What to make of the 18th-ranked Spartans? They defend well and rebound (what Tom Izzo coached team doesn't?) and have a strong and deep frontcourt. But the Spartans have three losses already. The season can be saved if they can mature offensively. There's still time for freshman guard Gary Harris (12.4 points per game) to develop into a special difference-maker this season. Key player: Center Derrick Nix lost 70 pounds since last season and can be more effective in the post now. He averages 8.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Key stat: The Spartans need to cut back on their 16 turnovers per game. Big Ten opener: Lost 76-63 to Minnesota Monday. Up next: Saturday against Purdue.
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