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Michigan State Basketball: 3 keys to a road victory at Indiana

Here’s what the Spartans must do in order to beat Indiana.

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© Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Indiana presents another big test for Michigan State basketball on Sunday afternoon in Bloomington. Here’s how the Spartans win.

Michigan State basketball has a difficult upcoming schedule and can’t overlook this Indiana team on the road at Assembly Hall. Indiana has been playing its best basketball of the season.

Here are three keys for the Spartans to get a victory at Indiana.

1. Hold Jalen Hood-Schifino under 14 points

This may look like an odd total because his average for the season is only 13.2 points per game. But since Jalen Hood-Schifino took over the starting guard role for Xavier Johnson he has averaged 18.2 points per game in Big Ten play. He will most likely see a lot of Jaden Akins and AJ Hoggard defending him due to his size (6-foot-6, 215 pounds).

Michigan State should be able to turn him over as he averages 3.2 turnovers per game in conference play. If MSU can make it difficult for him to score this should lead to a victory.

2. Make the game difficult for Trayce Jackson-Davis

This is not only making Trayce Jackson-Davis take difficult and contested shots on the offensive end, but forcing him to defend in a lot of ball screens and pin downs. If Michigan State can hold TJD to under his average of 61 percent from the field this would greatly improve its chances of winning this game.

Michigan State must force TJD to defend the guards in pick and roll and expend energy on the defensive end. It will throw a variety of guys at him with Mady Sissoko getting the first crack at him. I think of the three centers, Mady Sissoko or Carson Cooper have the best chance of limiting him due to TJD being able to play on the block and then being able to face up and take the centers off the dribble.

3. Hit at least eight 3-pointers

Michigan State has won every game this year in which it has made at least eight 3-pointers. Michigan State is averaging 37.8 percent from three while Indiana is allowing opponents to shoot 34.6 percent. The Spartans’ percentage is good for third-best in the conference and Indiana’s percentage is good for third-worst in the Big Ten.

If Michigan State can keep the 3-pointers coming from Tyson Walker, Jaden Akins, and Joey Hauser, this will increase the chances of winning this game. Another key to this is being able to get the attempts up to make eight-plus threes and this bodes well for Michigan State as Indiana is 194th in the country in attempts allowed.

Indiana will be a tough test for this Michigan State basketball team as they have a legit post player in TJD and being at home will make for another difficult game but stealing this road win would be nice.

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