Hello TOC, well that last one was a nice change. Next up on the slate is a Nebraska team who has won 4 of their last 5. This is another very winnable game for the Spartans and will hopefully start a new winning streak. As usual the stats will be next with the analysis to follow.
This Nebraska team has moved to mainly an 8 man rotation after their third leading scorer was kicked off the team. They also run a 5 forward and 3 guard rotations. They, in a change of pace, have actually run the fastest offense in the B1G during conference play where they average just over 70 possessions per game. Saying this they are still not very good shooters considering they are 11th in efficiency, and have an eFG% of 47.3% good for 264th in the country. They are very good at defensive rebounding and are only behind MSU in turnovers.
This team is led by its Frontcourt with the main contributor being Petteway, Sophomore, who is arguably the 1st and 2nd option on offense. He essentially leads the team in minutes, scored over 5 more points than the next highest scorer, is the second best rebounding starter, and is second on the team in assists and blocks. One negative to his game is that he is not the most efficient shooter, but that’s probably to be expected with the volume of shots that he takes. His main negative is that he turns the ball over around 3 times a game which is the most on Nebraska. The next player is Shields, Sophomore, who is second in points per game. He only shoots 34% from 3, and he does not have the efficiency numbers of Petteway. He does however have good rebounding numbers, as well as pretty good assist numbers for a 6-7 forward. The final frontcourt player is Pitchford, Sophomore, who is third on the team in scoring, and is their most efficient shooter and also shoots around 40% from 3. He is the second best rebounder on the team, but does not block shots very well for his size.
The Backcourt starts with Gallegos, Senior, who while he is fifth in points; he is third in efficiency, and second in offensive rating. He takes the most threes on the team and he makes around 37% from there. He is a horrible rebounder however, and also does not have good assist numbers for a guard. The final starter is Webster, Freshman, who is an awful shooter, and only a marginally better rebounder than Gallegos. On the plus side he has the best assist numbers on the team, but also has the second highest turnover numbers.
The first person off the bench is Shields, Sophomore Forward, who is the second most efficient shooter on the team even though he does not shoot threes. He is also by far the best rebounder on the team for both types of rebounds, and is the only player who can block shots even though he isn’t even that great at it. Next is Parker, Sophomore Guard, who is even shorter than Trice. He doesn’t shoot well and really only looks for some assists when he is in. He hasn’t made a three thus far so you really just have to watch for the drive and kick. After that is Rivers, Junior Forward, who is also a bad shooter, but he is at least a mediocre rebounder, and has the best steal numbers on the team. Finally there is Hawkins, Freshman Guard, who is not part of the regular rotation but receives some regular minutes. He is another bad shooter, a trend, as well as getting in foul trouble if he were to receive regular minutes. He at least has ok defensive rebounding numbers.
All in all this is should be a pretty nice win for MSU. The Spartans shoot better, turn the ball over less, and get way more offensive rebounds. Nebraska is also way better at home compared to being on the road. The main key will be limiting Petteway’s scoring chances and make the rest of the team beat them. I feel that Izzo will draw up a great defensive game play and force the ball inside to beat this Nebraska squad. I predict a good win and some iron mountain time at the end. Go Green!