A questionable foul call with 1.9 seconds left in a tie game was the difference as Michigan State basketball wasn’t able to complete a 16-point comeback against Tennessee, falling 89-88.
The Spartans lost to the No. 9 team in the nation in an exhibition game for charity and it was a great experience for both teams because now they know what it’s going to take to beat the top teams in college basketball. This experience will benefit the Spartans and the Vols.
And it should benefit Coen Carr.
The freshman forward was a monster in limited action, scoring nine points with four rebounds, a block, and a steal in 16 minutes. He also finished with a team-best +22 in plus-minus. When he was on the floor, good things were happening for Michigan State.
Unfortunately, he just wasn’t on the floor enough.
Coen Carr should be getting starter’s minutes for Michigan State basketball
I get it, it was just an exhibition game so there’s no need to push some of these important pieces too much. It’s especially important for some of the young guys to get their feet wet.
However, 16 minutes just didn’t seem like enough run for a guy who was playing defense at a high level and was nearly impossible to defend while driving the lane. I mean, defenders had to make some business decisions on Sunday afternoon.
Don’t believe me? Here’s some proof:
Carr played the sixth most minutes on the team, just one minute more than Carson Cooper who I also believe deserves more time.
When he was on the floor, the team played with more energy. Carr provided a constant alley-oop threat that had defenders checking their backs every couple of seconds and made Tennessee play a little more timid on that end of the floor. On defense, Carr was all over the place and wreaked some havoc.
That’s exactly what Michigan State needs in the starting lineup: a high-energy guy who can defend at a high level and draw some attention on offense — even if his jumper isn’t there yet.
Tom Izzo is going to have some tough lineup decisions to make, but even if he doesn’t start the talented freshman, I think it’s a no-brainer to give him starter’s minutes.