Monday, January 5, 2009

Ohio State Preview

Today the Spartans will host The Ohio State for their Big Ten home opener. Michigan State has begun conference play with two impressive road wins and are looking to go 3-0.

The Ohio State (10-2 overall, 1-1 in the conference)

Key Wins:
at Miami (FL) 73-68
Notre Dame (neutral site) 67-62
Butler 54-51

Key Losses:
West Virginia 76-48
at Minnesota 68-59

Why they could win:
1) Evan Turner is legit - He leads the team in both scoring (16.2 ppg) and minutes played (33.8). He also has contributed solidly on the boards averaging 7.1 rpg. If the Buckeyes use the same starting lineup as they did against Minnesota, we will be in for a great matchup with him and Raymar Morgan going at it.
2) Jon Diebler is on fire of late - In his first two Big Ten games, he was 12-22 from beyond the arc. I expect him to shoot without hesitation against a Spartan defense that ranks near the bottom of the conference in 3-point FG% defense (8th).
3) Dallas Lauderdale is an underrated inside presence - Although he is only 6-8, he currently leads the Big Ten in shots blocked. I expect him to hassle Goran Suton in the middle. His offensive game, however, is less impressive.
4) The MSU students are still on break - Crowds don't win games, but they certainly help. I've been to a number of games during holiday breaks in recent years and they are kind of a downer. They lack the excitement of young college kids and this could prove to be the difference in a close game.

Why The Ohio State could lose:
1) The Spartan offense is rolling - It really seems to clicking right now and I don't see how the Buckeyes can stop them. Their best bet will be to slow the game down and hope that the Spartans help their cause by committing a lot of turnovers.
2) The Buckeye offense is struggling - They are having a difficult time scoring the ball so far this year, especially without David Lighty. In their last 5 games, they have average 57 ppg which is 9ppg below their average. I expect Evan Turner and Jon Diebler to try to carry the team offensively.
3) Lack of Depth - I am predicting that frequent substitutions by Michigan State will wear out the Buckeyes who essentially play 7 players. Look for B.J. Mullens to provide a presence inside with his tall frame, but let's hope that his breakout game doesn't happen against us. He hasn't lived up to the high expectations that he had coming out of high school, but he is tremendously talented and will contribute more as the year goes on.

Today, I think the Spartans clearly have the advantage over Ohio State. The Buckeyes are going through a lot of adversity right now with the injury to David Lighty and the recent transfer of back up PG Anthony Crater. These losses make the Buckeyes' bench incredibly thin and will force their starters to play extended minutes. In the end, I don't think that The Ohio State can produce enough offense to win this game. Barring a legendary game from Evan Turner, Michigan State will cruise to the victory at home, even if it is in front of a student-less Breslin crowd.

Michigan State over The Ohio State 79-65.

MSU Related News:
1) Raymar Morgan wins Big Ten Player of the Week - Congratulations to Raymar. On paper, the decision makes perfect sense. He averaged a double-double and shot more than 50% from the field. If you watched the games, however, I think Kalin Lucas played better overall. Raymar's performance against the Gophers was less than stellar even though he did have a double-double.
2) Michigan State to possibly retire Morris Peterson's jersey on Saturday. This was reported as a possibility by the Detroit News here. My question is, why don't you know yet? The game is four days! Did someone last week just come up with the idea? How was this not planned out already? I hope it does happen as I will be in attendance.

That's Ridiculous:
1) After graduation, Nikola Kecman plans to play basketball professionally - Kecman, a junior college transfer, will be eligible to play for the first time all season tonight. During the past offseason, he was cited by the NCAA for an infraction while playing basketball in his native country Bosnia. On his official Ohio State biography, the statement above was written. See it here. This just proves that no one goes to Ohio State for an education.
2) Dudes wearing nuts on their chest - I don't get it. Yeah, they are buckeyes, I know.....I still don't get it. Why do you want nuts on your chest? Can't you just wear a scarlet and gray jersey and be done with it? Paint your face if you have to. Just don't wear nuts around your neck. It's disturbing.
3) No updated pictures of Raymar Morgan available. I first noticed this two days ago when I posted a picture of him on the blog. I thought I just didn't look hard enough. Well, apparently, the Big Ten didn't look very hard either because they used the same picture that I did from last year. If this is true, we need to get Drew Stanton back so that he can revive our sports information department.
4) Matt Millen on NBC - I know it's a little late, but where does NBC get off putting Matt Millen on their broadcast? What credibility does this guy bring? Who wants to listen to the opinions of a guy who just ran a franchise into the ground? I turned off my station immediately when I saw him.

BTN's "Greatest Stories of Michigan State Basketball" was a great show. My wife and I snuggled up on the couch with a bottle of wine and a roaring fire in the background. What a wonderful way to spend an evening. I Like the site!
-SpartyMSU of

Ah..........Watching Spartan highlights and drinking booze with a woman. What more can you ask for? Thanks for the support.

Tim Doyle, that no-talent idiot can put an egg in his shoe and beat it. By the way, what round did he get drafted in? That's right, he just does commentary for a second-rate TV network and has gotten significantly chubby since leaving North-worstern. Now excuse me, I have to go put some water in Tim Doyle's momma's dish.
-A-Fed, Sagniaw

A-Fed, I like where your head is at. I don't remember Tim Doyle when he was a player at "North-worstern" but I think that pretty much sums up his career. I still think that it is impressive that someone thought enough of this guy to give him his job being that he just graduated 2 years ago. Even Doyle sees irony in his own bio where he describes breaking down NCAA tournament games on television despite never playing in a single one.

Tomorrow: Ohio State Post Game.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment or email me. All comments will be read, but not all of them will be published. I plan on picking a select few and discussing them on tomorrow's blog. Please leave a handle and your location. Email addresses are optional, but if you leave one, I can send you a message if I am going to publish your comment.