[Note: Another disjointed viewing experience: Listened to first half on the radio live (Matt Steigenga's becoming a really good color guy, BTW), watched second half live, went back and watched first half on DVR.]
Michigan State puts together a complete 40 minutes: 18-point halftime lead, stretched to 30 at the final buzzer. Straight to the player bullets (official box score is here):
- Chris Allen is playing with as much confidence as he's ever had: 22 points on 10 FG attempts.
- Delvon Roe is good to go: 10 points, 17 rebounds (7 on offense), 4 blocks.
- Korie Lucious: 9 assists, giving him 23 for the season vs. just 3 turnovers. Man, did he drop some dimes today. Best pure passer of the Tom Izzo era?
This was a 68-possession game, so the offense was more spectacular than the defense--particularly when you consider that the Crusaders hit only 4 of 23 three-point attempts, missing some pretty good looks off bad MSU defensive switches/hedges along the way. Four factors graph:
MSU beat Valparaiso handily in all three of the factors besides turnover percentage. The execution against the Crusader zone was particularly good, resulting in a 2pt FG% of 61.0% and a 3pt FG% of 41.2%.
And the Spartan TO% of 19.1% was acceptable. No MSU player turned it over more than twice. Generally, it's encouraging that a higher percentage of our turnovers seem to be of the trying-to-create-something variety (as opposed to the no-purpose-brain-freeze variety) this season.
Minor gripe: The defense on in-bounds plays under the basket could use some work. Valparaiso got easy looks going down the lane several times today. Does having the defender guarding the in-bounds passer turn his back to try double team cutters really work better than just having him pressure the ball so the passer can't get a good passing angle to a player in the lane?
Next up: The actual whether-you-win-makes-a-difference-in-who-you-play-next phase of the Legends Classic. Atlantic City. The Florida Gators. Friday at 8:00. HDNet (check here to figure out if you get it or to find a sports bar that does).