Michigan State Spartans vs. Chaminade Silverswords
Tip: 9:30 p.m (EST)
From The Outside
Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans know you cannot take Chaminade lightly when you head off to play in Hawaii. This is the Spartans fourth trip to the island for the event and Izzo's third as head coach.
Chaminade enters the contest with a 3-0 record having beaten Western Oregon, Saint Martin's, and Western New Mexico.
So far this season, Steven Bennett and Mamadou Diarra have been the team's offensive leaders.
Bennett is a California native who played at Citrus College prior to heading to Chaminade. Standing 5-foot-6, Bennett is coming off a solid junior year leading the Silverswords with 17 ppg and handing out an average of 5 assist per contest.
Diarra is no stranger to major college basketball, as he played for USC from 2007-2009. The 7-foot junior sat out last season due to NCAA residency requirements but has not seen a lot of time on the court until this season.
On the season, Diarra has blocked 16 shots while pulling down 37 boards and should give the Spartan post players a solid test.
The Spartans and Silverswords are not strangers as the two teams have played two times since 1995. The Spartans have won both games; however, Chaminade pushed the Spartans hard in 1995 falling to MSU 69-66.
Tom Izzo made his coaching debut against Chaminade in that 1995 battle.
Chaminade head coach Matt Mahar also made his head-coaching debut against the Spartans in 2005.
If the Spartans win, they will take on the winner of the Wichita State vs. Connecticut game on Tuesday set to tipoff at 7 p.m. (EST). The championship game is on Wednesday with a 10 p.m. (EST) tip set.
The Spartans will return home following the Maui Invitational and take on Tennessee Tech at home on the 28-th of November.