The big man rotation for Michigan State basketball has been hit or miss and Tom Izzo needs to go with the hot hand. Therefore, play Mady Sissoko more.
It’s just been one of those seasons, ya know? Oh you don’t? If you’re anything like me, you’ve seen nothing but Michigan State basketball success in your lifetime so a season of missing the tourney is completely foreign.
But there have been plenty of avoidable mistakes that have led to this nightmarish season, including the mismanagement of certain lineups and rotations.
Arguably the biggest mistake this year has been the post rotation management. Tom Izzo is usually good at figuring out who fits where and when but this year he’s been lacking. He has been playing certain players who are liabilities on both ends of the floor while a high-ceiling center like Mady Sissoko rides the pine.
Look, I get it, Mady is a very raw freshman who’s still learning the ropes in the post at the collegiate level, but if there was ever a season to get him valuable experience so he’s a top-tier big by his sophomore or junior years, it’s this one. Michigan State is playing with nothing to lose right now and Mady shows flashes of brilliance every time he sees the floor.
The problem? He rarely sees the floor.
In fact, Mady is averaging 5.7 minutes per game and he’s appeared in just 17 of the Spartans’ 19 contests. When he does play, he has a serious impact, averaging 1.1 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.4 blocks. Those aren’t mind-blowing numbers, by any means, but he’s shown that he’s deserving of more than a few minutes every game.
Case in point, the Purdue loss on Tuesday. He had the half of his life, scoring five points with four rebounds in six first-half minutes against the Boilermakers and he provided a spark off the bench and was actually holding his own defensively. In the second half, he didn’t see the floor. Why?
Izzo claims he lost track of the rotation and didn’t even realize that he hadn’t played Sissoko, but that’s not good enough. This dude is part of the future and he needs to be treated as such in the present.
Michigan State needs Mady playing healthy minutes in the post moving forward if it wants to turn things around in 2021-22.