It was reported that Adreian Payne was suffering from plantar fasciitis and was unlikely to make an appearance in the game. Playing a game without one of your best players against one of the best teams in the country is not what any coach wants. Payne averages 16 points per game, almost eight rebounds and shoots an average of almost 53 percent. It was definitely an early concern for the Spartans that they would not have his services against the Buckeyes. However, it appeared that Tom Izzo and his Spartans did not have much to worry about for long.
Despite his injury, Payne came in early in the game to try and help his team knock off the undefeated Buckeyes. His playing time was limited but he did total four points and three rebounds in the first half. He didn’t make much of an impact early in the game, which is no surprise since he was limited by his ailment. Did Payne’s presence make any difference for the Spartans?
It certainly did in the second half. Watching Payne play, you never would have guessed that there was anything wrong with him. He really made his presence known about halfway through the second half when he made two huge dunks for the Spartans within a little over a minute of each other, then made a three-pointer a few minutes later. He finished the game with 18 points and six rebounds.
Payne proved just how great of a basketball player he is with his performance against the Buckeyes on Tuesday night. He was playing in pain and was still able to make an impact against one of the best teams in the country.