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Michigan State Basketball: 3 keys to victory over Iowa Hawkeyes

What must the Spartans do in order to beat Iowa?



Michigan State basketball
© Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State basketball has now lost three of four games and in order to get back on track against Iowa on Thursday night.

Michigan State basketball gets to come back home off the road loss at Indiana to play Iowa on Thursday.

The Hawkeyes are a middle-of-the-road Big Ten team, but who isn’t at this point? Iowa is coming in with a record of 12-7 overall and 4-4 in conference play. This Iowa team is 9-2 at home and 2-3 on the road.

Let’s get into some keys for Michigan State to beat Iowa at the Breslin Center.

1. Fast-break opportunities

Michigan State has not done a great job at getting out and getting easy buckets. This is an Iowa team that the Spartans can get out and get the tempo and fast break going against. AJ Hoggard needs to push the ball in transition and look to get easy opportunities for this MSU who struggles to score at times. Iowa wants to get up and down as it averages 81.7 points per game.

2. Hold Kris Murray to 15 points or fewer

Michigan State has struggled with post presences and leading scorers of other teams. Can Joey Hauser and Co. hold Kris Murray to under 15 points? Murray is the leading scorer of Iowa and has a usage rate of 26.7 percent. He is averaging 21.3 points per game shooting 51 percent from the field and 38 percent from three.

3.  AJ Hoggard, Tyson Walker combined score 25-plus, have 7-plus assists

MSU struggles when either of these guys are off the floor for long periods of time. Both Tyson Walker and AJ Hoggard can defend at a high level, but Michigan State clearly needs their scoring, too, as they only scored a combined 19 points at Indiana. They also struggled to get other guys going in that Indiana game with only a combined four assists. Michigan State needs these two to be consistent and reliable to score as well as get others involved as the offense tends to struggle when they aren’t able to do these things.

If Michigan State can defend Murray at a high level, get out in transition and get fast-break opportunities, and have Hoggard and Walker get off to fast starts, this should put the Spartans in prime position for a victory. This is a must-win in the eyes of Michigan State fans as it is the better team overall.


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