Michigan State Basketball: 5 Reasons Spartans Will Beat Duke

5 of 6

Nov 18, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Duke Blue Devils center Jahlil Okafor (15) drives to the basket with Michigan State Spartans forward Gavin Schilling (34) defending during the first half at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

2. Be Physical With Jahlil Okafor — But Not Too Physical

This one almost goes without saying. One of the main things Michigan State needs to do is lock down the potential No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, Jahlil Okafor. The Duke big man has terrorized opponents all season long and his shooting percentage over 65 means that he has soft touch around the rim and can even make a 10-foot jumper with ease.

Luckily for the Spartans, Okafor doesn’t play inside out, meaning that MSU will need to do exactly what it did in the second half against Montrezl Harrell of Louisville. Michigan State shut Harrell down by putting bodies on him and forcing him away from the basket and away from his comfort zone.

If Michigan State can be physical with Okafor in the post with Gavin Schilling, Marvin Clark, Branden Dawson and Matt Costello, they will be able to keep him from getting touches in the paint for some easy baskets.

However, MSU will need to avoid being too physical with the big man as he draws a lot a fouls by the way he plays and Michigan State is already a team that gets into a lot of foul trouble. Let’s hope Schilling doesn’t pick up his patented two first half fouls and Costello can avoid the silly fouls that put him on the bench for five-minute stretches at a time.

Bodies on Okafor are good, but avoid being too physical. The last time he played a team this physical was the second game of the year and the Spartans were a far cry of what they are now.

Next: Free Throws, Free Throws, Free Throws