Michigan State Basketball: 3 takeaways from season-opening win over EMU

Aaron Henry, Michigan State basketball Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Aaron Henry, Michigan State basketball Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Michigan State basketball finally got back to work on Wednesday night, opening its season against Eastern Michigan. What’d we learn from this one?

Finally, we’re playing basketball again, folks. Michigan State tipped off its 2020-21 season against Eastern Michigan after a long eight-month offseason. The Spartans started a bit sluggishly, falling behind 19-17, but they went on a 26-8 run to end the first half and headed into halftime with a 16-point lead.

The second half saw a much more back-and-forth battle as the Eagles just wouldn’t go away and the Spartans’ starters went out when the score was 81-59 and Eastern pieced together an 8-0 run to make it look closer.

The Eagles didn’t let the Spartans run away but it was a sound win for the green and white as they improved to 69-0 in the month of November at home under Tom Izzo.

What’d we learn from the Spartans’ season-opening win?

3. Rebounding needs to improve

One area that Tom Izzo was concerned about heading into the opener was rebounding. His concerns were realized early on as the Spartans were struggled to dominate the glass against a team that entered the game with just seven healthy scholarship players.

Michigan State must have heard it from Izzo in the locker room at halftime because the Spartans came out and were much more aggressive on the glass in the final 20 minutes.

Still, whenever you have 5-6 consistent big guys and the other team has seven total scholarship players healthy and you don’t absolutely dominate on the glass, that’s a problem.

Michigan State finished with a 37-29 advantage on the glass but gave up 10 offensive rebounds. That’s not going to cut it in the Big Ten.