No submarines, no problems: Michigan State continues to manage with a short bench


THE MONKS, Iowa – The last time Michigan State played 11 minutes in the second half without substituting, the match ended badly.

The Spartans managed to get rid of the last 11:42 of their defeat in Indiana on March 2, while they had fallen to the water and that, in Tom Izzo's words, "they were running out d & # 39; essence. "

On Thursday, in the opening state of the NCAA tournament, the state of Michigan once again played 11 minutes in the second half, with no submarines due to persistent staffing issues.

Although the Spartans still have enough gas in the tank, Izzo still worries about this team's ability to hold its second-round match against Minnesota scheduled for Saturday.

"We found ourselves in a difficult situation and we have already responded to the call," Izzo said. "We just have to stick to Saturday, and if we get to Saturday, the situation will return to normal."

After a grueling weekend, the state of Michigan has had one of the shortest adjustments possible before this weekend.

The Spartans played three games in three days Friday, Saturday and Sunday to win the Big Ten tournament. They were then assigned to a first-round site from Thursday to Saturday, leaving only three days off.

Michigan State is playing with a short rotation due to injuries for weeks. Izzo knows that he has often talked about the injuries and the minutes of his team, but still considers him one of the most important issues his team faces in advancing the NCAA tournament.

"I'll take a look at it later and say it's a hellish effort on the part of a team that really does not have a rest because of that." turnaround, "said Izzo. "If someone does not like it as an excuse, so be it."

With Michigan State in a one-up match until the last four minutes of Thursday, there was not much rest to do. Tillman was the only Spartan player to have a break in the second half before the last 14 seconds. Cassius Winston, Matt McQuaid, Aaron Henry and Kenny Goins all played the first game at 19:46. Winston, Goins and McQuaid all played 38 or 39 minutes.

Despite this, Michigan State was able to close the game in the last four minutes to survive the panic of the first round.

"Just be aggressive," said Winston. "I'm proud to play the right game."

Izzo thought Goins, who had a record 36.7 minutes per game average in the Big Ten tournament, had a bad shot due to fatigue. He shot 1 for 10 on the field and 0 for 7 over a distance of 3 points.

Goins did not think fatigue had played a part in his shooting.

"I thought all my shots went down," said Goins. "I just think I need to have more bow on the ball."

Spartans forward Nick Ward is back for the Spartans' last four games after missing five games due to a broken hand. Yet he played only 11 minutes on Thursday and sparsely spelled Tillman and Goins. Izzo said Ward's limited minutes were due to defensive blankets.

"It's just not there yet," Izzo said. "It's not entirely his fault, a little bit of ours – he was productive by reaching the free throw line, scoring a bucket and getting 5 rebounds."

Saturday will bring a bigger and more physical opponent to Minnesota, and the Spartans will play less time. So again, Izzo will ask his key players to play big minutes and win another victory for the team.

"As if I was telling them all the time, you faint before you die, so do not worry about that," Izzo said. "Give me everything you have."


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