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Men's College Basketball
Preview
Rider vs Michigan St
When: 6:30 PM ET, Thursday, November 27, 2014
Where: HP Field House, Kissimmee, Florida


Michigan State has been among the best defensive and rebounding teams in the country for some time, but it might the unselfishness of coach Tom Izzo’s current team that is pleasing him the most. The 19th-ranked Spartans look to continue their efficient ways on Thursday when they face Rider in the first round of Orlando Classic. Michigan State recorded 22 assists on 29 field goals in Monday’s 79-52 win over Santa Clara and has registered an assist on 68.3 percent of its field goals thus far.

“Those are some staggering statistics you see in terms of percentage of baskets coming off of assists. You look at some of these other teams and we do as good of a job as anybody in the country,” Izzo told the school’s website after his team’s latest victory. The Broncs are coming off a 27-point setback at No. 12 Kansas on Monday – a game in which the Jayhawks enjoyed a 42-24 advantage in the paint and led 51-22 at halftime. “We have another opportunity on Thursday to see if our guys will show up. This (game) was certainly a teaching point for us,” third-year coach Kevin Baggett told the school’s website.

TV: 6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2

ABOUT RIDER (2-2): VCU transfer Teddy Okereafor (team-high 14.3 points) fell back to earth against Kansas with 10 points after exploding for a career-high 29 in the Broncs’ victory Friday over Lehigh, although Xavier Lundy took advantage with a career-high 15 points in 13 minutes off the bench. “Kansas did a good job focusing on Teddy, denying him the ball at times. ... Xavier is one of the (few) guys who stepped up,” Baggett told the school’s website. Although Baggett was unhappy about his team’s effort as a whole versus the Jayhawks, the Broncs collected 15 offensive rebounds – one shy of doubling their previous season high.

ABOUT MICHIGAN STATE (3-1): Without the services of Branden Dawson (flu), the Spartans received superb play from replacement starter Marvin Clark Jr. (15 points and four blocked shots) and reserve Gavin Schilling, who posted his first career double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds against Santa Clara. Michigan State has enjoyed at least a plus-eight rebounding advantage on each of its four opponents – including a season-high plus-18 margin Monday – and grabbed 21 offensive boards versus Santa Clara for the school’s highest total since Jan. 31, 2012. The Spartans have held their opponent to 14 first-half points in each of the last two games.

TIP-INS

1. The winner of this game will face either Marquette or Georgia Tech on Friday.

2. The Spartans are making 8.5 3-pointers a game thus far, ahead of the last year’s pace (8.1) when they set a school record with 307 triples.

3. Rider has shot at least 50 percent from the floor and attempted at least 19 free throws in its two wins. In their two losses, the Broncs have shot no better than 43.9 percent and attempted a total of 17 free throws.

PREDICTION: Michigan State 78, Rider 58

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Rider 2-2 L1 1-0 1-2 0-0 0-0 2-2 0-0
Michigan St 3-1 W2 2-0 1-0 0-1 0-0 3-1 0-0
Last Meeting
Rider Michigan St
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Rider N/A
Michigan St N/A
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Rider N/A
Michigan St N/A
Assists Player  
Rider N/A
Michigan St N/A
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Rider T. Okereafor 57 48.7 10
Michigan St T. Trice 72 50.0 7
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Rider K. Thomas 20 7 13
Michigan St M. Costello 31 10 21
Assists Player  
Rider T. Okereafor 14
Michigan St T. Trice 28
Quickchart Matchup
Rider Off vs  Michigan St Defense
67.3 Points For
61.0 Points Against
46.1 FG%
38.9 FG%
27.0 Reb
24.3 Reb
Michigan St Off vs  Rider Defense
75.3 Points For
70.5 Points Against
50.8 FG%
49.0 FG%
24.3 Reb
30.8 Reb