OPINION: Get Drew Neitzel The Ball

After averaging 13 shots per game last season, Drew Neitzel only has taken 15 shots in two games

Two games down and Michigan State's All-American Drew Neitzel has taken only 15 shots.

After their last game against Louisiana-Monroe in the second round of the CBE Classic on Wednesday, Neitzel took five shots, three of which he made.

Neitzel's shooting percentage on the season shows that the All-American needs to get the ball more.

It is not an issue with Neitzel being to unselfish, but a matter of the leader and as Tom Izzo calls him "the team's bread-and-butter," shooting the ball, because last year he averaged 13 shots per game.

"He's our All-American, so we definitely have to give him the ball," said Raymar Morgan.

Not only is he shooting 50 percent from the field, but that includes 70 percent from three-point range (6-of-9). Granted his stellar shooting is through two games, Neitzel proved last season that he can consistently knock down shots, averaging 40 percent from the field and from three-last year in nearly 470 shot attempts.

"I'd like to see him get more shots," said Izzo. "Drew Neitzel should average 13 or 15 shots a game, which for the most part he had been doing until that last game, but I can't take one game or two games and judge it."

"So he's got to get more shots, he's our go to guy, we've got to get them, he's got to get them, but it has to go with what the defense gives you, if they want to box him, one I'm going to take him away and we'll do our best to get him shots but he isn't going to get as many shots if we open it up a little bit," added Izzo.

Part of why Neitzel has not gotten as many shots is because the team is still trying to gel together so early in the season and does not get the ball to Neitzel as quickly as he should get it coming off a screen.

Neitzel gets a lot of shots dishing the ball at the point, running across court under the basket making the defender chase after him, creating some separation between Neitzel and his defender.

But as freshman guard Kalin Lucas and big-man Goran Suton, who plays the point at times in the half-court, are not as quick to feed Neitzel, he instead feeds his teammates for the shot, rather than taking his own shot.

"We've got to get Drew the ball, he's a great scorer, he's a great shooter, so the bigs have to make sure they go down and set the screens and Drew has to make sure he comes off the screen hard and it's my job and Travis' (Walton) job to get him the ball," said Lucas. "Drew is our best player we have to make sure we get him the ball early."

Raymar Morgan claims that Drew's lack of shots is based on a lack of screens and movement.

" I think it's a little bit of both, we need to do a better job, it seems like we're moving a lot of screens which creates a lot of fouls and not getting him open so those are the little things we need to work on to get him the ball," said Morgan.

So as the competition goes way up this week in Kansas City for the CBE Classic championship rounds, the Spartans must get their All-American the ball, because it all starts with the leader of the team.

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