by David Cassilo / @dcassilo
Panic has begun in East Lansing as the Spartans looked non-competitive again in a home loss to Texas. Trailing by as many as 16 points in the second half, the Michigan State offense could never get going and mustered just 55 points for the game.
It was the same old story for why Tom Izzo’s team dropped another game — poor frontcourt play. Behind Tristan Thompson, Gary Johnson and Jordan Hamilton, Texas dominated the Spartan starting front line, outscoring them 52-11.
If you hadn’t known already, you would have been hard pressed to say that Michigan State was the team in this game that started the season at No. 2 in the country. Now having dropped three of four games against ranked teams, the Spartans are far from the team that they were expected to be.
From The Detroit Free Press:
Maybe Izzo and his staff will find a way to shape this team over the holidays. Maybe Wednesdays’ performance is a result of heavy travel and light practice and nagging injury and fatigue. Then again, said Izzo, “that had nothing to do with why we shot so poorly.”
Earlier this week the team met to assess its strengths and weaknesses and to figure out its identity. Twelve games into the season, MSU is still searching.
“It’s not going to be a very good Christmas for me,” Izzo said.
The Spartans are now off until New Year’s Eve, when they will start Big Ten play at home vs. Minnesota. It will be their first game in a loaded conference that right now may have eight potential NCAA tournament teams. Izzo and crew have been late bloomers the last two seasons, and they have set themselves to need to do the same in 2011.