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Hoops Recap: Duke

A foul has been called on this game recap. Duke 81 - MSU 71

Porter Binks-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that was... totally expected, wasn't it? If there are three things I think all basketball fans can hate, I believe they are, in no order: Duke, Dick Vitale rambling, and bad foul calls. There were copious amounts of all three in this game. So it goes.

Heck's take on the officiating was definitive:

If you look at the total foul counts (22 for MSU vs. 16 for Duke) the disparity doesn't look so bad. But the terrible block call on Branden Dawson in the first half was hugely impactful considering that the lineup of Costello-Wollenman-Forbes-Trice-Nairn played a significant amount of time at the end of the first half. So it goes.

The Four Factors


Branden Dawson had 18 points and 9 boards on 8 for 10 shooting. You'd like to see fewer than 3 turnovers, but overall he was certainly a bright spot. Let's hope for more of this and less of whatever happened against Navy.

Colby Wollenman actually looked like a functional D1 player, which is a huge coup considering that he might be able to play some decent minutes at the 4/5 in the case of foul trouble like what happened in this game. I don't trust him like Mike Kebler or Austin Thornton just yet, but I'm cautiously optimistic.

Rebounding was the major (only) positive of the Four Factors. I actually really liked the lineups with one big (Costello/Schilling) and also Marvin Clark and Branden Dawson on the floor. I think Clark and Dawson provide enough shooting to space things out while providing a major rebounding advantage. I hope to see this used more often when an advantage needs to be pressed.


Denzel Valentine looked like he was trying to do too much. There were several really unnecessary cross-court passes and a total of 5 turnovers. The 13-4-3 (points-rebounds-assists) isn't terrible but he's still got to learn that letting things come to him sometimes isn't such a bad thing.

Field Goal Defense was a real adventure and I haven't seen an MSU team look so lost defensively in a long time. Near the end it seemed understandable because of the foul issues but there's a lack of aggressiveness thus far, with 0 blocks and just 2 steals. Lots of room to improve, with 1.25 points per possession allowed.

Foul Rate because obviously.

So it goes.

This team didn't look totally outclassed by a team that should be a national title contender, and for that I am thankful.