MSU looking for half court answers

The Spartans know they need more production in the half court, but where will it come from? Izzo says getting easy buckets in transition will help alleviate the issue, while players say it just comes down to execution.

Heading into the second game of Big Ten play, Michigan State still is looking for answers in the half court.

Spartans coach Tom Izzo said one way to remedy the issues running sets would be to get out in transition with more consistency.

”We’re not executing out of it but we’re not making shots,” Izzo said. “That’s been a disappointment but something we’re working on, we’re spending time on it. In all honesty that’s why you live and die with the 3 or the outside shot and we’re not getting any fast break baskets right now and that is not due to the defense. We’re not pushing the ball like we were pushing it. …

”You’ve gotta get some easy baskets. We’re not getting them on the break as much and we’re not getting them at the line.”

Still, the work on the half court offense is a focus for the Spartans moving forward. Izzo said some of it will focus on trying to get Branden Dawson and Matt Costello more involved as they go to the post for answers.

”We are trying, Costello definitely more,” Izzo said. “We’ve tried to go to Dawson a little more and he’s gotta do a little more. Costello we were mad he threw that one out on the last one because he’s been doing a good job down there and even Gavin (Schilling) has so we’re looking at that a little bit more.”

Senior guard Travis Trice said it is a matter of better execution in the half court and that should lead to improvements – as well as going inside.

”Sometimes we go out there and we’re not executing at all,” Trice said. “Also, I think we need to throw it inside more. If you look at our big guys, they’ve been giving us a lot more than what we were even expecting. And they’ve gotten consistently better each game.”

Dawson also said it is a matter of just buckling down and executing the way the team does in practice and that will start Monday night against Indiana.

”In practice we do a great job of executing and making shots, just doing whatever it takes, running a ball screen to win the game,” Dawson said. “We just have to still carry over from practice to the game. It comes down to just not executing our plays.”

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