Maryland - Michigan State Basketball 2016 Live Radio Broadcast, Preview: Sparty in Need of ReboundBy Russell Westerholm
Over their last eight games, the Michigan State Spartans (11) have played four games without star guard Denzel Valentine and four with him back in the lineup.
Oddly enough the Spartans were 3-1 in his absence and are now in a 1-3 funk since his return. Worse still, those three losses are all consecutive and now Michigan State needs to break out against the Maryland Terrapins (7).
Tipoff: 6:30 p.m. ET in East Lansing, Mich.
Listen live online: TuneIn Radio
TV: ESPN's College GameDay will be at the game and WatchESPN will offer an online live stream.
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Fortunately for Michigan State, Valentine has quickly returned to form since shooting .364 from the field and .167 from beyond the arc in his first game back. In fact, he was outstanding in the team's two most recent games, back-to-back one-point losses to Wisconsin and Nebraska.
Against Wisconsin, Valentine shot .421 from the field and .500 from range for 23 points, pulling down seven rebounds as well. Then facing Nebraska, Valentine shot .563 from the field and .750 from range for 24 points.
"Don't blame my players, blame me," Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said in his weekly press conference. "I'm the one that's got to get us to play. We're going through a little mid-life crisis here, and we're going to find a way to get out of it."
Maryland rebounded from its upset loss to Michigan by putting up 100 on Ohio State and then beating Northwestern, but both the Terps' losses this season have come on the road. Whereas Michigan State has tumbled to a 3-4 mark in the Big Ten, Maryland has one conference loss and is just a half-game game off the lead.