Michigan State Basketball: Positives and negatives from WMU win

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
Josh Langford, Michigan State basketball Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /


There were plenty of positives late in this one so we’ll start with those first (usually bad news comes first). Michigan State got clutch performances from some key veterans and saw good minutes from some young guys.

Let’s dive into the positives, shall we?

  • Rocket Watts: The sophomore guard is growing into that point guard role nicely as he played 25 minutes, got the start and finished with 10 points and six assists with no turnovers. This is a great development for the growth of this starting five.
  • Joey Hauser: This is the Joey Hauser we all expected to see before the season. Actually, the Hauser we saw on Sunday was better than what we expected. He scored 24 points with 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block and made 6-of-10 shots from 3-point range. Confidence heading into a battle with his brother is sky-high.
  • Shooting prowess: I said before the season that Michigan State could have one of its best shooting teams yet and it finished with a 51 percent shooting rate from the field and 39 percent from deep. And this wasn’t even the Spartans’ best game. Hauser, Gabe Brown, Rocket and Langford all shot well.
  • Marcus Bingham Jr. showing flashes: After going scoreless against Detroit Mercy, Marcus Bingham Jr. had a nice bounce-back game with eight points on some nice post moves and even a jumper. He scored eight points with a rebounds but his two blocks were huge. He continues to be a force on defense and showed flashes on offense. Oh, and he did all this in just 12 minutes.
  • Closing strong: Michigan State may have started incredibly slowly, but for the first time all season, it closed strong on a 20-7 run in the final minutes to win by 18. This is a good sign.
  • Good minutes from Mady: Mady Sissoko has all the potential in the world as a big for the green and white and he played three great minutes at the end of the game. It may not have seemed like much, but he had four points and two strong rebounds in just three minutes of action and that’s going to work wonders for his confidence.

Now, on to the bad news.