Monday, February 20, 2012

MSU nabs #1 seed in latest Bracketology

After the recent impressive performances by Michigan State, the Big Green move up to #6 in the coaches poll... and are awarded with a #1 seed in the West, as projected in ESPN's Bracketology by Joe Lunardi.

Loving the Big GREEN Machine as it heads to the Final Four!  GO SPARTANS!

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.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hate da Badgers

Feel free to Hate Wisky... the ES is on board!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Breaking down Michigan State bigs dominating Ohio State bigs

The ES is gushing pride and joy after the Spartans' complete, defensive-minded domination of the Ohio State Buckeyes last night.  The 10-point win in Columbus, ending the OSU 39-game home winning streak, was as convincing as it was dominating.  The ES' favorite stat?  Lookit ESPN's game flow:  MSU took an 11-10 lead with 12:13 left in the first half, and never looked back, leading by as much as double-digits for most of the rest of the way...

Let's see the stats of the two PTPers coming into the game:  Green (MSU) vs Sullinger (OSU):

## Player Name            FG-FGA 3FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
00 Sullinger,Jared..... f  5-15   1-2    6-8    8  8 16   4  17  0 10  1  2  40- 
23 Green, Draymond..... f  5-16   1-4    1-2    1  8  9   3  12  2  3  0  1  34 
The biggest difference?  Sullinger with 5 more FT, 7 more OREBs, and 7 more TOs.  Actually, Sullinger had a 0-10 Assist-to-TO ratio; Green's was 2-to-3.  The ES say maybe an even performance, if not give it to Draymond Green because of his ability to run the team and not make mistakes.   More impressively was the Spartan bigs:

## Player Name            FG-FGA 3FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
23 Green, Draymond..... f  5-16   1-4    1-2    1  8  9   3  12  2  3  0  1  34
05 Payne, Adreian...... c  6-6    0-0    3-4    3  1  4   4  15  0  1  2  2  20
25 Nix, Derrick........    3-8    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   2   6  2  2  0  0  19
02 Gauna, Alex.........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   1   0  0  0  0  0   2

Add it up for MSU, that's 14-30 shooting (47%) from the floor, 14 rebounds, 33 pts (or 57% of the team's 58), and a 4-to-6 assist to turnover ratio (0.67).  OMG, the ES has a wide smile looking at Payne's coming out party, hitting on 6-of-6 (15 pts), 4 boards, 2 blocks, and pulling down 4 boards in just 20 minutes...  NICE.

## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
00 Sullinger,Jared..... f  5-15   1-2    6-8    8  8 16   4  17  0 10  1  2  40-
01 Thomas,Deshaun...... f  2-12   0-5    4-6    2  0  2   1   8  0  0  0  1  32
30 Ravenel,Evan........    0-1    0-0    0-0    1  1  2   2   0  0  1  1  0   8

Add it up for OSU, that's 7-28 shooting (25%) from the floor, 20 rebounds, 25 pts (or 52% of the team's 48), and a 0-11 assist to turnover ratio (0.00).

This points to Spartan offensive efficiency dominance in the paint, and superior defense causing 11 Buckey turnovers.  Take THAT Sullinger and Buckeye nation.

Look at these TEAM stats, which defines the Spartans' victory:

Points in the paint-MSU 30,OSU 12. Points off turnovers-MSU 16,OSU 12.
2nd chance points-MSU 11,OSU 8. Fast break points-MSU 4,OSU 4.
Bench points-MSU 9,OSU 2. 

Ummm.... wow, Spartans dominating in the paint (read that, Sullinger?), off TOs, and off the bench. Interestingly, Michigan State played 8 players with 10 or more minutes, Ohio State with just 6.

Brennan from ESPN hit the nail on the head with his notes on the Spartan domination: "Michigan State didn't have to light it up to get this victory. When you defend this well, when you execute your defensive game plan this perfectly, when you thoroughly dominate one of the nation's elite teams in its own building, you don't have to put up points in bunches to get the job done. No team in the country this season has posted 40 minutes of defense this strong against a team this good.  So, yeah, Tom Izzo loves this team. Can you blame him?"

Aahhhh, the satisfaction of a big victory on the road.  Check out the Big Green, once again on top of the conference race.... 

Michigan State9-320-5
Ohio State9-321-4
Penn State3-1011-15

Welcome to the top, Sparty.  Time to buckle down hand hold serve. We got the hated Bucky Badger coming to town in five days, and we need to FOCUS AND CRUSH.  Proud, PROUD day to be a Spartan.