Almost three weeks ago Michigan State basketball was sitting at 11-5 and everything seemed to be trending upward for the Spartans. Miles Bridges was coming back from injury, they started Big Ten play red hot to make up for some losses earlier in the year, a tournament berth was surely in reach.

Flash forward to today and the Spartans are 1-3 in their last four with back-to-back losses at Ohio State and Indiana, with a tournament berth fading more and more as the season goes on. Take all of that and it's easy to see Tom Izzo's frustrations.

During his weekly media availability on Monday Tom Izzo laid down a gauntlet for himself saying where they currently sit (at 12-8) is "not the standard of the program, but we're blazing a new trail and we'll be better in the long run".

The team's two most recent losses came on the road against Ohio State and Indiana, slow road starts have plagued Michigan State throughout this season, constantly forcing them to play from behind. Team defense has been lacking at times too.

As is the case in late January for college basketball the games are becoming more important, and Michigan State's immediate schedule does not provide much relief. With Purdue coming into town Tuesday, Michigan in town on Sunday followed by two road games against Nebraska and Michigan, given the Spartans recent play and consistency issues, anything between 4-0 and 0-4 is a solid guess.

Speaking of Purdue, a few players were made available for the game including phenom freshman Miles Bridges.

Bridges will probably get the assignment to cover Purdue's Caleb Swanigan, who many Spartan fans will remember as the commit that wasn't just a few years ago. Still depsite the checkered past with MSU, Izzo had good things to say.

While he had another message for Spartan fans.

The Spartans take on Purdue in a big time Big Ten clash on Tuesday, and you can catch all the action on your home for Spartan sports, Classic Rock 94.9 WMMQ and Lansing's Big Talker 1240 WJIM.