Michigan State won unimpressively yesterday over a depleted Iowa team. The Spartans were plagued by excessive turnovers and by poor performances from upper classmen. Delvon Roe and Korie Lucious were bright spots however, as the two finished with 16 and 12 points respectively.
Player of the Game: Delvon Roe (16 points, 3 rebounds)
What Went Well for the Spartans
1) Delvon Roe - He was the lone bright spot among the big men. He provided a consistent low post threat and shot the ball very well. He is developing a solid all round game.
2) Korie Luciuos - As I have said before, I love this kid. Not necessarily because of his ability to score, but because of his energy and his great passing ability. Tonight, he placed himself in the spot light by hitting three consecutive three-pointers late in the first half. These really opened things up for the Spartans and could have been the difference in the game. He also played pretty solid defense with his 5-second call being a great example.
3) Defense - Coach Izzo let our team play with a little more intensity on the defensive end and it paid off with numerous Iowa turnovers. We also dominated the boards and held Iowa to just two offensive rebounds. I don't know if I have ever seen that before.
What Didn't Go Well for Michigan State
1) Turnovers - I haven't seen one ounce of improvement in this regard since the Purdue game. You would have thought that the Wisconsin game would have scared our players and forced them to take care of the ball better, but tonight showed that this was not the case. We will not beat Illinois this weekend unless we are more careful with the ball.
2) Offense - We are not getting enough production down low and are still relying on too many outside shots. We shot 18 threes against a team who plays one forward over 6-7. There is no reason for this. After last night, our streak of not getting to 70 points is now 4 games.
3) Goran Suton - He was really that productive. He played 30 minutes and finished with 9 points and 4 rebounds against a smaller, less talented Hawkeye team. I was expecting more from him.
4) Kalin Lucas - Although he had a lot of assists, he still had some dumb turnovers in this game. We also can't have him not scoring until less than 10 minutes left in the game. What happened to him penetrating so well?
5) Marquise Gray - Although I am a big believer in this guy's potential, I am reluctantly giving in by saying that, at this point, I would turn to Green over Gray from here on out. I knew that Gray was going to get more minutes tonight and I was hoping that he would play like he did against Illinois earlier this year. Obviously this did not happen. Instead, he looked lost and had multiple turnovers.
In all honesty, Michigan State should have blown Iowa out by 20+ points. With their injuries and suspensions, the Hawkeyes are extremely depleted and probably are the worst team in the conference at this point. Yet, they were able to hang with us on our home court. That doesn't make sense.
After watching this game, I actually feel worse that I did after we snuck one out against Wisconsin. The Spartans have not shown me anything that indicates they are ready to step their game up during the final three games of the season. We are still turning the ball over, we can't score, and at least in this last game, our best players are not playing well.
"I would say you'd have to classify us as kind of dysfunctional offensively."
"We would have lost (without them) and we could have anyway."
--Tom Izzo regarding the play of our freshmen
Other Game Notes
1) Did the Izzone Boo Roe After a Missed FT? - I had a similar reaction to Izzo. I didn't know if they were booing him, or if they were making noise about another play or something. I am hoping it was the later.
2) Travis Walton Featured on Big Ten Tonight - I thought this was an excellent piece on T Walt. It showed his pride in Michigan State and demonstrated his strong leadership qualities.
3) Dan Dakich on Big Ten Tonight - I liked his presence on the show. It's funny how he criticized Michigan State for not playing well, but earlier in the year when I hinted at Izzo being overrated nationally on his Indianapolis radio show, he scoffed at me.
4) "Spartan Roe-mance" - Was a great lead-in to the BTT. Props to them.
1) USC Punter Stronger than OL, Faster than LBs at Combine - An Incredible story in the LA times about USC's punter David Buehler at the NFL combine can be found here. According to NFLDraftScout.com, Buehler put up 225lbs 25 times which was more reps than fellow teammate Ray Maualuga and projected 1st-round offensive lineman Eugene Monroe and Michael Oher. He also ran the 40 with unofficial times of of 4.56 and 4.63 seconds, which were faster than USC linebackers Brian Cushing (4.74) and Clay Matthews (4.67). There is no mention in the article as to whether or not this guy can actually punt.
Tomorrow - More Iowa post-game and details about the DVD giveaway.