Michigan State basketball: Mady Sissoko took a big step vs. Indiana State

Michigan State's Mady Sissoko passes the ball against Stony Brook during the second half on
Michigan State's Mady Sissoko passes the ball against Stony Brook during the second half on / Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA

It's been a tough season for Mady Sissoko. The senior Michigan State basketball center wasn't exactly expected to be an All-Big Ten performer, but many believed that he'd at least take a step forward with his progress from 2022-23.

That just hadn't happened through the first 12 games of the season.

Michigan State had a serious post-scoring issue and Sissoko wasn't helping with his lack of touch around the rim and patented 2-foot fadeaway jumpers that always seem to fall one foot short.

Everyone knows by now that he's not in there for offense. But he hasn't exactly been the defensive stopper or elite rebounder that we had all expected.

That changed on Saturday afternoon against a really good Indiana State team.

Sissoko wasn't playing well offensively, scoring just six points on 1-for-4 shooting, but he crashed the offensive glass with four boards which led to some huge second-chance points down the stretch. He also made 4-of-6 free throws which is really all you can ask for him when he does get to the line.

And on defense, he was tasked with defending Robbie Avila who was considered an all-around threat who could pass, score, and rebound and he held him to five points, six rebounds, and two assists on 2-of-5 shooting and he had four fouls. Mady really kept him in check all game long. It was a huge confidence-boosting performance.

The Spartans are going to get Jaxon Kohler back soon and he's going to be the team's offensive threat down low, but Mady has earned more minutes due to his rebounding and defense.

He took a big step on Saturday.