The Michigan State Spartans have yet to win a game this season, but they have their third chance of the season on Friday night as they host the Texas Southern Tigers in their first game of the Spartan Invitational. The Spartans played two top-ten ranked teams on the road to start the season, meaning Friday night's home game should be a welcome change.
The Spartans kept it close against the top-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels as well as the No. 6 Duke Blue Devils, but close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades according to the old adage. That likely applies to the thinking of Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo, too, despite the coach finding positives in the back-to-back losses to open the season.
"We've played in two tough atmospheres and came up a little short in both of them," Izzo told the Grand Rapids Press on Thursday. "But we can grow from those games. There were some positives, and there were some negatives that we can correct. But it's definitely good to be back home and get back in front of the home crowd again."
The Spartans have three players averaging double figures in points so far this season with Keith Appling's 13.5 points leading the way. Draymond Green is averaging 11.5 points to go with 12.5 rebounds while Brandon Wood upped his average to 11 points per game after dropping 15 on the Blue Devils.
The Tigers are missing their top three starters from last season's surprising team, but Detroit native Lawrence Johnson-Danner could lead the way for the Tigers. The 6-foot-4 guard missed the team's first game of the season while sitting a one-game suspension due to NCAA compliance issues, but made up for it by scoring 20 points and adding five assists in a win over Eastern Michigan on Tuesday.
The game can be found on ESPN3.com when it tips off at 6:30 p.m. with an open thread being provided for your pleasure at The Only Colors.