Michigan State Basketball Off to Its Worst Big Ten Start in 19 Years

Where does Michigan State basketball go from here?
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Michigan State basketball's start to conference play just got worse.

Monday night, MSU lost to Minnesota 81-56 in a game where they were never in contention after being down by 20-points at halftime.

For the first time since 2001-02 and just the second time in Tom Izzo's head coaching career with Michigan State, the Spartans are 0-3 to open the Big Ten schedule.

That team recovered, winning 10 of its final 13 contests and getting into the NCAA Tournament before losing in the first round to N.C. State.

Intent on breaking a two-game losing streak, Izzo tweaked the starting lineup, benching Aaron Henry and moving Rocket Watts to shooting guard, his traditional position.

He also brought A.J. Hoggard and Mady Sissoko off the bench in the first eight minutes, giving the freshman some work after not seeing the floor on Christmas Day.

Yet, nothing seemed to click. 

As Izzo put it, Michigan State hit "rock bottom" offensively, making a putrid 18-of-70 field goals and missing 12 straight attempts. 

"I have no problem with our defense; it was our offense, trying to maneuver some people around and give some people a chance," Izzo told reporters during the postgame presser. "I tried to get Rocket (Watts) off the point (guard) because that's what he kind of wanted. We struggled … but in general, we had open shots."

The 65-year old repeatedly pointed towards missed shots as the Spartan's main issue while being satisfied defensively and stating he thought the effort and energy were up to Michigan State standards.

Either way, Izzo isn't ready to freak out.

"It's not panicksville," he said.

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