Northwood (Fla.) vs. Michigan State: Spartans open basketball season with exhibition

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Tom Izzo's most athletic team in years will make its on-court debut on Tuesday night as it faces Northwood (Fla.) in an exhibition game.

The No. 14 Michigan State Spartans will get their first test of the 2012-13 preseason when they take on Northwood (Fla.) in an exhibition on Tuesday night at the Breslin Center.

The exhibition will be Spartans fans first look at one of head coach Tom Izzo's most athletic teams ever. Izzo's squad is set up to be fast-paced on both ends of the floor, and the legendary coach likes what he's seen in practice. "If [we] play like they practice, we're gonna be good," Izzo told the Detroit Free Press. "Then as we grow we could end up real good. If they don't, though, if that leadership on the court is one of the reasons we don't lift each other when things are getting bad, we'll be an average-to-good team."

Michigan State's starting lineup will be comprised of junior point guard Keith Appling, freshman Gary Harris at shooting guard, sophomore Branden Dawson at small forward, junior Adreian Payne at power forward and senior Derrick Nix at center.

The Spartans could be without freshman forward Matt Costello for Tuesday's exhibition game. The 6'9 Costello bruised his tailbone and injured his right wrist when he was undercut in practice by sophomore forward Alex Gauna and is questionable for the exhibition against Northwood.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.

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