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Michigan State basketball: Outstanding guard play led to victory over Oakland

What a showing from the guards.

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Michigan State basketball
© Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan State basketball had some great guard play from key players on Monday night which led to a blowout win.

Michigan State basketball had an all around great game in their Monday night win over Oakland 79-62. The Spartans looked sharp in every aspect of their game, but arguably their best play came from their guards. Tom Izzo specifically pointed out four guards that combined for an impressive stat line.

Four Spartan guards combine for zero turnovers

This team undoubtedly will be led by their guards this year. That doesn’t mean our bigs are bad, but our guards are definitely this teams strengths. If this team is going to accomplish their lofty goals, the guards are going to have to have more nights like they did on Monday.

Tyson Walker, AJ Hoggard, Jeremy Fears, and Tre Holloman all combined for 19 assists and 0 turnovers. These four also combined for 37 of our teams 79 points as well. It’s a celebratory event any time a guard has zero turnovers in a game. But to have four of your guards do it all at once? That’s a great recipe for a dominant win.

I think the mix of senior leadership and younger players is a great sign as well. Tyson and AJ are the upperclassmen and leaders of this team, so zero turnover nights are expected of them. That, however, is not necessarily the case for underclassmen like Fears and Holloman. To have guys starting the game and coming off the bench that can take care of the ball is a luxury to have. Thankfully for Michigan State, that seems to be becoming one of the team’s strong points.

No more turnover problems

Turnovers regularly seem like a problem for a Tom Izzo coached team. That, however, hasn’t been the case this year. The Spartans rank 63rd in the country with 10.8 turnovers per game — 63rd by no means is something to write home about, but 10.8 turnovers per game is something I can live with.

The Spartans are also doing a decent job at turning their opponents over as well. They are currently averaging 13.3 turnovers forced per game. Their turnover margin of +2.5 is good enough for 74th in the country.

Again, this is nothing to be extremely excited about. But I do get excited about it knowing how bad we have been in the past with turnovers. On Monday night, the Spartans only had eight turnovers against Oakland, tying their season low with the Wisconsin game. Turnovers have been trending in the right direction for MSU recently, so I hope to see that continue and the Spartans rise in the national rankings.

Lead writer for Spartan Shadows since April 2023, writing over 450 articles. Michigan State basketball, football and recruiting expert. Class of 2019 graduate from Michigan State University specializing in Sports Management. Daily MSU runs a popular X page (@daily_msu) covering all things MSU Sports.

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