Nairn, Spartans anxious for rivalry game
Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn and the University of Michigan State Spartans look to get redemption today against in-state rival Michigan after a disappointing finish to last season’s series.
The Spartans went 1-1 against Michigan last season, however, the Wolverines won the second game by almost 30 points. Because the teams only see each other one time this season, Nairn said he’s stressed the significance of this year’s rivalry game all week.
Despite the fact that Nairn’s playing time has been notably reduced this season due to the strong play of sophomore guard Cassius Winston, the senior guard yesterday said he’s ready to contribute whatever he can to help his team win today’s game.
“The rivalry is something that everyone knows about, so there is no way we can act like this isn’t a big game,” Nairn said. “We are looking to go out and execute. This game is important because we won’t see them again. Winning games in the Big Ten is always significant, so if we can get the job done it will be great for us.
“We are not going to focus on what happened last year, but we will use it somewhat for motivation. Being a senior this year I have to let everyone know how important this is. Even if we weren’t playing Michigan this is still a very important game for us.”
Nairn averaged 3.5 points and two assists against the Wolverines last year. The 5’9” point guard is currently averaging 2.2 points and a career-high 4.1 assists this season.
Although Nairn is now playing off the bench, Spartans coach Tom Izzo said they’ll need him and other veterans to win a game like the Michigan game and also down the stretch.
“We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores and I have noticed that the teams that have been more solid have more juniors and seniors,” he said. “So we’ve really harped on our older guys and are trying to convince our younger guys to start leading more.”
The rivalry game is set for 12 p.m. and will broadcast live on FOX.