The month of December is upon us and Michigan State basketball will be heating up. What can we expect from the final month of non-conference play?
November yielded some mixed results for Michigan State as it opened the season with a tough loss in the Champions Classic (thanks, Tyrese Maxey) followed by a huge road win against Seton Hall and a red-hot Myles Powell.
A top-five loss and a top-15 win on the road can’t technically be considered a disappointing start, right? Well, when you lose to a Virginia Tech team that lost just about everyone, including a head coach, from a season ago in the opening round of the Maui Invitational, you draw a ton of negative attention. The Hokies were picked to finish 14th in the ACC.
Michigan State followed that up with wins over Georgia and UCLA to close out Maui in fifth place, but the Spartans were hoping for much more.
There’s still a chance Michigan State can get back on track before Big Ten play and that happens on Tuesday night against Duke. This kicks off a big month for the green and white.
What can we expect from the Spartans in December?
5. Spartans shoot 40 percent from deep as a team
Michigan State was shooting around 30 percent on the season from deep, or even slightly lower, following a loss to Virginia Tech in the Maui opener, but after a two-game hot stretch against Georgia and UCLA, the Spartans are not only over 30 percent on the season, but approaching 35.
In fact, Michigan State is making about 34 percent of its 3-point tries, which is a drastic improvement from the first five, or so, games of the season when it seemed like nothing was falling.
The Spartans made 47 percent against Georgia and 42 percent versus UCLA to make it 44 percent (16-of-36) over the final two games in Maui. That will continue in the month of December as the team shoots over 40 percent, getting that season average up close to the 40 percent mark as well.
This is the elite shooting team we all expected to start the year and we’ll see better production from deep out of guys like Rocket Watts, Gabe Brown, Aaron Henry and Cassius Winston.