Sunday, February 27, 2011

ES predicts Michigan State-Purdue

ES predicts a tight game throughout, and a defensive-minded game. Buckets are hard to come by, but the wild Breslin Center, Izzone-frenzied crowd will make it a 68-67 victory for the Big Green today. Purdue is a 1-point favorite, tipoff at 1 pm EST.

Predictions: Summers will break out of his slump for 10+ points, and Draymond Green and Delvon Roe will both play big in the post - combined 20 points and 15 rebounds between the two.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Purdue 1-pt favorite at MSU

The Rio, Caesar's Palace, and Harrah's in Las Vegas all have Purdue as a 1-point favorite at Michigan State tomorrow. Tipoff is at 1 pm EST, the game will be televised on ESPN.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sparty vs Minny: ES predicts

ES sez this: Sparty wins on the road against a struggling Tubby squad: Michigan State 65, Minnesoter 61. Note... Summers gets back on track with 16+ points. Tipoff 9 pm EST

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Defense + Lucas help Spartans surge in back stretch, fueled by 61-57 win over Illini...

MSU wins 61-57 after a gritty performance over Illinois. MSU is now 15-11/7-7. The ES is bullish on the Spartans, trending up as they get back to basics (defense, inside game, rebounding) and heal. Anytime Delvon Roe is in the game, Spartans play grittier, smarter, and just better defense. And, Lucas is hitting his stride, playing like an All-American on both sides of the floor.

MSU vs opp last three games:

...................ILL...............Oh St............. Penn St
W/L.......... W................. L.................... W
K. Lucas:.. 25 pts.......... 14 pts........... 24 pts
Score:....... 61-57........... 61-71............ 75-57
Rebs:........ 38-30.......... 30-22........... 38-23
FG%:........ 42%-37%.... 57%-43%..... 52%-41%

Next up: @ Minn, vs Purdue, vs Iowa, @ Mich. The ES predicts 3 out of 4, and a 18-12/10-8 fourth place finish into the Big Ten and NCAA tourney.

ES predicts Michigan State-Illinois with ESPN Game Day in town

Michigan State's biggest game of the year is tonight, and ESPN Game Day crew is in town. Michigan State (14-11/6-7) must defeat Illinois (17-9/7-6) at home if it is to have any chance at the NCAA Tournament. It is a must game, and the Spartan Nation, coach Izzo, and the players know it. Longtime Lansing tv/radio pundit Tim Staudt noted a likely 16-18 point Big Green win before it is all said and done. The ES predicts: Michigan State 79, Illinois 65.

Michigan State is a 2-1/2 point favorite over Illinois.
RPI Ratings: Illinois #39, Michigan State #47
Jeff Sagarin: Illinois #25, Michigan State #40
Bracketology: Illinois #8 Southeast, Michigan State #12 West
TV: ESPN, 9 pm EST.
Breslin Center, East Lansing

ESPN Game Day today is at Michigan State. Here are some embedded video below and links to their positive commentary on the Spartans - Bracketology, Digger Phelps Coaches' Corner, Hubert Davis Breslin Center Home Court Advantage... Hubert says: "Go GREEN!"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

MSU at Ohio State - 71-61 loss, sans reality?

Let's face it - this was Michigan State's best road game of the year, particularly defensively. What sucked was the substitutions toward the end of the game didn't pay off, as Spartans' offensive came up short off the rim after several unforced errors by Lucas and Appling - sigh - couldn't be overcome. But that was LATE. Mich State was down by one at half and led the game well into the second half. This is on the road at #3 Ohio State. I kept watching 'cause I thought we could win. Play this game on a neutral site, and we have a shot.

The highs: The Bigs: Green, Nix, Sherman, Payne, even Roe -- when they were in, they played great defensively, I mean GREAT. Best the ES has seen all year... and, they even contributed more than half the points in the first half.

Other highs: Lucas and Keebler (the cookie guy?). Wow, Lucas looks back to his old self - had the turnovers late, but we will get that corrected - Lucas diced and sliced... and Keebler played like 25 minutes??? ??? and great defense. Give the Keebs credit on that end - will he be the next Bograkas scholarship? Could be - impressive.

The lows: Summers, Summers, and Summers. Wow. Probably the worst game of his career. And this guy did the tomahawk on Stanley Robinson/UConn (on the ES website) in the Final Four? You wouldn't know it; he was a complete no-show on the court. We could have used his outside shot. When he was put in the game, he just stood there like a piece of wood. What's wrong with him? No wonder Keebler played 25 minutes. He deserves the scholarship.

Bottom line: On the road, in tough environs after #1 team lost its first game, Mich State really played well for most of the game, without Delvon Roe, one of its best interior defenders. Big Green found some mojo, and is fighting hard and it shows. MSU MUST take punishment out on its next six opponents, beginning with Illinois in a ESPN Game Day on Saturday at 9 pm.

But we saw in the last two games that MSU has its Mojo back. Now, it is time to use it.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Will Allen and Lucious defections lead to MSU scholarship loss?

Another angle that may affect Michigan State... What does the loss of Korie Lucious and Chris Allen this year mean to the team's Academic Progress Rate (APR)? Mind you, an APR (averaged over 4 years) below 925 requires an improvement plan, and an APR below 900 could result in penalties -- including losses in scholarships or postseason bans.

