But it is the one player that still was on the bench Sunday in the Spartans' 79-70 loss to Michigan that might have been the difference maker.
Forward Branden Dawson missed his tenth straight game after breaking his right hand slamming a table leading up to the Spartans' first meeting with Michigan.
The 6-foot-7 junior's length was an asset his MSU teammates saw the need for as the Wolverines had their way offensively for the most part at Crisler Arena.
"We miss Branden a lot," senior Keith Appling said. "He is one of those guys who can guard one through four with his length and athletic ability. Those shots that (Nik) Stauskas got off on me, he probably wouldn't have been able to on Branden.
"We miss him a lot and we are just hoping for a fast recovery from him."
Stauskas had 25 points for Michigan, while fellow sophomore guard Caris LeVert had 23. Forward Glenn Robinson had 15 points and is another player Dawson likely would have been matched up with defensively.
Dawson is expected back this week after having the pins removed from his hand last Thursday.
"The biggest problem they have now is not that it's healed, it's the infection," Izzo said following Friday's practice. "When they put the cut in it, they worry about infection. That's why it's gotta close up or otherwise you'll have real problems."
The Spartans are off until Saturday, a break which Izzo said will be good for Dawson and the Spartans as a whole.
"It does come at a good time because we'll have six days, seven days to get to our next game," he said.
Michigan State has gone 5-5 without Dawson, alternating wins and losses for the past month.