The new three of Branden Dawson, Travis Trice and Denzel Valentine would be the focal points for Michigan State this season. And 18 games in – and coming off a 75-59 loss to Maryland – Izzo wants more from those three.
”I’ve been disappointed with the consistency of our three guys,” he said. “We’ve been a little up and down on that. That has been disappointing.”
All three have had flashes – Trice is coming off being named Big Ten player of the week – but it is the up and downs of the trio that needs to be straightened out.
On Saturday, Trice and Valentine combined to shoot 2 of 11 from 3-point range and Dawson missed a handful of shots at the rim.
One of the issues Izzo raised is that the offense can dictate defense when it is not coming as easily.
”Maybe more than our offense, or defense let us down in that game,” Izzo said. “That hasn’t happened much we were leading the league in defensive three point percentage. We were one of the leaders in field goal percentage and all of a sudden a couple of guys didn’t shoot it well on their offensive side and their defense was poor.
”That is what we have to correct.”
But as it does that, it means working with the reality that teams are going to key on those three for the Spartans moving forward.
”So yeah, they're going to try and take away Trice, Valentine and Dawson,” Izzo said. “And so is Rutgers and so is everybody else.”