Michigan State coach Tom Izzo explains why he's keeping Thomas Kithier in the starting lineup
No. 12 Michigan State has gotten off to a 6-1 start despite virtually no statistical production from junior center Thomas Kithier.
While coach Tom Izzo revealed that discussions were had about a potential switch at the 5-spot, Kithier will remain in the starting lineup for now because of his ability to provide impact in categories not measured in box scores, per MLive reporter Kyle Austin and Detroit Free Press reporter Chris Solari.
Izzo says MSU has talked about changing its starting center spot but he as vetoed by assistants. Says Kithier “does every little thing right” but needs to start scoring more
— Kyle Austin (@kylebaustin) December 23, 2020
Izzo says Kithier “does every little thing right” and “doesn’t make any mistakes. He’s steady as the day is long.” Compares him to Matt Costello but says he needs to score more like Costello.
— Chris Solari (@chrissolari) December 23, 2020
Kithier is currently averaging 2.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per game.
If Izzo eventually elects for a new starter, 6-foot-9 freshman Mady Sissoko (1.5 points, 1.8 rebounds) and 6-foot-11 junior Marcus Bingham Jr. (3.4 points, 2.1 rebounds) would be the likely replacement options.
Michigan State’s six-game winning streak to begin the season was snapped at Northwestern. Michigan State hosts No. 9 Wisconsin on Christmas (11:30 a.m. CST/FOX) in a clash of ranked B1G teams.