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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Michigan State Outslugs Wisconsin

The game was pretty easy to figure out: the home team won. Or to put it slightly less vaguely: two teams played good defense and shot poorly. The more aggressive team emerged victorious.

Michigan State is most comfortable in the aggressor's role and Wisconsin never forced the Spartans out of that position. Two obvious examples are rebounding and free throw shooting.

For starters, the Spartans were allowed to crash the boards unhindered in most cases, out rebounding the Badgers 28-23 overall. It was frustrating to see MSU get second chances all the time (10 offensive rebs), just by being hungrier for the ball and having the skill to acquire it. Wisconsin's big men have a ways to go collectively. Secondly, while both teams shot the same percentage on freebies, MSU outscored UW by 12 points by stepping to the free throw line 30 times. [box score]

It was a tough, hard-fought battle between the Badgers and Spartans. Both teams were held far below their average efficiency numbers on offensive. For this I applaud the defense on each side more than I care to insult the shooters.

Though Michigan State managed to still be more efficient than the average Badger opponent, Wisconsin was less efficient that the average Spartan opponent so far this year. It was easily the least efficient offensive performance of the year for UW, surpassed by only the Xavier and Duke losses in the previous two seasons. To compound matters, the Wisconsin's shot selection (21.7% on 23 3-pointers) played right into Michigan State's hands. So it seems Bucky brought out the best in Michigan State defensively.

I was impressed by Michigan State's big sophomore Draymond Green, and also junior Chris Allen, who had a rock solid game for Tom Izzo. On Wisconsin's side, Jon Leuer proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is for real with those 18 second-half points. Also, based on the replays I feel like Trevon Hughes' ankle should be good to go next game. I don't think the ankle injury had a whole lot to do with this particular loss.

1 comment:

  1. Wally Ellenson moved to Rice Lake Wisconsin and goes to Rice Lake high school.


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