Starting With an Abysmal Record, Can Michigan State Spartans Turn the Tides?

Published 11/16/2023, 7:27 AM EST

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The Michigan State Spartans men’s basketball team have found themselves mired in complications with an abysmal starting record of 1-2. They lost two of their three matches against the Duke Blue Devils and James Madison Dukes. What transpired in the team was a lack of unity and co-ordination that will oust them if the horrendous errors continue.

The Spartans started off their NCAA 2023-24 journey with a disappointing loss to James Madison Dukes. Though the James Madison narrowly screeched to the finish line with a 79-76 score, it did leave some dents on the Spartans. While Tyson Walker did score an unbelievable 35 points, the MI State still couldn’t come up as a team to win their season opener. Their guard Jaden Akins stepped up to point 11 rebounds, yet the team lacked music in their unison.

Spartans’ Lack of Armory


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In an effort to forget their nightmare, the Tom Izzo-coached team put up a fight against the Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles men’s basketball team in their next match.

The Spartans won the match convincingly by defeating their opponents with 74-51 yet failed to capitalize with their individual display. The highest points were once again scored by Walker who smoked 14 while the Akins, forward Malik Hall, and center Mady Sissoko smashed 13, 12 and 11 points respectively.

In their third game against the Duke Blue Devils, the Spartans again lost the match by a decent margin of 65-74. Walker tried his level best to perform with a respectable 22 points, whereas Hall stood second for the Michigan with 18 points. The highest assists of 8 were done by their guard AJ Hoggard.

Can the Spartans rebound?

The Spartans as per critics need to amp up their game with Hoggard taking on the leadership role seriously. Hoggard needs to take more accountability as a leader while passing to other guards such as Hall which might result in more scoring opportunities. Akins too should take on the role of a shooter and pull up his socks.

Walker has been the only saving grace for the Spartans and they need players who can assist him. There has been a noticeable lack of playmakers. Another guy who could turn the tables is their freshman Jeremy Fears. Fears should try his best to stand tall to his name of being a four-star consensus recruit. He has also drawn comparisons to Duke freshman Caleb Foster.

Though Foster has been a scorer, he has filled in the role of being the missing link to the puzzle for the Jon Scheyer coached team. Foster potted the highest points (18) for the Blue Devils in their match with the Spartans. Fears will have to utilize his strong point of being a shot creator and assist his team in ticking the scoreboard continuously.

Some other critics also rest their hopes on center Xavier Booker. He could also contribute as a stretch-forward. Although he hasn’t had the chance to prove his mettle, there could not be a better opportunity than this when the team needs a miracle.

The other way for the MI State to make comeback this season is Walker, Akins and Hoggard forming a trio. Their top three players working as a team will help them dent the chances of their rivals.


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The Next Step

The Michigan State will play their next match against the Butler Bulldogs on November 18 and it could help them set a victorious tone. They are operating under one of the most experienced coaches.

Notably, the team has faced such grave situations before when they had a 1-2 tally in the season start. While the MI fared well during 1995-96 when they smashed a 16-16 by the end of the season, nothing could be compared to their return during the 2005-06 and 2011-12 seasons when they registered a 22-12 and 29-8 as an overall tally. They once again faced similar situation in 2016-17 but turned the tide in their favor by setting up a 20-15.


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Hopefully, the Michigan will sort their center and playmaker vows and demonstrate themselves as one of the best teams this season.


Written by:

Ritvan Pande


One take at a time

Ritvan is a NBA content writer at EssentiallySports whose heart swells up whenever insider anecdotes related to the sport come to light. With over 2 years of professional writing experience, Ritvan focuses on providing an in-depth analysis of the games. The legendary trio of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman mesmerized him and he has been a Chicago Bulls fan ever since.
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Edited by:

Bilal Handoo