Sunday, December 28, 2008

Oakland Postgame

Well, it wasn't as close as I thought it was going to be. At least if you look at the final score anyway. But, the Spartans didn't handle Oakland as easily as I think most people thought they would have. They are a pretty decent team and gave Michigan State some trouble during this game.

Player of the Game: Goron Suton 16 pts, 9 rebounds.

Why MSU won:
1) They dominated the boards on both ends of the court, but especially offensively. They had 34 rebounds, with 12 of them being offensive. Compare that to 19 and 4 for Oakland and they don't have a chance.

2) Superior senior leadership from Goran Suton. 16 points on 7 for 9 shooting and 9 rebounds. He was also 2 for 2 from behind the arc.

3) Excellent 3-point shooting lead by Kalin Lucas who was 3-4. Who knows what would have happened if the Spartans didn't go 11-20 from 3.

4) Good Tempo - They pushed the ball relatively well and didn't allow Oakland to slow it down. Give Lucas credit for playing a great game with 6 assists and only one turnover.

What didn't go so well:
1) Oakland's 15 unanswered points early in the first half. It was so nice to see the Spartans cleaning up on the offensive glass early in the game and go out to a 9-0 lead. But then, to have that followed up with 15 straight from Oakland was disgusting. Michigan State cannot afford runs like these in the future. They shouldn't happen against anyone, but especially against a school like Oakland. Did you notice the Morgan turnover during this run while he was in transition? That guy cannot finish a break to save his life!

2) Despite scoring his 1000th point, Raymar Morgan didn't seem to have a very good night. He was 4-11 with 4 turnovers. He finished with 8 points. Normally with a stat line like that, the Spartans lose but not tonight. Not with our hot three point shooting.

3) Chris Allen still struggled with a 1 for 6 shooting night despite 21 minutes.

I must say that I wasn't able to watch this game as I was travelling for the holidays, but I heard most of it on the Spartan Radio Network. Did anyone catch that? I was about to wring Gus Ganakas' neck during the pregame as he kept mentioning how MSU has undefeated Minnesota waiting for them on New Years Eve. I was worried that he set the tone for the Spartans to overlook the Golden Grizzlies. Then, they had this NBA-like introduction of the starting lineups. I couldn't tell you who the PA announcer was, but I felt like he was auditioning to be the next Mason for the Detroit Pistons. I'm not sure if it was televised or not, but I am picturing a dark smoke fillied Palace with laser lights everywhere and Sirius playing loudly in the background and then, out of no where, a Greg Kampe halogram appears at center court.

If anyone was there, I would love to know exactly what was going on while the PA announcer was yelling into the mic. This was a rare exception where I missed a game.

Post Game Quotes:
"Some guys that were okay shooters got comfortable, they made some shots, and then they went on an 18-4 run to end the half, and that was the game." -Greg Kampe

-I completely agree. I don't like seeing Suton and Summers shooting threes, but they have been going in so how can you argue against it. As the season progresses, the same Spartan fans than applaud these threes will be screaming at both of these guys to go inside more often.

"Record-wise, we're where we want to be, but basketball-wise, we are not even close." -Tom Izzo

-I couldn't have said it any better.

Tomorrow: Part one of my Big Ten preview. I will run half of the teams in the conference.

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