Jan 27, 2013; Champaign, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach John Groce reacts during the second half against the Michigan Wolverines at Assembly Hall. Michigan defeated Illinois 74-60. Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Previewing MSU Spartans vs. Illinois: The Offense

In this only Conference game between the Michigan State Spartans and Illinois Illini, Michigan State will really need to bring their A-Game when it comes to offense.

MSU has an average of 69.2 points per game while UI has an average of 72.1 points per game. However, MSU’s field goal percentage is higher than UI’s – .463 vs. .428.

While UI’s biggest scorer Brandon Paul, on average, has 17.9 points per game compared with Kieth Appling’s 13.5 points per game, Gary Harris has been tearing up the court for the Spartans. He’s reached double digits several times, and he recently scored 20 points during a game, his career high is 22. He’s led the conference thus far in foul shooting – making 23 of 25 shots for a .920 average and his 3-point average is at .500. He will be a force for the Illini to reckon with.

In the past six games, the Spartans’ Adreian Payne has also been on fire. He’s shot 30 of 43 -.698 – from the field including a 3-point 6-0f-7. His roommate, Brandon Dawson, has also been playing like he means it. Dawson recently scored his career high of 18 points against Wisconsin.

In order to win, they will have to keep Paul and his teammate D.J. Richardson out of the three-point zone as both Illini players are proficient at hitting the triples. They will also need to make sure that they are shooting to win at every chance when they are in field goal range since the Illini have such a high-scoring average this season.

Tags: Basketball Michigan State Spartans

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