Game Thread Comment of the Night:
Generally you want teams to take the 25-footerby Con-T on Dec 7, 2009 5:32 PM PST
The Citadel players didn't seem to mind taking their shots from 25 feet out for most of the game, knocking down their first 7 three-point attempts, 8 of 10 attempts in the first half, and 12 of 20 for the game. No Bulldog player who attempted a 3-pointer shot less than 50% from 3-point range. There were a few MSU defensive lapses leading to open looks (the worst being an attempted defensive switch by Chris Allen on a nonscreen situation), but there were more quick-release shots by Bulldog players from 3+ feet behind the line.
There's only so much a defense can do against a team hitting almost every shot they take from beyond the arc. If you extend the defense beyond the 3-point line, you'll give up points in the lane (or more 3-pointers on kick-outs). Example: Late in the game Zach Urbanus (who hit his first 4 three-point attempts), pump faked his man 6 feet behind the 3-point line and drove toward the basket to knock down a mid-range floater.
Instead, MSU played good interior defense, limiting The Citadel to a 2-point shooting percentage of just 25.0% (7-28; 3-15 if you remove Cameron Wells from the equation). Meanwhile, they kept the turnover battle close (22.2% to 16.7%) and dominated on the boards (52.2% to 25.0%).
Offensively, the MSU players shot the ball very efficiently, making 56.3% of 2-point attempts, 50.0% of 3-point attempts, and 64.3% of 28 free throw attempts. It's no small feat to post a better eFG% than an opponent that makes 60.0% of its 3-point attempts.
So I'm going to chalk this game up as a success: A poised, efficient performance (1.28 PPP in just 54 possessions) in a raucous road venue against a team that was unconscious from 3-point range for 30 minutes.
Player bullets (official box score is here):
- Kalin Lucas played like the Big Ten POY tonight: 17 points on 6-9 FG shooting and 6 assists (4 turnovers, though). A couple absolute daggers down the stretch. Super-smooth behind-the-back layup on the fast break.
- Raymar Morgan was fairly quiet after the first few minutes but finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
- Very good game from Delvon Roe: 9 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, 2 steals, 1 block. Very active defense against the perimeter-based Bulldog attack. Good aggressiveness attacking the basket on offense.
- This qualifies as a quiet Draymond Green performance: 9 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 1 block.
- Combined 12-16 FT shooting from Roe and Green. We'll take it.
- Chris Allen: Good when shooting ball (9 points on 6 FGA), bad when driving into traffic (4 turnovers).
- Durrell Summers was the invisible man: zero points and 2 rebounds in 19 minutes. Not exactly the tempo he likes to play at, but we're going to need a lot more than this out of him in Big Ten play.
- More Garrick Sherman, please: 4 points in 8 minutes on a couple nifty moves going to the basket. Tom Izzo seems resigned to playing Roe and Green close to 30 minutes each up front, but I don't see how we get through the entire season with that plan. Morgan's better at the 3 spot than the 4. Sherman needs experience before we get into conference/NCAA play.
- Korie Lucious hit a couple 3-pointers at big moments. Good bounce back from 4-15 FG shooting in last two games.
- Derrick Nix missed another two free throws. 1-20. Ugh.
Next up: Back to the friendly confines of the Breslin Center for a match-up with the Oakland Grizzlies. Thursday at 7:00. Big Ten Network.