Game Thread -- The Michigan State Spartans at the Purdue Boilermakers

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MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS vs the PURDUE BOILERMAKERS
MACKEY ARENA -- WEST LAFAYETTE, INDIANA
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19th, 2012, 1:00 PM EST
TV: CBS
ONLINE RADIO FEED: Spartan Sports Network

With Michigan's win over Ohio State yesterday MSU is in sole possession of first place in the Big Ten, and can stay there with a win against Purdue today. D.J. Byrd won't be available for Purdue in this game and Kelsey Barlow has been kicked off the team; I expect their absence will hurt Purdue on offense. The Boilermakers are the best team in Division 1 in turnover percentage on offense (13.7%), thanks in part to Byrd's (7.8%, 5th in NCAA) and Barlow's (12.8%, 150th in NCAA) contributions. This is the only part of Purdue's profile that's way above average, as they're in the triple digits in the four factors in everything else.

On offense? Maintain the momentum. Purdue doesn't really have a defender that scares me inside, so ground and pound with Green, Dawson, Nix, and Payne all day. It'd be nice if Appling rediscovered his shot but not necessary, if he can reach double-digit scoring on drives and free throws I'd be more than fine with that.

Lastly, it's going to be hard to tell what kind of emotion Purdue will come out with. The best analog I can think of to today's game is MSU-Michigan last year at the Breslin. It was the first game after Korie Lucious was dismissed, and State looked all sorts of disjointed. I don't know if Purdue will come out with the same kind of disconnect on offense, but I know it's not a positive.

This is the game thread. Same rules as always: No slurs, no links to illegal game streams, and be cool to one another. Enjoy the game everyone.

GO GREEN, GO WHITE, BEAT PURDUE.
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