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Michigan State basketball: Stock watch after win No. 2 over Maryland

Whose stock is on the rise?

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Michigan State basketball
© Dale Young-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State basketball picked up a big win over Maryland on Saturday evening and here’s whose stock is on the rise.

If you are a fan of a great defensive matchup, Maryland vs. Michigan State basketball was the game for you. This was a pretty similar game to the first one between both of these teams. This was a defensive battle and there were times when it seemed like both teams were lost on offense. It was full of turnovers, missed shots, and limited scoring, especially early in the second half.

But through all of that, Michigan State did get the win and even had a few players who had their stock rise.

Stock up

  • Malik Hall

What a game for Malik Hall. In the first half, he struggled a little defensively and on the glass but one area he didn’t struggle in was scoring. Since the game at Northwestern, he has been one of the most consistent players on this team, and that continued on Saturday. Hall could get whatever he wanted, including a great post move that made a Maryland defender look like he was on skates. He also improved defensively and on the glass in the second half but the biggest thing he did was close the game. When fans think of the player who is typically the closer, they would think of Tyson Walker but on Saturday, it was Hall. When the offense wasn’t scoring, Hall was the answer, scoring 10 points. In a low-scoring and defensive battle, Malik was huge towards the end especially making free throws. He was the player of the game for Michigan State.

  • Tyson Walker

Over the last few games, Walker has struggled to shoot the ball but on Saturday, he was much better. He ended up putting up 19 points and making 2-of-3 from deep. Walker started to look like how he played earlier this year, which is a great sign. This was the performance that Tyson needed and it is nice seeing him make some shots, even after a few games that have been down from what fans usually expect from him.

  • Tre Holloman’s defense

Tre Holloman’s growth this year has been great to see. That growth has come on the offensive and defensive ends. Against Maryland, Holloman was not hitting his shots but one thing he did was play defense. When Holloman was in, he was on Jahmir Young. His defense on Young was great all night, even when he made tough shots. Holloman’s defensive emergence has been really important for this team and he is going to continue to draw matchups against the other team’s best player. If he continues to play defense like this, he is going to be an issue on the defensive end for a lot of teams for a few more years.

Stock down

  • Turnovers

This was the first time in a few games that protecting the ball hasn’t been great. There were times in this game when Michigan State made passes that would probably end up five rows deep into the crowd. This isn’t something that Michigan State basketball has done very much this year. This trend of turning over the ball over 15 times can not continue, especially against the better teams in the Big Ten.

  • AJ Hoggard

This was not AJ Hoggard’s best game this year. It was also not his worst but it was a disappointing showing. There were moments in this game when AJ made extremely difficult passes that led to turnovers. AJ had three turnovers and only put up six points. While this wasn’t his best performance, he did have moments that turned this game around. His pass to Carson Cooper and clutch steal were two of those moments. Like I said, this is not the worst performance and wasn’t even that bad of a game but it was a little down compared to what he has done recently.

  • Open-shot making

This was one of those weird games that seemed like the Spartans missed quite a few open shots. From a few threes from Jaden Akins to Tre Holloman as well, it seemed like this team was missing more shots than they typically do. This wasn’t the best shooting night for Akins but with other players stepping up in scoring like Malik Hall and Tyson Walker, he didn’t need to have his best night.

This was one of those games that fans will look back on and talk about how the two teams didn’t play well on offense. What matters is that Michigan State basketball played well enough and also had a great defensive performance. Some nights, this team won’t hit shots that they typically but if they can bring this defensive performance, they will have a shot in most games. That is what they had in this one and they ended up winning by nine against a good defensive team.

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