MSU is not in any immediate danger, but...

APR is calculated with each player receiving a point for academic eligibility and a point for remaining in school. Total points earned are divided by total possible points for a %, then multiplied by 1,000 for a whole number.

So, MSU has a total of 13 scholarships for MBB (that is maximum allowed under NCAA policy). If each player earns a point for eligibility and retention, that is 26 possible points this year. Losing Chris Allen and Korie Lucious is a loss of 2 points for retention. At best, that is 24/26 or .923 or a APR score of 923 for this year (below 925). We know Chris Allen is academically eligible because he is enrolled and participating as a member of the squad at Iowa State... As for Lucious, he has been suspended and is no longer on the roster; and he may join Allen at Iowa State. But we don't know yet if he passed his classes (a.k.a. academically eligible) when he left. If he was not academically eligible, that would be a 23/26 = .884 or 884 score - for the 2010-2011 season. This year is averaged with other scores over the past 4 years, so the previous years' APR of 1,000 is only partially (1/4) contributing to the full APR score. But, eventually, this score will catch up to upcoming years because this score will continue to be averaged with teams in the next three years. In other words, MSU men's hoops will not have a perfect 1,000 score at least until 2014.

Yet, what it DOES state is that MSU basketball can't afford many more early defections to the NBA or to other schools, or any other possible loss of \retention points. Otherwise, scholarship losses may become an issue. There are a few institutions whose APR scores have been in the 700s and 600s, and major violations have reverberated through those programs. MSU isn't in that crisis mode, but losing players is concerning. Stay tuned to this issue...

Sunday, February 06, 2011

I HATE WISCONSIN - Wisky everything

OK, we got our asses kicked. Congrats to Wisconsin.

But after watching the lack of sportsmanship by Bo Ryan for the umpteenth time... and when you match it with that asshole Brett Bielema rolling up the score on Minnesota this year...

Well, I was going to root for the Packers. No longer, I will never root for anything from Wisconsin. They lack an ethical value set. Hey, I don't disagree of the other team needing to defend and take care of its own... but the last three as time expired (Ryan is responsible as coach), well it was the last call for me. Ryan and Bielema are embarrasement to college athletics. What, today, a 25-point lead weren't good enough? Izzo would never have done that, and Dantonio would never push for more points on the field.

It is all about values. And, obviously, Ryan's and Bielema's values lack any integrity. How embarrassing. If they did have a value set of respect, then they would not have made the decisions to pour it on. But that is not their value. Their value is to make your opponent feel pity and embarassment and worthless. Obviously, why otherwise would you pour on the points (don't give me that bullshit that you are giving bench-sitting players a chance to play. Let them play, but don't wind up plays to score!)

For now on I root against anything Wisconsin. Going into today, I was a Packers fan. Thank you, Bo Ryan, I am, now a Steelers fan. If I ever meet you, I will not shake your hand. You are a mean-spirited individual. It's a shame for such a great university.


Saturday, February 05, 2011

Michigan State's toughest test yet: Da Stinking Badgers

Is this our last shot?

The Big Green is lucky, in that it plays plenty of top-25 ranked teams the last seven games of the season with Wisky, Purdue, Ohio State, Minnesota on the docket... problem is, they need to win most of them. But, we've seen this Green team do it, and most of these players were around for the Final Four last year.

JUST PLAY DEFENSE, and stop settling for jump shots. Get some balls, man up, and be aggressive under the basket. Play Spartan basketball!!!!

That said, Wisky is a 9 to 10 point favorite over MSU tomorrow in Madison, tipoff at 1 pm, 5:30 prior to SuperBowl Sunday, with the best hoopster commentator in the game, Gus Johnson, on CBS TV. This is the main stage Michigan State NEEDS to get back in the race for the NCAA tourney. Izzo and the Green Team could not have gift wrapped it better. We need it badly.

Problem is, last time we won in Madison was back on Febuary 27, 2001 - a 51-47 victory, before Bo Ryan took over (Brad Soderberg was UW coach in 2001). That is an 0-7 record for Izzo in Madison in the Bo Ryan era.

If there was ever a time for a big game, on the road, and a needed win... on national TV, this is it. If we can't win this one, we don't deserve to make the tournament. This game will test Tom Izzo and the Spartans more than any other the ES can remember since the Heathcote era.

Spartans: Is it IN YOU?

Rewind: Izzo interview pre-season of 2010-11

Just added fire and inspiration.... Here is an interview just prior to the season on the Spartan hoops team via ESPN:

Hey, a season is an eternity. Many things happen, within and without a coach's control (grades, family, environment, legal issues, NCAA, eligibility, etc)... but, it is worth reviewing the preseason inflation of the team to remember what expectations were before the season imploded... Here are some key quote from the $3.5 million-man, from last October/November, just before season tip-off.:

"With depth and talent, it’s not quite the talent we had with the 2000-2001 teams, we had 4-5 pros and I don’t know how many we’ll have on this team…”

“But the key word you said is with injuries, and injury-wise, I don’t know how far we can come back but right now, we are injury free… but the time we missed over the summer, it is tough to tell how much damage that will do until the year really gets started… but I do think that the chemistry has been great, we have the ability to go big go small play different styles….. but, no excuses, if coach doesn’t screw ‘em up, it should be a pretty good team.”

Again, the ES says, Spartans... is it IN you?