"One player down, one player has to rise"

Dawson's injury just another bit of adversity for a team that has faced plenty of it so far this season. The Spartans talk about stepping up to replace the junior's production in his absence.

Michigan State has learned throughout the first 19 games of the season how to handle missing players.

So with Branden Dawson out of the lineup for the next four-to-five weeks with a broken hand, the mentality already is in place to fill his spot.

"One player down, one player has to rise," guard Denzel Valentine said.

It's just another bump in the road for the Spartans, who have been dealing with not having forward Adreian Payne in their past four games.

"Adreian went down and others guys stepped up," guard Keith Appling said. "We've found ways to win games. Now that he's down, it's someone else's opportunity to do the same. …

"The season doesn't stop and we've gotta continue to get better."

Continuing the success does get more challenging with losing the athleticism Dawson brings – and those skills will be missed on the floor.

"Obviously, we are going to miss the athleticism, the defense, the rebounding," Valentine said. "Just all the things that B.J. does as an energy guy, a glue guy that does all the little things out on the floor."

While he won't be on the court, his teammates expressed confidence that Dawson will bring the same energy to the bench that he brings on the floor.

"Guys are going to step up and you feel bad for B.J," guard Gary Harris said. "We all have his back, We are going to go out and get this win and keep him in the back of our minds to try to win this for him."

The road without Dawson gets underway Saturday against Michigan in East Lansing.

"This going to show our true colors and what we got and what we can do when adversity happens," Valentine said. "On Saturday, we are just going to have to come out and play through adversity."


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