East Lansing, MI – When comparing Rocket Watts to Foster Loyer and determining who should be the starting point guard, not many appreciated the idea of the junior captain taking over.
Yet, on Wednesday night, he was ready.
Loyer looked more comfortable and confident running the offense than Watts, which showed against Eastern Michigan's zone.
"It was just nice to be back out there, however many months it's been since we played out last game ... I thought we did a really good job throughout the game of moving the ball," said Loyer. "They run kind of a tough matchup zone. And our guys did a great job of finding open shooters."
He hit five out of seven three-pointers in the first half (6-of-10 overall) and finished with a career-high 20-points while tacking on two rebounds and assists.
"Like I said in my previous interview, this is who Foster is," Joshua Langford told reporters during the postgame presser. "He's going to lead us, he's going to do his job, and I'm just happy for him … he stayed consistent day in and day out."
The fifth-year senior isn't attempting to put any unnecessary pressure on Loyer, other than to say he has faith in him.
In the past, fans have seen the Spartans struggle against a zone; however, tonight, it was ideal for Loyer, who had a hard time adjusting to opposing players pressuring him defensively.
And it didn't hurt EMU only dressed eight players, losing a majority of their length.
"I've been seeing this all summer and all fall, except for the last two weeks; poor guy for the last two weeks hasn't made a shot," MSU coach Tom Izzo said. "We were almost joking about it because he's probably the best shooter."
Well, after learning he would be the starter following practice yesterday, Loyer turned it around, nearly sinking anything he threw up.
"Foster's a great shooter; we've seen it. I think what he did this summer is he really worked on his body. He wanted to be able to play long stretches," Joey Hauser said during a videoconference. "He wanted to be able to defend and really run this team. He's done a great job during the preseason … he's stepped up in that role."
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