Bridges is back: Freshman phenom sparks Spartans in return
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Michigan State missed Miles Bridges.
Even though the Spartans (11-5, 3-0) were 6-1 in their leading scorer and rebounder’s absence, it’s never good when a team (especially a young one) is robbed of crucial time needed to grow as a unit. Plus, we all missed the ridiculous highlights that not many Big Ten players can provide.
The freshman phenom came off the bench in his return from an ankle injury, which had sidelined him since Nov. 29. He scored six points and grabbed six rebounds in 17 minutes in his return in Michigan State’s 93-65 win over Rutgers, and he proved he was just fine the first time he touched the ball.
But that couldn’t compare to what Bridges did in the second half on an alley-oop that nearly brought the house down and engulfed Twitter in flames.
Fellow freshman Cassius Winston deserves a ton of credit on that play, too. As the fast break developed thanks to Bridges’ block and steal, you wondered watching live if Winston saw the same highlight unfolding as the rest of us. He did, and the finish looked like a video game.
Beyond the return of Bridges and his preposterous highlights, Michigan State continues to gain strength as a whole. Freshman big Nick Ward continued to emerge in Bridges’ absence and the duo presents a formidable dilemma down low for the rest of the Big Ten. Senior Eron Harris showed what he’s capable of with 24 points against the Scarlet Knights and just needs to find some consistency in big games. There isn’t a pair of point guards quicker and more dangerous in transition than Winston and Tum Tum Nairn Jr.
We know the Spartans have the talent and the coaching. And just like Tom Izzo teams tend to do, it looks like this Michigan State squad will continue to get stronger as we go along.