Three in a row: Spartans destroy Boilers The Enlightened Spartan: Three in a row: Spartans destroy Boilers

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Three in a row: Spartans destroy Boilers

Did you watch the nationally televised game today, Michigan State AT (may I repeat, AT) Purdue?  The Spartans completely destroyed the Boilermakers in a 76-62 victory. MSU's solid defensive intensity in the second half, particularly the inside play by Green, Nix, and Payne, literally ripped apart the Boilermakers.  At one stretch, Purdue went 1-21 shooting -- part just cold shooting, but mostly GREAT Spartan defense -- that helped to eliminate the team from West Lafayette, Indiana.  By the time Branden Dawson pulled off a windmill (or wheelhouse) slam-dunk (photo courtesy MSU Media Relations) off a clean break away, the Spartans were leaving the Boilers in the dust.

This is the third of consecutive, THREE DOMINATING PERFORMANCES against the three toughest teams in the Izzo era: double-digit waxing at Ohio State, at Purdue, and against Wisconsin.  Wow.

If you read Hammer and Rails, they need to wake up and smell the coffee - they could play us 10 times with all their players, and we'd win 10 times.... OK, there was some of Purdue's poor performance, but far far more, it was more that PURDUE WAS OUTCLASSED... it was Michigan State is GREAT.  Purdue ain't.

It was an embarrassing second stanza for Purdue, which had no answer for MSU.  MSU shot 51% and held Purdon't to 34% for the game.

Yes, Spartan fans, it is easy to say right now Michigan State is playing as well as any team in the nation.  Depth, bigs, good stewardship from guards, diversity in shooting... rebounding domination (38-27 edge by MSU today; ranked #3 in the country in rebounding margin)... and an improving Assist-to-TO margin (16 assists vs. just 8 TOs today).... just unreal efficiency by MSU so far.

Draymond Green had another yawner, just 20 pts, 10 rebs and 7 assists -- adding yet another tally to his B1G Ten Player of the Year trophy-in-waiting.  MSU's Freshmen of the Year, Dawson (the next Jason Richardson), was spectacular with the multiple hamstrings-like-rubber-bands in each leg, jumping through the roof on the way to add another double-double to Green's, with 15 pts and 11 rebs.

Check out how impressive MSU's last five games:

Opponent Pts Opp Pts Diff FG% Opp FG% Diff% Reb Opp Reb Reb Diff  Green         P-R-A
vs 22 Mich 64 54 10 52.2 39.6 12.6 39 15 24  14-16-4
vs Penn St 77 57 20 43.4 38.5 4.9 41 22 19  23-12-5
@ 3 Ohio St 58 48 10 40.4 26.4 14.0 35 32 3  12-9-2
vs 17 Wisc 69 55 14 52.2 34.0 18.2 27 33 -6  20-10-5
@ Purdue 76 62 14 50.8 33.8 17.0 38 27 11  20-10-7
AVERAGES 69 55 14 47.8% 34.5% 13.3 36 26 10

What really stands out is: 1) only allowing 55.2 ppg; 2) holding opponents to just 35% shooting on average; 3) shooting by 13% better per game than opponents on average; 4) outrebounding by an average of 10+ per game; and Draymond's three double-doubles with 20+pts AND 5+ assists.  THIS SPELLS VICTORY and, look at the consistency...

Is MSU a great team now?  YES.  And, it is Izzo-time... Time to cruise to another Final Four and hopeful National Title.  This team is the BEST Spartan hoops team since our 2000 team with Mateen Cleaves.  The similarity?  Leadership (Green=Cleaves) and team chemistry.

If you aren't watching the Spartan hoops, you should be.  It's been broken down from last year, and this year rebuilt from the inside out, with defense FIRST.  This team is on ABSOLUTE FIRE and is amazing to watch.  GO GREEN.