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East Lansing — Michigan State was expecting to be in Piscataway, New Jersey, on Tuesday night, playing Rutgers and trying to put last weekend's loss at Nebraska in the past.

Instead, the Spartans were going through another practice and trying to make the most of the extra preparation time provided when the game was postponed until 6 p.m. Thursday because of a massive winter storm that hit the East Coast.

And believe it or not, the ever-changing schedule on Monday actually might have helped.

"I think it caused us to lock in and focus in more," senior guard Travis Trice said after practice Tuesday. "Especially (Monday). We moved up practice early and we're thinking we're about to leave and midway through practice we find out we're not. So it's really just caused us to focus in more on the task at hand and not look ahead to anything and I think that is a good thing for us."

Looking ahead wouldn't be the best plan for a team that sits 4-3 in conference play and has a meeting at home with rival Michigan on Sunday.

So instead of focus on the big picture, the Spartans adjusted on the fly Monday and went from an easy walk-through to something more intense. They followed that with another shorter, but just as intense practice on Tuesday.

"Usually the day before a game practice is a little bit lighter, less contact stuff," Trice said. "Once we found out midway through we went to a regular practice and that's how it worked (Tuesday), too. That's something that I think will only prepare us and help us out in the game because sometimes weird things happen and you have to adjust and change what your game-plan was and change your plan of attack. That's what we did and I like how we handled it."

mcharboneau@detroitnews.com

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