Prairie View A&M vs Michigan State

Time: 06:30 P.M. EST

Michigan State got some much-needed rest this week while its players took final exams. The schedule for the rest of this month would appear to give them only one break from top-notch competition.

The 14th-ranked Spartans, though, won't have coach Tom Izzo on the sidelines for that game as they host Prairie View A&M on Saturday.

The NCAA suspended Izzo for one game Friday after determining Michigan State committed a secondary rules violation during a basketball camp last June. Officials at the school said the program hired someone associated with a potential recruit, who was paid $475 for working with middle schoolers over five days.

"As you can imagine, I'm upset about the situation, but it's an isolated, inadvertent situation," Izzo said. "In no way, shape or form did we think in any way we did anything wrong, but by the broad letter of the law here, it could be interpreted in many different ways, and I have to accept the interpretation of the NCAA."

Because of the suspension, Izzo won't get to see how his well-rested club performs following a grueling stretch.

While playing eight games in 20 days, the Spartans (7-3) traveled to Maui and back, to top-ranked Duke and back, then took on then-No. 8 Syracuse at Madison Square Garden before heading out again for their latest game.

Michigan State's players were showing signs of fatigue by the time they faced in-state rival Oakland at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Dec. 11. Kalin Lucas scored 25 points to help the Spartans hold on for a 77-76 victory after splitting their previous six games.

"In the second half, I thought we all looked tired," Izzo said. "Eight games in 20 days is a lot for an NBA team."

Izzo finally had some extended practice time this week after giving his players off Monday and Tuesday. That extra practice should help the Spartans prepare for upcoming games against No. 22 Texas on Wednesday night and No. 21 Minnesota in their Big Ten opener Dec. 31.

One area which Michigan State could continue to fine-tune is taking better care of the ball. The Spartans are averaging a conference-worst 16.8 turnovers but committed only eight in the win over Oakland.

"The difference in having some time to practice is going to be enormous," Izzo said. "It's no question the schedule hasn't allowed us time to practice, and that has created some of our situations."

They should have no trouble handling Prairie View (2-9), which has yet to beat a Division I opponent this season.

The Panthers also have dropped all seven of their road games by an average of 28.4 points, including an 87-63 defeat to Texas A&M on Dec. 8. Senior guard Trant Simpson is the only player averaging in double figures (12.1 ppg) for Prairie View, which is scoring 65.4 points per game on 36.9 percent shooting.

After posting consecutive winning campaigns, the Panthers have nine newcomers this season including Simpson, a transfer from Alabama A&M.

This is the first meeting between Michigan State and Prairie View. The Spartans are 3-0 against current members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Michigan State has defeated 51 consecutive non-conference opponents at the Breslin Center since losing to Duke on Dec. 3, 2003.

Lucas, still on the mend from offseason surgery for a ruptured left Achilles' tendon, needs 28 points to become his school's 10th all-time leading scorer.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Game Forecast
0%Chance of Winning0%
0-0vs Top 250-0
vs Non-NCAA
vs Common Opponents
More Projections from SportsLine

TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Texas So.16-218-15185
Alcorn St.13-515-15253
Jackson St.12-620-16222
Southern U.11-722-13186
Alabama St.9-914-17265
Prairie View7-117-24334
Alabama A&M6-1210-18332
Miss. Val.6-128-27330
Big Ten
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Michigan St.13-529-612
Ohio St.11-721-1474
Penn St.7-1116-16119

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Key Players
30.5 Min. Per Game 29.0 Kalin<br>Lucas
12.1 Pts. Per Game 15.2
2.6 Ast. Per Game 3.0
3.1 Reb. Per Game 1.8
35.5 Field Goal % 47.2
35.6 Three Point % 43.2
77.8 Free Throw % 75.6
Other Games
LOYM 75 Final
USC 68 Final
Kansas 70
Illinois 54 Final
UIC 57
SC 57 Final
Ohio St 79
Arkansas 62 Final
Tx A&M 71
Grd-Web 49 Final
Louisville 78
K-State 44 Final
Florida 57
Indiana St 52 Final
Purdue 65
Texas 78 Final
NC 76
GONZ 68 Final
Baylor 64
BYU 79 Final
Md-E Shr 64 Final
IONA 77 Final
Syracuse 83
Delaware 59 Final
MS Val St 60 Final
Kentucky 85
CAR 63 Final
Missouri 116
So Utah 50 Final
UCSB 64 Final