Jan. 31, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans center Adreian Payne (5) and Michigan State Spartans guard Travis Trice (20) and Michigan State Spartans guard Branden Dawson (22) before the game at Jack Breslin Students Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Previewing Michigan State vs. Minnesota Basketball: The Offense

The Michigan State Spartans and the Minnesota Golden Gophers are pretty evenly matched when it comes to their offensive efforts. Keith Appling, leading scorer for the Spartans, has been tearing up the court scoring 20 or more four times so far this season. Garry Harris is pacing Big Ten freshmen with his 3-pointers, averaging .512, ranking him 3rd among all players. He’s averaging 13.3 points per game compared to Appling’s 14 points per game.

MSU has been good at winning close games and limiting their turnovers to just 0.8 per game (compare that to the women’s basketball average of 14 turnovers per game, and the men’s team’s average of 14.3 per conference game).

Adreian Payne has been on fire for the past y games, he’s been shooting .673 from the field including 7-0f-10 in the 3-point range. Payne will need, however, to limit his fouls so that he can stay in the game where he is needed. Branden Dawson has also been on fire scoring 12.4 points per game with his career high of 18 points.

Michigan State outscores their opponents in the paint as opposed from beyond the arc.

Andre Hollins, the Gophers leading scorer, averages 14.2 points per game, his career high. He is fourth in scoring in conference games, with an average of 16.0 ppg in the Big Ten. He has a career high of 41 points in a game against the Memphis Grizzlies. He has finished six games with 20 or more points. He’s definitely the guy that the Spartans will want to guard during their game.

Trevor Mbakwe has been averaging 10.3 points per game in the Gophers last 11 games. He tops the Big Ten for rebounds at 8.6 per game overall and 10.5 per game in conference play.

It looks like the two teams will be fairly evenly matched on offense – if the Spartans can limit turnovers and prevent Hollins and Mbakwe from scoring and rebounding, it could be a win for the East Lansing team.

Tags: Basketball Michigan State Spartans Minnesota Golden Gophers

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