Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Purdue Destroys Michigan State 72-54

Logic told me that Michigan State wasn't going to overcome Purdue's high pressure defense, but I went with my gut when said the Spartans would win this game. Boy was I wrong. Purdue harassed Michigan State all night and forced a season high 22 Spartan turnovers and a season low 32% FG%. To make things worse, the Boilermakers got hot in the second half and Tom Izzo didn't have an answer on offensively.

Player of the Game: JuJuan Johnson 17 points, 4 rebounds

What Went Wrong For the Spartans
1) Turnovers - For some reason, Michigan State can't play against teams that play extended, high pressure defense. Early in the game, it was obvious that we were trying to pound the ball down low, but we had difficulty doing so. Purdue played great interior defense and did a good job cutting off our passing lanes. Instead of working the ball around, we tried to force it inside and this resulted in too many fumbled passes. We also had problems handling the ball on the perimeter. As a result, Purdue was able to get 22 points off turnovers compared to our 4.
2) Offense - I know, it's a pretty big thing to throw around general terms like offense, but it was bad all around. We missed lay-up after lay-up. We didn't take advantage of our offensive rebounds. We didn't convert Purdue turnovers into points. And finally, we didn't establish an inside presence. What we did do was stink.
3) Perimeter Defense - Robbie Hummel got too many open looks in the first half, which led to a ton of Boilermaker momentum. E'Twaun Moore also hit numerous shots from behind the arc after he was left wide open. It also should be noted, that Suton defended the pick and roll terribly.
4) Rebounding - We only managed a +5 rebounding margin. At one point in the second half, Prude actually had more rebounds than us. We did manage 15 offensive rebounds, but couldn't convert them into points.

What Went Well for Michigan State
1) Durrell Summers - He played alright tonight. If he gave us this every game, we would be in good shape most nights.
2) Free Throws - This was the team's best offense. The Spartans finished 16-20 from the line. They were led by Kalin Lucas's who was 10-12.
3) Substitutions - I think Izzo did a decent job of sticking with his starters. One could argue that Lucious played too much, but Lucas was struggling so I can see how Izzo wanted to change it up a little. I also think that he gave Morgan just enough minutes. He didn't play bad.

It's hard to not get down after watching that game. Just when most of us think that this Spartan team is different than those in our recent past, we go and let two teams creep back into the conference title race. Going into this game, I thought that we were going to finish the season 4-2. That means that we now need to end up 4-1. After tonight, that seems pretty far fetched as we have Wisconsin, Illinois, and the Boilermakers again.

In order to move forward, Michigan State needs to find a way to put more points on the board. While at times our defense has not been great, it has been good enough to win. The same cannot be said about the offense. Our offensive sets seem too structured and predictable. We need to open it up a little bit. The return of Raymar Morgan should help some, but probably more in the next two or three games.

“If we’re gonna get beat, we might as well have got our butts kicked. I think it’s good because hopefully they'll understand there's a different quality of teams....."

I agree with this statement. To move forward, I'd rather lose by a hundred than lose by one. Nationally, however, this does not look good.

"This kind of thing tends to happen from time to time in the Big Ten, on the road against good and desperate teams." --Joe Rexrode, LSJ.com

Two things regarding this statement:
1) I'm pretty sure this only happens to us. Every year we are one of the best teams in the conference and still get blown out on the road.
2) This is why the country is so down on the Big Ten over the past few years. The best teams in the conference shouldn't get blown out at home or on the road.


When are the Spartans going to learn that if there not shooting well they need to drive to the basket and/or kick it down low to their bigs!! They can't just keep chucking up 3's all game hoping that at some point they will fall. Of course the turnovers didn't help either!! And lastly, when is Sutton going to learn how to defend a slip-screen? Jajuan Johnson did it to him several times during the game creating easy opportunities for himself.
--Ridin' the Pine, Sterling Heights, MI

The biggest problem the offense had yesterday was overcoming Purdue's interior defense. Unlike many games this year, MSU did try to establish an inside game early, but Purdue did a great job denying the entry pass. They forced a million turnovers and you really have to give them credit. I agree with the key being able to drive to the basket. If they are going to guard you the entire length of the court, we have to make them pay by getting good penetration in the lane. Lucas had a difficult time doing this yesterday. As far as the Spartans chucking up threes, they really didn't do it that much in this game. They actually only had eight attempts from distance. Instead, they jacked up probably 10 shots from just inside the line. Lastly, that's a good observation of Suton not defending the screen. JuJuan's monster jams were a direct result of Goran's defensive lapses.

Tomorrow - More Purdue Post Game

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the blog. I work late alot during b-ball season and can't watch many games. I appreciate a quick and easy way to get a good review of the highlights and lowlights.


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