Is Xavier Booker Michigan State basketball's best option vs. Zach Edey?

Michigan State's Xavier Booker, right, move the ball against Ohio State's Evan Mahaffey during the
Michigan State's Xavier Booker, right, move the ball against Ohio State's Evan Mahaffey during the / Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA

After getting his first career start with Michigan State basketball, Xavier Booker shined and looked like the best center on the team against Ohio State.

The talented freshman had seven points, three rebounds, and three blocks. On top of that, he led the team in +/- at +11 and he left the game with about 15 minutes left as the Spartans held a 40-31 lead over the Buckeyes. Following his final sub-out (which he didn't know that's what it would be), Michigan State scored just 17 points in the next 15 minutes and Ohio State was able to score much easier down low.

Interim Ohio State coach Jake Diebler even pointed out that Booker's departure helped Ohio State out quite a bit. It was an extremely telling quote.

Ohio State didn't have a dominant big man, however. Michigan State's next opponent, Purdue, does.

Zach Edey is the nation's top player, averaging 23.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game in the post, shooting 65 percent from the floor. He will win back-to-back national player of the year awards and he went off against the Spartans in two games last year because, well, MSU didn't have a big man that could cover him.

That's the same issue for Michigan State this time around. The Spartans have Mady Sissoko, Carson Cooper, Jaxon Kohler, and now Booker. Is it fair to say Booker is the team's best option to guard Edey?

Honestly, I'd say that the top option would be Carson Cooper just for size and length and Booker would be a close second. It's tough to throw a true freshman out there while he's still trying to add some muscle to his slight 238-pound frame against a 7-foot-4, 300-pound behemoth. But Booker would be able to get Edey uncomfortable on defense.

Michigan State's game plan may be letting Edey do whatever he wants in the post (well, not letting him, but you know what I mean) while containing everyone else. That would mean that Booker could be in there for a few blocked shots and then he would help open up the floor on offense.

Defensively, Cooper is the best option but if the Spartans want a real shot to win, I think Booker has to be out there for floor spacing.

But then again, no one wins at Mackey.