For the first half, it looked as if the basketball team had picked up the football team's hangover from last night. MSU was 1-9 on three pointers, 10-28 on two-pointers, and led by three at the half. This was despite getting 11 turnovers from Northwood and having 11 more rebounds than the Timberwolves.
In the second half, a sense of normalcy finally returned to East Lansing, thanks to Durrell Summers. Summers sparked the Spartans' scoring in the second half by making his first four goals, one of those a three-pointer, and State never looked back, scoring 43 points to Northwood's 15 in the second half.
Here are some of my early impressions from the game:
- This was a physical game, especially for an exhibition. Lucas, Roe, and Summers all went down at different points in the game. Lucas was alright, no word yet on Roe and Summers.
- Same old Lucas. Still quick, still dominant, still maybe tries to drive to the basket slightly too much. (edit - maybe too much - Kalin was apparently 5-21 on field goals? Yikes.)
- Of the three big men, I'd rank their performance as so: Nix, then Sherman, then Herzog. Derrick Nix has a sweet drop step and used it a few times in this game to great effectiveness. Garrick Sherman was unremarkable, but effective. Herzog had a couple of good putbacks and blocks, but doesn't seem as strong or explosive as Sherman or Nix.
- Favorite moment of the game - Draymond Green in the second half attempting to dunk twelve feet from the rim. He didn't get the basket, but he drew a foul and annihilated whoever the poor defender was from Northwood who tried to defend him. He's deceptively athletic, and had a double-double (14 pts, 11 rebounds).
- The Spartans' shooting looks a bit rusty - 36% 2PT, 22% 3PT, 60% FT. Let's hope it was the team getting back up to speed since April.
- Turnovers weren't a problem - only 11 in the game for MSU. Draymond Green had four of those.
- Assist leader - Korie Lucious with 5. Green had the second-most with 4.
Not a bad first effort for Michigan State, especially in the second half. The second and last exhibition game will be next Monday, November 9th at 7 PM against Grand Valley State, and I'd never thought I'd write the past statement in my lifetime.