Friday, February 6, 2009

Indiana Preview

The Spartans look to improve to 9-2 within the conference today by beating Indiana in the Breslin. Indiana is coming off their first Big Ten win after they beat Indiana on Wednesday night. It also marks the first time that Tom Crean returns to the Breslin since being the assistant coach from 1995-1999.

Indiana (6-15overall, 1-8 in conference)

Key Wins:

Key Losses:
vs. Northeastern 55-42
vs. Lipscomb 74-69

Why Indiana Could Win
1) Tom Crean - Having been an assistant under Izzo, Crean obviously knows the tendancies of Michigan State. The problem is that he doesn't have the players to stop the more talented Spartans. If the game is somehow close, this could be a factor.
2) Rebounding - Indiana ranks right behind Michigan State within the conference in rebounding margin at over +4 per game. While I don't expect them to outrebound us, if we shoot poorly and they can cutdown on our offensive rebounds, the Hoosiers could keep the game close.
3) Someone Could Go Talor Battle or Kevin Coble on Us - I can't see this happening as the Hoosiers don't have anyone as talented as these guys. Devan Dumes has potential as he leads the team in scoring at 14 points per game. He is a junior college transfer who was headed for Ohio State last year before he suddenly decided to attend IU. Tom Pritchard could also provide an inside presence down low, but he is really young. Pritchard was the high school teammate of Delvon Roe.

Why Michigan State Will Win:
1) MSU Has More Experience - Indiana only returned 19 total points and 185 minutes of experience this year. Freshman account for more than 70% of the teams total points. With this in mind, the Spartans will have no excuse for a loss to the Hoosiers.
2) Athleticism - Indiana lacks the quickness and athleticism that is needed to stop Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers. Look for them to try and slow us down. The Hoosiers will need to run an effective offense in order to beat us at home.
3) Turnovers - Indiana is tenth in the league in turnovers at -2.8 per game. The sad thing is that we are ninth at -1.8 per game. If either team has a significant advantage in this category, it could be the difference.

While I'm sure that Tom Crean is feeling somewhat excited about returning to the Breslin Center, I'm sure he would rather do it under different circumstances. He is coming into this game undermanned and faces a Spartan team that is trying to preserve their lead in the conference. His team is riding high, however, coming off their first conference win against Iowa. In the end, I don't think it will be enough for him.

Michigan State over Indiana 79-62.

Tomorrow: Indiana Post Game

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