very productive for the Spartans, and the reality is that neither Sissoko or Cooper is a Big Ten-caliber starting center.

5 Observations: Michigan State falls to Nebraska in crushing loss

I think both of these guys can be good players in limited roles, primarily defensively, but Michigan State is get zero offensive production out of either guy. Tonight, the production was even worse than it has been, with the pair combining for two points and three rebounds.

There’s not much else that can be said. Izzo and the Spartans have to hope sophomore center Jaxon Kohler can bring some productivity to the center position when he returns from his foot injury. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a young player who will still need to get back into game shape when he is good to go.


5.) Freshman development?


By now, Izzo’s stance on freshman players has been pretty well established. The head coach prefers to rely on his veterans, and first-year players have to earn Izzo’s trust and earn their way into minutes on the floor. On the surface, I understand the approach — there’s nothing wrong with making freshmen, even highly-rated prospect, earn their keep.

My question is, why has it been so long since a freshman came into Michigan State’s program and made a big, immediate impact? When and who was the last guy to do that in a Green and White uniform? Miles Bridges? Jaren Jackson Jr.?

Michigan State landed two five-stars in Xavier Booker and Jeremy Fears, and a highly-touted (albeit somewhat raw) four-star in Coen Carr.

While Fears and Carr have had their moments this season, neither has been a true difference-maker yet for MSU. Meanwhile, the highest-rated guy, Booker, hasn’t played in either of Michigan State’s two Big Ten games this season. Maybe Izzo is right. Maybe the freshman aren’t ready to be relied on and contribute right now. But, who’s fault it that?

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