Michigan State basketball: breaking down USC starting lineup, rotation

Michigan State is gearing up to face USC in the round of 64 of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. The Spartans, who come in as a 7-seed are looking to string together a couple of wins to move onto the second weekend of the tournament.

Standing in their way is the USC Trojans, who have an experienced starting lineup, and a plethora of scorers who could stymie any ideas MSU has at making a run.

Let’s take a look at USC’s starting lineup, and the rotational pieces MSU will see on Friday:

PG Boogie Ellis

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Class: Senior

Points: 18.0

Assists: 3.0

Rebounds: 3.7

FG%: 43.9

3PT%: 39.2

G Kobe Johnson

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Class: Sophomore

Points: 9.0

Assists: 2.5

Rebounds: 4.9

FG%: 47.1

3PT%: 35.4

G Tre White

(Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

Class: Freshman

Points: 9.1

Assists: 1.1

Rebounds: 5.1

FG%: 48.0

3PT%: 25.1

F Drew Peterson

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Class: Senior

Points: 14.0

Assists: 4.4

Rebounds: 6.2

FG%: 44.3

3PT%: 36.2

C Joshua Morgan

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Class: Senior

Points: 6.7

Assists: 0.5

Rebounds: 5.2

FG%: 56.8

3PT%: 0.0

G Reese Dixon-Waters

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Class: Junior

Points: 9.8

Assists: 1.1

Rebounds: 3.2

FG%: 44.1

3PT%: 28.6

C Vincent Iwuchukwu

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Class: Freshman

Points: 5.4

Assists: 0.3

Rebounds: 2.5

FG%: 50.9

3PT%: 0.0

F Kijani Wright

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Class: Freshman

Points: 2.0

Assists: 0.3

Rebounds: 1.9

FG%: 46.8

3PT%: 0.0


It is a strong scoring lineup, that is plentiful with small forward/shooting guard wings.

Boogie Ellis is a certified star, and Andy Enfield has done a great job putting a bunch of quality role players around him. The key to winning for this game isn’t stopping Ellis, because he is going to get most of what he wants. The Spartans are going to need to limit the scoring production from the role players like Johnson and Dixon-Waters.

USC doesn’t have a strong post presence, which should bode well for the Spartans, which means perimeter defense will need to be strong and sturdy while limiting dribble penetration.

Michigan State will need to bring their ‘A’ effort on defense.


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Story originally appeared on Spartans Wire