There's been so many people questioning this kid's ability (and downright hating on him). Yet he's made SO many hustle plays in the last few games.
I, for one; am really proud of how he's battled and figured out his role on this team.
7/11, 3/4 FT, 17 points, 8 Rebounds and 3 assists.
And a game-winning shot on his daddy's home floor. Big ups to G.
How far can this team go if Stauskas, LeVert, and GR3 all play well on the same night?
What a finish!
Let's go boys!
The 4 game march to a Big Ten championship begins tonight. Purdue always seems to play Michigan tough, even with inferior competition. Whether they keep it close today probably depends on whether A.J. Hammons shows up or disappears, as he is prone to do. The good guys prevail tonight, 74-62. Predictions?
There has been ongoing discussion regarding MSU's defensive strategy with regards to both football and basketball on this site. Whether on the gridiron or the hard court, their aggressive grabbing, pulling, hand checking, using the coach as an extra defender, jamming, neck twisting, throat punching, etc. has been well noted right down to their self proclaimed thuggery of "X minutes of unnecessary roughness". As frustrating as it has proven to be for opposing teams, it has been mostly effective for them. So when these antics occasionally backfire (see repeated floor slapping, Valentine's woofing, unleashing Russell Byrd in any capacity), it's nice to savor the moment.
My contribution to said meme is highlighting one of the strategies deployed in attempt to disrupt Stauskas's shot on Sunday. There were clearly a lot of extra curriculars targeted at Stauskas, as the numerous scrapes on his body throughout the course of the game would suggest, but the focus of this post is the Rick James approach.
As Stauskas was elevating and finishing over every defender Sparty put on him, I began to notice that MSU's players had more or less given up on trying to get a hand on the ball to block his shot. Nor were they satisfied with simply getting a hand straight up to impede his sight line or the trajectory of the ball. Instead they resorted to literal face slapping (also not a foul)...
Appling: "What did the five fingers say to the face?"
TL;DR summary - Sparty's defensive strategy:
Perhaps people with wrist boo boos should consider fewer slaps of the court, opponents faces, and what not.
Seeing as it's been published in USA Today today (sorry)...
...some recognition of Belien's and the team's incredible work this year since losing Mitch.
Given how many of us have felt we've been overlooked for the struggles we've faced, it's nice to see the national attention for how the team has perservered and performed.