5, 2-1 Purdue Boilermakers.

This isn’t a typical Boiler squad like the many that Michigan State has had classic brawls with over the years.

However, Carsen Edwards is averaging 25.5 points per game, is doing all he can to establish himself as the leading Big Ten Player of the Year Candidate, and he’s carrying the Boilers who are always dangerous no matter what their record may be.

Cassius Winston and these Spartans will have plenty to say about everything pertaining to the way Edwards has earned the hype tonight in a game that Michigan State should win if it believes it is the #6 team in the nation and is going to compete all season for another Big Ten Championship.

Tom Izzo isn’t ready to cut down any nets just yet – he’s going to make sure everyone knows that it’s Janurary 8th, not March 8th.

“I’m not ready to canonize anybody on anything because we haven’t earned anything. We’ve earned the right to be where we’re at. We’ve earned the right to say we’re getting better. We’ve earned the right to say that we’ve got a fun team to watch, and we don’t neglect an area right now,” said Izzo on Monday in East Lansing.

LANGFORD STILL OUT – AHRENS MIGHT ALSO BE OUT

Joshua Langford will sit out his third straight game while he recovers from the left ankle sprain.

Michigan State has responded extraordinarily well to dealing with Langford’s absence in convincing and impressive wins over Northwestern and Ohio State.

Are there many teams across the nation that can appear to not even miss a beat with one of it’s leading scorers and defenders on the bench for multiple games?

But now Izzo will have to deal with another ankle sprain – Kyle Ahrens has been a huge contributor to the Spartans’ success so far this season and freshman Aaron Henry may be called upon to show that the solid showing he had at Ohio State in almost fifteen minutes of play off the bench was only  start for him.

Henry made a few key plays on Saturday in Columbus and looked like something other than a wide-eyed freshman when he found Kenny Goins for a key layup and then Henry’s two free throws were clutch components of the win.

Can Aaron Henry continue to develop and even become a weapon?

GETTING WINSTON OPPORTUNITIES OFF THE BALL

Meanwhile, as Cassius Winston continues to carry this team, Izzo sees opportunity to set him up for more shooting opportunities off ball screens since Winston is such a great shooter from the floor.

With Langford and Ahrens out, can Aaron Henry and Matt McQuaid effectively set up Winston?

WHO WILL TRY TO SHUT DOWN CARSEN EDWARDS?

Finally, who is going to be responsible for limiting Carsen Edwards?

Izzo says McQuaid will get the initial assignment but that he’s going to throw a variety of Spartans at Edwards over the course of the game.

McQuaid has earned the status as Izzo’s premiere, lock down defender so it seems reasonable to expect McQuaid to get the bulk of the assignment thrown his way but the rotating approach sounds great.

GAME PREDICTION:

Carsen Edwards can’t beat these Spartans by himself – especially in East Lansing.

And even without Langford, Izzo is getting great production from Winston, of course, McQuaid, Nick Ward, Xavier Tillman, Kenny Goins, and the rest of a cast of Spartans who know they need to continue to deliver a balanced attack on both sides of the ball.

PURDUE – 64

MICHIGAN STATE – 81

 

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