Michigan State basketball opened the season on the right foot with a 73-55 win over Northern Arizona at the Breslin Center in what was sort of a sleepy victory.
The Spartans got up 24-8 early and basically played an even game the rest of the way with AJ Hoggard in foul trouble and the offense struggling to really get going.
The defense stepped up and really put the clamps on everyone not named Jalen Cone to hold the Lumberjacks under 60 points, but the perimeter defense needs to be a little better as they gave up 30 attempts from distance.
What’d we learn from this season-opening win by Michigan State?
3. Rebounding was a bit of a struggle
While Michigan State did win the rebounding battle 46-37, the Spartans did surrender 12 offensive boards to a team that didn’t have a ton of size.
To be fair, this year’s Michigan State team isn’t the biggest, but it was frustrating to see a lot of long rebounds come out to the Lumberjacks, and boxing out was a struggle all night long.
You have to take a +9 in rebounds every night, but this has to improve against a team like Kentucky or Gonzaga which both have big guys who crash the glass at an impressive rate.
Rebounding left a lot to be desired.