Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Rutgers vs. Michigan State College Basketball Predictions 1/10/18

Rutgers vs. Michigan State College Basketball Predictions 1/10/18

Outlook: Michigan State has won five of the past six meetings and three of the past five games in East Lansing by at least 10 points. The Spartans know they'll pay a hefty one if they continue to have lapses against their biggest rival.

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights, coming off a win over Wisconsin, are showing they can compete in Pikiell's second season.

"I played against him in high school on the AAU circuit and he was tough back then", he said. "They are a tough team", Spartans sophomore forward Miles Bridges said.

"We just couldn't get anything going", Bridges said.

MI has had a quiet season in the Big Ten, yet the Wolverines are right there in the race, sitting at 14-4 overall and 3-2 in conference play.

"I don't really care where they are mentally, confidence-wise", he said.

"I grew up with a chip on my shoulder", Ward said. I don't worry about their confidence. "We have a hard task at Michigan State, who's a good team, and we will be well prepared and go there and play". "That's what we've got to do".

Bridges said he thinks that edge comes once he plays well defensively.

Tom Izzo wants him to change, hoping he'll choose to be more aggressive with the ball.

Rutgers vs. Michigan State College Basketball Predictions 1/10/18
Rutgers vs. Michigan State College Basketball Predictions 1/10/18

Bridges - MSU's leading scorer, who averages 16.9 points - was held to 11 points in 34 minutes and was unable to score until there was 7:43 left in regulation. The preseason All-America player opened overtime with a 3-pointer, but ended up with as many turnovers (3) as made shots on 10 attempts and appeared to be frustrated throughout the game.

Izzo is publicly and privately saying he has to play more selfishly to create more shots for himself instead of passing so often to teammate. "I told him, 'hang onto your hat tomorrow, ' because he's such a good player. He's just got to be a little more aggressive". I'm going to give him something and I'm going to make sure he gives me something. "I'm good at that". So that's what I'm going to do.

The Wolverines are coming off an agonizing 70-69 home loss to No. 5 Purdue on Tuesday. Charles Matthews' desperation half-court heave at the buzzer bounced off the rim.

"I played awful on defense in the first half", he said. "There's not many teams that are better coached, more solid in all the areas and as veteran as Purdue". The Scarlet Knights have dropped four of their last five games, but outside of a blowout loss at Purdue on January 3, the other three defeats have come by an average of 2.6 points. The Wolverines now face their second Top 5 opponent in a row.

"Bridges is tremendous", Pikiell said.

Yes, that's right. The Michigan State coach wants his star player to stop being so darned nice.

MSU 75, MI 67: The Spartans haven't played up to expectations the past two games. MI has enough to make it interesting, but a win vs. this much talent at Breslin seems like a tall order.

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