True Freshman G Mark "ROCKET" Watts Looks Forward To Indiana

Hondo S. Carpenter

Breslin Center

East Lansing, MI

The #9 Michigan State Spartans got back to their traditional winning ways last dropping the Wisconsin Badgers 67-55. The win restores the men in green’s season record to 14-4 (6-1).

The team will return to the hard-court Thursday, January 23, 2020, in Bloomington, Indiana taking on the Hoosiers. That game can be seen on FS1 at 8:30 PM. The Spartans will then head to Minneapolis, where they will take on the Gophers on Sunday. Tom Izzo has called this week, “Separation week,” because the Spartans have a chance to separate themselves from the rest of the conference should they secure two big road wins.

But as the Spartans prepare to head to Bloomington, Tom Izzo had a lot to say about the Hoosiers.

“As far as Indiana goes, they're a big and strong team. They're starting 6-10-6-11. (Justin)Smith, who was a power forward last year and is now playing the three-spot. They're rebounding the hell out of the ball, they're not shooting well, but they are rebounding which reminds me of some of my earlier teams. Yet they have four players in double figures, so they have good balance, yet no one real big. Freshman Trayce Jackson-Davis, a kid we recruited hard is averaging 14.8 points per game is having a hell of a freshman year, I think he's one of the best freshmen in the league. Justin Smith is a guy that's a senior who has really played well, he's averaging 12 points and five rebounds, he's playing great defensively and he's also a great offensive rebounder. Joey Brunk the transfer at 6-11 is scoring eight or nine points and getting seven or eight rebounds. They have a lot of guys between that 12 and seven range as far as points and guys at six, seven or eight as far as rebounds. The guys who have killed us the last couple of years were Devonte Green and Aljami Durham. They're still in double figures and probably two of their best shooters. This is one of the best teams in the country at getting to the free-throw line 26 times a game. So, they're getting a lot of dribble penetration with their guards, I think guys are helping which besides them being real big, is why they're a good rebounding team. When you drive the ball and rebound like that, you're going to get fouled more. We're going to have to do the job in transition, rebounding and defending without fouling. So, topsy-turvy man, I don't know if you guys have any idea as to where the teams are in the league, I sure as hell don't. I think after this week, you'll have a little bit better of an idea as to where the whole conference is at if you ask me.”

In the above video, we stopped by practice and spoke to freshman guard Mark "Rocket" Watts.  Tom Izzo can't stop praising his rising star for his work ethic and how he has adjusted to life in East Lansing.

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