Today we have Pete Rossman from the Michigan State fan blog- The Only Colors.
Were you surprised that after finishing tied for 1st in the Big Ten regular season that the committee only seeded the Spartans as a 5?
I felt that MSU should’ve been a 4, but with the unimpressive way they closed out the season, I really can’t complain about the Spartans falling to a 5. What was disappointing is that they ended up in the Midwest bracket, with one of the worst possible draws – against a hot Maryland team on Sunday, and a possible matchup with Kansas in the Sweet Sixteen. That was hard to see.
What was New Mexico St. able to do to disrupt the Spartans offensively in the 2nd half? What are Michigan States weaknesses offensively?
I think New Mexico went into the locker room and thought, “Maybe we should guard the three-point line”. Their defense became more intense, and the wide open threes MSU had in the first half were gone. As for MSU’s Achilles’ Heel, it’s turnovers. Even though Michigan State had one of its best performances in regards to turnovers yesterday, the Spartans are still a team that can it turn it over on 25-30% of its possessions.
A lot is known about Kalin Lucas and Raymar Morgan, but Draymond Green has really emerged this season ans seems especially adept as a passer for a big guy. Give us a rundown on his game and any other lesser known Spartans who may show up big in the 2nd round.
Potential drinking game for your readers: Take a drink every time Draymond’s name and “basketball IQ” is mentioned in the same sentence during tomorrow’s game. Not only does he always seem to make the right play, he had a huge contribution against New Mexico State with12 rebounds. His only real weakness is that he lacks the shooting range you’d expect of a forward. If he’s fully healthy, look out for Chris Allen as well. He’s the Spartans best three point shooter and plays tenacious defense.
What does Michigan St. have to do to be successful in a match-up with Maryland?
Three things – first off, guard all the way out to the arc. Maryland’s a very good three point shooting team and can make Michigan State pay if they leave anyone, not just Vasquez, open. Second, hold onto the ball. MSU did a good job of this in yesterday’s game with New Mexico State’s press, and they can’t miss any opportunities to keep up with Maryland’s high-powered offense. Last, they need to maintain focus for 40 minutes. In many of MSU’s losses this year they’ve gone through periods in the first half where they’ve sleepwalked on both ends of the court.
Michigan St. has a hugely successful coach in Tom Izzo. Do you ever get the sense that he is taken for granted by the fan base, like Gary Williams sometimes is by Terp fans?
Not really. I think the majority of the fan base understands that Izzo’s one of the best coaches in the NCAA, and if anything, he’s under appreciated by the media. MSU’s been to the tournament for 13 straight seasons now, and I think everyone knows how rare it is to have a coach that can not only get a team to the tournament consistently, but excel in the NCAAs as well. He’s the main reason why MSU basketball is so great, and there’s going to be a lot of sadness in East Lansing when he retires.