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Delvon Roe Non-Update, Etcetera

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Nothing to report since Friday night's official announcement that there was no structural damage to Roe's knee and he's day-to-day for now.  That was followed up with an unofficial announcement by Roe via Twitter that he doesn't plan to miss Tuesday's game (exact wording: "I will NOT miss Tuesday").

While the news following Thursday night's late game incident has been about as good as we could have hoped for, I definitely worry about Roe's availability as a 25-plus-minute-per-game contributor down the stretch.  Graph:

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We're nearing the point in past seasons at which the wear and tear on Roe's knees has forced his minutes/game down below 20.  (The rebound back toward 25 minutes/game during last season's NCAA Tournament was a function of pure, unadulterated grit.)  Even before Thursday night's injury, Roe's minutes played were in a major slide down from a career peak of around 30/game.  Desperation may have caused Tom Izzo and Mark Montgomery to ride Roe harder than was advisable going back to the OT wins over Wisconsin and Northwestern.

Regardless, we can expect to see more of Derrick Nix, Garrick Sherman, and/or Adreian Payne in the near future.  Tuesday's game vs. Ohio State represents a bit of dilemma: Roe is probably the only guy who can guard Jared Sullinger effectively for more than a few minutes at a time, but do you risk making the situation with his knee(s) worse in a game you enter as a 17-point (or so) underdog?  (I really worry about foul trouble if Draymond guards Sullinger.)

In not-entirely-unrelated news, Izzo is making noise about changing the starting lineup.  As much as we'd all like to see the Lucas/Appling/Summers/Green/Roe quintet out there as much as possible, I can't argue with the logic: You're going to need 3-4 guys coming off the bench during games and, given that none of those guys are likely to bring a lot of scoring punch, you don't want them all out there at the same time.  By putting one or two of them in the starting lineup, you prevent that.  In Roe's case, it makes sense to start him on the bench and try to keep him fresh for late-game minutes.

Big picture, my take is that this team is going to go as far as Kalin Lucas and Draymond Green can take it (with Durrell Summers as the wildcard).  The goal is to put the parts around them in positions to make a decent number of positive contributions along the way.

Elsewhere in Sunday evening musings, you should probably go ahead and bookmark the Bracket Project matrix page.  17 of the 25 bracketologists to update their predictions since the win over PSU have MSU in the Big Dance, with the range of seeds between 9 and 12.  With 4 of MSU's 6 remaining regular season games carrying projected point spreads of 4 or less, expect to feel yourself sliding around on a large, translucent sphere for the next four weeks.