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3 things I want to see from Michigan State basketball at No. 18 Wisconsin

A stress-free win would be nice for once.



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

Here’s what I want to see from Michigan State basketball if it plans on picking up a big win at Wisconsin on Tuesday.

Winning on the road in the Big Ten isn’t easy but Michigan State basketball has a chance to improve to 2-0 away from the Breslin Center in league play this year.

But beating No. 18 Wisconsin at Kohl Center is a tall task.

Michigan State has won there plenty of times in the past and it’s beaten better Wisconsin teams, but we’ve seen this team stumble on the road this season against a worse team (Notre Dame). I don’t see that happening on Tuesday night, however.

Here’s what I want to see from the Spartans at No. 18 Wisconsin.

1. A quick start


Michigan State couldn’t buy a bucket in the first 10-15 minutes against Michigan and in their last road game, the Spartans fell behind by nine points early on at Penn State. The road game before that, the Spartans were down double-digits at Notre Dame before anyone could even take a breath.

Avoiding a slow start on the road is key here. I’m not asking for a massive lead or 3-point barrage early on (although I wouldn’t say no to that), but I just want Michigan State to get off to a nice, quick start and hold a lead at halftime. Good things happen when that’s the case.

2. An aggressive AJ Hoggard

When AJ Hoggard is aggressive, Michigan State is at its best.

Hoggard has a clear size and strength advantage over the Wisconsin guards, namely Chucky Hepburn, and I want to see him seize that opportunity. I’d like to see Hoggard do what he did against Michigan and hunt for his own looks and take the ball to the hoop when he has a clear advantage or mismatch.

I’d love to see him get 13-14 shots up and finish with 15-plus points while dishing 5-6 assists. If he does this, Michigan State likely wins.

3. Second-chance points

How do you deflate a team on its own court? You hit the offensive glass hard and pick up second-chance buckets. Michigan State basketball needs to do that on Tuesday night.

The Badgers are the 369th-best rebounding team in the nation and they might be without their second-best rebounder so offensive boards shouldn’t be too hard to come by.

Crash the boards, win on the offensive glass, and win the second-chance points battle and the Spartans win the game. With the clear rebounding advantage Michigan State has over Wisconsin, I don’t just want to see this, I need to see this.

Writer, co-owner of Spartan Shadows. Michigan State and college football expert at FanSided and formerly of The Detroit News. Expert on all things Michigan State. Connor Muldowney has written about Michigan State since graduating from the university with a degree in journalism back in 2013. Ten years of experience as a Michigan State writer/reporter.


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