The North Florida Ospreys take on the No. 5 Michigan State Spartans at Jack Breslin Student Events Center in Lansing, MI. The game will be aired live on the Big Ten Network at 7 pm ET.
The Michigan State Spartans are 8-1, and have had a few shaky games to begin the season. A couple close calls at home against Columbia and Oakland, as well as a 79-65 loss to North Carolina at home. The Spartans are ranked fifth in the country, but have a lot to prove, as do most teams at this point in the season.
Sophomore Gary Harris and senior Keith Appling lead the backcourt for Michigan State. Harris is averaging 17.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per contest. Appling is averaging 16.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game. The Spartans also have great rebounders in junior forward Brandon Dawson (9.3 rpg), and senior center Adreian Payne (8.0 rpg). Guard play and rebounding will make Michigan State a tough test for North Florida.
The Ospreys (5-6) are led by freshman guard Dallas Moore and senior forward Travis Wallace, who both average just under 12 points per game. Moore is connecting on 50% from long range, and Wallace leads the team with 7.3 rebounds per contest. The Ospreys are a poor passing team with junior guard Jalen Nesbitt averaging 2.8 assists per game.
North Florida will need good ball movement against Michigan State because they will not be able to outrun the Spartan guards.
Michigan State will be North Florida’s third ranked opponent. The Ospreys have previously lost to Florida and Ohio State. Third time’s a charm?