Mark "Rocket" Watts Taking Off For The No. 24 Spartans

Hondo S. Carpenter

Breslin Center

East Lansing, MI

The No. 24 Michigan State Spartans came home to East Lansing tonight and came out on top dropping No. 20 Iowa 78-70. The win improved the men in green’s season record and conference record to 19-9 (11-5).

The team will return to the hard-court Saturday, February 29, 2020, in College Park, Maryland at the Terrapins. They will be taking on the No. 8 Maryland. It can be seen on ESPN2 at /:00 PM ET.

In the above video, we caught up with Spartan giuard Mar "ROCKET" Watts to look ahead to the Terrapins and much more.

Below there are five key things to know about the MSU vs. Maryland game courtesy of MSU super SID Mex Carey:

1. Series History

Michigan State leads the all-time series with Maryland, 9-6 ... The Spartans have won six of the last eight games against the Terrapins ... Tom Izzo is 8-6 in his career against Maryland ... The two teams have split four games played at Maryland, with Michigan State winning 74-68 during the 2017-18 season ... Maryland won the first meeting between the teams this season, 67-60, two weeks ago.

2. Last Meeting with Maryland

Michigan State fought back from a 15-point first-half deficit to take a seven-point lead in the final four minutes, but No. 9 Maryland came back to beat the Spartans, 67-60, at the Breslin Center on Feb. 15 ...Junior forward Xavier Tillman had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Spartans, while senior guard Cassius Winston finished with 14 points and five assists ... Sophomore forward Aaron Henry chipped in nine points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.

3. 1-2 Punch

Senior guard Cassius Winston and junior forward Xavier Tillman are forming quite the 1-2 punch for the Spartans ... ESPN’s Seth Greenberg said the duo “might be the best combination in college basketball” ... Combined, they are averaging 31.1 points, 12.5 rebounds, 8.5 assists and 2.1 blocks while shooting 47.4 percent from the floor (306-of-646) ... In Big Ten games, they are averaging 33.1 points, 13.1 rebounds, 8.8 assists and 2.5 blocks and shooting 47.9 percent from the floor (198-of-413) ... Overall, they have combined to account for 41.2 percent of MSU’s scoring (870 of 2,116 points), including 46.6 percent in league games (562 of 1,207 points).

4. About the Spartans

Senior guard Cassius Winston leads MSU, and ranks third in the Big Ten, in scoring, averaging 18.4 points per game … Winston is also fourth in the league in assists (5.8 apg), first in free throw percentage, connecting on 86.2 percent of his shots (106-of-123), 11th in field goal percentage (43.2%), second in 3-point percentage (40.9%) and tied for second in steals (1.3 spg) ... Junior forward Xavier Tillman is second on the team with 13.3 points per game (T14th in the Big Ten) and tops the team (3rd in the Big Ten) with 10.1 rebounds per game, while adding 2.9 assists (16th in the Big Ten) per game and 2.1 blocks per game (4th in the Big Ten) ... Tillman is the only player in the league in the top-20 in scoring, rebounding, assists and blocks ... Sophomore forward Aaron Henry is third on the team with 9.9 points per game, while adding 4.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists ... MSU has three other players averaging at least 4.0 points per game, led by freshman guard Rocket Watts, who scored a career-high 21 points at Illinois and matched that against Iowa ... He is averaging 8.1 points per game (8.9 in Big Ten games) and 2.2 rebounds ... Sophomore forward Gabe Brown is averaging 7.3 points and 3.7 rebounds and scored a career-high 17 points at Nebraska ... ... Freshman forward Malik Hall, who has started seven games, is averaging 4.3 points and 3.6 rebounds.

5. Family Matters

Michigan State junior forward Xavier Tillman Sr. had a busy weekend at home on Feb. 15-17 ... Not only did MSU host Maryland on Feb. 15, but Tillman’s wife, Tamia, gave birth to their second child, a boy, Xavier Justis Tillman Jr. on Monday morning ... Tillman’s wife gave birth to the 7-pound, 8-ounce baby boy at 12:38 a.m. on Feb. 17 ... This is the second child for the couple, who have a 3-year-old daughter, Ayanna ... Tillman did not practice on Feb. 17, but was back with the team on Feb. 18 ... The elder Tillman changed his jersey to reflect Xavier Tillman Sr. for the Iowa game on Feb. 20.

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