Sparty and their Freshman are Rolling
Tom Izzo’s youngest team in recent memory, wasn’t supposed to do much in this year’s tournament after a 19-14 season. With an injury riddled season and a different approach in recruiting (going the one-and-done route), most analysts didn’t even have State coming out of the round of 64. Sparty came out slow but went on to beat Miami pretty handedly 78-58 once they started moving the ball around. But it wasn’t Izzo’s GOAT status in March that was the story tonight, all the shine went on Sparty’s 4 freshman.
Winston, Ward, Langford, and Bridges. Nope, that isn’t the name of a top law firm, but these four men were pretty damn important to Michigan State’s success tonight. Scoring 57 of the team’s 78 points tonight, the freshman led the way.
Nick Ward went 8/9 from the field tonight and missed his first shot 35 minutes into the game on his way to game high 19 points. Joshua Langford scored in bunches from all over the court finishing with 13 points and Cassius Winston served as an excellent playmaker coming off the bench, charting 7 points and 5 dimes, even getting some high praise from Reggie Miller on the telecast when he said he is the “best freshman passer that MSU has seen since Magic Johnson”. But even with such high praise, no one had a better game than top prospect Miles Bridges.
The former 7th ranked prospect in the country not only led Michigan State to a surprising shellacking of Miami, he improved his NBA Draft Stock in the meantime. 18 points, 9 boards, and 3 assists on top of shooting 66% from the field and 2/4 from 3. The man was all over the place tonight, displaying heaps of athleticism and even leaving us with one of the best posters of the tournament so far.
Miles Bridges with the nasty putback 😱 pic.twitter.com/6xxbZp9RlS
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 18, 2017
Bridges has been talked about as a late lottery type of guy but with a possible tourney run and what could be a big game for him against Kansas coming up this weekend, we could see Miles Bridges really shoot up the draft boards in the coming weeks. Going to be really exciting to see a battle of potential lottery picks go against one another when Bridges takes on Josh Jackson of KU. Lets see if Bridges can drive the lane as easily on Kansas.
MILES. BRIDGES. pic.twitter.com/5oMBGNYh9F
— LeadingNCAA ™ (@LeadingNCAA) March 18, 2017
It’s always a good time when Sparty is Surging in March.