Michigan State kicks off a December of home games Saturday against Oral Roberts but the Spartans will do so without freshman Miles Bridges. Michigan State’s leading scorer and rebounder is out for at least two weeks with an ankle injury suffered this week against Duke.
Bridges is averaging 16.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game for Michigan State (4-4). Senior guard Eron Harris (12.9 points) and freshman forward Nick Ward (10.5 points, 5.5 rebounds) are now at the top of the list of players expected to fill the void. Oral Roberts (1-6) is a member of the Summit League. Its lone win of the season is against Division II Rogers State.
Tipff is at 4:30 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch/listen to the Michigan State vs. Oral Roberts matchup:
Michigan State basketball vs. Oral Roberts game time, details
Time: 4:30 p.m. ET tipoff
Date: Saturday, Dec. 3
Location: Breslin Center, East Lansing, Mich.
The line: Michigan State is favored by 22 points.
Which TV channel broadcasts Michigan State basketball vs. Oral Roberts?
The game will be broadcast on Big Ten Network.
How can I watch Michigan State basketball vs. Oral Roberts online?
The game will be streamed on BTN2Go.
How can I listen to Michigan State basketball vs. Oral Roberts on the radio?
The game can be heard on radio over the 38-affiliate Spartan Sports Network, including flagship stations WMMQ-FM (94.9)/WJIM-AM (1240) in Lansing and WJR-AM (760) in Detroit. It is also on Sirius Channel 108, XM Channel 195.
Who is calling the Michigan State vs. Oral Roberts game?
Jeff Levering will handle play-by-play for BTN with analyst Jon Crispin. Will Tieman will call play-by-play with analyst Drew Neitzel on the Spartan Sports Network.
Michigan State basketball vs. Oral Roberts three keys
Figure out how to play without Bridges
One player won’t replace everything that Bridges does for Michigan State so the Spartans need a little more from everyone. Sophomore Kyle Ahrens is listed among the probable starters in place of Bridges but no one is expecting Ahrens to produce Bridges-type numbers. Harris had his two biggest offensive games this season in Michigan State’s two previous home games, scoring 19 points against Mississippi Valley State and 31 points against Florida Gulf Coast.
Ward’s performance off the bench was already going to warrant more playing time but this stretch without Bridges will offer fellow freshmen Joshua Langford and Cassius Winston a chance to step up their games.
Take care of the ball
Michigan State has committed more turnovers than its opponent in seven of eight games. The Spartans have struggled in the half-court offense and that has led to too many fast-break chances for other teams. Duke had a 19-11 advantage on points off turnovers in a 78-69 win against the Spartans on Tuesday. Bridges has committed 27 of the 125 turnovers Michigan State has committed this season but head coach Tom Izzo wasn’t pleased with point guards Tum Tum Nairn and Winston turning the ball over a combined five times at Duke.
Take advantage of being at home
Michigan State traveled 13,600 miles to play eight games in November but has seven of its next eight games at the Breslin Center. The competition level drops significantly as well. The next five opponents are from non-Power 5 conferences and none of them are ranked. Only Oakland (7-1) currently has a record that is more than one game above .500. The Spartans are 4-0 this season against unranked teams.
If there is a stretch to be without Bridges, this is it. Michigan State doesn’t play on the road again until the Big Ten opener at Minnesota on Dec. 27. What Izzo doesn’t want to see is the Spartans playing down to the competition.
Kevin Goheen covers Michigan State for Landof10.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CincyGoGo