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Spartans ready to get back to work Thursday at Rutgers

Michigan State hasn't played since January 8th
Posted at 7:06 AM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 07:06:30-05
Spartans ready to get back to work Thursday at Rutgers

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo thought his team would resume its season at least once in the last eighteen days, Tuesday he said the team is planning is to play Thursday in Piscataway, New Jersey against Rutgers.

It will be the Spartans first game since January 8th.

"Coaches don't always make great decisions on these kind of things so we kind of take it out of our hands," Izzo said. "I kind of think it has worked pretty well from what I have seen as far as who's made the decisions and the decisions have been the right ones."

Michigan State wasn't playing great when games started getting postponed and getting out of a slump is tough when you aren't playing games.

"Right away it sucked because we were getting ready to go play a big game against Iowa," Spartans junior forward Joey Hauser said. "After that I got a couple days off to rest and it was maybe a little bit needed just to get some rest, but after two or three days we were ready to play some games again then we had a couple more things happen so it has been a long stretch here and at times it got hard."

Izzo has been able to hold individual workouts the last three weeks and the team held its first full practice on Monday.

The Spartans will be without Gabe Brown, who tested positive late last week, Mady Sissoko is back and Joshua Langford is a possibility for Thursday.

"The way these guys have handled it to me has been unbelievable," Izzo said. "So every day I get to practice I kind of appreciate the energy they bring and the fact that they want to be there and the fact that they have followed the protocol about as good as anybody I'd ask."

"I definitely believe it is a mental aspect," Michigan State sophomore forward Malik Hall said about preparing to play for the first time in 20 days. "We all know we aren't going to be 100 percent perfect when we get back out there and there will be people missing shots and game conditioning will be a little bit different than practices but if we are mentally prepared and mentally willing to fight for the game and come out then I think it will be good for us."

Michigan State has played 12 games this season, it needs one more to be eligible for the NCAA tournament.