Friday, January 23, 2009

Can Allen or Summers Step Their Game Up?

Michigan State has had difficulty finding someone off of the bench to give them solid minutes at the 3. We need Summers and Allen to step their games up.

1) Durrell Summers - I think Summers' biggest problem is that he isn't attacking the basket. Instead, he has been looking to jack up threes way too quickly. Despite leading the team in 3-pt percentage, I do not have confidence in his outside shooting. He had a hot streak earlier in the year that essentially culminated after his buzzer beater against Texas. I would much rather see him use his athleticism to dribble around his defender and attack the rim. The only problem with that is that I don't know how great of an athlete he really is. Sure he can jump real high and run real fast, but can he do those things better than his predecessors? Can he out jump J-Rich, Morris Peterson, or Shannon Brown when they were at his stage? I don't think so. In fact, I think that a majority of our opponents from major conferences have at least one player who is more athletic than Summers.

2) Chris Allen - Chris is coming off of one of the worst games statistically that I have ever seen by a Spartan. He finished 1-11 from the field, including 0-8 from the 3-pt line, and 7 turnovers. With that being said, I agree with Izzo on sticking with him. There isn't a great way to spin Allen's stat line, but I will say I don't think it was as bad as it looks. He obviously played poorly, but given Izzo's lack of alternatives, he was the best guard available.

If Raymar Morgan plays solidly for the rest of the year, which is a big if, then Chris Allen becomes the Spartans' X-factor. He is the only true outside shooter on this team and for us to make a deep NCAA tournament run, we need him to perform well. While he is struggling in regards to 3-pt FG%, he has a tremendous amount of confidence in his ability to shoot and eventually he will turn it around. It's also reassuring that he has improved steadily on the defensive end, a feat that is probably more difficult to do than correct his current shooting slump.

For those having a hard time finding faith in the Spartans after Wednesday's loss, you can't help but feel good after watching this feature on Mateen:

One Shining Moment

Don't think about the fact that our team isn't nearly as good as that one.

Around the Big Ten
1) Purdue Handles Minnesota on the Road 70-62 - Here it comes. Purdue is surging from the basement towards the top of the conference. They took care of the Gophers last night by relying on their pressure defense that extends past half court. The Spartans better get their act together because that defense is going to turn them over all night long. It really would have been nice if Northwestern had taken care of the Boilers in Evanston.

That's Ridiculous
1) PETA - These guys are awesome. Has anyone ever seen some of their work. They are over the top. Their latest is that they are insisting that the NFL conduct a brain scan on Michael Vick to see if he has underlying psychological problems and until they do, they will not work on an anti-dog fighting public service announcement with the former player. Do we really need a brain scan PETA? Everyone in America knows that he is messed up. Just do his commercial and be done with it.

Click here for my favorite PETA smack of all time. It's an open letter to the NBA after they changed back to the leather ball after using the synthetic one. They call Lebron and others "Sissys".

2) Allen Iverson Voted to Start in All-Star Game - What? I don't think the votes came from anyone near Detroit. Maybe they came from the same people who voted Yao Ming to start also. This is what's wrong with the NBA.

"Nice recap. Northwestern earned this one. Looks like the Wildcats are finally learning how to finish games, which (don't laugh) might give lots of teams the shakes over the next six weeks. Jeremy Nash was the unsung hero with the way he caused all sorts of trouble for the Spartans on the perimeter. MSU needs to figure out how to attack a zone (check out Illinois) or else they're going to see more zone down the stretch." --TD Lawlor from

Thanks for the email. You are right. Jeremy Nash did a great job causing a bunch of turnovers. I also agree with the Spartans needing to be better against the zone. Look for Ohio State to utilize the zone more after seeing the difficulites that the MSU has had.

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