67-66. Perhaps that last game before the B10 season isn't a gimme after all.
Semi OT: In Basketball, Oakland gave MSU fits
I'm beginning to think we might have a better team than Michigan State this year.
Jim Boeheim would agree with you.
No we don't.
Sorry Braylon, I still love you though.
Ehh, certainly we've exceeded expectations and they haven't lived up to it, but I wouldn't go as far to say we're better.
I'm a little concerned about Oakland next week because they were beating Illinois into the second half last week as well...
They started the game with a women's ball for the first 7 minutes of the game until one of the Oakland player started complaining about the ball being too light. When they found out about it, they switched it back to the men's ball and Illini proceed to get hot. Maybe Oakland player should've shut up about it since they were winning. lol
It's hard to gain anything from the game in which they used a women's ball.
Actually, I believe it was the Illinois players who complained about the ball being light. Which makes me more concerned about the Oakland players - they're smart enough to exploit an opportunity! :)
Michigan is not better than MSU in basketball this season. MSU traditionally starts slow then finish strong.
Perhaps we should just let the issue be settled on the court.
Benson and Wright did a lot of damage. Benson, in particular, will punish front line players. Watching the game, I wonder how a guy like that slips by the radars of bigger programs.
If OU had made more free throws, they probably would have taken us down.
State has some work to do but it seems like you can say that about them every year in December.
Morgan was a really key guy for them and they don't have a suitable replacement on that roster. At least not any that appear ready to emerge.
Unfortunately I think State will probably just do what they do every year: have a subpar November and December and then run roughshod through the Big Ten tourney and do the zombie thing in March Madness where they just....won't.....die.
...physically these guys look like they don't have the effort to make it work or something (i.e. something just feels off). Every Michigan State team starts slow, but this slow start feels different then others.
For some reason, their team chemistry just doesn't look anywhere near what it has been at the beginning of past years. This doesn't feel like a typical MSU early period of growing pains.
Sparty is probably a middle-of-the-road Big Ten team right now. By February they'll probably be in the top three or four. This is a team that went to Duke and took them down to the wire.
I'm chalking up their struggles this year due to not playing together at all this summer. Once January hit, it's gonna be the same old MSU.
I'm "chalking up" MSU's lazy play as their reaction to realizing that Izzo will leave them for a good NBA job. It's hard to sell "Spartan for Life" when you were one LBJ decision away from jumping to Cleveland.
MSU is now in the area athletes refer to as, "I thought I was giving 100 percent but I really wasn't." Izzo used to be really good at developing that area between an athlete thinking he is giving 100 percent and really giving 100 percent. I think he will have a harder time now. When Izzo returned to MSU, I said they will be a 5/12 upset victim in the tournament. I have seen nothing to make me change my mind.
MSU just hasn't been playing hard. They have the talent, they just haven't been putting their all into it. I hope they don't all year.
While I agree with the general sentiment that people shouldn't read much into this game, this MSU team reminds me of those Maurice Ager-Shannon Brown-Paul Davis teams that had a ton of hype but struggled to live up to them. They'll make the tournament, but they are definitely a step slow so far this season.
I think Appling and Payne's offseason activities may have left them with tired legs, explaining the loss of that step so far. If they can keep themselves out of the women's dorms, they'll be fine as the season wears on.
Random Michigan FunFact: OU's coach has strong connections to Michigan - his brother played football for Michigan under Bo and his father played on the 1947 National Championship team.
Unlike Oklahoma, it actually makes sense to call them OU, since they're Oakland University. (The Sooners are the University of Oklahoma.)
We have a 73% chance of beating Oakland and Oakland is the #86 team in the country. UTEP is #80, so that's the level of talent we're roughly looking at. FWIW, Utah is #116. Clemson is #46...oh yeah, we're #67. I'd put us in the 40's right now, but I guess we'll just have to wait until the Big Ten season kicks off to find out.
Man, when you look at UTEP's season so far, that really sticks out as a bad loss.
Overall we're projected to finish 16-15 which I would have taken before the season but would be a little bummed at that now. Although, it feels about right doesn't it given the youth...
I'd take that for sure, especially considering what we all expected going into the season. Non-conference schedules always allow for the building of W's...so I'm not getting too confident for the BigTen, but better to be pleasantly surprised than disappointed.
The UTEP game took place in a tough set of circumstances for us: playing a game less than 24 hours after a hard-fought loss to Syracuse, against one of the most experienced teams in the country. Their guys knew how to play on tired legs. We didn't.
According to RealtimeRPI, we're #70 right now:
UTEP is #193 in their ranking. Not sure why there'd be such a huge discrepancy with the KenPom rankings.
RealtimeRPI's GAMER projection has us going 18-13 and 8-10 in conference (it says 17-13, but they don't count the Concordia game).
The weirdest thing of this game is that Izzo’s positive comments about his team after the win.