East Lansing — Michigan State coach Tom Izzo will be looking for a complete 40 minutes from his team tonight when it hosts Eastern Michigan on Monday night.
He wasn’t sure he got that Friday in a 92-46 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
“I’m trying to change the culture here,” he said. “When you have a blowout in the first half, you should have the discipline to play the second half the same way. That was discouraging.
“For three quarters of the game, we played awfully well. But the first 10 minutes of the second half wasn’t very good.”
One player Izzo hasn’t had to worry about has been senior center Matt Costello. He had 10 points and 10 rebounds in the victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, his fourth career double-double. It came just days after Costello had 10 points and nine rebounds in a win over No. 4 Kansas. He had 15 points and seven rebounds in the season-opening win over Florida Atlantic.
Costello also had a block on Friday, moving him into fifth place in Michigan State history with 107, passing Delvon Roe.
“I thought Matt played with a purpose, rebounded really well, looked to score when he got it in there and improved his passing,” Izzo said after Friday’s victory. “He is going to be a complete player. We just have to get him to the free throw line more. He was a bright spot of the night.”
The Spartans (3-0) played 14 players against Arkansas-Pine Bluff but will continue to work on the rotation that now includes sophomore Marvin Clark Jr., who saw his first action Friday. He did not play in the first two games as he recovered from foot surgery.
Getting Clark back to full strength is a priority as Michigan State heads to Anaheim, California, after tonight’s game for the Wooden Legacy tournament. The Spartans will also hope to get junior center Gavin Schilling (turf toe) on the court.
“He’s got to get his feet wet,” Izzo said of Clark. “He probably could have played a few more (minutes), but we had to get him ready and hopefully by next week he’ll be playing more and more. That four spot, we need a lot. The four spot is very important in our offense.”
Eastern Michigan at Michigan State
Tipoff: 7 p.m. today, Breslin Center, East Lansing
TV/radio: Big Ten Network/WJR
Records: Eastern Michigan 2-1; No. 13 Michigan State 3-0
Notable: Tonight’s game will be the ninth time since 2011-12 that Eastern Michigan has faced a ranked opponent and it will be looking for its first win.