Michigan State Basketball
Colton Wesley: A Big Man
Michigan State lacks tall people on its roster. After preseason knee injuries to Gavin Schilling and Ben Carter, the Spartans lack size in the paint and it showed during their non-conference schedule as they were pushed around by good teams while struggling to put away mediocre ones.
Freshman star Miles Bridges stands 6’7″ and is the team’s leading rebounder, but has been out for the last few weeks with an ankle injury as Big Ten play begins. Freshman Nick Ward is the tallest player who has played for Michigan State this season, standing 6’8″, and while he has played well, his minutes are still limited by stamina and foul trouble.
As a result, the Spartans have had to call on former walk-ons 6’5″ Kenny Goins and 6’5″ Matt Van Dyk to play significant minutes against forwards much bigger than them.
The Spartans are currently a middling team in a Big Ten conference which features several dominant big men. If Michigan State could find a consistent paint presence, whether it comes from more minutes from Ward or a potential return for Schilling, they would have a much easier road to extending their NCAA tournament streak. Until then, their Big Ten schedule could prove to be a difficult slog.