East Lansing, MI
The #1 Michigan State Spartans kicked off the 2019-202o season tonight with an anticipated 85-50 blowout win over Albion College. It was a festive fun night for the Spartan Nation as Player of the Year Cassius Winston has two brothers on the Albion Team.
The Spartans were led in the scoring department by Xavier Tillman who had 19 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Cassius Winston was the only other double-digit scorer, he had 16 and nine assists.
Above is the complete video of Julius Marble after the Spartans win.
Tom Izzo said of the contest that, "Well, there are a lot of things to feel good about and a lot of things you realize we need a lot more work. I thought Rocket (Watts) played awfully well for a freshman that came in and had to do what he had to do, but you know missed some good shots, I guess. But, that first group, four of the five played really well. Aaron (Henry) struggled and he struggled into the second half. Thank god Gabe (Brown) picked us up a lot, did some good things and I thought two of my three stars were really good. Xavier (Tilman) was good. Cassius (Winston) - I told him at half time, 'Are you boycotting here? You've only taken two shots.' Second-half he did a little better job, but really played within himself to get 16 points, nine assists, zero rebounds. As I told him down there, I'm going to have to come out for the first time in my career and say four steals, he's probably turning into a first-team defensive player now, so the four steals. All kidding aside, I think the added strength in his legs and I just felt like he was moving very efficiently. So, there were a lot of good things there. Disappointed in the first half. I thought Marcus (Bingham) struggled in the first half, bounced back in the second half. I thought the other guy that we felt that struggled a little bit was Foster (Loyer) in the first half, played better in the second half. Both Bingham, Marble, and Malik (Hall) played better in the second half. So, all in all, the rebounding was pretty good. I was really disappointed to take 35 threes in that game, but it seemed like the ball went inside, they really collapsed. We were unselfish to kick it out, that was good, but way too many threes. Although I'll never see the day when those three guys hit 1-of-14 or whatever it was, so I guess that's encouraging too. Last thing of discouragement, 17 turnovers. The last two things of encouragement, 25 assists on 32 baskets. Our goal was to try to get up 65 shots, we got up 70; 12 steals I thought was pretty good considering how many guys we played, which that won't be the norm, and different lineups. Some of those turnovers are going to happen because guys don't know where guys are going.
The freshmen did really well. I think Malik (Hall) did a good job of coming in with energy in the second half. I thought Rocket (Watts) did a good job of talking and playing in his role. He's an aggressive player who can really help us out. Julius (Marble) did a great job too with bringing energy. Steven (Izzo) got his first bucket so I think all the freshmen did really well."
The regular season tips off next Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City against the #2 Kentucky Wildcats in the Champions Classic.
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