Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Spor
Branden Dawson broke his right hand nearly a month ago.
At this point, the Spartans appear to be waiting for someone to save them.
At first, it was Adreian Payne, who missed seven games during the middle of the season. Despite playing well (5-2), Michigan State most certainly eagerly awaited the return of its big man. Things weren't "normal" without him.
That changed once Payne returned—temporarily—then Keith Appling fell victim to injury; a sore wrist remains a thorn in his side to this day.
Possibly a week away from returning, Branden Dawson would add energy to the defense, supply a boost to the offense and aid the rebound game on both ends. Due to inconsistent play and injury, it's easy to forget that he was among the Big Ten's top rebounders (8.9 RPG) before breaking his right hand.
Izzo needs someone to give an extra "umph." But he needs a healthy player to do it. He and his team can't afford to wait and see what happens once Dawson comes back.
Playing like he's done for the year would be the best way to approach the situation. By the time he's ready to play, the Spartans, in theory, would have corrected their issues—having Dawson would be the finishing touch.
With him or without, there isn't room for excuses.