The Hall of Famer and Los Angeles Lakers president had plenty of opportunities to flash his familiar smile. They went on to lose to the Spartans by a big margin, 79-55.
Minnesota shot just 8-for-26 from the field in the first half, while falling behind 35-24. "This place is special". They held the Boilermakers to 1-for-13 three-point shooting. He was 1 of 9 at the free throw line, including a miss that would have put his team ahead late in regulation, and the Spartans were 8 of 22 as a team in a 79-75 overtime loss to in last Sunday. "That's tough to do, but we'll get there". The 6-foot-9 Memphis native had been showing progress last month with an 11-point game in a January 19 win against Penn State.
The Michigan State Spartans (18-5, 9-3 Big Ten) have reached precarious territory they have not found themselves in in quite some time.
EAST LANSING, MI - FEBRUARY 09: Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans gives instructions to his players during a game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the second half at Breslin Center on February 9, 2019 in East Lansing, Michigan.More news: Missouri State knocks down unbelievable buzzer beater
Michigan State, which has struggled to stay healthy, may have another injury concern.
"I won't know anything until (Sunday), but at least I know it's not broken", Izzo said. Cassius Winston had 11 points and nine assists without a turnover for the Spartans.
Minnesota suffered a 56-51 home loss Wednesday versus Wisconsin to fall to 16-7 overall and 6-6 in the Big Ten.
Gabe Kalscheur led the team in scoring with 17 points.
Henry's and-one in the second half was impressive, making up for his ugly mid-range miss, slashing right to the basket and making a nifty layup through contact - we need to see more of that from him.More news: Manchester City sorry for playing Chelsea anthem after Etihad Stadium thrashing
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are a talented team that can compete with most teams when everything is going well, but they're hot and cold lately and are losing by an average of 10.7 points on the road this season. Amir Coffey is averaging 15.8 points and 2.9 assists while Jordan Murphy is averaging 14.9 points and 12.1 rebounds. The Spartans are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games, 9-3 ATS in their last 12 vs.
The Spartans will likely fall in the poll because they lost 79-74 at IL on Tuesday night.
Notable: The Spartans will be honoring the 40 anniversary of the 1979 national championship team on Saturday, which included the famously first played game between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird ...
"It's bittersweet without Jud", Kelser said. Izzo's depth took a big hit when starting guard Joshua Langford (15.0 ppg in 13 games) was lost for the season last month with a foot injury. The Michigan State Spartans are averaging 82 points on 49.4 percent shooting and allowing 67.5 points on 37.1 percent shooting.More news: Taylor Swift supports boyfriend Joe Alwyn at BAFTAs