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Hoops Recap: Bulldogged

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MSU 82, tCitadel 56

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that was better. The first half was as frustrating as the Texas Southern game, but a 19-0 run to start the second half put Citadel to bed. I wonder what that halftime locker room was like up just 32-26.

Three Point Watch: The story of the loss to Texas Southern was that three point shooting would be the key to victory going forward. Coach Izzo seemed to take that issue to heart and just 20.7% of shots attempted by MSU were threes in this game. For the season, that figure sits at 34.8%. This does not seem like an accident.

So despite a so-so day from three (just 4 for 11), the offense produced as they should against a low-major. This offensive strategy is not sustainable, but I do expect fewer threes attempted going forward.

Mavin Costelling (or however you prefer to blend Gavin Schilling and Matt Costello): 37 minutes, 24 points on 10-13 from the field and 4-5 from the line, 9 boards, 1 turnover, and 3 fouls. That's a statline that makes sense given that The Citadel didn't play anybody taller than 6-8. I still count the play of these two as a positive worth watching going forward. Mavin Costelling will be key to offensive diversity.

The defense was better, too. I didn't get to watch the game (just listened on the radio due to crazy BTN+ draconian policies. Thanks Jim Delany) but it took The CItadel 11 minutes and 12 seconds to score a field goal in the second half. That's vast improvement, but isn't totally unexpected given the level of opponent.

Free Throw Shooting was much better too, at 73.7%. There's a long way to go yet, but there really aren't many guys who plain look bad at the line; I think that list is limited to Schilling. Branden Dawson and Travis Trice are shooting very poorly relative to their careers, and that'll improve. I figure Javon Bess will improve over time in this category, too.

The Four Factors

The upshot is that B1G season is here to mercifully end the run of bad B1G losses to cupcakes that bite back. We'll learn a lot more about this team after the home tilt against Maryland on 12/30.