Michigan State basketball opened the season with Northern Arizona, but if you’re expecting the non-conference slate to stay on that same wavelength, I have bad news for you.
The Spartans are 1-0 after the season-opening win and while I wish a little more rust could have been shaken off against the Lumberjacks before this Friday night battle against No. 2 Gonzaga, but at least Jaden Akins was healthy and the young guys looked comfortable.
Michigan State needs to find a way to correct their mistakes from the opener and play a darn-near perfect game against Gonzaga if it wants to come away with an upset.
Here’s what I want to see from the Spartans on Friday against Gonzaga in San Diego.
3. Mady Sissoko holding his own
Look, I know Drew Timme is going to get his points in the paint because he’s just that good, but I at least want to see Mady Sissoko holding his own, not getting completely backed down and playing some tight defense.
I don’t expect Sissoko to hold Timme under 20 points, but I just don’t want him to look like a deer in headlights like he did in his first two seasons. I want him to at least look like he belongs on the same court as Timme and maybe make a couple of nice plays that will undoubtedly ignite the rest of the team with energy.
Sissoko needs to be that energy in the post and if he gets a block or throws down a dunk or an alley-oop, or two, I could see this team getting hot.