Rockets are Good for What Ails Delvon Roe: Michigan State 75 Toledo 62

[Note: I watched this game in a somewhat disjointed fashion: final 16 minutes live, first 24 minutes on DVR.  So my perception of the game's time continuum may be slightly off.  Bear with me.]

Given (1) how bad Toledo was last year and (2) how young they are this year, we would have liked to see MSU's final margin of victory closer to 30 than to 10.  But coming off the emotionally-draining win against Gonzaga, I think we can cut the team a break.  They came out playing efficiently in the first half, building a 17-point lead before Toledo went on a 10-0 run late in the half.  And they came out with purpose after halftime, holding Toledo scoreless for the first 5 minutes of the second half.  There was never any real danger of an upset.

Player bullets (official box score is here):

  • Great to see Delvon Roe look back to being himself (or better): 10 points, 11 rebounds.  Seems like all 4 of his made field goals came off nifty moves near the basket.
  • I need an autotext feature for "Draymond Green stuffs the stat sheet": 15 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 turnover, 2 steals, 1 block.
  • Efficient game for a very confident-looking Chris Allen: 14 points on 11 FG attempts, 3 assists, zero turnovers.
  • Kalin Lucas and Korie Lucious combined: 10 assists, zero turnovers.
  • Austin Thornton and Isaiah Dahlman combined for 14 minutes as Tom Izzo looked to keep the other perimeter guy's minutes down as the team entered the first of two straight 2-games-in-3-days weekends.  Definite edge to Thornton, who made a couple nice defensive plays.  Air ball for Dahlman on his only 3-point attempt.
  • 4 points and 3 rebounds for Tom Herzog in just 6 minutes.  Good to see him use his PT productively.
  • Derrick Nix is not enjoying his time at the charity stripe.  0-6 at the line tonight.  1-15 on the season now.  This is making Roe's problems last season seem pretty mild, and I'm guessing it's not an issue that's going to go away quickly.  (I'm not all that concerned with the overall FT shooting.  Take Nix out of the equation and the team was 11-20, which is within the bounds of the normal random variation you're going to see from the line.)
  • Only 1 minute for Garrick Sherman.  Presumably, the thigh bruise is an issue.
  • Raymar Morgan did not play.  Which is OK--for now.
  • Bit of an off game for Durrell Summers, who posted two-thirds of MSU's turnovers (not quite as bad as it sounds; read on).
  • This was a 67-possession game, so MSU's performance was pretty balanced between offense and defense.  The defense may have been a little better than the score would indicate, as freshman Stephen Albrecht made some great shots for Toledo.  Take his 20 points on 13 FG attempts out of the equation and the Rockets posted an eFG% of just 40.8%.

    Four factors graph:

     

    MSU turned the ball over on just 6 of 67 possessions  The resulting turnover percentage of 9.0% is the lowest figure posted by a Spartan team since the December 2007 win over Texas.  So that's a nice way to bounce back from the give-away fest in the first half vs. Gonzaga.

    Beyond that, this game was fairly unremarkable from a statstical standpoint.  Just another ticket punched on the standard slate of mid-to-low-major nonconference opponents.

    Next Up: The Valparaiso Crusaders step right up to take their shot at the Spartans in the second "round" of the Legends Classic.  Sunday at noon.  The Breslin Center.  Big Ten Network.

    P.S.  Maybe I got a little too worked up about the quality of the revamped UNC lineup last night.  As successful as they were at forcing Evan Turner to turn the ball over last night, they seem to have a bit of a turnover problem themselves.  Two straight games with a TO% of 25%+, the latest resulting in a resounding loss.  Oh, and Mr. Turner bounced back pretty nicely: 26 points, 16 rebounds, 6 assists, and a relatively modest 4 turnovers in Ohio State's win over California tonight.

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