After a strong start, Michigan State basketball suffered a total collapse, losing to the Indiana Hoosiers 82-69.
Michigan State Basketball, especially Joey Hauser, got off to a hot start Sunday afternoon at Assembly Hall, walking out a little over six minutes with a 17-8 lead. Hauser looked like he was headed for career night, scoring 11 of those 17 points in an impressive manner.
With the lead established, Trayce followed Jackson-Davis Hauser’s lead and took over.
With TJD in charge, the script quickly flipped as if the Spartans were being driven out of the building. Indiana ended the final 12 minutes of the first half on a 29-15 run to take a 37-32 lead and put as much momentum into the dressing room as possible.
MSU came out in the second half and looked like the team from the first 10 minutes of the game, opening on a 12-5 run to take the lead with 15 minutes left. In a running game, Indiana came back. After opening the second half with a 7-for-8 shooting, Michigan State went 1-for-8 on the next eight shots.
With that cold spell, Indiana saw its lead balloon and eventually shut out the Spartans 82-69.
Here’s the great, good, bad, and ugly of MSU’s one-sided loss at Assembly Hall.
Great: Jaden Akins
After consecutive underperforming games against Illinois and Purdue, Jaden Akins came on to play against Rutgers and Indiana. Akins continued his 11-point performance against the Scarlet Knights on Thursday with a 15-point game on Sunday in Bloomington.
With Michigan State on the ground early in the second half, Akins started lighting it from three and eventually finished shooting 3-for-4 from deep. Each brand calmed the crazy Indiana crowd a little.
Despite this great performance, as mentioned, Jaden had a number of underperforming games. To open Big Ten play, Akins had four out of five games in which he scored single digits. Jaden truly is the X-factor of the Spartans and needs to play as such. It can’t happen that Big Ten games go over stretches with no impact. Akins shoots nearly 44 percent from 3-point range and has the ability to be a real threat for Tom Izzo at all levels. He has to play like this every night.
Good: Joey Hauser
Even with a costly mistake late in the second half, Joey Hauser was great on Sunday. As mentioned, Joey single-handedly got the Spartans off to a great start.
Hauser finished the first half with 14 of MSU’s 32 first-half points and looked like the seasoned leader that he is. He was able to take what the Hoosier defense gave him and create opportunities for himself. Joey shot 50 percent from field and 33 percent from deep to grab six rebounds on his 22-point outing.
It’s well documented this season that the Spartans are constantly struggling to make it to the free throw line. On Sunday afternoon, Hauser did his part to get Indiana into dire trouble. With 12 free throws, Hauser had nine while fouling Indiana forward Jordan Geronimo with five minutes left.
Bad: Assists, bench production
Michigan State averages 15 assists per game. Death, Taxes and the State of Michigan with an Elite Assistance Team. Against Indiana on Sunday, the Spartans had just six assists. It seemed like the Hoosiers had MSU completely off the rails, and the one-sided result was a result.
Not moving the ball to find the open shot dug the Spartans into a hole they couldn’t climb out of. I assume that’s more of an anomaly than an area of real concern for the Spartans, but MSU can’t make the lack of assists routine.
Just days after an extremely balanced performance by the Spartans, the Michigan State bench went back to previous habits. Apart from Jaxon Kohler, who again looked better than starter Mady Sissoko, all other bench players were ineffective. Tre Holloman and Pierre Brooks each played over 13 minutes and both had no impact.
While Holloman hasn’t shown much offensive prowess so far this season, Brooks has. Brooks has been noted in recent weeks as having the talent to deliver seven to nine points off the bench, but he continues his intense slump into his sophomore year. Aside from a two-point performance against Rutgers, Brooks is now scoreless in five of his last six games. More than just not scoring, Brooks looks absolutely lost on defense and can’t buy a basket at any point.
Pierre doesn’t have to spend every minute in the classroom at the gym because unfortunately he’s borderline unplayable at that point.
Ugly: 3-point defense
Michigan State, normally an above-average defensive team, was far from that on Sunday.
Michigan State Basketball currently ranks 51st in the country in 3-point defense with an opponent percentage of 30.5. Indiana ended the game against the Spartans with a 60 percent double shot from deep. Whether that was due to the energetic crowd at Assembly Hall, a great 3-point shooting list for Indiana, or a lack of MSU defense, the result doesn’t matter. What makes this 60 percent shooting clip even more impressive is that freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino missed all three attempts, dragging the team’s average down.
Michigan State had no answer for second guard Tamar Bates, who was scoreless in the Hoosiers’ previous two games, and junior Trey Galloway. The two connected in a combined 8-of-9 of three.
MSU guards were repeatedly hit in place and/or failed to properly close the red hot shooters. Beating a team shooting 9v15 from three point range is next to impossible. Michigan State needs to do better at disrupting opposing shooters if they plan to break loose in conference play.