Michigan State Basketball: Max Christie is Big Ten Freshman of the Year favorite

Michigan State basketball’s Max Christie has started to find his groove and with this emergence, he’s the front-runner for freshmen of the year.

Max Christie started his freshman season with Michigan State basketball slowly offensively but turned people’s heads on the defensive side of the ball. As of late, he is starting to find his shooting stroke and showing people why he was the nation’s top shooting guard recruit in 2021.

In Christie’s last four games, which does not include High Point since he was out with COVID-19, he has found his shooting stroke. He’s shooting 62 percent from the floor and an outstanding 69 percent from deep.

In league play this year, he has shot well. He’s shooting 49 percent from the floor along with 40 percent from deep. He is also averaging 12 points, 4.5 rebounds, and two assists in league play.

With Christie being able to find his shooting touch, it appears the offense is starting to run through him a little bit more. He has provided a spark to this Spartan offense the last few games when no one was able to get going. It has been a freshman who has been the most consistent for the Spartans as of late.

Stingy defense translating to explosive offense for Max Christie

Not only is he starting to hit his stride on the offense side of the ball but he has played great defense this entire year. This is something that stood out early this year because everyone who knew Christie or even heard of him knew he was a shooter and had a great stroke. What they did not know was how solid of a defender he is.

Tom Izzo has given Christie high praise for his defensive efforts and so have his teammates.

Against Louisville, It was Christie who had to take on Noah Locke. He did not shudder at the thought of taking on their leading scorer and because of the strong defense, Locke went 0-for-7 from the floor and was scoreless.

This was not the only time he rose up to take on key opposing players.

A week ago when the Spartans took on Nebraska, Christie was matched up with star freshman Bryce McGowens who has earned himself three Big Ten Freshman of the Week accolades. In this game, though, it was Christie who won the matchup as he had 21 points while holding his McGowens to 5-for-16 from the floor and 1-for-7 from deep.

Christie has been called upon early for this team and will continue to get his number called as the season progresses. With this early success and if Christie can continue his shooting prowess as of late, he will be the first Michigan State player to win the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award since Jaren Jackson Jr. won it in 2017-18.