1) Michigan State is Joaquin Phoenix - A must read by former Bigtenwonk author Jon Gasaway who now writes for Basketball Prospectus. He essentially says the same things about the offense I have been saying for weeks, but much more eloquently and with statistics to back it up. Hightlights include:
- The Big Ten is balanced, but lacks really good teams
- He believes that Oklahoma is similar to MSU in that they lack a big win.
- He points out how offensive rebounding is what drives Michigan State's offense and how in March we will run into teams that will be able to take this away. He says we better have a good Plan B.
- Compares us to Stanford and Villanova of last year who made it to the Sweet 16 despite poor offenses. I guess it would have been too easy to compare us to our own team from one year ago
2) Goran Suton Says Wisconsin "Plays Dirty" - Suton went into all sorts of details, but most importantly, he is annoyed by Marcus Landry's continual holding of his opponent's off-arm during jump balls. G, there is only one jump ball per game in college basketball! I don't really care for this comment before our matchup on Sunday. Why give them anything that could be motivating? Under Bo Ryan, they have already owned us. You can find the quote in Joe Rexrode's blog along with a complete recap of last year's Big Ten Tournament loss to the Badgers here.
3) Izzo is Looking For More From Lucas - This Detroit News article explains how Izzo wants Lucas to be more aggressive as the postseason is approaching. What I like about the article is that they imply that they are working on isolation sets for Kalin against high pressure defense. I thought that this was missing against Purdue. If opponents want to play high-pressure defense, we need to be able to beat them off the dribble and make them pay.
4) Izzo May Shorten His Bench - He states that while he has limited the minutes of certain players, he has not limited the number of players that have seen the floor in each game. With Morgan getting healthier, he wants to limit the rotation a little bit. As you know, I am thrilled by this news. You can find the link here.
That's Ridiculous (The Catch Up Edition)
1) Chimpanzee Mauling - I'm not as concerned about the mauling itself per se, but more about the "unusual bond" shared between the animal and the owner. A few days after the attack, experts say that this bond may have been a factor in the surprising attack. They say that the owner, Sandra Harold, cuddled in bed with the chimpanzee, drank wine together, and even bathed together. Bathed together??? Michael Jackson and Bubbles think that you are ridiculous.
2) Penn State Beats Illinois 38-33 - Yeah, that is a basketball score. Not a recap of last fall's matchup on the gridiron. That score was 38-24 in case you wondering. This matchup on the hardwood reminded me of us at Iowa last year. Like the Spartans, Illinois shot the ball better than Penn State, but still lost. Also like Michigan State, Illinois' opponent won the game because of a lopsided difference in free throws. Penn State finished 9-11 from the line, but Illinois didn't get to the stripe even once. Games like this one is why people across the country can't stand the Big Ten.
3) A-Rod Didn't Exactly Tell the Truth - It turns out that there are some flaws in his revelation that he took performance enhancing drugs. He may have received them from a banned trainer in the Dominican and not from his cousin. What's worse, A-rod not telling the truth or the continual coverage of this story?
4) Joy Behar vs. Ann Coulter on Larry King - This is just wrong on all sorts of levels. Number one, why is Joy Behar subbing for Larry King? Is that the best that CNN could come up with? That annoying lady from The View? Was Rosie O'Donnell not available? Secondly, what was I doing watching it? These two easily crack my personal top 10 list of women I can't stand. (In case you are wondering, Danica Patrick is the undisputed number one). Anyways, I just happened to be at work and found it as I was flipping through the channels. It was pretty funny to see Behar trying to go toe-to-toe with the Ice Queen Coulter. Joy was outmatched in both communication skills and overall knowledge. Her interview went about as well as I would do if I sat down with Tom Izzo and argued with him on the same points I put up on this blog. You can see the entire exchange here.
Tomorrow - Wisconsin Preview