January 3, 2013

Dawson showing new progress at the three

EAST LANSING - Michigan State's subtle changes to the playing group and player assignments in the wake of Brandan Kearney's transfer continued to take shape during Thursday's practice.

Sophomore Branden Dawson continues to get more minutes at the three than he did prior to Kearney's decision on Dec. 29 to leave the program.

Dawson played the three (small forward) throughout last season. He began this season at small forward, but Tom Izzo moved him to the four (power forward) after the loss to Miami, as defenses began to sag off of Dawson due to his shaky jump shot and MSU's imposing low post options.

Dawson's move to the four corresponded with Travis Trice and Gary Harris coming back from injuries and giving the Spartans better perimeter shooting. The combination of those factors led to more room in the paint for MSU post players, Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne.

Now, with Kearney out of the rotation, MSU needs to replace his minutes at the three. That's why Dawson is splitting time at the two forward positions again.

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