Some positives did come out of the tournament, however, notably the play of forward Delvon Roe. He averaged 7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
The numbers might be modest, but so were the minutes. With Goran Suton still nursing a knee injury, the freshman stepped up, played poised and showed a knack for rebounding that many young players just do not have.
Roe may be young, but his calm demeanor and undeniable confidence show that Roe may eventually grow into becoming a leader on a team with considerable experience.
"I think that's something that I want to hold on my shoulders," Roe said after practice on Monday. "I think any player wants to be a leader, but not every player can be a leader. You just got to go out there and play the same way all the time…and make sure you're bringing other players with you."
Roe's production was not the most encouraging aspect of his weekend. The fact that he played three games in four days, and practiced without any pain, is a great sign that the freshman is getting healthier from his off season knee injury.
"I feel like a normal player with no injuries for the first time in a long time," he said.
Even though Roe's surgically repaired knee is not giving him as many problems, he says that there are parts of his game that are still months away from being where they ere prior to the injury.
"Right now, it's explosiveness. I think that's coming back. I think I'm jumping a lot better than I was a month ago," Roe explained. "I think that should be coming around March, and around that time I should have all of my explosiveness back."
The Spartans are hoping that Roe will continue to heal at a quick pace, especially with Suton's knee still bothering him. Either way, it may be a while until we see this team at full strength. These injuries do not help accelerate the process of this team building great chemistry on the court, especially with the depth MSU has.
"We have a long way to go. We still have a lot of issues. With me first, and not being able to practice, with G being out," Roe said. "When we get everybody back, and people in the right spots, and knowing everybody's roles and knowing what the rotation's going to be, we'll be fine."
For big men like Roe and Suton, having chemistry with their point guards is a must if they want the ball in spots where they can get high percentage shots that they feel comfortable taking. With more practice time, Roe feels that the connection between the team's three point guards and himself will become second nature.
"I'm not in full practices and doing full drills, and running the whole offense with them," Roe said. "Now that I have been able to do that and play three games in four days, they're starting to feel what I like, and where I like the ball at, they know where I'm going to be."
Roe's knees will get a strenuous test on Wednesday night when the Spartans and North Carolina play at Ford Field in what is destined to be a fast paced game.